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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 8,011
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

I decided I'd post this in shoes, since it's an expensive lesson I've just learned.  And why I won't be buying any more Clark's shoes (or any brand with this type of sole).

 

Not after having to throw out an almost new pair of clogs that I hadn't worn during our New England winter.  I know other shoes will be following that trip to the trashcan.  My DH saw them and said "Why is a new pair of shoes in the trash?"

 

Why?  I took out my leather clogs that I'd only worn about 3 or 4 times, to wear on a day out with a friend.  The soles were oddly sticky.  I had no idea what caused it, but thought perhaps it would go away after walking on them.

 

Never got that far!  As I picked one up to put it on, the top of the clog (leather) came away from the sole completely.  WTH???  (Thank goodness it didn't happen while I was out.)

 

I googled it and found out why.  The new polyurethane soles break down, if they're not worn regularly.  They're hydrophilic and absorb moisture, when stored.  There is nothing you can do once they start to break down.  They have to be tossed.  (Google "soles of my shoes falling apart":  the Foot Geekz has a great video on YouTube, but I can't post the link.)

 

Even very expensive shoes like Sanitas aren't exempt.  These soles are supposed to be "environmentally friendly", meant to break down in landfills.  Well, I don't wear sandals or open shoes with 3 feet of snow in the winter, so they get stored.

 

I have quality shoes, even Clark's, that are about 20 years old and they're still in excellent condition.  The newer ones?  Rubbish.  In this case, you don't necessarily get what you pay for.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,397
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

I had a pair of hand painted Sanita's that the sole just completely disintegrated, small chunks fell off as I continued to wear them that day.  I paid a pretty penny for them and I was really bummed out.  I trashed them.

DRUNKS, CHILDREN and LEGGINGS...ALWAYS TELLS THE TRUTH. (unknown)
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,201
Registered: ‎07-18-2013

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

Had that happen with 2 pairs of Danskos and Clarks as well.   Shoes were stored and hadn't been worn for over a season and the soles fell apart totally.  Big problem with those shoe and soles.   One of mine disintegrated while I was out wearing them.  Very embarrassing to leave a trail of shoe sole bits in your path before the entire sole fell off.

If my dog doesn't like you, neither do I.
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 8,011
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles


@Jk9 wrote:

Had that happen with 2 pairs of Danskos and Clarks as well.   Shoes were stored and hadn't been worn for over a season and the soles fell apart totally.  Big problem with those shoe and soles.   One of mine disintegrated while I was out wearing them.  Very embarrassing to leave a trail of shoe sole bits in your path before the entire sole fell off.


@Jk9 - But handy if you're Hansel and Gretel.  Sadly, we're not.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,225
Registered: ‎10-03-2014

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

It's disturbing these soles are still being used. 

 

Fortunately, I don't have any like that and will make sure I don't.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,693
Registered: ‎05-15-2014

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

Yes thanks for posting this.  I never really have paid a lot of attention to what the soles are made of.  And I totally get what you are saying regarding living in New England and only being able to wear certain shoes at certain times of the year.   I actually had a pair of Clark's boots that fell apart while in storage.  It wasn't the sole of the shoe but the interior leather literally was all cracked and when I tipped the boot over I had a pile of cracked leather pieces on the floor.  Could not for the life of me figure it out.  My shoes are stored in a relatively nuetral temperature with no dampness???   Wow, you've really given me something to think about for future purchases.   

Honored Contributor
Posts: 11,667
Registered: ‎07-15-2016

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

I had a pair of Skechers sandals that I bought for "house shoes."  Never wore them outside ..... the soles crumbled after a couple of months - while I was wearing them.    First and last pair of Skechers.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,723
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

This reminds me of the same thing happening to me several years ago.  I had a pair of Clarks shoes stored in my closet. 

 

As I was cleaning out the closet I came across these shoes (I don't know what the soles were made out of) and they looked to be brand new.  I just didn't remember buying them.  So I tried them on to see how they fit and after taking just one step the sole came away from the shoe!  I was shocked and then the same thing happened to the second shoe. 

 

Thank goodness I was at home.  I couldn't imagine that happening while out!

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,540
Registered: ‎03-26-2010

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

My Clark's sole story happened while in church, on my way up to communion.  What a hysterical disaster as I shuffled my way up the aisle...barefoot.  A sweet lady picked up the remnants, and gave them to me after church.  No more Clarks for me. Smiley Very Happy

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,346
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: The Thing About Polyurethane Soles

i've had this happen to me 4x's now. all danskos.  

sole came apart in big fat chunks while out and about. 

going to watch the video now.  sigh