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Behind Dainite – Shoe Studs Done Right

When it comes to non-leather soles, we’re all familiar with Vibram’s rubber offerings, but what about the slicker, studded soles from the British solesmith, Dainite?

Dainite has been manufacturing high-quality rubber soles for over a century and we still see their original sole designs on shoes and boots to this very day. Today, we’re taking a closer look at Dainite, and how they go about separating our feet from the pavement.

What is Dainite?

Dainite is a brand of rubber footwear soles, manufactured by the English company, Harboro Rubber. Established back in 1894, the trade name Dainite was coined by locals in the brand’s hometown of Market Harborough who would describe the company as ‘day and night mills’.

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Dainite produces a small range of rubber soles, but they’re best known for their studded sole. In fact, the phrase ‘Dainite sole’ is usually just referring to their studded rubber sole which is often utilized on footwear from brands such as Viberg, Truman Boot Company, Tricker’s, Crockett & Jones, and Loake. This sole has since become a generic sole design and has been imitated by other manufacturers such as Itshide, but Dainite will always be recognized as the originators of the studded style that combines a formal aesthetic with traction and grip.

The Origins of Dainite

In the early twentieth century, there was a gap in the market for a formal sole which could provide traction and grip during the wet and icy British winters. Most formal shoes during this time were made with flat leather soles which offered little or no grip, leaving the informal, heavily toothed soles of work boots the only practical option.

Hearing these cries, Dainite introduced their famous studded sole in 1910. The Dainite sole answered formal needs with smooth rubber and practical needs with recessed studs that help the wearer grip to the ground. In addition, the simple composition of the sole made them easy to wipe down and less likely to track dirt, two qualities that were absent in the heavily studded soles of work boots. The Dainite sole really was the answer for those looking for formal footwear with a touch of endurance.

What is Dainite Good for?

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Resoling station at Crockett & Jones

Still produced in the U.K. from hard wearing, solid rubber, Dainite soles are a great option for someone looking for a long-lasting rubber sole with an added measure of durability. As well as being clean, slick, and applicable to anything from an understated derby to a more rugged service boot – Dainite soles are often applied to footwear using a Goodyear welt – making them easy to recraft time and time again.

Products with Dainite Soles

Viberg Service Boot

Canadian bootmakers, Viberg, have used a Dainite sole on many renditions of their Service Boot. This edition features Chromexcel leather in a rich burgundy color, with contrasting natural leather midsole and Dainite studded sole and heel. Based on founder Ed Viberg’s original work boot design from the 1930s, this boot is built on Viberg’s 2030 last and finished with gunmetal eyelets.

Available for $670 at Viberg.

Oak Street Bootmakers Dainite Trench Boot

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Made in the U.S.A. by the admirable Oak Street Bootmakers, this military style boot is constructed from black Horween Chromoxcel leather with calfskin lining at the vamp. Built on an elegantly shaped last, this boot also utilises Dainite soles and heels which sit handsomely under a stacked leather midsole. And with Goodyear welt construction, the soles may be replaced when the time comes.

Available for $462 at Oak Street Bootmakers.

Tricker’s Bourton Brogues

Known for their heavy country shoes, we’d be remiss to leave a Northampton British original like Tricker’s off this list. Tricker’s often uses double layer oak leather soles, but when one will get their shoes wet, they opt for the studded Dainite. This pair of brogues is made in a sturdy kudu leather and is even on sale.

Available for $319 at End Clothing.