Which is Better EVA or Rubber Sole?

Which is Better EVA or Rubber Sole

Woo! The battle is real right when it comes to choosing the best and the right product for your feet?

EVA or Rubber?

Which is better a choice?

If this is what is troubling you, guys you have just landed at the right place!


In this article I am going to tell you the major differences between EVA and rubber soles, so that you can make an informed decision for your feet.

While EVA is used mostly in the midsoles, rubber on the other hand is used mostly in making the outsoles of boots. While EVA is used mostly in running shoes, rubber is used in heavy duty work boots.

The main reason for this is EVA is lighter in weight than rubber and has greater flexibility and better shock absorption capability. Rubber on the other hand, is more durable, hard wearing, resistant to heat and offers the best grip on slippery surfaces.

Hold, hold, hold!

If you exit from this page thinking you have known all the differences between EVA and rubber, you are wrong!

Read on to know the roots of both and their pros and cons…

Is EVA same as rubber?

No, EVA is not at all the same as rubber and there’s a huge difference between the two. 

While I will be discussing the parameters of their differences in the section below, in this section I will tell you the difference in their origin.

EVA is an artificial or synthetic material that is made from ethylene-vinyl acetate which is very similar in composition to the plastic wraps you get in the markets. But EVA can be recycled and reused and this trait makes them eco-friendly.

Rubber on the other hand, is a natural material that is made from the sap (latex) of rubber plants and then processed and molded in the form of soles to be fitted in shoes and boots. But rubber will degrade with time and therefore, they are less eco-friendly.

How long do EVA soles last?

EVA soles are less durable as compared to rubber soles. With proper care and maintenance, EVA soles would last you as long as 1 to 2 years if used too often.

But, the good news is that EVA soles can be recycled, which means you don’t need discard your entire footwear for just the sole, just replace the old EVA sole with a new one and the shoes would be good to go for another couple of years.

How long do rubber soles last?

A good brand rubber sole will last you as long as 3 to 5 years. But this will depend on the extensiveness of wear and the conditions of the ground too as rubber is prone to wear and tear but at the same time, they are hard wearing and very durable in nature.

See also: Can You Replace Rubber Soles on a Pair of Boots?

What is the difference between EVA and rubber soles?

The comparison table below will tell you the major differences between a rubber and EVA sole:

Parameters  EVA soles  Rubber soles 
Durability  Less durable More durable
Comfort  Better in comfort Lesser in comfort than EVA 
Waterproof  Not like rubber They are waterproof
Traction  Offers less traction than rubber Offers the best traction even on slippery floors
Ecofriendly  Yes, as they can be recycled No, as they degrade with regular wear and tear
Heat resistance  Less resistant to heat Absolutely resistant to heat
Shock absorption  More shock absorption capability Less shock absorption capability

Which sole is better for running, EVA or rubber?

Now this is quite debatable!

Both the soles, rubber and EVA have proved their grounds on different parameters and it depends on an individual what is his or her preferences.

EVA sole is better for midsole support, shock absorption and for being lightweight which is great for running. And for this reason, EVA soles have been used in all running shoes from the 1950’s till date.

But recently leading brand like ASICS have deviated from the general trend of using EVA soles in sports wear and have shifted towards rubber soles for the reason that rubber has proved to be more durable which is a major lookout for running shoes as they have to go through extreme wear and tear and also for the fact that rubber offers the best traction in case of off-road running.

Also, rubber has proved to return more energy to the feet which is a major necessity for running shoes.

See also: Does Gorilla Glue Work On Rubber Boots?

Which sole should you choose, EVA or rubber?

You should choose EVA soles when you want:

      • Comfort, as they are cushioning in texture
      • Shock absorption for releasing fatigue
      • Lightweight soles that are easy to wear the entire day 

You should choose rubber soles when you want:

      • Durability
      • Best traction in slippery surfaces
      • Waterproofing 
      • Heat resistance

It’s time to bid Adieu!

Before concluding I would like to give you a piece of advice…

Why not choose both and get the benefit of both?

How can you do that?

Simply by buying a boot that has EVA midsole for support, cushioning and shock absorption and a rubber outsole for durability, traction and energy return!

Isn’t that the best advice?

I hope you enjoyed reading my article, and if so, stay tuned for more posts on work gears!

Till then, have a safe and happy day!

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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