9 November 2021

The story of Dainite soles


Dainite's English rubber soles are known to all aficionados. Adherent, robust and elegant, these soles have an important place in our collection. In this article we will focus on the history of this company and its know-how.

Table of contents

  1. The story of Harboro Rubber
  2. Properties
  3. Focus on the rubber
  4. Differences with Vibram
  5. Our combinations

The story of Harboro Rubber

Dainite products have been manufactured by Harboro Rubber since 1894. The company is still based in Market Harborough (in the heart of the British footwear industry, between Leicester and Northampton) and is run by the founder's family.

Figure 1. The exterior of the factory in 1989 (source)


Dainite is the trade name created from the local expression of the time describing the factory's 'day and night' work rate. The company's earliest products were soles and heels - the first invoice dated 9 October 1894 was for 'red women's soles' and 'black rubber soles' (they were sold by weight!).

Figure 2. The factory and its craftsmen (source)


In 2006, the company moved its factory just 800 metres away from the previous one in order to modernise and expand it and make it more productive, while still producing products of the same high quality. Today, Dainite insoles are known for their many properties and qualities.


Properties

Ideal for rainy weather or for two-wheelers thanks to its optimal grip, the Dainite sole has built its reputation for its high quality and practicality, combining waterproofing, comfort and easy maintenance. Its carbon-free composition is enriched with minerals allowing the soles to patina naturally, taking on an elegant hue and leaving no marks on the ground.

Figure 3. Our Pablo with Dainite soles


Focus on the rubber

The rubber of Dainite soles is made of non-abrasive natural rubber, i.e. it does not wear out with friction and does not leave marks. Natural rubber is the oldest and most widely used.

In its raw (uncured) state, rubber has properties of little industrial interest except for its tensile strength because natural rubber is crystallisable. Raw rubber tears easily and is plastic, i.e. when deformed it does not return to its original dimensions. In summer it is soft, sticky and tacky; in winter it is hard and stiff.

Vulcanised (cured) natural rubber is considered a general purpose material, as its properties are considered to be good, making it a rubber of choice. 


Differences with Vibram

Harboro Rubber supplies most famous brands. At 7L, we chose these soles for part of our collection. Others are mounted on  Vibram soles, also  famous for its more adventurous aesthetics in non abrasive rubber. Vibram soles were originally designed in the 1930s to equip hiking and climbing boots. Read more in the dedicated article here.

Figure 4. Our Basile Commando with Vibram soles


Our combinations

Dainite English soles are handcrafted on a wide variety of Seventh Width models such as Basile boots, Pablo derbies or Rennan double buckles, via a Goodyear stitching process that allows for resealing and therefore offers robustness and a considerable lifespan to these shoes.

Figure 5. Our Basile with Dainite soles


The thinness and elegance of Dainite soles give the appearance of a traditional leather sole, allowing them to be worn in both formal and casual situations, which is often a key consideration for many users.

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