There’s nothing more classic than a pair of sneakers with a gum sole. The gum sole was popular in the 1970’s, but soon fell out of style. But in the recent years, the gum sole came back with a vengeance. Take the upcoming retro drop of the Nike Air More Uptempos. When these came out in the 1995-1996 season, you wouldn’t have found them with a gum sole, but the gum adds a classic look to these.
You might see the term gum sole thrown around casually when you see that tan color sole. This phrases implies that the sole is made from a natural Isoprene rubber gum, which comes out trees and turns to that color tan or “natural” color when processed. In reality, the gum sole you’re seeing is made from polybutadiene, a synthetic rubber which resembles natural rubber. Typically, polybutadiene goes into tires and golf balls so at least you’re going to have decent traction. These adidas Sambas, first released in 1950, featured a gum sole specifically for indoor soccer.
That being said, gum soles are a clean addition to any sneakers. Summer after summer, both Nike and adidas drop with their classic sneaker with a gum sole. Last year, the Jumpman himself was seen with a pair of Air Jordan XVI lows in Black and Gum.
It was predicted that these sneakers were going to be released sometime in 2016, but the halfway point of the year, things don’t look good so far.Instead, Jordan brand is releasing the XI Low in Navy and Gum, which is close, but not quite Black. So if you haven’t yet, enter the contest. Head over to the @angelusdirect Instagram for that last minute entry.
Angelus Direct-sponsored artist Mache made his own Black and Gum XI’s a few years back. These things looked as good, if not better, than the unreleased samples spotted last year.
So if you don’t win or if Jordan doesn’t release this colorway, make your own. We have all the paint, Sole Bright, and dye that will do the job. For example, customizer did a full sole swap on these XI ‘Space Gums.’
While some people swear by the feel of gum soles, there’s no denying the look. Be sure to pick up a bottle of our Vachetta Acrylic Leather Paint, the closest color to gum you’ll find.