I have always thought that a man's shoes should have leather soles and heels; yet as I peruse the shoe catalogs I see lots of sole configurations.
Can you share your thoughts on when each is appropriate?
Simple really. A man's dress shoes should always have leather soles. The single sole is for ordinary use in town. The double sole makes for a sturdier looking shoe and is often found on boots and bluchers. Double soles help keep feet dry in the wet and provide an extra layer of protection on rougher surfaces where the wearer might encounter stones.
Rubber soles are for wear in work situations where skid control is important, a category that includes places like medical offices, and for country and holiday walking. This applies to microbark and crepe soles as well as formed soles such as Dainite, Ridgeway and commando soles.
The photo is from an out of print Edward Green catalog and shows double soled Country shoe models.