Many people still run rubber tires for nitro parking lot racing. There are many parking lot surfaces that do not work for foam tires. Thats where the rubber tires come in. As for durability, rubber holds up much better as long as you don't overheat them too much.
As far as the wider tires, there used to be 26mm and 30mm rubber available and even 22mm. The 24mm tires have proven to give the best pressure VS contact patch combination overall. The wider tires arn't even manufactured any more. Maybe the newer tire compounds would work in the wider tire. You might try writing to some tire mfgs and see if there are any available.