Once designed to aid driving (hence the name), driving shoes have become a kit essential for many men. A cross between the penny loafer and the boat shoe, this particular style lends comfort along with effortless style, especially for the dread ‘smart-casual’ brief. Best for the warmer weather, no matter if you’re off to a European summer or dressing for a beach wedding, driving shoes should be a go-to style.
Essentially a moccasin-construction slip-on loafer, the style is defined with small rubber pebbles that cover the sole and extend to the back of the heel, preventing wear from constantly having the foot on the pedal as well as assisting with control. While it is not necessarily your first thought when diving into the footwear arsenal, we have the best guide to wearing the upcoming trend.
Stay tuned and read below.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Driving Shoes
- DO keep your suede clean. To ensure they last the distance brush and steam suede styles but don’t keep them too clean, so they’ve got a nice worn in look.
- Don’t Wear Socks. Unless required, it is not a good look.
- do store them with tissue paper. If not being worn for an extended amount of time, stuff some tissue in the shoe to keep its shape.
- DON’T Walk in them too much. While the comfort of driving shoes makes you want to live in them, they will wear down easily when walking for extended periods of time.
- DO MIX UP THE COLOUR. While brown and black are staple colours, driving shoes are available in an array of different colours, so why not try your hand at something a bit different.
- DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT WEAR. It is best to note that the pebbles will eventually wear out but will still be good for running errands, gardening and housework so you can really give them a good run before chucking them out completely.
How to style driving shoes
Smarter than the classic boat shoe whilst still being sporty, driving shoes are the perfect companion for the beach, then straight to the bar. Have a go at wearing some colour for true summer style, with a button down, summer shorts and a pair of sunnies.
Suitable for any weekend that requires looking a little dressed-up, driving shoes are an easy addition to your already established kit. Add a pair of classic chinos and a basic tee that will look good, no matter where you find yourself.
If you’re looking for a comfortable alternative to your dress shoes, you may be able to get away with the addition of driving shoes. Within the correct context, driving shoes are perfect for the office as well a business trips away. They look best with beige colour tones as well as navy, and to keep the look coherent, only pair with more casual suits and shirts.
The Summer Wedding
There comes a time when your classic dress shoes are just not suitable, and one of those occasions is the beach wedding. In the bid to avoid damaging your expensive leather shoes, the ability to slip on and off with ease, as well as being easy to clean, driving shoes should be an obvious choice. Wear with lightweight suits and colours to reach the full beach wedding aesthetic.
The best brands for driving shoes
Introduced in 1979 by Diego Della Valle, the Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoe quickly became an icon. Worn by Fiat magnate Gianni Agnelli, the shoes were worn to soccer matches, and became a cult classic in Europe and abroad. These days, Tod’s offers a custom service, allowing you to choose your own leather and trim on the brands classic styles.
Gommino Driving Shoes in Blue Suede / £320 GBP SHOP NOW or shop in store
Gommino Driving Shoes / $633 AUD SHOP NOW or shop in store
Tod’s x Ferrari Gommino Driving Shoes in Red Suede / $644 AUD SHOP NOW or shop in store
Better known for its horsebit loafer, Gucci also has an impressive line of driving shoes if you want a more modern approach. The range includes collapsable heels, a range of suede and leather as well as the Italian brands iconic web and hardware branding.
Car Shoe was created in Italy in 1963 by Gianni Mostile and as the name suggests, the brand has strong ties to the motoring industry. In 2001, the brand was bought by luxury fashion house Prada and since, has collaborated with Alfa Romeo and The Driver’s Club. To further promote its products, Car Shoe is seen at The Goodwood Revival, selling shoes in its own pop-up store.
Closely related to Car Shoe, Prada have its own range of driving shoes. Established in 1913, the Italian fashion house has been producing high quality leather goods for over 100 years. With a square toe, sturdy sole and Prada branding, these shoes are worth the money.