For some car enthusiasts, driving shoes are a required part of their wardrobe and more than just accessories. Sure, you might be imagining specially designed racing shoes that are fire-resistant and cool-looking. But those aren’t the only kind available.
You might be wondering why you’d need driving shoes. Here, we explain what they are, help you decide if they’d be worthwhile for you, and suggest the best brands to buy.
What are driving shoes?
How are they different from regular shoes? Driving shoes, or driving moccasins, are narrow and form-fitting to take up as little space as possible when working a vehicle’s pedals. Many have thin, flexible soles so that the driver can better feel the pedals with their feet. Their design allows for better control.
They’re like racing shoes because they also have thinner soles. Both types have uppers made with pliable materials such as soft fabric or leather that allows the feet to move freely.
Car and Driver explains that brands like Piloti, with its patented rounded heel, offer a comfortable driving position for the foot. Piloti shoes also provide more control while your feet move.
Are driving shoes worth it?
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Piloti makes some of the best driving shoes. The brand sells top-quality products at more competitive prices than better-known luxury brands like Gucci.
It also makes racing-specific shoes, along with multipurpose loafers and sneakers. Staffers at Car and Driver tried Piloti shoes for a few months, including the Pistone X sneaker and Officina loafer. They liked how they looked and felt and ultimately found them durable.
Piloti board member Ron Fellows is also a racecar driver. He acts as a consultant for the company. With his input, designers craft shoes to meet high-performance drivers’ needs. They design footwear for driving that can also be worn as regular shoes. “I credit the technology in Piloti shoes for extending my career. Piloti preserves the pleasure of driving,” Fellows says on the Piloti website.
According to managing director Stephanie Brooklyn, Piloti shoes are as versatile in daily life as they are in the car. She told Car and Driver that the special soles of the brand’s sneakers, with signature tire-tread patterns, offer enhanced pedal grip. They’re helpful when dealing with a race car’s metal pedals. And they give the shoes a distinct look.
Driving shoes should be as comfortable to wear walking as they are while driving if they are designed correctly. Whether you’re walking along the track or making a grocery run, they should fit well, feel good, and make you more efficient.
Models to consider
The Pistone X is one of Piloti’s best-selling models. Designers updated the sneakers’ fit to make them more practical for everyday wear. They come with extra padding around the collars and an upgraded cup sole inside to make them more ergonomic.
This model also features the company’s modern heel design at the sole with the tire tread design. The quilted side panels feature anti-microbial lining on the inside. It absorbs excess moisture if your feet sweat, keeping it from becoming a distraction while you drive and helping reduce odor. But if you want a new pair of Pistone X driving shoes, now is the best time to get them. Shift, a newer model, has replaced them, so they’re on clearance for $115 to $125 on the Piloti website.
The brand also makes Officina driving loafers, retailing for around $129 to $140 depending on the color. These excellent slip-ons offer a good balance of style and functionality. They allow you to manage the pedals and walk comfortably for great versatility.