Which Shoes Are Best for Driving?

If you’re starting to get serious about cars, you’ve probably looked to do some modifications. With that comes helping yourself out by making driving quickly as safe and easy as possible. Thankfully, driving shoes are here to help with that. However, there’s two camps here. Some say they’re an unnecessary gimmick, and others view them as absolutely essential. Either way, you need shoes to drive, and these are the best.

Are Piloti shoes good for walking? What about driving?

A pair of dark green and white Piloti driving shoes
Piloti driving shoes blend form and function, but at a cost | Piloti

Odds are, if you googled “best driving shoes” you saw Piloti’s website. As far as I can tell, Piloti is the only brand dedicated to making a fully driving-oriented shoe. Additionally, the driving shoes I did find elsewhere were simply “driver” styled loafers. If you’ve ever seen the video of Ayrton Senna beating the snot out of an NSX at Suzuka, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Regardless, Piloti makes dedicated shoes built specifically for the act of driving.

To that point, Piloti makes a point to construct their shoes with driving in mind. The heels are rounded for better comfort while resting your feet on the pedals. However, that isn’t all. The edges of the soles are built specifically to keep them from catching on the pedals while you heel-toe downshift. Moreover, one of the key components of a good driving shoe is a thin sole for pedal feel. Piloti has that too, and says that the soles aren’t so thin you can’t walk around in them.

Vans are a cheaper alternative

Two red and black Vans skate shoes
He was a sk8r boi | Ken Hively via Getty Images

Funnily enough, what makes a good skating shoe makes a good driving shoe. To that point, Vans are pretty much as good as it gets. Just like the Piloti shoes, the edges of your average pair of Vans are smooth. Thankfully, that means they shouldn’t catch on the pedals while you rev-match. Now, style is subjective, but I much prefer the “Sk8r Boi” aesthetic to the “Mr. Serious Driver” look. However, you do you, reader. You’ll look great in either.

And that brings me to pricing. First, the Piloti driving shoes. They ain’t cheap. The cheapest shoe I found on their website is $115. Thankfully, there’s a good spread of sizes in both men’s and women’s, just like Vans. Fortunately, Vans has you covered if you want a cheap driving shoe to get the job done. Expect to pay around $60 for a set of Van’s Comfy Cush shoes.

Can’t go wrong with a good pair of Vans

Vans shoes on the street in London
Vans are my choice in driving shoe | John Stillwell via Getty Images

Honestly, Vans are my pick. I feel I don’t need to spend the money when I’ve already got Vans and work from home. I’ve raced plenty of karts in Vans, and I’ve never once said “Yeah, I need better shoes to knock down my lap time.” However, if you can afford to try a pair of Piloti shoes, do give them a shot. The specifics of their construction entices me, and I’d love to do a side-by-side comparison.

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