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What are driving shoes?

Updated on June 11, 2012

Despite their name, driving shoes are not simply shoes designed solely for driving. In fact, many modern driving shoes are more influenced by fashion than motorsport. However, the classic driving shoe which forms the basis of most modern interpretations does feature design elements that reflect its driving origins and pedigree.

The most notable features of a driving shoe can be seen in the sole which tends to be very flexible and which often extends up around the heel of the shoe. This flexibility allows the foot to be easily transferred from one pedal to the other and allows for great ‘feel’ from the pedals, whilst the heel design makes it easy for the foot to pivot.

The upper on many driving shoes also tends to be soft, lightweight and flexible which helps ensure the foot isn’t weighed down and also makes the shoe comfortable to wear for long periods at the wheel. Whilst these features make driving more comfortable, they also result in footwear that can be used for everyday wear which has a certain sophisticated style.

The driving shoe style is often similar to a boat shoe but with a more streamlined and subtle profile making it more comparable to a moccasin.

Many of the world’s favourite shoe brands include a driving shoe in their range including such brands as Rockport, Sperry-Topsider, Cole Haan and many others.

The wide variety of driving shoes available today includes shoes made from a very varied range of materials and colours meaning that there is a driving shoe to suit most tastes and preferences.


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