The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

First created to allow motorists better grip and control over their cars, these rubber-soled, leather-lined moccasins have taken on a style of their own

Nothing says ‘I own a vintage Italian sports car’ like a pair of driving shoes. These leather, or suede rubber-soled moccasins were invented over seventy years ago — created to give serious Sunday drivers extra grip when hooning their low-slung Alfas or fiercely red Ferraris around country lanes.

Today, the driving shoe is less practical and more of a status symbol. From investment bankers sunning themselves on the Riviera to fashionistas sashaying their way across the cobbles of Milan, it may pay to have a Maserati parked up around the corner — but don’t feel you need the wheels to slip on a pair.

Here are the best brands to buy if you’re thinking of taking the driving shoe for a spin…

Tod’s shoes are a continental classic

There’s something effortlessly stylish about Tod’s driving shoes. If you’re throwing on chinos, a blazer, a sweater or even just a linen shirt, your outfit will immediately shift gears with the addition of the Italian brand’s signature ‘Gommino’ pebble soles.

In navy suede, these supple shoes see a design first developed more than 35 years ago still going strong. Or try these ’T’ bar examples, crafted from brown full-grain leather and decorated with burnished-gold detailing. Alternatively, this leather-tie pair features 133 rubber studs and are created, like all Tod’s, using 100 different steps.

The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Tod’s Gommino Suede Driving Shoes

£310

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The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Tod’s Full-Grain Leather Driving Shoes

£420

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The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Tod’s Gommino Suede Driving Shoes

£340

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Car Shoe are the real driving deal

Since Gianni Mostile created the first pair of Car Shoe car shoes in 1963, this is a brand that has kept its links with the automotive world strong. In May 2013, the company collaborated with Lamborghini — both celebrated their 50th anniversary in the same month. Later that year, the brand popped up at Goodwood’s Revival, and last year they created a capsule collection with Alfa Romeo.

They’re the real deal. And create some incredibly stylish shoes. Just look at these tasseled driving moccasins, in the Antic Goat design. Or Soft Calf shoes, stitched with English twine and featuring woven band detailing. But our favourite from the brand? The Antiqued Lux shoes, with croco-print detailing and rubber studded soles.

The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Car Shoe Antic Goat

£340

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The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Car Shoe Antiqued Lux

£370

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Crockett & Jones bring understated style to driving shoes

Heritage shoemaker Crockett & Jones may not have the Italian pedigree of the other brands on this list — but what they lack in fiery Italian flair, they more than make up for with good old English craftsmanship. The British brand has created their very own collection of driving shoes up in Northampton, and these are our pick of the best.

The Como, named for one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes, is a masterclass in understated design. Made from navy suede, the cleated rubber soles add more hardy substance than the pebbled alternatives. The Romas are another capital choice, unlined and bolstered by the brand’s own Pedrosa Driving sole. Or channel your inner Charlie Croker with the penny loafer-style Torinos.

The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Crockett & Jones Como

£220

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The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Crockett & Jones Roma

£220

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The Edit: Driving shoes have sped back into style

Crockett & Jones Torino

£220

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Want some more motoring-inspired style? Follow Dominic Cooper in our latest fashion shoot…

Further Reading