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13 Best Men’s Driving Shoes: The Ultimate List

The driving shoe is a great alternative to your classic casual shoe. They are a dress shoe/sneaker hybrid that is super cool. While these shoes are made for the road, you can wear them anywhere. This is the ultimate list of the best men’s driving shoes that will make your feet look cool no matter what kind of whip you’re driving.

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What Are Men’s Driving Shoes? A Quick History

In 1963, the Italian Ministry of Industry and Trade gave Gianni Mostile a patent for his new creation, driving shoes. Sig. Mostile’s new company, called Car Shoe, created driving shoes for the very practical reason of helping race car drivers work the pedals. The new style of shoes was primarily defined by the nubbed sole: dozens of small rubber studs protruding from the outsole gave drivers more traction on the metal acceleration, brake, and clutch (ABC) pedals. The heightened “foot feel” made it easier to perform the race car driver’s standard “heel-and-toe” technique of operating the pedals.

Driving Shoes: They Really Do Work

Heel-and-toe isn’t something the everyday driver needs — if you’re using the technique, you’re probably not unaccustomed to seeing red flashing lights in the rearview (haha, insert smiley face here). But heel-and-toe is definitely used by racecar drivers. In a nutshell, it’s a way of operating the ABC pedals simultaneously so the car’s engine doesn’t lose the all-important RPMs that keep that baby performing at peak. Driving Shoe Evolution: Functional and Fashionable.

Racecar drivers today — both professionals and hobbyists — use heel-and-toe, but after men’s driving shoes were invented, they somewhat quickly evolved to the more stylish side of things. That’s evident with the almost simultaneous entry into the driving shoe industry of high-end luxury Italian shoemaker, Tod’s. Today, Tod’s still offers a wide range of driving shoes, like this blue suede men’s driving shoe (just one example out of many from Tod’s).

And the company created by the inventor of the driving shoe, Car Shoe, is still making driving shoes. Most of them, like these nasty leopard numbers, are very fashionable and very expensive. According to the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto (yes, there’s really a shoe museum in this world), the more nimble feel of driving shoes appealed to everyday consumers and, thus, became fashionable. Hence the huge number of shoemakers who, today, offer driving moccasins (again, the same thing as driving shoes) for the discerning shopper.

Driving Shoe Categories for Our Definitive List

The men’s driving shoes in this list are mostly loafers. We’ve actually thrown in a couple of pairs of actual, honest-to-goodness technical driving shoes that race car drivers use — and that you could buy for a real conversation starter. The important thing to remember about all these shoes: you don’t have to drive to wear them. You just have to want to look good. So the way we see it, you might have one of three approaches to men’s driving shoes:

One, you’re looking for actual driving shoes because you race cars; two, you’re looking to tap into the driving shoe’s fashionable side; or, third, you’re looking for some cool kicks with an interesting pedigree. Whatever it is, we got ya covered, so gentlemen — and those who are buying for their gentle-dudes — start your engines and take a drive through our roundup of the Best Men’s Driving Shoes: The Ultimate List.