Providing elegance and comfort, the driving shoe is an excellent wardrobe addition for any modern man. Thanks to its dapper yet laidback aesthetic, the sleek, slip-on is perfect for a variety of occasions. So, whether you’re dressing for summertime drinks, lunch at the yacht club or a trip down the coast, be sure to consider this timelessly fashionable footwear option. As for the rest of your outfit, we have you covered. In this guide, we’ll show you how to wear a pair of driving shoes with serious style.
What are Driving Shoes?
As their name suggests, driving shoes are a type of footwear created for driving. Designed to provide comfort and extra grip on the pedal, these classic shoes have a moccasin construction and feature rubber-pad soles that extend up to the back of the heel. They can also easily be slipped on and off thanks to their laceless design and boast a snug and comfortable fit. Overall, the shoe is flexible and functional with an easygoing yet elegant aesthetic. As such, they make a surprisingly versatile footwear option and can suit many more settings than just the car.
How to Style Driving Shoes
When it comes to styling driving shoes, there are a few loose rules to follow. Most importantly, stay true to the aesthetic of your driving shoes by pairing them with a relaxed yet elegant outfit. To do so, try teaming them with slim (not skinny) jeans, chinos, or cotton shorts. If you do wear long pants, be sure to go sans socks and flash your ankles for a stylishly casual and contemporary appearance. To dress up driving shoes, you can wear a slim-cut suit in a casual fabric, but don’t go too formal. Also, it’s essential to ensure your drivers are kept clean and neat.
When to Wear Driving Shoes
Thanks to their relaxed aesthetic, driving shoes make an excellent choice for stylishly casual outfits. In particular, suede drivers tend to be best for projecting a laidback look. Ideal for summer, they can easily be teamed with jeans or shorts and a basic crew-neck T-shirt. If you do want to wear your driving shoes in winter, however, all you need to do is add a comfortable sweater to your jeans and tee ensemble.
Driving shoes can be surprisingly suitable for smart casual events and occasions. For instance, you can wear them to lunch with slim-leg chinos, a button-up shirt, a blazer, and a tie. Additionally, they can make an excellent option for business trips. Not only do they look presentable, but they’re also comfortable and can easily be slipped on and off for airport security checks. Try choosing a dark brown or navy pair and teaming them with light socks, cotton trousers, a business shirt, and a cashmere sweater to nail the look.
Take the driving shoe back to its roots by donning a pair for your next road trip. Trust us; you don’t need to drive an Italian roadster to look seriously stylish cruising the coast in these classic shoes. To rock the comfortable and elegant footwear choice, team a pair with jeans, a T-shirt, and a relaxed yet stylish jacket, such as a suede bomber. Then, complete your look with aviator sunglasses, a sleek watch, and a packed duffle bag.
Driving shoes are ideal for summer vacations. As they can be dressed up or down, they can stylishly see you through a variety of events. To wear drivers casually on vacation, such as at a beach bar, you can team a pair with chic swim trunks or linen pants and a polo shirt. Then, add fun holiday accessories, such as sunglasses, beaded bracelets, and possibly even a straw Panama hat. For something more formal, like an overseas beach wedding, partner a smart pair of driving shoes with a linen-blend suit and lightweight cotton shirt in light tones. As a bonus, the rubber soles will make walking on sand easier.
Are you planning a sailing trip? Try swapping your usual boat shoes for a pair of drivers instead. These shoes are perfect for nailing a stylishly preppy aesthetic. All you need to do is pick your favorite pair then add chino shorts and a lightweight cotton or linen shirt. Classic Ray-Ban Wayfarers and a woven belt will complete the look. Just remember, if you choose to wear suede driving shoes, be sure to spritz them with a waterproof spray before heading out.
Best Driving Shoe Brands
Tod’s has long had a knack for creating elegant yet functional footwear for the contemporary lifestyle. So, it’s no surprise the label has experienced plenty of success, including the creation of one of the world’s most famous driving shoes, the Gommino. A favorite around the world, the Gommino is beloved for its iconic design and premium craftsmanship. Today, you can even have a pair of personalized to suit your own signature style.
Well known for its classic loafers, Gucci also offers an excellent selection of sleek driving shoes. So, if you’re looking to channel the fashion brand’s luxurious Italian style, be sure to order a pair. Ranging from clean and classic designs through to bold, fashion-forward styles, Gucci’s selection of driving shoes is diverse and impressive. Also, much like the label’s famous loafers, many of its driving shoes also feature the iconic Gucci Horsebit detail.
Legendary Italian shoemaker, Salvatore Ferragamo opened his iconic Hollywood Boot Shop in the U.S. in 1923, and, due to his famous clientele, soon became known as the “shoemaker to the stars”. Despite his death in 1960, Ferragamo’s name lived on thanks to his impressive and beloved brand. In the ’70s, that brand expanded into men’s footwear, creating stylish shoes for discerning gents. Today, men around the world capture the label’s sophisticated Italian spirit by wearing their much-loved loafers and driving shoes.
Swiss luxury fashion house, Bally is known for its elegant accessories. The label was founded in 1851 by Carl Franz Bally, who had the vision to create exquisite footwear from the finest leather using innovative craftsmanship. Since then, the brand had gained the reputation of one of Europe’s top shoemakers. Today, the company offers a wide range of footwear options for men and women, including an impressive selection of loafers and driving shoes. Expertly crafted in luxurious materials, Bally’s drivers are comfortable, stylish, and perfect for day-to-day wear. Many designs feature the signature Bally stripe detailing.
How to Wear Driving Shoes
- Ensure your driving shoes appear clean and neat, especially if they are suede.
- Choose sleek, leather driving shoes in a neutral hue for a classic appearance or suede driving shoes in a jewel tone for a bolder look.
- Go sans socks and flash your ankles to enhance the casual elegance of your driving shoes.
- For a relaxed yet stylish look, team your driving shoes with slim jeans, chinos, or smart cotton shorts.
- To dress up driving shoes, pair them with a slim-cut suit in a casual fabric.
Why are they called driving shoes?
Men's driving shoes are called this because they were created for driving. They are a timeless and fashionable footwear option designed for comfort and extra grip for the pedals. The laceless design also allows the wearer to slip them on or off easily.
Can driving shoes be worn outside?
Driving shoes may be designed for within a vehicle, but they are incredibly versatile and can be worn in various settings. They look good when worn during a road trip, or with casual outfits, especially in summer, and create a laid-back appearance. The shoes are also popular options to wear to smart-casual events and occasions.
Do you wear socks with driver shoes?
Driving shoes and socks are not a stylish combination, but if you want to wear socks, then it is advisable to wear hidden ones, so they are not visible.
Taylah Brewer holds a bachelor's degree in fashion and business and is a skilled writer with several years of experience in the world of online content creation and copywriting. She is passionate about fashion, beauty, and all things lifestyle-related and has been writing for The Trend Spotter since 2016. She currently works as the Head of Digital & Ecommerce at White & Co.
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