Providing stylish elegance and comfort, the driving shoe is the perfect addition to a modern wardrobe. With a laid back, yet formal look, the sleek slip-on design lends itself to a variety of occasions. Whether you are heading to the coast for a weekend or a day in the pub garden, consider the timelessly fashionable option of a driving shoe.
What are driving shoes?
As the name suggests, the driving shoes were designed with driving in mind. The light moccasin design includes a grippy sole to help keep your feet on the pedals without compromising on comfort. The shoes were first made in the 1960s for people driving around in Italian Coupe cars.
The shoes were first made for the rich, not everyone could afford a pair of leather shoes just for driving that you will take off once you get to your destination. The rubber sole of the shoes usually continues up the heel of the shoe, which was intended to stop the leather from becoming damaged when the foot was resting on the pedals. As many dress shoes at the time were considered too cumbersome for comfortable driving, the Italian elites went for something softer and lighter, which made driving a lot more comfortable. It also saved the outdoor shoes becoming scuffed from driving.
Nowadays, you don’t have to be driving an Italian roadster to enjoy the benefits of a driving shoe, nor do you need to be able to afford one. A shoe as stylish as the driving shoe shouldn’t be wasted confined behind the steering wheel. Although not made for a long walk, they can take you from beech to bar, or from your car to a café in great style and comfort.
How to style driving shoes
When it comes to styling your driving shoes, the combinations can be endless. As driving shoes are available in all different colours, they are easier to pair to your outfit than some other shoes. You can go as bold or as subtle as you like, however today we will be focusing more on a subtle pair that will match with multiple outfit options, so you get the most use out of your shoes.
The driving shoe gets the most use in the warmer months, as they look much better without socks, or invisible ones at least.
Styles for Men
The men's driving shoe can be an easy addition to your summer outfit, whether out on the beech or just a visit to the beer garden, it is simple to replace your existing shoes with a pair of drivers. A classic casual look including a tan pair of chinos will pair well with any colour driving shoe, you can match them with both tan colours, or go for a contrast with a darker navy colour.
What you wear on top is up to you, for a smarter casual look, you can go for a checked button-down shirt, usually a short if it is warm enough for shorts, or at least the sleeves rolled up on as long sleeved one. Finish the look with a nice belt and maybe one of our men’s Panama hats to keep yourself cool and sophisticated. If you are in a more casual setting, a round neck T-shirt can look just as good, but a little less formal.
For a more classic look, one which has the drivers roots in mind, you cannot beat a pair of navy chinos with a tapered fit for some added smartness. A slightly cropped fit to show a little ankle is the perfect partner for the driving shoe (or even roll them up if you cannot find any cropped ones). A navy pair of trousers with a plain white shirt work very well together, giving a summery look without showing too much skin.
For this look, you can’t go wrong with a nay pair of shoes to match your trousers, although if you are feeling bolder, you can go for any colour, but sometimes the classics are the best. Finish the look with a pair of sunglasses, which will give a more calm and collected quality to the outfit. Step out of your car looking like this and you are guaranteed to turn a few heads, even if you don’t have the car to match.
Styles for women
When it comes to styling an outfit with driving shoes for women, the same rules apply. They are better used to replace a normal pair of shoes for a smart casual summer look. They can pair nicely with a nice summery dress for a summers trip to the coast or meeting your friends in a café or bar for a catch up. The colour of your driving shoes can depend on the occasion, a dark pair would cover most outfits that fit into the smart casual setting.
For a classic summer look, you can’t go wrong with a brightly coloured pencil skirt and some driving shoes in a complimentary but neutral colour. If you prefer something a bit more colourful, a pair of shoes in a burnt orange or even a bright pink to really stand out. For the ultimate sunny day outfit, wear a pair of sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat, this not only offers more protection from the sun, but also adds to a smart sophisticated look.
If you are looking for a more everyday outfit with drivers, they match very well with jeans too. A pair of cropped skinny jeans are a great partner for your driving shoes. The colours are entirely up to you, be as bold as you want. Up to you can wear whatever is suited to the occasion. A smart printed blouse would be more suited to a business casual outfit, but anything will go well with the outfit. If you are going for this outfit, it can be a good idea to try match your accessories with your shoes, especially if you have gone for a more daring shade of shoes. Of course, these are just some tips, you can finish your outfit off however you decide.
Although they might not be seen on the high-end catwalks every year, but the driving shoes are a sleek timeless style you can easily incorporate into your look. Days when it might be a bit too cold for your sandals, but too warm for a pair of shoes, the driving shoe is a stylish alternative that can add a certain smartness to your outfit that other shoes can’t. They really are a summertime saviour when putting together a look that can see you through most situations.
At Rydale we stock a range of driving shoes in neutral tones, made from soft and comfortable suede, these shoes really can elevate your summer style without having to give up on any comfort. Be sure to check our the full range of ladies driving shoes and men's driving shoes.