We all know that driving especially without cruise control can be taxing on your right foot. Even when going out for a Sunday drive in a spirited manner your footwear can make the difference if the experience is a great one or a painful one after a few hours. That being said, we consulted with our writers to find out what shoes they consider to be the best for driving.
We start with our Senior Content writer Earl who had five recommendations for his best driving shoes. These recommendations cover a wide range of use cases starting with the practical, for those who want to get a better feel of the pedals from their feet. The stylish and functional who want the best of both worlds, and finally comfort and style for those who want something they can walk around, drive comfortably, and look good at the same time. Almost all of his top picks include shoes with thin soles and narrow widths that deliver great pedal feel and none of that bulky feel.
Puma Driving Shoes
Starting with racing or driving shoes, these are shoes that have thin flexible soles that help maximize the driver’s feel of the pedals. This gives them better control but may lack in the support department as your everyday shoe. Puma driving shoes are purpose-made for either racing or just driving around town and may not be as comfortable for those who want something they can use for more than just driving. They are a practical choice, especially for the car enthusiast who wants more feel out of their drive. Puma’s motorsport shoes range in a variety of styles that range from more focused to more casual. There are options that look like your standard tennis shoes, while there are others that look like they’re meant for heel-toe-down-shifting-while-coming-to-a-stop-at-a-red-light, then there are others that are definitely meant for the race track.
Sparco Racing Shoes
The same can be said for Sparco shoes which have the same design philosophy in mind. They are a balanced set of shoes for daily use but where they truly shine is while driving. They are made of flexible material such as soft leather or fabric that help facilitate easy food movement which is needed in driving especially with a manual transmission vehicle.
A popular choice even with Caco himself is the Onitsuka Mexico66. It has the right balance of good looks, comfort, and feel for drive and daily use. What we particularly appreciate from these pairs of shoes is the soles as they are both durable and flexible enough to withstand the repetitive ankle movement of shifting between pedals on top of walking around after you’ve reached your destination. If Caco recommends this, then this is surely a great buy for those looking to buy a great balanced driving shoe. Earl’s been through a few pairs of this model already, and he also swears by them. In fact, one pair has lasted him nearly 10 years, and he still uses them to this day.
Just like with the Mexico66 the Onitsuka Serrano is another great balanced choice with plenty of styling and color options to choose from. These are sturdy shoes that also give you a lot of great pedal feedback making them another perfect balanced choice for driving shoes. Out of the driver’s seat, the Serranos offer more comfort thanks to the thicker midsole, but they’re still thin enough to let the wearer feel the pedals while driving.
Low cut, low key, and low priced, Vans Eras are probably every skateboarder’s first pair and choice. It is also one of Earl’s picks to drive in. The durable vulcanized rubber outsole tends to last quite a while, and the simple styling and shape of this shoe allow it to match any casual outfit. In the driver’s seat, Vans perform well for pedal feel and they’re low-profile enough to not get in the way when you’re doing a pedal dance while driving.
Pretty much any pair of leather or suede mocassins
This one takes the cake for a great smart-casual shoe that also doubles as a great driving shoe. The shoe itself is made with soft and durable materials that can withstand the rigors of driving and being used as a daily driver. They are a great blend of style and function with a decent degree of comfort.
Next up we have a couple of shoes recommended by our other content writer Jet. He went with two casual options that, depending on your personal preferences, prioritize comfort over overall looks and feel. These are great everyday shoes that you can wear even if you aren’t driving but can also serve the purpose of giving you a decent amount of pedal feels mixed in with durability.
A classic choice that both serves up style and comfort. It's more on the basic end of the spectrum but with a harder sole material but gives you a decent amount of pedal feedback. The flatness of the sole is also ideal as it gives you a superior feeling on the pedal. More than that, it comes in a variety of colors and styles and goes with almost anything. It's a great option for a daily shoe that you can use for driving.
Sperry Wave Driver
Similar to what Earl recommends, The Sperry Wave Driver is another smart-casual shoe that can also fit the bill of a great driving shoe. The Sperry Wave Driver is also made of soft pliable material and comes with a soft sole that can give you a lot of pedal feedback. They're great to wear at formal events but won’t bother you if you wear them on a long drive.
Joey another of the content writers had only one recommendation and this takes the form of a sneaker
Nike SB Dunk
This one is another style over function pick as these sneakers are great as a daily shoe. Their soles are more on the stiffer side but still offer you a decent amount of pedal feedback. We suppose that if these are properly worn and the shoe sole becomes flexible enough then it could be a great driving shoe.
Ultimately it all boils down to your personal preference, go with a shoe that best fits your needs. There are plenty of options available on the market, all you have to do is pick which one fits your use case and which one appeals to your style.