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What Is A Leather Driving Shoe?

BY Buffalo Jackson Insight
BY Amanda Uher

The leather driving shoe is a simple slip-on shoe with rubber-grommet soles. Essentially a descendant of the moccasin, the driving shoe was invented for… yep: driving. (Cars, not cattle.) In the early 1960s, an Italian shoe company rolled out the driving shoe in response to men’s complaints that their traditional shoes felt too cumbersome for driving their swanky Italian roadsters. 

Originally a luxury reserved only for the very wealthy (as most folks couldn’t afford to buy a pair of leather shoes reserved only for driving), over time, the leather driving shoe has expanded its user profile. If you’ve got a long drive ahead of you, this is definitely your shoe; but road trip or not, it’s a great choice for any moderately dressed up occasion.

Leather driving shoes pair well with shorts or slim pants, and probably two fingers of whiskey, but never, ever with socks. (Well, at least not visible socks.) Leather driving shoes are ideal for driving (obviously), flying (easy on-and-off through security), business-casual at the office, and lunch or dinner out; but, leave them at home if you’re planning a long walk around the entire city. The soles of driving shoes are designed for grip and sensitivity, not for strenuous use.    

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