Driving shoes can also accompany you on an existential journey while being on an actual journey. At least
that’s what Salvatore Ferragamo projects in a series of videos featuring SoundCloud founder Alexander Ljung, racecar driver Mathias Lauda, and photographer Johannes Huebl. While these men muse about their hard-won successes, they are wearing
Ferragamo’s made-to-order drivers, which see over a thousand combinations of body, sole, and that iconic Gancio hardware. Observe, too, its soles with square islands instead of nubs. These are more suitable (read: durable) for conquering the roads of your perfect getaway.
Expect only unhurried journeys in a pair of driving shoes. Why, you ask, would you need a driving shoe when, if you are looking for footwear in the similar slip-on style, the loafer is perfectly fine? Well, it is precisely because you are on a drive, specifically a very long drive, say, from the heart of the city all the way to a mountain escape, that you need a shoe purposely built for the task.
The thinner sole of the driving shoe allows you to accurately judge the amount of pressure needed when stepping on the gas, brake, or clutch. And those little round nubs, which run from the sole right up to the back of the heel, improve traction, preventing your feet from slipping on the pedal or mat, an annoyance that can become critical when, for instance, your foot shifts during a sudden turn. Also, and maybe most important, the construction, softer and more supple, makes the shoe comfortable to wear amid all that pumping and shifting and driving, which is really enough of a reason to get one ( just imagine a stop-and-go drive in a bulky leather boot).
It was the Italian industrialist, Gianni Agnelli, who helped popularize the driving shoe when, in one of his many moments of breaking the rules of style, he paired a suit with the casual footwear. There was no pooh-poohing the Fiat titan’s choice because, well, he was the Fiat titan and the combination actually worked: The loucheness of the driving shoe complemented the soft tailoring of Italian suits and, when paired together, it only amplified that elusive attitude of sprezzatura.
With the influence of Agnelli and the availability of the style from shoemakers like Giulo Miserocchi (who reportedly created the very first), The Car Shoe Company (who secured the original patent), and Tod’s (who popularized the style even more with the introduction of its 133-pebbled Gommino), the driving shoe made the leap from an item reserved for the onepercenter (who else would fork over many, many shekels for