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Published Dec. 17, 2018

It sometimes seems that we’re too preoccupied discussing a car’s engine, brakes, or exhaust to turn our attention to perhaps the most important component of all – the driver!

Your actions as a driver are vital if you and your passengers are to have a safe and comfortable trip. One of the quickest ways to improve your driving safety is simple: wear appropriate footwear. We all know that driving in high heels and flip-flops isn’t the best idea, but what you should wear instead isn’t always clear. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the 15 best driving shoes around right now. With a wide variety of styles, and options for both women and men, we’re confident there’s something on our list to suit the needs of almost any driver. We’ve also answered some common questions about footwear and driving safety, so you can rest assured that your feet are fit for the job.

The Best Driving Shoes

They might be better known for their sneakers, but Puma also knows how to put together a great pair of driving shoes. The top of the shoe is 100% leather, making it supple enough to flsex with your foot as you work the pedals, while the rubber sole offers excellent grip. The design also features a driver heel, putting your foot at the perfect angle to easily and comfortably reach the pedals.

This racecar-inspired shoe fastens securely with a hook-and-loop closure system, and is stylish as well as comfortable so no need to change when you reach your destination. Customers say they’re a perfect fit, and make an ideal smart-casual shoe.

Key Features
  • Men’s shoe available in US sizes 6 – 14
  • 100% leather top
  • Grippy rubber sole
  • Flexible and comfortable
  • Sleek, low profile
  • Design features a driver heel
  • Great smart-casual shoe
Specification
  • Brand Puma
  • Model VEDANO V
  • Weight 2 lbs

Twisted X’s handmade leather shoes are great for all sorts of driving. Thanks to their grippy and flexible rubber sole, working the pedals is a breeze. Thanks to the high-quality leather tops, they’re soft and comfortable to wear, too.

The fabric also incorporates moisture-wicking footbed technology to keep you cool even on long road trips, as well as a one-piece insole designed to offer excellent stability. When you reach your destination, these shoes will be equally at home, with their attractive, laid-back design. Customers report that they’re well-made and extremely comfortable.

Key Features
  • Men’s shoe available in US sizes 7 – 16
  • Handmade
  • High quality leather top
  • Grippy and flexible rubber soles
  • Incorporates moisture-wicking technology for improved temperature regulation
  • Comfortable to wear for long stretches
  • Stylish laid-back design
  • One-piece insole offers great stability
Specification
  • Brand Twisted X
  • Model MDM0014
  • Weight 3 lbs

The next pair of shoes to earn a spot on our list is ECCO’s slip-on driving loafers. Available in both leather and fabric designs, it’s easy to slip on and off before embarking on your journey. Once on the road, you’ll notice ECCO’s superior grip and support, which makes is a great option for driving. The polyurethane soles are long-lasting, flexible, and shock absorbing, providing great support and comfort. Meanwhile, ECCO’s unique Comfort Fibre insoles combine moisture-wicking technology with bacteria-controlling AGION for hygiene and comfort.

The shoe looks good, too: featuring a stylish bicycle toe, textile lining, and a low-stacked heel, it’s easy to wear with practically any outfit. Customers love ECCO’s lightweight design that’s comfortable to wear throughout the day.  

Key Features
  • Men’s loafer available in US sizes 5.5 – 13.5
  • Comfortable slip-on loafer design
  • Excellent grip thanks to polyurethane soles
  • Insoles feature moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial technology
  • Shock absorbing design
  • Comfortable and durable
Specification
  • Brand ECCO
  • Weight 2.3 lbs

LabatoStyle’s comfy and flexible shoes are perfect for hitting the open road. Each shoe features a hand-stitched leather top, with the natural rubber sole. These materials combine to offer a really flexible final product, which provides excellent grip too. Thanks to breathable soles, they’re also guaranteed to keep your feet cool and fresh.

With eight different colors to choose from, there’s sure to be something to fit everyone’s taste. The casual, loafer-style design is easy to wear with almost anything, and also has the bonus of doubling up as a slipper for household wear. Customers say that the soft inner lining makes them comfortable to wear for long periods, while the chic, simple style makes them incredibly versatile.

Key Features
  • Available in US women’s sizes 5.5 – 11
  • Hand stitched leather top
  • Natural rubber sole
  • Offers excellent grip and flexibility
  • Breathable soles improve temperature control and freshness
  • Available in eight different colors
  • Simple, chic design is easy to wear with almost anything
Specification
  • Brand LabatoStyle
  • Weight 12 oz

CIOR’s unisex shoes are the perfect footwear for boating, surfing, visiting the beach, or driving. This versatile shoe is available in 29 fun and colorful designs, so there’s sure to be something to your liking no matter what. Their breathable design is perfect for avoiding uncomfortably hot feet during long journeys, without compromising on grip.

The unique anti-slip rubber soles are thick enough to protect your feet when you get out of the car, without being so thick as to make feeling the pedals difficult. The casual design is perfect for almost any outdoor occasion, and customers say that the shoes are fast to dry, durable, flexible – they look cool too!

Key Features
  • Unisex shoe available in US men’s sizes 5 – 11, and US women’s sizes 6 – 13
  • Perfect for most outdoor activities, including surfing, boating, visiting the beach, and walking
  • Slim but tough sole is perfect for maximum contact with pedals while driving
  • Comfortable, flexible design
  • Breathable and fast-drying
  • Available in 29 attractive designs
Specification
  • Brand CIOR

Made with real leather and a strong but flexible rubber sole, these women’s cowhide loafers are a great footwear option for promoting safe and comfortable driving. Simply slip them on for a soft and comfortable walking experience, teamed with a casual design that will complement most outfits. Because they’re lightweight, they won’t get between you and the pedals during driving, and won’t weigh you down when you reach your destination either.

Customers say that they’re comfortable to wear for long periods, easy to slip on and kick off, and stylish too. Finally, they’re available in 19 striking colors, so no problem if black shoes aren’t your thing!

Key Features
  • Available in US women’s sizes 4.5 – 10.5
  • Real leather with a rubber sole
  • Easy to slip on and kick off
  • Casual design is easy to wear with most outfits
  • Flexible sole
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable for long-term wear
  • Available in 19 fun colors
Specification
  • Brand Serene

If you want to add a touch of luxury to your driving experience, look no further than these Ralph Lauren men’s driving loafers. Made from 100% real leather, the shoes boast a sleek and simple design which can go from smart to casual with ease.

They’re comfortable to wear too, thanks to the soft insolve and supportive heel. Customers report that the shoe is the perfect option for driving, and feel like no shoes at all thanks to the flexible rubber sole. The heritage of Ralph Lauren lends the shoes an extra, stylish edge, which is reflected in their classic design.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 7 – 16
  • Made from 100% real leather
  • Sleek, simple design is easy to wear with anything
  • Flexible and grippy rubber sole
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of driving
Specification
  • Brand Polo Ralph Lauren
  • Model WOODLEY-SO
  • Weight 4 lbs

If leather shoes just aren’t for you then fear not – we’ve got you covered with these Bruno Marc men’s driving shoes. Featuring a synthetic fabric top, and flexible latex soles, this shoe is lightweight and budget-friendly without compromising on style.

The cushioned footbed provides a safe haven for aching feet, without being so thick as to disconnect you from the pedals of your car. Customers report that these loafers are very comfortable – especially considering the price point – and great for diverse casual wear. Finally, since they’re available in a selection of 15 different colors, you’re sure to find something that will match your unique style.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 6.5 – 15
  • Available in 15 different colors
  • Made from lightweight synthetic materials
  • Budget-friendly
  • Comfortable and flexible design
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Perfect for casual wear
  • Lightweight design
Specification
  • Brand BRUNO MARC NEW YORK

The next shoe on our list is a little more rustic, featuring soft, natural leather and a simple but sleek design that’s perfect for casual wear. The fact that 11 different colors are available only makes the shoes easier to pair with whatever outfit you have in mind.

The premium leather top makes the shoe very breathable, keeping your feet at a comfortable temperature, while carefully designed footbed cushions provide ample arch support and heel-to-toe comfort. They look great too; featuring square toes and a classic moc-top silhouette.

Overall, these men’s leather driving shoes are a high quality yet affordable choice, which could make your driving a little safer – and much more comfortable.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 6.5 – 12
  • Sleek driving mocs design
  • Breathable leather upper
  • Grippy synthetic sole
  • Available in 11 different colors
  • Footbed cushions are designed to support your arches
  • Affordable quality
Specification
  • Brand VanciLin

Cole Haan’s loafer features soft, supple leather, paired with a rubber sole, for optimum grip and comfort. Each pair features stylish hand stitching, along with a flexible sole and heel protector make them the ideal choice for driving purposes. With this carefully designed sole, getting a grip on the pedals is comfortable and easy.

The shoes are stylish, too – perfect for smart-casual wear and available in five classic colors. Customers say that they’re long-lasting, lightweight, and easy to wear with pretty much anything. Cole Haan put all of their 80 years’ experience into this driving shoe, and it shows.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 7 – 11
  • Upper constructed from soft, supple leather
  • Rubber sole for flexibility and grip
  • Lightweight
  • Classic style is perfect for smart-casual occasions
  • Available in five classic colors
  • Features hand stitching
Specification
  • Brand Cole Haan
  • Model Gunnison Ii
  • Weight 12 oz

Ceyue’s driving moccasins feature a unique, striking design that’s sure to get you noticed. The muted, supple leather is contrasted with a splash of color which snakes round from the sole, resulting in an unusual finish that comes in three distinct color palettes.

The leather is functional as well as stylish; breathable enough that your feet remain cool and fresh throughout the day. The rubber sole provides excellent grip and great flexibility, as well as being durable enough to stand up to frequent use. Customers report that these shoes are easy to slip on and off, and provide a great fit. Whether you’re walking, driving, or working, these unique and comfortable shoes will stand you in good stead. 

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 6.5 – 13
  • Striking design available in three distinct color palettes
  • Breathable and supple leather upper
  • Rubber sole for excellent grip and flexibility
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Easy to slide on and off
Specification
  • Brand Ceyue
  • Model TOOS51201

Puma have earned themselves a second spot on our list with their Drift Cat racing shoes. The sneaker-like design is available in three eye-catching colors, each of which features the Ferrari badge for extra style points.

The shoe’s upper is constructed from full grain leather, alternated with a mesh strip for optimal breathability. Further down, the synthetic sole is lightweight and flexible, minimizing the disconnect between your foot and the pedal. Puma’s unique EcoOthoLite sockliner is another element designed to put your comfort first, providing extra support for your foot.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 11 – 14
  • Sneaker style design
  • Perfect casual wear
  • Features the Ferrari badge
  • Upper constructed from supple and breathable full grain leather
  • Features a mesh strip for extra ventilation
  • Synthetic sole is flexible and grippy
  • EcoOrthoLite sockliner offers improved foot support
Specification
  • Brand Puma
  • Model DRIFT CA
  • Weight 4 lbs

Sparco’s racing shoes are the perfect option when it comes to competitive driving. They were developed exclusively for the US market, offering comfort without compromising on control. The wide toe box and extra cushioned sole provides the support you need to in racing conditions, and it also features a unique ‘comfort cell’ for the ball of your foot to help absorb vibrations from your vehicle.

The sleek yet aggressive design features a suede upper with secure velcro fastening system, with a lightweight, synthetic sole. Users report that the shoes represent excellent value for money; fitting as they should and providing comfort and support when you need it most.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 7 – 13
  • Hi-top racing shoes
  • Flexible and breathable suede upper
  • Wide toe box and cushioned sole for comfort and support
  • ‘Comfort Cell’ technology on the ball of the foot absorbs shock and vibrations
  • Sleek yet aggressive design
  • Secure and quick-to-use velcro fastening system
Specification
  • Brand Sparco
  • Model 00127010N
  • Weight 1.04 lbs

Earning themselves a second spot on our list is ECCO, with their sophisticated penny-loafer style driving shoes. Constructed from a combination of supple and breathable leather and suede, the shoe is flexible enough to make driving a breeze.

The pair also feature an ultra-absorbent leather lining, engineered to keep your feet cool and dry even in stuffy conditions. On the bottom of the shoe, a durable latex sole provides comfort, grip, and plenty of foot support. The sleek design is easy to slip on and off, and is at home alongside almost any outfit. This shoe is also available in three subtle colors: slate, mink, or coffee.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 12 – 14.5
  • Penny-loafer style
  • Three different colors to choose from
  • Leather and suede upper is breathable and flexible
  • Durable latex sole offers plenty of support
  • Features an ultra-absorbent leather lining
  • Easy to slip on and off
Specification
  • Brand ECCO
  • Model Classic Moc 2.0 Loafer
  • Weight 1 lb

This low-profile driving loafer is made from soft suede, for great flexibility and comfort when you need it most. The wraparound lacing detail adds a subtle charm to this otherwise simple design, which is easy to wear with most outfits.

The classic design also features a real rubber sole, offering excellent grip without putting too much distance between your foot and the car’s pedals. Customers say they’re great value for money, and offer a good fit for narrow feet in particular.

Key Features
  • Available in US men’s sizes 7 – 14
  • Low-profile loafer design
  • Soft suede upper is breathable and flexible
  • Natural rubber sole offers great grip and support
  • Available in 6 different colors
  • Great fit for narrow feet
Specification
  • Brand 206 COLLECTIVE
  • Model Pike Suede Driving Slip-on Loafer
  • Weight 9.6 oz

Best Driving Shoes Buying Guide & FAQ

These 15 shoes are, in our opinion, the best on the market when it comes to driving. With plenty of different styles to choose from, we hope there’s something to cater to your taste no matter your foot size or personal preference.

Because having so many choices can be a little overwhelming, we’ve also put together a handy buying guide, answering some common questions about what makes a good driving shoe.

man driving in shoes

Features to Look for in Driving Shoes

As with any clothing-related choice, the shoe you eventually choose will depend very much upon your own personal sense of style. Below we discuss a few key factors to look out for to ensure your shoe is a practical choice.

  • Quality Materials are used

The first thing to watch out for when choosing shoes for driving is what they’re made of. Generally speaking, leather is the best option for the upper part of a shoe: it’s long-lasting, supple, and soft. If you prefer to avoid leather, there are other options, however. Numbers 5 and 8 on our list are made from sturdy leather alternatives, designed to offer many of the same benefits. As for the shoe’s sole, look out for rubber – it provides support and grips well.

  • The Design is Sleek

Bulky shoes are a poor choice for driving; thick soles make the pedals more difficult to feel, and thick uppers pose a challenge to maneuverability. This is why loafer style shoes feature so prominently on out list – their design is compact, but they still offer grip and support.

  • The Sole is the correct Thickness

The best shoes for driving have a sole that is neither too think, nor too thick. Too thin, and your foot won’t have optimal support; too thick, and feeling the pedal through the shoe becomes more difficult. We recommend choosing a sole that is about 4 mm (0.15 inches) thick, with medium flexibility.

  • They Provide good Grip

Grippiness is another important quality to look out for when choosing a driving shoe. Keeping your eyes open for soles with textured surfaces is usually the best place to start.

  • They are Lightweight

It’s also important to choose a pair of driving shoes that won’t slow down your movements – this is why it’s so important to choose a lightweight shoe.

  • They allow Ankle Movement

Ankle movement is vital if you’re to move between pedals without being held back. To ensure you have a good range of movement, it’s usually a good idea to avoid boots, unless they’re specifically designed for driving, in favor of sneakers and loafers.

Benefits of Wearing Driving Shoes

Choosing a pair of shoes specifically for driving comes with a number of benefits:

  • Driving in well-suited shoes is far more comfortable
  • With the proper grip and good feel for the pedal, driving is more intuitive and you are less likely to slip off the pedal
  • Wearing practical footwear behind the wheel reduces your chances of a foot injury
  • Driving shoes often feature attractive designs
driving in shoes

Best Driving Shoes FAQ:

Q:  What is s driving shoe?

A driving shoe is any shoe designed with driving in mind or one that’s well suited to driving. They typically feature a sleek, low-profile design, medium flexibility, good grip, and a sole of medium thickness.

Q:  Can’t I just take my shoes off and drive barefoot?

  Driving barefoot can be a risky business, as your bare feet, tights, or socks won’t provide a safe amount of grip on the pedals. Add to this the fact that bare feet can become damp with perspiration, and you have a recipe for a very slippery situation that could lead to driving mishaps. Without the extra weight of shoes, applying firm pressure can also be difficult, so you may struggle to perform an emergency stop, or even depress the clutch in a manual vehicle. Finally, bare feet are more likely to suffer injury if you do find yourself in a collision. Keeping a pair of driving shoes in the trunk is too easy to run the risks of driving barefoot.

Q:  Should I wear socks with my driving shoes?

From a safety standpoint, there’s no hard and fast rule; from a style standpoint, we recommend forgoing socks with loafer-style driving shoes. Flashing a little ankle with these shoes is a great spring and summer look, which colorful socks can easily interfere with. Since all of the shoes on our list are great for casual events as well as driving, this is worth bearing in mind!

Our Top Pick

For us, Puma’s Vedano Leather Slip-On Shoes take the prize for the best driving shoe. Their 100% leather upper and rubber sole offer the perfect blend of flexibility and support, along with a lot of grips. The hidden Hored panels also help to keep your feet cool and dry and longer journeys, while the lightly cushioned footbed provides support without being too thick.

The smart-casual sneaker style is easy to wear, too, making it a comfortable and practical choice whatever the occasion.

Sources:

  1. Shoes for Driving, Driving Test Tips
  2. Get your Driving Shoes on, Insure the Box
  3. Does Footwear Affect the Way you Drive? WhichCar

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