The best in driving shoes

Jun 21st, 2018

The driving loafer is a great shoe for your summer wardrobe. Smarter than a boat shoe but less formal than a penny loafer, they are the ideal shoe for travel or vacations, and can take you from beach to bar.

Originally designed in Italy in the 1960s, the loafer’s pebbled sole provides additional grip on the pedals, and its soft, moccasin construction affords the wearer greater flexibility than with a regular shoe. They fit quite snugly but are light and comfortable to wear.

The driving loafer was made fashionable in 1980s by the Fiat chairman, Gianni Agnelli, who wore them to attend football matches at Fiorentina. The so-called “Rake of the Riviera” was an important style icon, and many aimed to emulate his classic - yet often eccentric - style.

The two most famous brands are Tod’s and Car Shoe, which both offer the classic slip-on in a wide range of fabrics and colours. But there is another brand that is offering the modern driving enthusiast the right shoe for all driving and social situations: Piloti.

Founded in California in 1999, they combine the best of European design with cutting-edge sneaker technology. They source the finest textiles - from calf leather to carbon fibre - and oversee production in an Italian atelier. Attention to detail is of vital importance to Piloti, and they take great pride in the fit of their shoes. There is a lot of truth in the saying, “when the shoe fits, the foot is forgotten”.

The Creative Director of Piloti, Hing Yeung, is passionate about motorsport and is determined to make his product as timeless as the classic cars he admires. “What makes the Piloti loafers special is how we really pay attention to the basic principles of footwear making," he enthuses,“Our goal is to make the most premium contemporary driving shoes possible.”

“Our goal is to make the most premium contemporary driving shoes possible," Hing Yeung, Creative Director, Piloti

As well as driving loafers, Piloti create modern driving boots that have been designed with the latest biomechanical technology to meet the challenges of the modern driver. Aimed at the serious driver, they have been worn by champions at Le Mans.

Our favourite design is their Pistone sneaker. The perfect modern trainer, it epitomises  smart-casual, and can be worn with chinos and a blazer, or jeans and a polo shirt.

Piloti shoes are available online here:

Piloti 1

The Piloti sneaker with the Ferrari Inspired Lauda Washbag.

Piloti 2

The Piloti sneaker is ideal for track days. Shown with the Carbon Italian Racing Stripe Driver's Bag