Butlers and chauffeurs wear driving shoes; cool guys sit the back and ponder life. Okay, it’s better to be driven than it is to get behind the wheel, but you can’t deny the thrill. March in Melbourne at the F1 track it may not be, but cruising around town is a pastime all men love. Plus, style is about being smart and practical at the same time. In this vein, you may be looking to add driving shoes to your closet this year. If so, here are the tips every stylish man has to know before stepping out in public.
Rule #1: Go Big (But Not Too Big)
Just saying the phrase driving footwear out loud is a little bold, so it should be no surprise that the style follows suit. Still, don’t use this as an excuse to purchase the first orange-clad, tasseled monstrosities that catch your eye. Instead, do a little research and mix color and texture for the best results. A dark, vivid purple works wonders with a velvet or suede number. Not only is the texture standoffish, but the shade goes with everyday menswear such as black jeans and chinos. The key is not to appear vanilla.
Rule #2: Stay Practical
Remember that you are driving a car and industrial machines are unreliable. At some point, you may have to go under the hood and and don’t want to be wearing a winklepicker as something could fall and crush your toe, while a small amount of dirt will ruin them forever. Even worse, you don’t want to seem like a prettyboy rookie when you head into an auto repair shop because you want their respect. Instead of exotic materials, try a robust yet stylish leather number. Grease or oil shouldn’t stain it as badly as suede or velvet, and cow’s hide adds an extra layer of protection. Sadly, driving shoes don’t come with steel toe caps.
Rule #3: Skip The Socks
Don’t accept this as set in stone because lots of guys wear socks. After all, bare feet get sweaty and smelly and that isn’t very stylish. However, a flash of those cute little ankles and you will get all of the girls and guys staring in your direction. The color of flesh works perfectly with the material and the shade of the shoe and adds a new dimension. More importantly, it’s a casual ‘I don’t give a monkey’s’ look which is synonymous with cool dudes around the world. Even if you are stressed and do care, it won’t appear that way.
Rule #4: Stay Relaxed
In the spirit of keeping casual, don’t try too hard to impress. Eternally fashionable men such as Gandy and Tom Hardy are effortless, and that is the style you are trying to recreate. The trick is to choose a shoe that is flexible and wearable with a variety of pieces. For example, driving shoes with chinos that don’t have a hem are perfect for the ‘no sock’ dance. When it is colder outside, cotton suits match with textured shoes. In honesty, pretty much all boat shoes go with shorts as long as they of the formal variety.