Italians are obsessed with Style. Cops in Italy for example wear the stylish Carabinieri uniform designed by the Italian fashion house Valentino. Giorgio Armani himself has designed uniforms for the Italian police. However, style is not something limited to their clothing. The booming Italian car industry of 1960’s gave birth to a rather unique product that went on to become yet another fashion icon – The Car shoe! Commonly known as a driving loafer or driving moc (moccasin), the shoe compensated for the lack of comfort provided by a derby brogue or an oxford shoe while driving.
The characteristics that set it apart were as follows:
- Rubber nubs on the sole
- Soft upper construction (usually suede)
- Low Profile
- Tonal or contrasting single stitch around the toe-box
- Long vamp
- Flexible, facilitating easier foot movement
- Thinner footbed and outsole
The rubber nubs on the base allowed the drivers to easily switch between the clutch, brake and acceleration pedals with much ease. The concept and convenience of slipping in and out of a shoe to hit the asphalt blew up and the shoe was no longer limited to drivers. Italians began wearing the shoes with their suits and other daily outfits.
Today, you can see both the laced and slip-on versions of the shoe all around you from fashion shows to college students and dressier versions at your workplace. They come in a variety of colors and range from prints, to plaid and paisley all the way to solid colors. The materials vary as well but we recommend suede or nubuck as it feels more premium and in the right colorway, looks amazing on feet. You can dress them up or dress them down accordingly.
If you’ve always worn lace-ups and have frowned at the idea of wearing a slip-on shoe, a driving loafer could be a perfect start for you.