AlpinestarsCar and Driver
When it comes to selecting driving shoes, there is one important question to ask yourself. Autoweek's West Coast editor, Mark Vaughn, put it best: "Do you think the car you're driving is going to catch fire, or is it relatively safe? If you're racing, there are requirements that include flame resistance. If you're driving your new stock 911 on a Sunday in the canyons, chances are you will not go up en flambé, so you can get a more comfortable shoe that you could wear outside the car, too."
For racing shoes, you want skinny sides, thin soles, and heat-insulated heels—and make sure they're flameproof. For your everyday river roading or canyon carving, you're looking for a comfortable shoe that provides plenty of pedal feedback. A padded heel with rubber grips is a huge plus.
We talked to the fleet-footed editors at Car and Driver, Road & Track, and Autoweek about their favorite speed shoes and compiled this list. Snag a pair and soon you'll feel like a pro on the pedals.
Slip-On Driving Moccasins
These driving shoes offer a relaxed, comfortable fit through a normal day; but once you hop into the driver's seat, you'll learn these leather shoes are built to provide excellent feel and control on the pedals. These ain't your grandpa's slippers.
Shoes That Are Fun to Drive In
These shoes typically offer less comfort than leather moccasins but make up for it with adaptability. Want to drive your RX-7 to the skate park, land a few kickflips, and drive home, all without changing your shoes? With these, you can.
Proper driving shoes are built with the driver in mind. Featuring narrow sides, grippy heels, and thin soles, they aren't the most comfortable for walking around. However, they come alive on the pedals. Wear these if your daily drive features curves, but note you'll want a comfier pair for out-of-car activities.
You definitely don't want to spend time walking around with these on. Car and Driver's deputy testing director, K.C. Colwell, calls these "Mister Rogers shoes," as you'll need to change out of them after time on the track. Fire resistant, snug, and durable, these shoes will change your pedal skills from bumbling to ballerina.
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