Imagine that you’re getting ready for a long road trip across the country. To ensure that your trip passes without a hitch, you take all necessary precautions — you check your car’s engine, fill up your tank, check the tires, and get a good night’s sleep. But the only footwear you have on hand is a pair of flip-flops. Not the best driving shoes out there, you think to yourself, but they will do.
They won’t, though. Not only are they not the most comfortable driving footwear, but they also make it much harder to move your foot from one pedal to another. Thus, before you know it, an innocent pair of flip-flops can turn you into a safety hazard. Since the right kind of footwear can make or break your driving experience, I’ve compiled a list of the best driving shoes you can find right now.
15 Best Driving Shoes in 2021
Since there are all kinds of shoes on this list — loafers, moccasins, sneakers, and race shoes — I had to think of how to properly order them. I’ve decided that the easiest way to do so is to list them by height. And so, let’s start from the shallowest ones and slowly build to the tallest. Here is my list of the best driving shoes!
1. Cole Haan Men’s Gunnison Driver Moccasin
You’ll quickly learn that Cole Haan understands drivers’ needs well when you first try this driver moccasin. Supremely comfortable and stylish, this shoe won’t fail to impress you whether you’re wearing it behind the wheel or not.
Two important features of this moccasin are the nubby driving sole and the heel protector. The sole is grippy and flexible, ensuring that your foot never slips from the pedal again. And you know how your heel can go numb from pressing against the hard surface of the car floor? With the heel protector, that becomes a thing of the past — the tiny rubber treads on the back lift your foot up and give it additional comfort.
The moccasin is simple but stylish. The leather upper is rugged and features a lacing that ends in a neat tie. Of course, this is only a decorative element — the shoe is a slip-on, equally easy to put on and to take off. It comes in a tasteful brown and has an elegant waxy finish.
However, be careful with the sizes — the shoe is rather narrow, so you might have to get a larger one than you normally would. And even if you get the proper size on the first try, you might still suffer a few blisters until the leather breaks in.
- Nubby driver soles
- Heel protector
- Waxy leather upper
- Classic moccasin style
2. Aerosoles Women’s Over Drive Shoe
Though most of the best driving shoes on this list are for men, there are a lot of fantastic options for women too. If you’re looking for comfort above everything else, this Aerosoles loafer is just the right shoe for you. With its memory foam insole that adjusts to your foot, you’ll feel like you’re walking on air!
Aside from memory foam, this loafer uses Core Comfort technology to offer you the best possible walking and driving experience. And why should you settle for anything less?
Made of soft suede leather, the shoe comes in various colors and patterns. No matter what you choose — from a snakeskin motif to shiny gold leather — you will stand out from the crowd in these loafers. They’re versatile enough to go well with any outfit, so you’ll never grow tired of them.
- Memory foam
- Suede leather
- Core Comfort technology
- Colorful and cool
3. Lauren by Ralph Lauren Women’s Becka Driving Style Loafer
Ralph Lauren is famous for delivering style and comfort, and that’s precisely what it does with this women’s driving loafer. Slip this shoe on and you’ll feel chic and cozy behind the wheel. On top of that, you’ll drive more safely with a good pair of loafers on your feet.
The knobby rubber sole vastly improves the comfort and grip of this flat loafer, making it the perfect driving shoe. Its leather upper is rather simple but polished and features a decorative lacing that is tied on the tongue. The shoe is sturdy and a bit on the loose side, so your foot won’t feel cramped inside it. Though it is narrower at the toes, it’s never too tight for comfort.
You can get it in four colors, including classic white and the rather interesting blue mist. The lace style varies as well, depending on the shoe color you choose. And most importantly, customers are quite satisfied with its overall look. However, if you prefer a tighter shoe, this loafer might not be for you.
- Nubby rubber soles
- Leather upper
- Slip-on shoe
- Stylish and chic
4. Bruno Marc Men’s Penny Loafers
An option for those who want to avoid leather, Bruno Marc penny loafers are lightweight slip-ons perfect for casual settings. The fabric upper and synthetic soles offer all the comfort and stability of leather shoes, so you won’t feel any difference.
The footbed of the shoes is cushioned with latex, so you can wear them all day long without getting sore. The knobby sole doesn’t allow your foot to press against the ground, thus enhancing your comfort.
This shoe comes in twelve colors and styles, some of which feature a lace tie and some of which don’t. Whatever your taste might be, you’ll find the right shoe for you from Bruno Marc’s wide selection. The sizes are also rather versatile — they range from 6.5 to 15. Customers are quite satisfied with this shoe, calling it the perfect casual wear.
- Footbed cushioned with latex
- Fabric upper
- Synthetic and knobby soles
- A wide selection of sizes and styles
5. Polo Ralph Lauren Men’s Redden Driving Style Loafer
You can never go wrong with a classic Ralph Lauren loafer. These loafers have a certain simple elegance that many shoes strive to achieve, but never quite do. You can slip them on for a casual walk or wear them to a nice restaurant — they won’t fail you either way.
Not only are these shoes practical and dependable, but they make for the perfect driving companions. Made from 100% leather, they are supple and comfortable. As is normally the case with leather, you might need a few days to break them in. But once you do, they’ll adjust to the shape of your foot so perfectly that you’ll never want to take them off!
Since this Polo Ralph Lauren loafer is a rather shallow slip-on, your foot will never feel cramped inside it. But don’t worry — while it is a slip-on, it’s tight enough to stay on while you’re working the pedals. These shoes give your feet just enough breathing room, while also providing the all-important grip and stability.
- 100% leather
- Casual elegance
- Rubber soles
6. DUOYANGJIASHA Women’s Driving Loafers
Are you looking for comfortable and stylish loafers that you can wear both outside and inside your home instead of a pair of slippers? Then look no further! These driving loafers are the perfect match for you.
Made from genuine cow leather, these loafers are elastic enough to adjust to your foot, but also sturdy enough to withstand some pressure. When it comes to breathability, there is no better choice — they are shallow and open at the top, allowing your foot to air out. On top of that, the rubber sole is nubby and made for driving.
The simple loafer style goes with every outfit, so feel free to wear them when you’re out on the town, at work, or even at home. The polished leather finish gives these driving shoes a timeless, chic look. And with eight different colors available, you’re bound to find at least one pair that suits your tastes.
If my word isn’t enough to convince you, maybe the reviews of the satisfied customers will. They say that these loafers are supremely comfortable, lightweight and well-made. In fact, you can wear them all day long without even noticing they’re there!
- Nubby rubber soles
- Leather upper
- Lightweight slip-on shoes
- Elastic and breathable
7. ECCO Men’s Classic Moc 2.0 Slip-On Loafer
Going with a classic is never a bad idea, as ECCO proved when it made this moccasin. It successfully combines simplicity and elegance and makes for a durable shoe perfect for long drives.
Aside from the synthetic sole, this shoe is entirely made of leather. Leather upper is combined with leather lining for a sleek and sophisticated look. The bottom layer of the removable insole has the ECCO Comfort Fibre System (ECFS) that increases the air circulation within the shoe. That makes it particularly breathable and comfortable to wear for a long time.
You can get this moccasin in two colors — black and coffee. They come in sizes from 5 to 14.5, with an extra width option for additional roominess. If you’re looking for comfortable shoes that are safe for driving but also suitable for everyday use, ECCO moccasins are the right choice.
- ECCO Comfort Fibre System
- Extra width option
- Synthetic soles
- 100% leather
8. Cole Haan Men’s Tucker Venetian Slip-On Loafer
There’s something about loafers that makes them the best driving shoes. Perhaps it’s because you can slip them on, and just as easily slip them off when you’re taking a break. But if you’re wearing Cole Haan slip-on loafers, you won’t even feel the need to take them off.
These loafers are the picture of comfort. Their rubber sole and padded sockliner will make any surface feel soft, and the leather upper is supple and snug on the foot. In addition, these slip-ons have twin goring on the side, making them elastic and stretchy. You definitely won’t have issues with your shoe being too tight!
Since Cole Haan loafers are sport-inspired, they are perfect for casual settings. But don’t swap them for a less comfortable pair of dress shoes when you’re driving to a formal event. With the waxy leather finish, these loafers can easily hold their own even against dressier shoes. You’ll never have to choose between elegance and comfort again!
- 100% leather
- Rubber soles
- Twin goring
- Padded sockliner
- Sporty elegance
9. PUMA Men’s Ferrari Drift Cat 7s Ultra Sneaker
When a shoe has the word Ferrari in its name, you can safely assume it’s made for driving. In fact, these sneakers were made with racing fans in mind — which is obvious from the Ferrari shield at the back heel and the geometric, sleek design. Still, you can wear them in other settings too; they make for great running or casual shoes.
These sneakers are nothing if not comfortable. The top of the shoe is synthetic leather and the EVA midsole will give your foot the cushioning it deserves. On top of that, the rubber outsole is rather flexible and snug, providing additional support to your foot during long stretches of uninterrupted driving. All in all, Ferrari Drift Cat’s lightness and flexibility will allow you to work the pedals with ease.
Keep in mind that the shoe is slimmer — you might have to buy a larger size than the one you normally wear. Even then you might still feel it is on the tight side. But these racing shoes are not made to be loose-fitting. They are the best driving shoes precisely because they fit the foot so snugly.
- Available in sizes 6–14
- Synthetic leather top
- EVA midsoles for comfort
- Light and supple
10. PUMA Men’s Vedano Leather Slip-On Shoe
PUMA’s second entry on this list is not a typical sneaker, but it has that trademark style. This narrow dark shoe with bright detailing is a slip-on with simple hook-and-loop closure. The PUMA logo in the front and the race car-inspired design make for sleek and fashionable footwear you won’t regret buying.
The shoe’s upper is made of regular and suede leather — the latter is used for details on the side. Thus, once broken into, this shoe is very bendable and comfortable, perfect for long and uninterrupted drives. In addition, the grippy rubber sole will make you feel stable and sure-footed on almost any surface.
The slip-on is so light and breathable that you’ll barely even notice it. But that doesn’t mean your foot will have to suffer the whims of terrain. Though some of the other shoes listed here might protect your foot better, PUMA’s rubber sole will still cushion it against hard surfaces.
And the best part is the multi-functionality of this shoe. You’re going to play tennis with your work colleague? Slip it on. You’re headed out for a fancy family gathering in a restaurant? No problem, it will fit in there too. This shoe is the definition of sporty elegance, and it suits both dress-up and dress-down settings perfectly.
For a more detailed review, you can check out this video.
- Leather and suede leather upper
- Rubber soles
- Race car-inspired design
- Suitable for formal and informal settings
11. Centipede Demon Water Shoes for Men and Women
What’s a water shoe doing on a list of the best driving shoes, you might ask? Well, water shoes are nothing if not light and comfortable, which is precisely what you need while driving. This particular shoe is unisex and quite breathable, with unparalleled flexibility and elasticity.
This Centipede Demon shoe is designed for water sports, and as such, it needs to have a superb grip. Thus, the shoe is fitted with flexible anti-slip soles made from rubber, which cling firmly to all kinds of surfaces. You can be confident that it won’t slip from your pedal easily!
What sets these shoes apart is that they’re not made of leather, so they’re perfect for those of you who want to avoid it. The design is rather sleek and cool, so you can wear them even when you’re doing other outdoor activities — such as running, exercising or simply taking a walk. And what’s more, you don’t have to settle for a simple black shoe. Centipede Demon offers various dark and colorful options, so pick whatever style suits your taste!
- Breathable and flexible
- Rubber soles
12. Twisted X Women’s Boat Shoe Leather Driving Moccasins
This cozy and dependable blend of a boat shoe and a moccasin shows that comfort and style can and do go hand in hand. Slip one of these on next time you sit behind the wheel, and you’ll see that the kind of shoe you wear does make a difference in driving.
This moccasin is fitted with a shock-resilient XD insole to protect your foot from vehicle vibrations and a sturdy rubber sole for a good grip. It’s a shallow handcrafted shoe made of full-grain leather, which gives it a warm and fuzzy look. The footbed is washable, with antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties.
Despite its shallowness, this moccasin isn’t too open — it should cover most of your foot. It comes in over twenty styles and colors, and you can choose whether you want a narrow, medium or wide shoe. Not only can you drive in it but you also won’t feel the need to take it off after driving. It’s simply a perfect casual moccasin.
- XD insole
- Footbed with antibacterial and moisture-wicking properties
- Variety of styles and sizes
13. Skechers Men’s Relaxed Fit: Harper-Forde Slip-On Loafer
Skechers is famous for its comfortable athletic footwear, so it’s no wonder that its shoes would be suitable for driving. My personal favorites are these comfortable slip-on loafers, described by some customers as business casual shoes.
The supreme comfort of these Skechers shoes comes from the air-cooled memory foam in the sole — it gives your foot stability, breathability and pressure relief. After a few wears, the shoe will adjust to the shape of your foot as if it was made just for you. However, it is a bit on the roomy side, so be aware of that if you prefer shoes with a tighter fit.
Double goring makes this loafer stretchy and flexible. It’s a light shoe that won’t weigh your foot down while you’re driving and will instead give you the stability and sure-footedness you are looking for.
On top of that, the loafer looks great. It comes in seven colors, but for a classy look, I’d recommend the black leather one. Although perhaps too casual to be worn with a suit, it can definitely accompany you to moderately formal events.
- Air-cooled memory foam
- Double goring
- Stretchy and comfortable
- Business casual
14. Twisted X Men’s Steel Toe Leather Driving Moc
What do you get when you combine the comfort of a moccasin and the safety of a steel toe? You get the Twisted X driving shoe. This shoe will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds while protecting your toes from impact or falling objects at the same time.
Just like all the best driving shoes, this moc has a leather upper and a rubber sole. This seems to be the winning combination — the upper is flexible and supple, and the sole has a good, slip-resistant grip. The footbed inside of the shoe is soft and removable, so you can easily take it out and wash it.
And if you’re having any misgivings about the steel toe, I’m here to reassure you. It doesn’t take away from the comfort of the shoe in the slightest. The front part of the shoe is wide and roomy enough for your toes to move and breathe freely.
This shoe comes in brown, but the neon yellow laces and sole will make you stand out from the crowd. Aside from driving, you can comfortably wear it in various casual settings. But beware of the rain — the leather will soak up water rather quickly, so make sure to oil it often.
- Steel toe
- Leather upper
- Rubber soles
- Wide and roomy
15. RaceQuip SFI Race Shoe
So far we’ve seen mostly shallow shoes and slip-ons, and as great as they are, they might not be to everyone’s taste.No need to worry, though, this list of the best driving shoes has something for everyone. And so I present to you RaceQuip Race Shoe, a shoe with a classic American style.
RaceQuip Race Shoe is a sneaker-like black shoe that reaches the ankles. Its upper is made of suede leather that hugs your foot just like traditional sneakers. Since this is a race shoe, you can be sure that stability was the top priority in its making. The shoe’s great arch support is proof of that — it distributes the pressure evenly throughout your body, improving your balance and posture.
With its double-stitched seams and reinforced lace area, this shoe is extremely durable and sturdy. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not comfortable — just the opposite. The ankle padding and molded rubber sole cushion your foot and give it an extra layer of protection from hard surfaces.
This shoe is perfect for racing — after all, it’s what it was made for. Naturally, that makes it quite suitable for all sorts of driving. The only problem you might encounter is breathability. This is a rather snug and closed shoe, so after a few hours of driving, you might feel the need to take it off and give your foot some air.
- Suede leather and molded rubber soles
- Ankle padding
- Arch support
- Sturdy and durable
Features to Look for When Buying Best Driving Shoes
You don’t need to choose any of the best driving shoes on my list, but you do need to know which features are crucial. Here are a few that you should keep in mind.
The material can make or break a shoe, whether it is a driving one or one you plan on wearing regularly. You can easily conclude from my list that the best driving shoes are usually made of leather. It’s supple and soft, allowing you to freely move your foot. However, if you want to avoid leather, there are other options — synthetic fabric, for example, which offers many of the same benefits.
When it comes to soles, rubber is the way to go. Nubby rubber soles offer the best stability and grip, which will help you keep your foot firmly on the pedal. But if those aren’t to your taste, regular rubber soles will serve you just as well. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid synthetic soles — as long as there is some texture, they should be adequate.
Avoid Bulky Shoes
There is no need for your shoe to take up too much space in the pedal box. Thick soles will make you clumsier and decrease your ability to feel the pedals, which can lead to dangerous situations. In addition, bulky shoes tend to be heavy. And if you’re going for a long drive, heavy shoes could tire your feet more quickly and make you slower.
Optimal Sole Thickness
This is important because you want to feel the pedals as you drive, so a very thick sole is out of the question. But so is a very thin one — you won’t have enough support and your foot could go numb too quickly. Choose a sole that is about 4 mm thick for just the right balance.
Ankle Can Move Freely
There is a reason why most of the best driving shoes are loafers, moccasins and other shallow kinds. It’s vitally important that your ankle can move freely so you can quickly switch between pedals. That’s why I’d recommend staying away from boots and deep shoes — unless specifically made for driving, they will obstruct your movement.
Even if all other features are there, don’t buy a shoe unless you feel comfortable in it. Just imagine a long drive in uncomfortable shoes — what a nightmare, right? The best driving shoes should fit neither too tightly nor too loosely. If they also have memory foam or moisture-wicking footbed, that’s a huge plus.
There are many ways to make yourself more comfortable while driving — and not all of them involve shoes. For example, you could invest in good lumbar support cushions which encourage better posture and keep the pressure off your feet.
There’s more to driving than just having a good and well-maintained car. A lot depends on the driver of that same car, so it’s important that they’re comfortable, alert and well-rested. And as it turns out, good shoes are essential both for the driver and the driving experience.
So instead of sacrificing the quality of your driving, use this list of the best driving shoes to your advantage and buy a pair of good ones next time you’re shopping. Believe me, your feet will thank you.