Have you seen these shoes before? I’m sure you have. Who wears them? People who really, really, really want everyone to know they do driving and are good at doing driving? Good, yes, I’m glad we’ve gotten that straightened out.

This week, The Detroit News ran a story on Pilotis, a company that makes driving shoes, proclaiming them to be “high-performance tires for feet.”

While I’m sure that these shoes are very good and fun for the pretend fast men that proliferate Cars and Coffee events around the country, I’m also pretty sure that they can’t protect you from the vicious side-eye you’ll get from normal people when you roll up in a pair of those.

Advertisement

“Look at me, look at me!” the shoes scream in the crisp morning air. “I have a patented ROLL CONTROL SPHERICAL HEEL DESIGNED TO MINIMIZE HEAT AND VIBRATION! I have FIRE-RESISTANT LINING, STITCHING AND LACES!”

And everyone else screams back, “OH, WHO GIVES A FUCK?”

It’s true Piloti also makes FIA/SFI-certified fireproof racing boots, for actual car racing. There is nothing wrong with those. But their “casual” shoe collection, especially the loafers—those hideous “driving” loafers—are actually bad, not good.

I’ll let you in on a secret, Piloti Man. Your shoes are a running joke (Get it? “Running joke?” Because of shoes.) in our business. This is because more often than not we see them on the feet of paunchy, middle-aged newspaper columnist auto journalists who wear them to press drives for Hyundai crossovers. Press drives with no actual track time. Also, the Pilotis were usually not purchased but gifted from a friendly #brand at some other press drive.

Advertisement

Here are driving shoes that will make you not look like a fool: Chucks. Vans. Tigers. Sambas. In my case, Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks.

I’m glad we could clear this up. You’re only cool if you don’t wear Pilotis.