Monday, March 05, 2007

Style & Luxury Above & Beyond

That's the "Edwin Toe Cap Croc" from the Cole Haan "Collection." Price: $1,200. A handsome shoe, no? No, I agree, it is not. It should be worn exclusively by independently wealthy diplomats from far away countries. And likely is. Maybe some Wall Streeters or Midtown real estate investor types can pull off this look, but I'd be pretty damned embarrassed to be seen in $1,200 shoes.

But I obviously know nothing about footwear fashion, since I wear generic leather flip flops most days, and Vans® if it's cold enough. So this two-page inside cover ad struck me as I was browsing through the Sunday New York Times' "Play" magazine, dedicated to sports and style. The copy explains that this is the new "state of the art driving shoe created in collaboration with Nike Lab." Driving shoe? DRIVING SHOE? Wait...Nike Lab?

I am now in need of a computing shoe, a sitting and having a beer shoe, a Frisbee® shoe, a watching TV shoe, a mid-morning coffee shoe and a chips and salsa shoe. Maybe two pair of chips and salsa shoes, because the ones I wear with the medium salsa aren't quite right for those times I want to do the extra hot salsa.

Cole Haan needs to sell shoes; understood. But they've now invented the "state of the art" driving shoe. I just did a Google search for "driving shoes," (in quotes) and was presented with 107,000 results. I had no idea this market existed.

I'm tellin' ya, if you own shoes just for driving, you'd better be employed as a Formula 1 race car driver. I can put the pedal to the metal of your luxury sports car with my flip-flop and make it go just as fast. And my foot won't slip. Get a life, preppy idiot loser with too much money. They're laughing at you when you stop at the diner up the coast on your Sunday pleasure drive, wondering if you are an off-duty nurse.

Note to Frisbee, Vans and salsa makers: I accept gifts. (Size 10.5 to 11)

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  • Actually, more like ‘off-duty angel of death.’

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at March 5, 2007 at 2:00 PM  

  • "Driving shoe" is a style, like "wing tip" or "mocassin" or "penny loafer."

    Just because some copywriter decided to add "state-of-the-art" in front of the word "driving shoe" doesn't mean that it's actually supposed to be worn for driving.

    By Blogger Toad, at March 5, 2007 at 8:03 PM  

  • Nice try Toad, but Driving Shoes were actually intended for driving:

    From GQ:

    Q: I really like driving shoes because they are comfortable. Are there any rules about when and where you can wear them? I know they are not right for black tie.

    A: It’s OK to wear them if you’re driving in black tie, but once you arrive at the event, it’s best to change into more formal footwear. Driving shoes such as Tod’s— soft loafers with little rubber bumps for soles—are certainly comfortable, but they are aggressively leisurely. They’re fine with jeans and casual slacks, but don’t let their comfort drive you to wearing them with a suit.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at March 5, 2007 at 9:01 PM  

  • Yo, Toadstool! Check this shit out:

    The MINI_motion 2 part shoe has features similar to a Formula 1 racing shoe. It was developed using PUMA's extensive motorsport experience. The low-profile outsole resembles the natural shape of the foot, helping to ensure optimal movement while switching from accelerator to brake. With the perfect mix of performance and fashion, this sport lifestyle shoe's most innovative feature is the removable interior bootie. The bootie has an outsole for improved traction that utilizes a screen rubber pattern identical to the main shoe's outsole. Ideal for comfort on longer drives, the bootie provides an unexpected feature in an unusual shoe.

    By Anonymous Johnny Switchblade Adventure Punk, at March 6, 2007 at 12:02 AM  

  • Jetpacks- Tod's, which the GQ article references, are the original "driving shoe" - they're an upscale Italian brand, the shoes sell for a few hundred dollars and are sort of de riguer in the Hamptons. (Or they were last time I checked.)

    Driving shoes are comfortable mocassins with bumps on the bottom. That's all. The GQ writer is correct- you wouldn't wear them to a black tie event any more than you would wear penny loafers. But they're not like say, bike shoes or mountain climbing shoes.

    And yeah Punk, I'm sure that tying it Formula One racing makes the shoe seems more desirable to some. The same way that tying the boat shoes that 75% of American men wear to America's Cup yachts makes some marketing sense.

    By Anonymous Toad, at March 6, 2007 at 11:35 AM  

  • The bumps on the bottom are to better grip the gas pedal. Just as someone convinced people to buy driving gloves, people are actually buying driving shoes.

    They call them driving shoes for a reason. Just as wingtips have a wing shape on the tip, driving shoes were apparently orignally meant for driving. Just because some Hamptons types declared them "must-wear" doesn't take away from the origin.

    Here's another example:

    Athletic footwear designer Kevin A. Beard founded Piloti in 1999 to pursue something he always wanted to do: Create a line of authentic driving shoes that would not only be innovative in how they perform in racing conditions, but also stylish and comfortable enough for the street

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at March 6, 2007 at 11:57 AM  

  • Unless you own a Bugatti Veyron, you should not have a driving shoe

    By Blogger greencan, at March 7, 2007 at 11:02 AM  

  • Stupid story: when bowling shoe-looking shoes were in, I figured I'd skip the middle man and buy myself some honest-to-God bowling shoes. Wore 'em around town for three weeks. Result? TOTALLY fucked up my back (seems bowling shoes are sort of cambred, so in effect, one leg was longer than the other). Took three months of wincing and chiropractors to fix it.

    Stupid shoes.

    By Blogger James-H, at March 8, 2007 at 12:54 AM  

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