The Shoe Snob Blog

May 17, 2011

Written by , Posted in News

Driving Loafers – Europe’s Summer Shoe

Depending on where you live in this world, there is always a shoe that acts as one’s ‘go-to’ model once the hot days of spring and summer start to show their face. In tropical places you have the flip-flop, in the States you have the boat shoe, and in Europe you have espadrilles and even better yet, the driving loafer. But the greatest thing about driving loafers, is that if you have the right model and you wear it properly, it can go a long way in the wardrobe and be worn with more outfits (from casual to dress) than any other summer shoe out there. The question is: why is it so popular in Europe, particularly Italy and France, yet so uncommon in the rest of the world?

The evolution of the driving loafer is quite interesting, depending on how you look at it. I may be wrong here, so feel free to let me know, but common sense would say that the driving loafer was originally created so that rich people could have a nice shoe that they could use while driving their car in order to prevent two things: dirtying the floor (from dirt, mud, wetness etc.) and wearing out the back’s of their shoes. With that in mind, it would have appeared to be a luxury that only few could afford, because how many people could actually justify owning a pair of leather shoes, just to use while driving? Not me (unless it’s a pair of cheap slippers). But then someone intelligent (perhaps Diego Della Valle, owner of Tod’s) saw a niche in the market — the idea of a soft, flexible and comfortable casual shoe — with these ‘driving loafers’ and introduced them into the public where they have been a huge success ever since!

So you might be wondering by now, ‘what frickin’ brand is it that makes these loafers?’ Well, let me tell you. You see, the beauty of writing a blog is that you have small, up-and-coming brands that write to you that want to get their name out, and it’s great because many of them actually make a cool product that deserves to be shown to the world, and the problem with other fashion publications these days is that if you don’t pay them, you are not getting any space on the pages. But as a humble blogger who loves shoes and spreading the knowledge of them, I get to enjoy being introduced to brands, like Bobbies (who makes these loafers), and then being able to share them all with you! And to give you a little bit of background info, Bobbies is a Parisian company (France) who — as you can see — makes unique and colorful loafers. So when they sent me their website to check out and I saw those bow-tie loafers, I immediately fell in love with them, because I just thought that it was the most clever and unique idea, and it looks cool too! So if you are dying for a pair, then look no further, because here you have a brand that makes every single color that you can think of and pretty much sells them all for under 100 Euros!! Happy shopping!

Picture Above Courtesy Of: The Sartorialist

  • Anonymous

    Bow ties and shoes – my two favorite things

    best,

    Christian

    http://www.stylesage.co.uk

  • The only downside is that they are flat and harder on the feet for lack of a proper heel.

  • Christian – Indeed!!

    Mike – Can’t argue with you there. But some people have much tougher feet than others and can take it…

    -Justin, “The Shoe Snob”

  • Alex B

    The whole loafers-without-socks thing is vile absurdity. I hope this fad passes quickly and permanently! It makes me physically nauseated.

    There are plenty of lovely loafers of course, but don’t neglect proper shoes in the summer: a leather/canvas spectator has all the support and comfort of a proper shoe, is respectable enough for a suit (and magical with a linen one) and yet feels light and cool.

    There’s Allen Edmonds’ nylon-mesh “Strawfut” (nicest again as a spectator, I’d say), and all kinds of perforated shoes, from Imai Hiroki’s dandy slippers, to Laszlo Vass’s summer-special perforated oxfords and derbies.

    But wear some nice socks, really. Justin’s loyal advertiser “Mes Chaussettes Rouges” is a good place to start: their over the calf fil d’ecosse numbers are much lighter than my others, yet strong, stay up of course, and come in a dozen lovely colours.

  • Alex B – you are too funny…you would have hated to see me in holiday in Albania…..driving loafers and no socks all day long!

    -Justin