Friday, April 8, 2011

Drivers, He Said

We all have seen them: the people who go to the store in their house shoes.  We have seen both men and women do it.  Most of them have been seen in Walmart or Kmart or late at night in the corner liquor store.

I think most of us will agree that this not right.  Wearing house shoes as street shoes is like wearing your pajamas to work.

But I recently had been seeing more men wearing something that looked like leather house shoes.  I was really puzzled by this until I learned that those shoes had a name: drivers.

I must admit, I had not heard of them before I did a little research for my previous post that complained about men not wearing socks in fashion photography, "The Joy of Socks."  In looking at various sites that offered fashion advice, I saw references to "drivers" that I did not understand.  And then I saw a photograph of a set.  Oh, that's what those stupid shoes are called.

"The Perfect Driving Shoe" in GQ
They strike me as not substantial enough to wear on the street and too informal to be worn with the dress slacks with which I see them paired.  Yet even GQ is encouraging men to wear them with slacks.  And I was in the Verizon store recently when I noticed one of the salesmen wearing a pair of drivers.

Really, dude?  You're going to spend all day on your feet in those?

Look at them.  No real heel.  No arch support.  Hardly a sole.  Grips on the bottom that look more at home on the bottom of your bath tub than on the bottom of your shoes.  Honestly, can you tell me the difference between driving shoes and house slippers?  I admit, one has fake wool lining and the other costs more than $150.  But that is about it as far as I can see.

Gucci drivers
Men's house shoes

Drivers have a purpose.  As their name suggests, they are for wearing while driving.  The rounded heel and the "pebbled" soles serve a purpose.  In a car.

Wearing them may aid in the comfort of your foot, and drivers save you from scuffing up the heel of your actual shoes.  But once you are out of the car, you do not need to wear them.  Wear your driving gloves around all day and see how many people snicker behind your back.  "Who does that guy think he is?  Racer X?"

So, why should we not snicker when you wear your driving shoes around town?  Are you a Formula One driver on your way to Monaco?  Or are you just concerned that the floor mat of your Kia Spectra will scuff up your Thom McAns?

PS: I know a little-watched 1971 film directed by Jack Nicholson is not the best source for a blog title.  Something like "Driving Me Crazy" might have been better.  But I cannot resist the opportunity for an obscure pop culture reference.

1 comment:

  1. I see you missed the Miami Vice era. For some God awful reason that look came back. You can thank Kanye for that again. If you really want to go nuts, most men don't wear socks when they wear them. Let's wish this look away like the Crocs that came before.