The Return Of Piloti

Above: Selections from Piloti’s casual, performance and luxury lines

Hey, Speed Racer, long day behind the wheel? Has that final lap or three around the track taken its toll on your feet? Maybe you’re looking for something that will keep those dogs from barking…

Good news, stumpy. Piloti is back.

“What is Piloti?” asks the driving fashion novice.

Well, Piloti is the maker behind some of the best, top-of-the-line racing and driving shoes out there. These aren’t some cheap slip-ons you toss on your feet just before heading out on the long drive to grandma’s house; we’re talking sleek, form-fitting racing shoes, just like the pros wear. The kind of thing you imagine slipping on as you settle in for a quick jaunt down The Audubon. These are shoes made specifically for drivers. Hence the name; Piloti actually is Italian for “driver”.

It’s been a couple of years since we saw these bad boys in action. Piloti stopped manufacturing the shoes in 2012. But increased demand—mixed with the right amount of nostalgia—has brought the popular shoes back with a vengeance. Not only has Piloti returned, but they’ve brought three different lines of shoes for the discerning driver. 

If you’re thinking about hitting the track, the Performance line is race certified with fire retardant lining. These are the shoes for the professional racer…or at least anyone who wishes they could be one.

The Casualline features excellent shoes for driving, but they’re just as sharp on the street as on the gas pedal.

These are both great, but the standout to the new Piloti collection is, of course, The Luxury line. These premium leather and suede driving shoes were crafted in Italy and are nice enough for the boardroom while being soft on the foot for the traveler who finds himself constantly behind the wheel.  Check out the Campione, which rivals most guy’s wingtip brogues. Long weekend drive in the Caddy? Slip on a pair of Primo’s. These slippers will keep your feet comfy whether you’re on that long drive or quick race around the corner.

Each of these shoes features what Piloti’s calls their “Roll Control Heel”. This patented technology is designed to make the shoes efficient for driving while also taking care of your tender pods at the same time. When you’re driving, you put the most pressure and weight on the heel of your foot. Whether you’re shifting gears or just riding your brakes, your heel sees the most action. Piloti’s design cushions and grips behind the heel, making shifting smoother and sparing you from a ton of foot pain.

Science and trademarks and patents aside, it’s a nice shoe. Professional racers and weekend drivers alike can appreciate the style that feels good on the foot but looks damned good at the office, too. In fact, the Luxury line is so cozy, you might just skip the car completely and wear these stylish babies the next time you fly. After all, if you’ve got to take your shoes off at the security gate, wouldn’t it be great to slip off a pair of suede slippers instead of flip-flops?

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