On Your Feet is all about that new shoe feeling- from the first time you open the box until they’re worn into the ground. Sometimes we’ll sift through the constant Air Jordan releases to bring you the gems other people will leave on the shelves, and sometimes we’ll slide on reclaimed leather loafers from Prague, but we’ll always focus on comfortable shoes with appealing and creative aesthetic. So lace up your new kicks and stand on the precipice of adventure, where will we go together?
To be totally honest, the idea of having driving shoes hadn’t even crossed my mind until I saw these moccasins from Ventoso, but now I don’t step on the gas without them. It seems like sort of a niche product, but take a minute to think about how much time you spend in your car every day, especially if you have to drive during rush hour to and from work. Driving shoes provide extra comfort when you have to sit with your foot on the brake for 30 minutes at a time, extra grip when you need to let the clutch out at just the right speed, and they’re lightweight and comfortable when you’re cruising down the freeway on a road trip.
Ventoso is a relatively young company, starting in 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia, when founder Harry Cassin’s love for classic driving mocs began to conflict with the exorbitant prices European fashion houses were charging. Unsatisfied with their offerings, he spent the better part of a year sourcing suppliers and materials. He wore each sample for at least two months to determine strengths and weaknesses, as well as make sure they would hold up with wear. Bringing the Ventoso driving moccasins to US markets is a labor of love and passion for Cassin, and the quality and style reflects that.
They’re also a joy to wear around the house on a lazy Saturday afternoon, or out running casual errands. They’re so light they barely feel like you’re wearing them, and the rubber nubs on the bottom and heel have great traction, although they can’t be resoled if you beat them up too much. A big part of why they’re so comfortable is the use of choice materials selected carefully for these shoes.
The quality is immediately evident when you first pick up the shoe, from the lightly napped velvet to the exposed stitching; it’s not hard to see that these were carefully selected materials. Because they can be worn without socks, the leather interior is soft on the skin, and bends and moves with your foot easily, they feel like a sock or a slipper after only a few minutes. Frequently the issue with shoes isn’t the material used though, it’s the combination of materials, and how well they work together. In that regard, Ventoso’s classic driving moccasins are an absolute win, with a consistent suede outer and leather where it’s needed.
Driving shoes may be great for wearing around the house, but to really experience them in their natural environment, you’ve gotta take them out on the road. You don’t realize how much a hard outsole limits your flexibility and pedal control until you aren’t inhibited by it anymore. Some people prefer driving barefoot in order to feel the car’s vibrations and carefully control the throttle, and the same effect can be felt when you get the little rubber nubs against the gas and your heel locks against the floor in just the right spot.
Ventoso’s classic driving moccasins are available directly from their website in a number of colors and sizes.