Even the most slovenly driving enthusiasts have to put some thought into their motoring apparel when they own a snug fitting track-focussed sports car. In the confined cockpit of something like an Elise you don’t want jean studs slashing upholstery as you slither out sideways, or coins dropping into recesses only a heart surgeon could retrieve. You also need to wrap up warm in these constrictive convertibles but there’s rarely room for bulky down-filled parkas. But most importantly you’ll need some narrow-fitting footwear that are thinly soled for delicate pedal feel, yet won’t wrinkle up like a discarded French Tickler when rolling your foot about for heel-and-toe maneuvers.

Caterham and Morgan 3-wheeler pilots will be fairly familiar of this sartorial conundrum, which gets even trickier if you are driving for pleasure and not just hotfooting it back from some motorsport meet. The problem is that driving shoes generally fall into three camps: foppish suede loafers favoured by those continental types, gaudy FIA-approved booties which suggest you’re trying ‘a bit too hard’, and traineresque offerings from the big sports brands that can look a bit ‘Timothy Westwood’ if you’re not too careful.

But fear not, MotorPunk continues to cobble together a small collection of driving shoes that manage to straddle that delicate line between style and practicality; something that’ll have you blipping downshifts with confident aplomb and not look to shabby if your popping out to some tasteful country gastropub.

 

This month’s suggestion is the Sparco’s Imola GP. This Italian company has been around for over four decades, and we particularly like this latest version of their Imola driver’s shoe. The ones pictured here include the suede the leather uppered versions, but they do come in the full gammut of colours in suede and other vegan options. Whichever you plump for, all are nicely topped off with a ribbed rubber sole and that all-important rolled heel that keener drivers look for.

Amazon has a wide selection of Imola starting at around £40. Our pic would be the understated coffee brown leather versions that can double up for post-trackday duties in the bar – we are a little worried that spilled Guinness and Baileys (not in the same glass – we’re not animals) might not fair well with the red suede option!

 

About The Author

Darryl Sleath

Darryl can usually be found up to his elbows in some unloved piece of BL detritus when he isn’t snapping and scribbling for various print magazines or producing the occasional book on tally-ho adventurers, PE or road tripping. As an occasional presenter on XCAR’s YouTube channel, his other hobbies include vintage Scalextrics, ‘60s Bang & Olufsen and dabbling in grassroots motorsport.

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