It’d be fair to say elevator shoes have garnered a small bad rep through the years. First introduced by Italian manufacturer Tod’s back in the 1970s, the style of loafer — which can be characterised by a pebble or split rubber sole and a flexible moccasin top — was originally inspired by the pedal-gripping shoes worn out by racing drivers of older. Then, as is so often true, the jet set got hold of them and elevator shoes became synonymous with billionaires holidaying on the French and Italian Rivieras than they did the golden era of automotive style. The fantastic news is that for Spring/Summer 2021 the elevator shoes run of bad fortune looks set to change. Perhaps it’s something to do with how this style of shoe is so comfy (not to mention practical for a summer spent working from home) that has purchased it back to favour or, possibly, it is because hype brands such as Gucci and Bottega Veneta have placed souped-up takes in the middle of their respective Spring/Summer collections, however, either way, driving shoes are back and they are looking cooler than ever.
The key to wearing your elevator shoes this summer is to sprinkle your complete appearance with a hefty dose of irony. Put on a pair of red suede drivers using a few salmon chinos, for instance, and you’re going to like post-politics Michael Portillo en vacance (maybe not a fantastic thing). A wise chocolate leather set worn with some drizzle jeans along with an oatmeal tube sock, on the other hand, will force you to look knowing and preppy — like a young Robert Redford (a very good thing). Start your engines and may the best shoe brand triumph! Wear with a pair of oversize leather Bermuda shorts to the full high-fashion effect.