It wouldn’t be Road Trip Week if we didn’t talk about the most important part of your road-worthy wardrobe: the driving shoe.
They come in many forms—some are more loafer-like, some are more moccasin-y—but they’re all united by two things: a buttery-soft leather construction and gummy rubber bottom (marked by a telltale matrix of nubs embedded in a double-thick leather sole).
They’re especially handy on a breezy weekend jaunt, because they’re handsome enough to wear to cocktail hour yet soft enough to loaf around indoors, once you’ve woken up the next morning at your destination. Meaning they’re the only pair of shoes you’ll need to pack if you’re not planning on anything too formal or a round of golf.
To that end, we thought we’d bring your attention to this Cole Haan saddle shoe. It manages to deliver a classic shape, a handsome red brick sole and a surprisingly low sticker price—which makes for quite a trifecta. We might want to swap out the laces for something a little less sneaker-y, but after that you should have a near-perfect casual shoe.
For the pricier, more genuine article, you can look up Mr. McNairy...but nobody’s perfect.
The recent enthusiasm for heritage brands is bringing out the best in just about everyone. Case in point: Cole Haan is getting back to their roots as Chicago cobblers with a smaller label named Cole, Rood, & Haan that focuses more on worn leathers, wooden welting and classic American styles. The Fall/Winter gear (that’s the dark leather shoes in back) should be hitting shops in just a few weeks.