Racing shoes on display. The shoe on the foreground commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Lotus 7 sports car.
Casual Louis Vuitton driving loafers.

Racing shoes, motorsport shoes or driving shoes are the footwear used for the practice of motorsport or day-to-day driving. They are generally built to provide comfort and precision for operating pedals for an extended period of time, with a narrow, close-fitting construction and thin, flexible soles, as well as to provide protection from fire along with a racing suit, in the context of motorsport.[1][2][3] The standards for shoes worn in auto racing, as with other equipment, are regulated by FIA.[4]

The invention of racing shoes is commonly attributed to Italian shoemaker Francesco "Ciccio" Liberto, in the late 1960s,[5] though another Italian shoemaker, Gianni Mostile, had patented a model of driving moccasins as early as 1963.[6] Prior to that, professional racecar drivers worn ordinary casual shoes for racing, sometimes wrapped in adhesive tape to provide better traction and stability.[7] Racing shoes were popularized among motorsport fans and the general public after the release of the Speed Cat and its successor Future Cat, developed by Sparco and Puma, and their use by use by German Formula One champion Michael Schumacher during the early 2000s.[8][6]

It is popular among Formula One drivers, especially Australian ones, to drink from their racing shoes to celebrate victories, a practice referred to as a "shoey."[9][10]

SFI-Certified Racing Shoes

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Professional motorsport safety gear includes SFI certified racing shoes. These shoes are certified by the SFI foundation, a non-profit organization established to issue and administer standards for the quality assurance of specialty performance and racing equipment.[11]

Many professional racing organizations mandate using SFI approved gear, including shoes, emphasizing their importance in ensuring regulatory compliance and driver safety on the track. The primary purpose of these shoes is to provide fire resistance, protecting the driver's feet in the event of a fire in the vehicle.

Moreover, these shoes are crafted for performance, featuring lightweight construction and pedal-friendly design to enhance a driver's control and precision.


  1. ^ Dorian, Drew (2019-05-10). "What Makes a Driving Shoe a Driving Shoe?". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  2. ^ Blevins, Morgan (2019-12-17). "What Kind of Gear Does a Racecar Driver Wear?". The Free Press. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  3. ^ "Auto racing shoes, defining features, options and benefits". Track First. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  4. ^ Guy, Matthew. "Best Racing Footwear: Hot Shoes for Hotshoes". The Truth About Cars. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  5. ^ Read, Dan (2020-06-29). "These boots were made for racing". Hagerty. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  6. ^ a b "A Brief History of Sneakers In Motorsport". Sneaker Freaker. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  7. ^ "The man who made shoes for racing drivers". Italian Shoes. 2016-05-12. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  8. ^ Coles, Jason (2016-09-22). Golden Kicks: The Shoes that Changed Sport. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 180–181. ISBN 978-1-4729-3705-6.
  9. ^ Kimmorley, Sarah (2018-05-11). "Formula One just trademarked drinking out of a shoe — here's why". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  10. ^ Sorokanich, Bob (2021-02-25). "A Brief History of the Shoey, F1's Grossest Custom". Road & Track. Retrieved 2022-03-14.