The Garage Accessories

Initial Impressions: Piloti’s Shift Driving Shoe is a Neater Sneaker

This might be the most under-the-radar driving shoe, ever.
Piloti's Shift driving shoes
Peter Nelson

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The last time I shared my intentions of giving a potentially well-rounded driving shoe a thorough review, I offered up my early thoughts on Chicane’s Speedster low top. This shoe has a lot of appeal, especially for someone who digs the old-school running and soccer shoe aesthetic. 

But there’s another everyday driving shoe option available that follows a different design language, also looks excellent, and above all, does a good job at hiding the fact that it’s a driving shoe: The Piloti Shift. Yes, you can insert all the “Piloti Man” driving memes here. But before you discount them due to the name, here’s what I’ve made of the Shift so far after looking it over, trying it on, and taking a few initial steps.

Piloti's Shift driving shoes

Sharp Styling

First thing’s first, as it’s often the most important part: I really dig the look. The Asphalt colorway is sharp, but there’s a color for anyone’s preference. I really like the satin suede construction combined with the rounded rubber soul edge as, to me, the overall design has hints of a skate shoe, sneaker, and an old-school soccer shoe. Heck, even a light touch of gum-sole chukka on account of the rounded sole. They’re a universal option that’d pair well with anyone’s personal style.

They’re a low-top that fits average width in the middle, yet has a nice large toe box that ought to bode well for optimal, all-day comfort. Stay tuned for how all day they’ll be.

Piloti's Shift driving shoes

But What About Performance Driving Functionality?

I haven’t laced these up for performance driving duty just yet, but Piloti reports there’s a lot of clever engineering going on behind the Shift’s suede and rubber construction. That rounded sole isn’t for nothing, as it helps avoid catching on any of the pedals’ edges while transitioning between them.

Then there’s the sole itself, which possesses a steel torsion bar for improved stability, and the heel is plenty thick for support and easy on-off rolling. Piloti calls this its Roll Control 2.0 heel technology. It feels quite substantial and hasn’t threatened any blistering on my own heel yet. I bring this up, as it’s something that’s been an issue for me with many shoes that fit this low, and with this kind of wrap-around-the-heel design. Fingers crossed, I don’t incur any battle scars—but hey, that’s the risk my team and I are taking with these reviews.

I mentioned above that the toe box was plenty wide, and it is, which is great for folks with larger monkey toes. Though, perhaps not as ideal if you’ve got smaller stubs at the fore-end of your foot.

The Shift sports a lot of arch cushioning, and the sole is very thin in the toe box, too, which is a hallmark of a great driving shoe.

Piloti's Shift driving shoes

What Would Shoe Like To Know?

I’m excited to put these to the test in normal, every walking and driving, yet also rip some laps on some top-level California circuits. My dear little BMW 128i is such a great testing vehicle for driving shoes, as its pedals already err on the side of heel-toe-friendly. So, how much will these either improve or impair this?

With that, what would you like to know about the Piloti Shift?