Aston Martin’s renewed partnership with John Lobb to produce a driver’s shoe.

How important are branded driver’s shoes to automotive enthusiasts?

  • Should racing activities be distinct from a brand’s mainstream image?
  • Can a brand’s racing success attract new consumers?

“In my opinion . . .”

British automaker Aston Martin is renewing its partnership with bespoke British shoemaker John Lobb to produce the second incarnation of the Winner Sport driving shoe meant to fortify bonds with brand loyalists. Retail price, $1,100.

The Winner Sport MKII driving shoes feature traits treasured by both brands such as rows of twin stitching and perforated leather panels. Deferring to a trusted shoemaker for its driving shoes will appeal to Aston Martin drivers who value integrity and craftsmanship.

If it’s a true driving shoe, it had better be specifically designed for comfort and agility during skilled and fancy footwork such as heel-and-toe downshifting while braking. Ironically, such footwork is becoming a lost art since fewer and fewer ultra-performance cars are now coming with manual gearboxes, something which we automotive purists still desire.

How will one look at a gathering — cool or “tool”? I suppose the jury is out on that until we see if 007 is seen wearing them.

The Winner Sport MKII shoe shown above is a six-eyelet lightweight driver’s shoe that has the same fitting qualities as the previous Winner Sport. The flat-lasted manufacturing process allows for lightness and flexibility. The leather used to make the shoe has a grained-effect formed during then tanning process that ensures suppleness. It comes in five or more colors. Consumers can remove the footbed that is made of rubber covered with sheepskin.

Although driving shoes are intended to enhance the driving experience, many automotive brands partner outside of their industry to increase their lifestyle appeal. However, certain products are specifically designed for brand enthusiasts.

Anyway, if you want the carpet to match the drapes, you had better be actually driving an Aston Martin. For brand continuity’s sake, it’s going to look a little odd if you step out of a Porsche wearing those shoes. If it’s a racing shoe, besides the above-mentioned comfort, it had better pass safety requirements such as fire retardation.

Image credit: Aston Martin


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