Driving Mocs – Why Handmade Leather Mocassins Are Perfect Casual Spring Summer Shoes & How To Wear


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
In today’s video we discuss Driving Mocs. We discuss their history, why you should wear
them, do’s and don’ts, what colors you should go for and how you should combine them
with your outfits. Driving mocs as you know them today with the
little knobs at the bottom are heavily influenced by the original moccasin shoe that actually
had a plain under sole. So first let’s discuss moccasins. So what is a moccasin? Basically
it is a soft leather shoe that has no heels and no soles where it is made out of one piece
of leather that is then reinforced with a top vamp for a separate piece. It also features
a hand sewn stitching that connects the bottom piece of leather to the vamp. As you can imagine
a single piece of leather that is soft is not very durable and for that reason mocassins
also came with an additional height of bison leather which were much more suitable for
stony grounds or to protect yourselves from cacti or prairie grass. Moccasins are the
quintessential Native American shoe and they oftentimes have all kinds of embroidery that
is very specific to the tribe. Now other people gets moccasins confused with
loafers. The basic difference is that loafers constructed differently and even though they
may have that hand seam on the vamp, they have a separate leather sole and a heel. To
learn more about loafers and all the intricacies, please check out our in depth loafer guide
here. To understand the history of driving mocs
you need to understand the history of Moccasins. The moccasin likely arrived from Asia via
the Bering Sea and it became really popular as the classic Native American shoe. The word
makasin means as much as shoe and of course just like many things it has evolved overtime
so you find many different little variations but the mocassin will always have that one
piece leather construction with a hand sewn vamp stitching. So basically we already mentioned
the hard leather soled style mocassin which is made of two or more layers of leather and
it was simply a more rugged version of the soft leather moc. As you can see the soft
leather moc is just one nice piece all around and so it’s very easy to manufacture. Traditionally, moccasins were made from deer
skin, elk skin, moose or buffalo or whatever was native at that time. On the other hand
these soft moccasins are usually made out of either elk or deer because they are a lot
softer than bison or even cowhide. Over time a little channel was added here on top which
could be tightened up with a leather lace which kept the mocassin closer on your foot.
It’s a feature you sometimes see in Driving Mocs today as well. As you can see here the moccasin has a closed
channel versus the Tod’s which has an open channel. Even though the moccasin was a number
one shoe in the US for centuries but the time World War II rolled around it was more of
an outdated shoe that was hardly seen anymore. Basically, it was restricted to souvenir shops
and resort towns. Fortunately after World War II in 1946 the company Minnetonka Moccasins
revived the shoe and today it’s a lot more popular especially as driving mocs or as house
shoes. To learn more about the vibrant history of moccasins in Native American culture please
check out our in depth guide on our website here. Today, most moccasins feature a double sole
which makes them softer and even more durable just like this one, you have one on the outside
and then another one on the inside. Now that you know more about the origins of
the moccasin let’s discuss the driving moc. They are called the Driving moc because they
are super comfortable to drive. They have very soft inner sole and that’s because
it’s basically a leather sole that is pebbled with rubber knobs and it just help you to
make the shoe last longer while not losing the flexibility, softness and sensitivity
that you need when you drive. They are also very unstructured and lack a toe cap or a
heel cap which again makes them extremely comfortable. At he same time they are not great to walk
around because they are all loose and and your heel will slip up, but when you drive
that doesn’t matter. Technically, it’s not a genuine moccasin but it was invented
by an Italian Diego Della Vale and he came up with the name Tod’s. He was part of a
shoe making family and he saw a version in Portugal in quite cheap leather and he took
it as inspiration to create a different version and today Tod’s is synonymous with driving
mocs. Unlike a Goodyear welted shoe or even a Blake stitch shoe, this shoe is very simple
in its construction it has these knobs at the bottom. It has an insole and a little
rubber sole in between but that’s about it. Unfortunately, you can’t repair this
shoe because once the leather has a hole it’s hard to fix. This version here is made in
Italy and retails for $495 which in my opinion is hopelessly overpriced. You simply pay for
the name and for the original idea, but looking at the leather and construction, it’s just
not worth it. Some people get driving mocs confused with boat shoes but they are actually
quite different even though they have a similar seam on the vamp. Most boat shoes feature
a solid rubber sole versus driving mocs have pebbled knobs or other kinds of sole options.
To learn more about boat shoes and the difference to driving mocs, please check out this guide
here. Because traditional pebbled sole wear so quickly,
some companies came up with larger rubber chunks at the sole that keeps it all quite
flexible yet at the same time you get more longevity out of your shoe. Different companies
came up with different sole constructions and it goes all the way from few rubber chunks
to a all rubber sole to a mostly rubber sole. At the end of the day, I prefer this version
in the middle because it is a a lot more flexible than an all rubber sole, yet it has basically
the same longevity. In terms of leathers, I really like soft leathers
so deerskin is ideal but for a more casual character I really like the suede leathers
because they just scream casual, summer and relaxed. Sometimes you can also see driving
mocs made out of cowhide. They are a lot stiffer, they are thicker and while they are harder
wearing, I find them a lot less comfortable especially when you’re driving which defeats
the point because that is the ideal purpose of that shoe. If you want a harder leather,
go with a box calf and there are lots of other attractive styles and you can learn more about them in
our shoes guide here. If you want the ultimate soft driving moc,
I recommend to just go with a double deer version because nothing is as soft as this one at
the same time walking on them will probably destroy them within a few weeks. So only wear
them inside the car. They also make a great house slipper if your floors are not too cold,
otherwise the proximity to the floor will make you have cold feet which is quite uncomfortable. Next up let’s discuss the do’s and don’ts
of Driving mocs. Do wear them for driving that is what they are designed for and that’s
where they’re best. Don’t use them to walk around a lot especially not if you have
the pebbled version or the all leather version because you will destroy them quickly. I you
have all rubber soles for some with more chunky ones you can also use them for resort wear
or to just run quick errands but over all you should avoid running in them or walking
around a lot or going sight seeing because they will be uncomfortable your heel won’t
have support, you’ll sweat in them and that’s just not what they’re made for. Do wear them
in the spring and summer or in warmer climates with seersucker pants or chinos. You can also
wear them with shorts and polo shirts. Always bear in mind it’s a casual shoe and therefore
you should have a casual character in your entire outfit. Do not wear driving mocs with
a suit or a jacket because it simply doesn’t work together well. This is an informal shoe
and there are lots of other formal shoes or semi formal shoes that look a lot better with
jackets or suits. If you wear them with shorts or with pants this summer, I suggest to wear
them without socks and just barefoot. However if you’re in a car and you don’t want
sweaty feet maybe a pair of socks is the way to go. Lately, I have also seen the no-show
socks which makes it look like you have no socks on which could be an option or there
are even inserts that you glue inside your shoe but I haven’t tested them yet. Stay
tuned for another video. Do not wear driving mocs in colder climates,
when its rainy or wet outside because of the leather sole it won’t take long until you
have wet feet. Do combine them with bright colors because it’s a summer shoe you can
be more daring. You can add linen textures or cottons, checks and typical summer fabrics.
To learn more about typical summer outfits, please check out this guide here. Don’t walk too much in them because there’s
no toe support, no heel support, you’ll slip out all the time and they’ll be quite
uncomfortable you may even end up with blisters. So what colors should you go for when you
opt for Driving Mocs? There’s a lot of black out there and I think it’s fundamentally
wrong because black is a formal color and this is an informal shoe. Apart from that
the most popular colors are probably brown and tan. You can also go with mid brown
and while that’s a good choice, I think these colors work even better with traditional
derby’s or monk strap shoes or even oxfords. So I try to stick with a little more vivid
colors especially in yellow, red, maybe green or blue because it underlines that summery
casual character and it just suits the shoe much better. If you enjoyed this video, please subscribe
to our channels so videos like this come right to your inbox. Also make sure to check out
our oxford shoe guide, our boat shoes guide and our derby shoes guide, maybe even our monk
strap shoe guide.

40 Comments

  • first

  • I just hope Driving Mocs dont end up like Boat Shoes. Everyone and their mother had a pair.

  • LOVE This video! Very informative Raphael. My girlfriend HATES when I wear mine lol. So comfortable to wear though 👍🏻

  • I don't recommend driving mocs, I have a pair of Bally Driving mocs and after like 3 or 4 wears they already have a hole at the toe. $500 wasted.

  • Hope you can do espadrils next. Keep up the good work!

  • Ralph, please please consider making an April Fool's prank video where you speak only in your native language.

  • For me driving mocks or moccasins never work!!! they r just very uncomfortable for me….i prefer loafers over it as they r like way better and comfortable!

  • Can I ask where to find a great pair of seersucker pants? I would love to have a change from my standard chinos to wear with loafers, but I can't find any local in town.

  • What brands of moccasins do you recommend?

  • Can you do a casual travelling video / guide? Say if you were to go on vacation for 3 weeks. Thanks!

  • I love your videos, Sven. But does your wife ever say "enough with the primping already, let's go!"?

  • I honestly despise loafers and moccasins, nothing about them attracts or interests me, not even the history which is what I usually find most interesting about all the different items in menswear.

  • Ayrton Senna Using that in NSX.

  • Excellent work my friend, very informative.

  • I find their use a bit limited. when I'm casual, I want clothes that are bit more hard wearing. like you said, only best for in a car or a house. anyways, thanks for the great video!

  • Bravo maestro.

  • On your next long flight, wear driving mocs. You'll be happy you did.

  • this vid is right on time

  • Tods .. bally are the best of all..

  • Mr Elton .. i have my bally since 8 years ago and still wear it !..

  • Are mocs comfortable for people with arched feet?

  • Hi Sven, first, i thank you for the site and the channel. I suscribe. Your work and passion help me several times when i buy a dress; your stories of the icon of male elegance are very informative and exhaustive. I Care to underline, only for completeness of information, and for recognize the merits to those who have them, that Della Valle don't has invented the driving mocs with rubbern knobs. The inventor has been Gianni Mostile, that in 1963 deposited the patent of this new type of shoes, with the brand "Car Shoe", yet sold today. Della Valle has been able to give a new impulse at this model and spread this in the world, but the idea was not his. The same goes for the brand fay(american in origin),  that produced the jacket model "fireman", a beautiful garment, thatwould merite a greater interest.

  • I love that you went barefoot in them. 😋

  • If you're not supposed to go out and about with them, and only use them indoors or while driving, why does it matter what you wear them with? You're just going to take them off when you get to your destination, right?

  • Your shoes are laughing harder than I am

  • your ring is nice

  • Ridiculous looking and utterly nonfunctional things, pretty much always.

  • 👞Driving Mocs are Sexy

  • Wow! Probably the most informative mens clothing video ever 🙂 Great work!!

  • I wear a pair of Cole haan driving moccasins everyday for about two years now and they are holding up fine

  • Any advice for peasants who are on a budget? :3

  • Skate shoes are good for driving too, their sole aren't thick it's an effect from the exterior and they are comfortable.

  • Great vid

  • TODS? Not worth the money? You are so funny and if they wear out to quickly… simply get more of them. I have 26 pairs (TODS gomminos alone) for over a couple of years now and most of them are looking still very reasonable. I am wearing them not only for driving but also in town. i love the comfy and relax style and wear them from spring to autumn ('fall 'for you however you are German origin) in Munich, when ever appropriate and weather permits. Keep up the good work and your humour.

  • Drivers are awesome. Stylish AF. Get yourself a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo Parigi drivers and you’ll thank me later 👍

  • What is your opinion on camp mocs?

  • i own allen edmond shoes but i do lots of walking in the city. They are very uncomfortable for me. Can anyone recommend an alternative dress look but really comfortable?

  • Raphael the bearing straight theory is just a theory and is actually quite offensive to Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It is a political tool used to undermine Indigenous sovereignty and assert foreign sovereignty to claim Indigenous lands. It would be much appreciated if you would change it to reflect a more appropriate and non offensive narrative, thank you for your understand.

  • What's a color that'll go with anything?

  • 这不就是东百社会银标配的豆豆鞋嘛

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