With the current emphasis on comfort in fashion, it is no surprise that one of the best-selling styles in stores across the country is the driving shoe. Soft and flexible, it has nonskid pebbly rubber spikes on the sole and heel, which were originally designed for gripping car pedals.
Diego Della Valle designed the shoe in Italy in 1979 and introduced it to this country in 1985 under the J.P. Tod's label. The shoes have grown in popularity; Neiman Marcus reports that they are No.1 with its customers this spring.The shoes come in two basic styles: moccasin and loafer. They are available in leather, suede or patent, and in a range of colors. The pebble-bottom shoe is $230; with a pebble sole and horseshoe-shape heel, it is $245.
Other manufacturers are turning out less-expensive versions. At Lord & Taylor, Ralph Lauren's moccasin with a pebble bottom is $98 in black, white or cream. And Cole-Haan's loafer is $145 in black, white or red.
- Anne-Marie Schiro