Gear Review: Akin Shift Driving Shoe

Pretty good looking pair of shoes.

Akin shoes, more reliable than my car!

Although I should note, that isn’t saying much on its own.

The Akin Shift Driving shoe kept showing up on my instagram.  I can understand why. I literally already owned 2 pairs of driving shoes (sparcos) and had chosen my last few pairs of shoes based on their appropriateness (primarily pedal feel) for driving my car. I had tried driving the SRT-8 with my classic driving shoes: Harley-Davidson Motorcycle boots, and I came to the conclusion that it was not worth the risk. The lack of fine control on the throttle was just not safe, and the relatively slick surface of the soles didn’t help either.  As I (mistakenly) thought I had some extra money after payday, and the Akin shoes are reasonably priced at 85 dollars, I went ahead and ordered a pair. 

To my surprise, the shoes actually shipped the next morning, about 6 hours after I ordered them. Akin does only 2-day flat rate shipping, and so after ordering my shoes Thursday night/Friday morning, they arrived on the following Monday.  On that particular Monday I ended up being in the garage for about 8 hours working on my car, and the shoes sat until Tuesday.

Let’s slip out of something comfortable.

The packaging was very nice. If you were planning on getting these as a present, they definitely feel expensive and high-quality. They have this unique slipcover design more often seen in tech than clothing, in my experience. 

So pretty.

Being that they are leather uppers, I expected that there would be a long break in period during which I would blister and suffer, as I have with so many other new shoes. I was quite pleased that this was not the case. I have been wearing them exclusively since Tuesday morning, and not even a bit of discomfort, let alone blistering. 

How do they drive? Pretty well so far. I have had a few short trips in the SRT-8 in them, as well as so much longer trips in the ecodiesel  Grand Cherokee. In both cases the pedal feel has been great, but the comfort has also been very good for a driving shoe. As it sits right now, these will be my go-to shoe for driving my SRT-8 every day, as well as my usual go-to shoe the rest of the time. 

The shoes have held up to daily wear and tear very well so far, and don’t show any sign of any damage or stress thus far. They’re definitely very different from actual SFI race shoes. They are much more heavily built than my super-light sparcos, but for a daily shoe, that’s a good thing. I will ALWAYS recommend SFI certified safety gear whenever you go to the track, but for spirited driving and control on the street? There’s no better choice I am aware of than the Akin Shift driving shoe. 

Two final notes, I love the tire tread sole, it’s a nice aesthetic feature that highlights the finer details of the shoe, and I would absolutely support a high-top version of this shoe. 

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