Driving Shoe Test Drive: Porsche Design ELS Formotion Driving


I’m in love with a heel.

I know that makes me sound like a gun moll from Gangster Stories, but this is very different.

The Porsche Design ELS Formotion Driving shoe is the ne plus crazy of said type of footwear. Priced at $400, the ultra contemporary kicks cost more than most of the fireproof racing boots found in the highest levels of motorsports, but there’s good reason for this.

A collaboration with Adidas, the shoes are built on a stiff and light thermoplastic polyurethane midsole like that used for cleats…football, baseball, the other football, take your pick.

To this monocoque framework is added a thin, perforated synthetic black upper that mimics leather so well it exhibits a near patent level of gloss, while Adidas’ signature drei streifen rain down from the matte finish eyestay.

Instead of the cliché tire tread pattern sole, small rubber pads sparsely cover the forefoot to offer just enough grip to tickle the pedals and keep you from slipping as you walk without adding much weight. But as is the case with a Porsche 911, it’s what’s at the rear that makes these shoes special.

There you’ll find one of the most wonderful creations in the history of bipedalism; a heel cup perfectly shaped and padded for both driving and walking. The near hemispherical addenda offers unencumbered movement for a foot in the driving position and is stuffed chock full of adiPRENE material to cushion your heel on epic drives and add a literal spring to your step when you finally call it a day behind the wheel.

I took them on a 300 mile day trip to, on and from the track at the Monticello Motor Club in a Cayman S and upon my return could’ve easily thrown on my Adidas Climacools and gone for a run if I did such things.

I’m not joking when I say that if Porsche Design sewed a gigantic version of the cup into the seat of the Icon jeans it also makes I’d be wearing them right now, sleeping in them tonight and wishing my pillow were made of the same stuff.

Sadly, the issue with the shoes -- aside from a narrow fit that might not do if your feet are as fat as your wallet -- is that they don’t really cost $400, but more like $51,750.

That’s because even though Porsche Design is a separate, though wholly-owned subsidiary of Porsche, I just can’t imagine wearing them in any other brand of car, so at minimum you need to pick up a $51,350 Boxster to go with them. I would do anything for love, but I can’t afford that.

Maybe that gun moll gig isn’t such a bad idea.

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Gary Gastelu is's Automotive Editor.