Gentlemen and gentlewomen, start your engines, another Formula 1 season is upon us. The prestigious motorsport may not be an activity that you readily associate with sneakers but, looking back, there have been some pretty notable shoes on the feet of the drivers and pit crews in recent decades. So, buckle your seatbelts and allow us to take you on a trip through racing (and shoe) history.
Top 5 Sneaker Moments in Formula 1
Date: March 25 2018
By: Cesca Benson
The early 90s era of Formula 1 was dominated by the Williams team, and their shoes reached as high as their successes. These high tops, appropriately fitted out in team colours, were worn by the pit crew as team driver Nigel Mansell dominated the podium in the early part of the decade.
Racing shoes might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of adidas’ athletic output, but the Three Stripes have long been at the forefront of innovation in the sport, they were the first to create a fireproof raceshoe, after all. And they were successful on the track too – the Monza boot was the shoe of choice for champions Nigel Mansell, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna.
Formula 1 shoes often have pretty limited appeal, understandably choosing practicality over aesthetics (so, you know, you can drive a car at over 300kmph and not crash). But when ASICS hooked up with McLaren in 1992 to create this Gel Saga, they proved that you could still look good on the track.
Nike’s foray into motorsports was a brief but prolific one, and of course the titan of sportswear signed Michael Schumacher, the titan of racing. The Red Baron collaborated on several shoes with the Swoosh, including the Air Zoom Schu, Zoom Turf Schumacher and Air Super Zoom.
Schuey didn’t remain with Nike, though, and his partnership with PUMA is probably his most well-known. The Big Cat and the Prancing Horse joined forces and created the Future Cat, which Schumacher wore in his last years at Ferrari.