Gentlemen and gentlewomen, start your engines, another Formula 1 season is upon us. The prestigious motorsport may not be a sport 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, check your mirrors, and allow us to take you on a trip through racing (and shoe) history.
Williams Renault Team Shoe
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. For the hardcore memorabilia maniacs, the unicorn-status mid-tops and alternate black colourway will add an even more exclusive element to your trophy case.
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. After all, they were the first to create a fireproof raceshoe. 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.
McLaren x ASICS
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 McLaren and ASICS took poll position in the on-track heat stakes with their pit-crew exclusive GEL McLaren MA-2 and GEL McLaren F1.
Michael Schumacher x Nike
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.
PUMA Future Cat
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.
Honda F1 Racing Team x FILA
In the mid-2000s, Honda was helmed by a pre-McLaren Jensen Button and post-Ferrari Rubens Barichello, and the pit crew was shoed in FILA. The shoes may not have seen the team to the podium — Honda was beset with mechanical issues throughout the latter half of the decade — but they'll at least earn you some clout amongst motoring enthusiasts.