Why I Love (And Hate) Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoes

3 / 5
This is a city Gommino. The rubber sole makes them better for walking and keeps the sole from wearing out as quickly.

4 / 5
The classic Gommino, on the other hand, just has pebbles on the sole and is better worn more situationally like lounging around or driving.

5 / 5
It is possible to get them repaired, however.

Explaining my complicated relationship with Tod’s iconic loafers

As the owner of two pairs of Tod’s iconic Gommino driving shoes, I can attest to their stylishness. For me, they are the epitome of casual sophistication – they just look great. There’s a reason you perpetually see them included in best loafers roundups. But beyond the superficial, they’re super comfortable as well. What’s not to love?

Well, I’ll tell you, though if you’ve ever owned a pair, you already know that your relationship with the Gommino can be a complicated and frustrating one. Why? Just see below.

are tods loafers worth the money

They wear out. In and of itself, this is not a terrible thing. All shoes wear out, after all. But my Tod’s shoes seem to wear out much more quickly than any other pair I’ve had. And it’s always on the heel, which never looks good.

I’ve done a fair amount of studying up on Tod’s wearing out and it’s worth remembering that not all Tod’s are made for walking. The classic Gommino, which just has the nubs, is not a walking shoe. The City Gommino, on the other hand, has a rubber sole, which makes it much better for bumping around the city.

One of the questions that people routinely ask related to the shoes wearing out is: are they better if used for driving only? I’d say, not necessarily.

are tods loafers worth the money

As I mentioned, one of the reasons I love my Tod’s is that they are so comfortable. Hanging around the house, on a plane (or train), and, yes, when I’m driving. When I had my manual transmission 3 Series, it was nice to be able to really feel the clutch. Yet when driving, the heel is getting a lot of wear. And since that always seems to be the first part of my Tod’s that wears out, I find that there is absolutely no longevity benefit if they’re just worn situationally for driving.

Now, if that situational wearing was just as a stylish slipper substitute around the house or lounging around your resort on vacation, that would probably be a different story.

are tods loafers worth the money

I contacted the Tod’s store on Madison Avenue to see what the options were in terms of getting the shoes repaired. The good news is that they can be repaired. The store recommended an outside shoe repair shop that they always use – repairs aren’t done in-house or by the brand, though if you have an issue soon after buying, they will evaluate whether or not to warranty the shoes – and here’s how it’s dealt with.

If the wear or damage is to the sole, the pebbles will be removed and a rubber sole applied, making your regular Gommino more or less the city version. In the case of the wear or damage being to the heel you have two options: they can wrap the heel in rubber or they can replace the worn leather with another piece. So the choice is to give up a little of the stylishness for more durability in the case of rubber or know that you’ll have to get them fixed again when the new leather wears out. It’s a choice you need to make for yourself.

So, the big question: are Tod’s shoes worth it? Again, this is a question only you can answer for yourself. You need to weigh a few things – the cost, how often you want to wear them and if you’re willing to accept the fact that they’ll wear out and will need to be repaired (or discarded).

Chime in: are Tod’s shoes worth the money?

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Photography by Rob McIver Photo


Chime In

  • kongmw

    I would like to see Tod’s just extend the rubber sole on the City version a bit into the heel make it truly City-proof.

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa

      That would really change the look of them, don’t you think? Though I agree that it would definitely help with how long they last before needing to be repaired.

  • Jeanine Loughlin

    I purchased a pair of Tod’s pink croc effect (with nubs) on line. The description said they were made of leather. Then I received a call saying they couldn’t ship to my state because they were really made of kangaroo. I didn’t get a reasonable response when I asked why that wasn’t posted. Either way I had them shipped to another state and then to my state. They are comfortable and attractive but I don’t wear them often enough to wear them out. Kangaroo?!

    • http://hespokestyle.com/ Brian Sacawa


  • Ryan James Christos Hamilos

    they’re like a Ferrari…long on style

  • http://www.tailorandbarber.com/ Tailor & Barber

    I wore through two pairs of Tod’s drivers in the heel. That’s when I stopped buying them. I like the soles on the Ferragamo drivers better. I think they’re more durable.

  • Zac Cornelius

    I’ve been debating this one myself, as my trusty zegna drivers are starting to show their age. I’ve looked at picking up a pair of the leather Tod’s, but I’m just not convinced it’s worth the asking price given the durability of the shoe. What do you think of the minnektoka drivers? While they aren’t nearly as nice, it’s a much more palatable price for a shoe that will need to be replaced with some frequency.

  • Chris Cox

    I’ve got a tan suede pair of gomminos bought back in the 90’s. worn to the beach, around the house, and driving the manual transmission around. They’re not meant for heavy use, much like Belgians.

  • BTG88

    Get the Ferragamo driving shoes. They are extremely durable and stylish, as are all the other Ferragamos I have owned.

  • Sinyodelapanbelas

    Definitely go with Ferragamo, or if you have a wider foot consider Prada. Both of these are expensive but well constructed and durable.

  • Kevin

    I have wanted a pair of Tods since I first saw them in February . I’m interested in the City Gomminos because I feel that they will hold up better. However after seeing the wear of Brian’s shoes , I might go with a cheaper brand that will not hurt my wallet as much when they wear out. Brian, do you think the heel will wear out if you don’t drive a car that is not stick shift?

  • Tamara

    I had to smile, reading your blogpost about complicated relationships with these loafers. Many people have complicated relationships to their shoes due to large feet. The need for shoes in large sizes is a constant reminder that we are not half as perfect as we want to be. But yeah, shoes should be fit for walking…
    Love, Tamara
    SchuhXL Schuhe in Übergrösse

  • Slyrx

    Can I have the model of the picture ?

  • Charlotte

    Amazing post, I am shoe lover and a driver shoe addict. In my opinion, Tods shoes are a bit expensive, and don’t worth the money. The other day I was searching for driver shoes made in Italy or Spain, and I found a brand called “Boonper” (www.boonper.com), specialized only in this type of shoes. I email them and asked the about their product. The attention that I received was amazing, so I finally bought two pairs. They don’t have a lot of colors, 5 for women and 5 for men, but all of them are stylish.I even asked them for more winter colors and they told me that they were going to launch a new winter collection. It is the best loafer that I´ve ever worn, good quality and price (80€ aprox. 100$).

    • Peter

      Just tried this spanish Boonper shoes… they are just my new favourites!

  • WillemHTS


    Nice post! I am a regular Tod’s wearer myself as well ;). I do think they are pretty pricey though and I can’t settle with just one colour. So I started looking for alternatives. I found one which I thought was worth sharing. I came across a brand called ‘Aurélien’ (https://www.aurelien-online.com/men/driving-shoes). I purchased a pair of suede driving shoes from them a couple of weeks ago for 135 euros and I am very happy. The quality is exactly the same as Tod’s. I couldn’t find any differences. They also have a lot of colours. For those looking for a more affordable alternative or who simply want more colours than they can afford haha, it is definitely worth checking!

  • Craig


    Which repair shop did Tod’s recommend? I have a 3 pair that need soles and I’m guessing the shop is nearby (UES).

  • Nzugu Hoffman

    It should probably be noted that Gommini are fairly hard out of the box and rather narrow, people with wider feet may wanna go half a size up. Also, walking on studs takes some getting used to and you will feel the studs more than on cheaper moccasins. They do break in nicely but it takes some walking. They are the best looking moccasins around, though, Tod’s dark brown suede is unparalleled.