Steen Aero is happy to bring you the news: Piloti Shoes are back!
After a period of unavailability (during which people were clamoring for their beloved Pilotis!) the brand has been re-launched under new ownership. We still have some of the older styles in stock.
Most pilots expect the highest level of performance out of their aircraft, as well as the equipment that they take with them. However, an aircraft can only perform as well as the pilot flying it... so doesn't it make sense to equip yourself with the best equipment possible for the job?
Piloti shoes were developed to meet the unique needs of competitive race car drivers -- who are constantly trusting not only their success on the track, but their very lives, to their total ability to perform at the highest possible level. As you may know, driving a race car isn't just a matter of stepping on the gas... drivers must often have a very fine touch on the pedals, balancing the clutch, throttle and brakes in just the right way to win the race... or to avoid disaster. In addition, the severe vibrations of a race car require that the driver's footwear is also properly cushioned to prevent undue fatigue or even injury. Competitive racers have learned that just as having the right gloves and helmet contributes to their ability to perform, the right shoes are necessary as well.
It is a natural extension to go from the demands of the racetrack to the needs of aerobatic or other high-performance flying. Pilots need to have a fine touch on the rudder pedals, the ability to hit the toe or heel brakes smoothly, and need to be able to do this in comfort while under physical stress. Since pilots often land somewhere away from where they took off, it also follows that the ideal flying shoes should also be good for walking around once you get to your destination.
Piloti shoes meet all these requirements, and more!
Key Features of Piloti Shoes:
From the beginning, Piloti shoes were designed for people who want only the best in high-performance footwear. These are people who want a high-performance shoe for fancy footwork on pedals. But what makes Piloti really special is the unique blend of styling and comfort for everyday use on the street as well as in the cockpit.
Here is a short list of what makes Piloti shoes so special:
- Roll ControlTM Heel:
Piloti's patented Roll ControlTM spherical heel provides unique cushioning behind the heel bone while in the cockpit, extending the cushioning up the heel and onto the sides of the shoe, especially at the forefoot to cushion the contact with the sides of the footwell. Why is this important? Well, in one NASCAR race in California, the fourth-place finisher had to seek medical attention because he forgot to put his heel liners in his racing shoes, causing his heels to blister from the vibration and movement during the race. If he had worn Piloti Driving Shoes, he would have been a much happier man. When flying, discomfort is a safety issue... no pilot needs any extra distractions in the cockpit, especially when flying a high-performance aircraft requiring precise rudder or brake inputs.
Even better, once you're outside the plane the special heel design supports your natural stride with a rubber heel wrap for durability and grip. No matter how fast you fly, drive, or walk, your feet will perform beautifully when you're wearing Piloti!
Athletic construction offers you good cushioning under the foot; unlike other racing shoes or driving moccasins that have little or no cushioning. Piloti shoes are designed to fully support the midfoot, heel, and medial and lateral sides of each foot (in other words, the whole foot!) The unique "Toe Spring" aids in all-day comfort in and out of the aircraft, so you won't have extra fatigue on the flight back home.
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- Driving Reinforcements:
Many pilots are also "serious" automobile drivers. Piloti shoes feature a reinforced lateral side of the right shoe for easy heel-to-toe downshifting while driving. Plus, the reinforced upper and outsole rubber wraps up the side of the midsole to help with manipulating the pedals.
- Superb Quality:
Piloti shoes are constructed with only the highest-quality suedes and leathers with pigskin and tongue facings. This ensures that they're not only functional, but are durable and attractive as well. You wouldn't buy a poorly-made aircraft or automobile, so why would you buy poorly-made shoes that you're going to wear around every day?
- Great Styling:
Nobody wants to wear ugly clothing or personal equipment, yet everyone has different tastes. Piloti shoes feature a variety of attractive styles. The one common thread is that every single Piloti shoe shares the same great features that make them uniquely suited for high-performance usage.
Piloti footwear comes in men's sizes 7 to 13 and fits your feet just like most major athletic footwear brands. Piloti runs true to most American athletic shoe sizes. The exceptions are Nike and Asics (Nike size 10.5 is equivalent to Piloti size 11, for example). Use this chart to determine what size to order.
Frequently Asked Questions about Piloti Footwear:
- Are Pilotis sized differently than other shoes?
No. Piloti footwear comes in men's sizes 7 to 13 and fits your feet just like most major athletic footwear brands. Piloti runs true to most athletic shoe sizes, except Nike and Asics, which tend to run a bit smaller (Piloti 11 = Nike 10.5).
- Are there sizes for women?
Obviously women's shoes are smaller than men's shoes. You just convert a men's shoe size to women's shoe size by shifting 1.5 sizes down. For example, a women's size 8.5 equals a men's size 7.
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- What about shoe width?
All Piloti footwear is manufactured in "D" width and fit most narrow and wide foot types from "B" to up to an "EE" width.
- How do I keep my Pilotis clean?
Piloti recommends regularly using a suede block and brush, available at any drugstore, to keep the suede looking fresh. Upon receiving your new shoes, you might want to spray them with "Boot Protector" available at stores like Foot Locker. Piloti has found that this product is highly effective for protecting suede from dirt and moisture, without altering the color.