As much as I consider myself a travel-outfit and packing expert after years of trial and error, until recently, I’d never quite nailed the shoes aspect of the equation. I’d be comfortable all over, with a carry-on suitcase full of perfectly rolled up tops, pants, skirts, and dresses and an outfit I could wear comfortably for hours on end, and yet, my shoe game consistently felt off. Either I’d pack too many pairs or not enough, with most of the styles I prioritized ending up entirely impractical for the trip’s slated activities.
I never really put too much thought into this gap in my skill set until recently, when I found out that I’d be traveling 20+ hours in the span of one weekend, all by train, and only with one duffle-type carry-on. Knowing that my lack of travel prowess in the shoe department would only lead to pain and regret over the course of my trip, I set out to find a pair that would be comfortable, versatile, and chic for every occasion, including walking and standing around a miles-long race track given that my trip was dedicated to Canada’s Formula 1 race. And since F1 drivers travel the world more than almost anyone—with 23 races on the 2023 calendar in locations that also include Azerbaijan, Japan, Brazil, and Australia—I figured who better to ask for tips than them?
Specifically, I sought out Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, teammates on the Scuderia Alpha Tauri F1 team that I traveled to the Emilia Romagna region of Italy with for the Imola Grand Prix last month. The Italian team, which is owned by Red Bull Racing’s performance clothing brand Alpha Tauri, happens to have a recurring collaboration with P448, the popular sneaker brand that has a factory just roughly 15 minutes away from the team’s. “It’s so nice,” says P448’s founder and CEO Wayne Kulkin. “Maybe there will be a sample ready and I can just drive it over.” The partnership—which began in 2022 and just saw a second collection launch earlier this month—means that Alpha Tauri’s drivers Tsunoda and De Vries wear their P448 sneakers to every single race, traveling in them on continent-crossing flights dozens of times per year. If the brand’s sneakers can pass their test, surely they’ll pass mine.