Great Moments in Heel & Toe History

We named our company after it, so we might as well talk about what it means to heel and toe downshift.

Essentially, heel and toe is a technique for driving a manual-transmission car wherein the driver manipulates all three pedals - the throttle, brake and clutch - simultaneously. Done correctly, a driver will be able to smoothly shift into a lower gear while braking, allowing him or her to brake later and harder than would otherwise possible, and be ready to accelerate immediately after the braking is done.

We'll kick this series off with the low hanging fruit, and let the master himself demonstrate how it's done.

This video has become internet-famous over the years, and is pretty much required viewing for any fan of road racing. In it, Formula One legend Ayrton Senna takes us for a ride around Japan's Suzuka circuit in a Honda (nee Acura) NSX-R. A car which Senna helped develop.

You might watch this and be struck at Senna's casual attitude as he flies into 130R - one of the F1's most daunting corners - with the speedometer pegged at its maximum reading. You might relish in the song from the Honda's 3.0-liter V6 VTEC engine. For us though, it's all about those loafers.

Nobody rocked the brown loafer/white sock combo quite like Ayrton did. Clearly a role model for us all.


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