This is my experience with them. I'm sure they are fine if you use them only for driving, but if you wear them as loafers, as many tend to, they are bloody awful. Uncomfortable and not durable. I sold mine at a great loss after a few wears.
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I had a pair of Borns that were dirt cheap, comfortable, looked decent and held up well (wore them while I was tromping around Cairo for a summer). Just checked out their site, they were kind of like these (http://www.bornshoes.com/Product.aspx?ProductID=8190) without the lacing.
If someone can tell me that Stirling Moss or the late Jim Clark liked them, I shall consider revising my prejudices.
Slightly later than your stated vintage Geezer, but if you ever get to see the excellent Frankenheimer film 'Grand Prix' you will see that Jim Rockford et al seem to be wearing leather lace up over the ankle boots to race in, (along with their open face helmets and cotton overalls!)