Choose your Shoes!

7 Aug 2017

There are no laws in the UK that dictate what footwear you can drive in. Technically you can wear high heels, flip flops, wellington boots or even bare feet. However, there are penalties if you are not in full control of a vehicle, and it’s entirely possible that inappropriate footwear can cause this. Insurance companies may contest a claim if this is deemed to contribute to an incident. Legalities aside, you are still responsible for driving your vehicle in a safe and controlled manner.

High heels can get caught in the floor mat as you brake, or even prevent the brake being pressed altogether. They also limit the flex of your ankle and slow down your reaction time.

Flip flops or loose sandals can easily slip off and get caught under or around the pedals.

Driving in bare feet will reduce your braking force and make performing an emergency stop painful. Without a shoe to spread the pressure, the smaller clutch pedal will feel uncomfortable and harder to depress. Stockinged or potentially sweaty feet won’t provide sufficient traction with the surface of the pedal and may well slip off the pedal itself, which could in turn lead to a collision occurring.

Shoes with very thick or broad soles such as wellies, walking boots, platforms, wedges or ski boots may make you press both the brake and clutch at the same time, and will reduce your ability to feel the pedals properly.

The ideal shoes to drive in are flat or low heeled and well secured, such as plimsolls, trainers or dress shoes. Something with a good tread or rubber sole will provide better traction on the pedals, and a medium thickness that spreads pressure but still allows the driver to feel the pedal.

It’s worth keeping a spare pair of good driving shoes that meet requirements listed above in the boot of your vehicle, just in case.

 

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