Are the shoes you wear suitable for driving?

During the safe operation of a vehicle, drivers tend to overlook what is on their feet. And when the seasons shift from snowy to sunny, many drivers find themselves swapping footwear that is suitable at work or school for other seasonally appropriate options, each of which can pose a unique hazard when driving.

While neither state nor federal laws specifically prohibit driving a car barefoot, there is a concern about how safely a driver can operate a vehicle without shoes or with the “wrong” shoes. Ultimately, good driving is about control, and certain types of shoes can inhibit or distract from that connection to the vehicle. With that in mind, here are some things to remember when selecting shoes for driving.

Shoes NOT to Wear:

  • Winter and hiking boots: Half of communication between the motorist and the vehicle is through the pedals. This is important because heavy boots can restrict the ankle and interfere with the ability to control the vehicle. When a driver cannot tell which pedals are being pressed and by how much, they may actually press the wrong pedal.
  • Heels: High heels often force your foot into an uncomfortable position that prevents you from planting your foot flat on the floor. This is important because when your foot is flat, you can easily move it between the gas and brake.
  • Men’s dress shoes: Dress shoes often have slick soles that can cause your foot to slip off the accelerator or brake pedal. This can be remedied by scuffing or adding some type of extra grip to the soles.
  • Sandals and flip-flops: Both kinds of sandals can pose a danger to the safe operation of your vehicle. Sandals and flip-flops can slip, become snagged under the pedal, cause unexpected swerves and restrict your overall control. 

Four ways to decide if your footwear is suitable for driving:

  1. The shoe’s soles should not be thicker than one inch or be too thin or too soft.
  2. The shoes should have enough grip to prevent the sole from slipping off the pedals.
  3. The shoe should not be too heavy.
  4. The shoe should not limit ankle movement.

If you wear any of the shoes styles above that pose a risk to driving, a simple solution may be to keep a suitable pair of shoes, like sneakers, in your vehicle to switch into while driving.

We hope these tips help you make the safest possible decisions any time you choose to get behind the wheel. Just know that if you are ever injured in an accident due to the negligence of another, the experienced automobile attorneys at Hupy and Abraham are here to help. To speak with an attorney, call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at
Jill Erin Wellskopf
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Director of Marketing, Hupy and Abraham