Proper shoes for driving are a very important element in safety on the road. It’s well known however, that quite a lot of people drive with thick-soled shoes, high heels or sandals or no shoes at all! Tests conducted in November of the last year by traffic safety institutions in Japan proved the hazards involved when driving with thick-soled and other irregular-shaped shoes.
Wearing shoes not suitable for driving can cause serious accidents on the road. Your brand new pair of shoes might look fantastic but obviously you can’t wear them to drive a car. Remember: even something as simple as changing gears could cause a serious road accident in the wrong type of shoes.
Avoid certain shoes
The sole of the foot can become trapped underneath the pedal whilst raising your foot to change gear. Wearing mules, flip-flops and other shoes without adequate ankle support can lead to the foot slipping off the pedal or missing the pedal altogether. For similar reasons avoid also high heels. These types of footwear can cause accidents as you don’t have enough time to recover the situation. Special scientific research found that flip-flops are the most dangerous item of driving footwear.
What footwear to buy?
Pay attention to the sole. Driving footwear must have a sole thin enough to feel the amount of pedal pressure needed to meet the necessary braking and accelerating. Flip-flops prevent this. You operate the brake and the accelerator by your heel that’s why it is naturally that high-heeled shoes are unsuitable for this, as they elevate the heel and tamper with the pedal operation.
So you should do all your best to find footwear with thin soles, narrow welts (a necessity if your vehicle contains a confined pedal box) and adequate ankle flexibility. Avoid trainers because of their sick and padded sole. Pumps or deck shoes are a safer variant. It is sound also from material point of view, as keeping a pair of suitable driving shoes in the car avoids the chance of ruining dressy footwear.
If shopping for shoes which you plan to wear when driving, forget about thinking how well you can walk in them. Instead, concentrate on how they will feel when you are driving, particularly how your ankles will be positioned in them. The more comfortable your driving shoes are, the less effort you’ll do when driving. This is particularly important for long-distance traveling.
Driving in wet weather
You should be even more careful than usually when driving in wet weather. Slippery soles make it more likely that your foot will miss the pedal or slide off it. To avoid this, dry your shoes thoroughly on the carpet in the foot well before driving.
Tips to choose driving footwear
The Driving Standards Agency issues the following advice: “Wear sensible clothing for driving, especially on a long journey. Suitable shoes are particularly important. We also would not recommend driving barefoot because you don’t have the same braking force with bare foot as you do with shoes.”
Proper driving footwear properties
1. The sole of the shoes should not be no thicker than 10cm;
2. Simultaneously, the sole should not be too thin or too soft;
3. There should be enough grip to prevent the sole from slipping off the pedals;
4. The shoe should not be too heavy;
5. The sole should not limit ankle movement;
6. It should not be wide enough not to accidentally step on two pedals;
7. Gym or walking shoes are quite suitable for driving in.