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Driving tips and other life stuff

Driving shoes: a real thing

There is no law saying you must wear sensible, Velcro-fastened, flat soled granny shoes to drive. But if your footwear affects your ability to use the pedals, you could be done for driving without due care and attention.

And that can mean anything from 3 points on your licence to disqualification, as well as a fine up to £2,500.

Shoes to avoid now and forever

  1. Loose shoes

    Driving in loose shoes, and particularly flip flops is a very silly idea. Flip flops slip off. They slither under the pedals. They get caught between your feet and stop you braking in time to avoid a crash.

    Don't drive in flip flops.

  2. High heeled shoes

    High heels are likely to make you use the pedal with just the ball of your foot, which may not give you enough force to brake properly. If you're a lover of stilettos, that thin heel could also get caught in the floor mat.

  3. Wet shoes

    If it's wet out, wipe your feet on the floor mat before driving so your shoes don't slip on the pedals.

  4. Unlaced shoes

    If you're wearing shoes with laces, make sure they're tied up properly and maybe even tuck the laces in. Ever looked at your tangled headphones and wondered how on earth they got like that? Weird stuff happens.

  5. Clumpy shoes

    Big boots like Dr Martens or wellies can accidentally cover the brake and accelerator at once, so maybe not best for driving.

  6. Flappy shoes

    There was a crash last year where a woman was charged with dangerous driving because a button on one of her Uggs got caught on a pedal. Maybe don't wear shoes with excess flappiness?!

  7. No shoes

    I mean, sure you can feel the pedals better. But 1: if you don't spend literally all your time barefoot, your feet are delicate and so will instinctively react to, say, stubbing a toe on a pedal. 2: You feet don't have good grip and can slide off the pedals.

    And what if you crashed? Out you jump, straight into broken glass. Owww.

If you're still learning

For driving lessons, it's best to start out wearing fairly thin soled shoes so you can feel exactly how much pressure you're putting on the pedals. And trust me, if you come out of the house in 6-inch platforms, your driving instructor will set you send you right back in.

As I got more confident with my lessons, I started introducing more suspect shoe choices, like army boots and creepers. I always told my driving instructor I was testing new shoes, which he found hilarious - but I'm certainly not going to be wearing trainers every day for the rest of my life. Shudder.

It's all common sense, really

If you wouldn't wear high heels to the gym, or wellies to go out dancing, why would you wear them when they could cause a terrible crash?

You can always keep a nice pair of sensible, Velcro-fastened, flat soled granny shoes in the car just for driving...

Some guidelines for driving shoes:

  • Fairly thin soled so you can feel the pedals
  • Properly fitted so they can't slip off
  • Slim enough that they don't cover two pedals
  • Grippy, so your feet don't slide on the pedals
  • Fabulous of course - we're safety-conscious, not 70

And a good rule for driving generally: if you wouldn't want a police officer to see what you're doing, don't do it. In this day and age, technology is everywhere and it's just not worth the risk.

 

A lot of people believe the myth that driving barefoot is actually illegal.
Check out more driving myths.


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Honor joined ingenie in 2014 and is in charge of words on the Young Driver's Guide and blog. Her first car is a Peugeot 206 cabriolet, which is a very sensible choice for the British climate. Follow her on .