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Is it Illegal to Drive Without Shoes?

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Can you drive barefoot? Or just in your socks? Yes is the answer; despite many people claiming that it’s illegal, the law begs to differ – barefoot driving won’t get you in trouble, as long as you can operate the vehicle safely.

‘As long as you can operate the vehicle safely’ is the key part of that sentence, though – and we’d suggest it’s best to avoid going barefoot behind the wheel.

The main issue with driving shoeless is that you can’t apply the same force to the brake pedal as you can with shoes on; in an emergency situation, you’ll need to stamp hard on the middle pedal and that’s not so easy when all the force is going directly into your foot. Shoes help spread that load, giving you significantly more pushing power.


What Shoes To Wear While Driving

So, if you shouldn’t go barefoot, what shoes should you wear when driving? Mostly, this comes down to whatever feels comfortable, but as a general rule of thumb:

  • Avoid anything with a really thick sole, as you’ll have no pedal feel…
  • …or anything with a really thin sole, as you’ll have the same issue as you would if you were barefoot.
  • Stick to fairly light shoes that are easy to manoeuvre between the pedals.
  • Try and avoid anything too bulky or wide – you don’t want to get your shoes stuck between the pedals or press two at once.
  • Pick something with decent grip; if your shoes are wet, they’re likely to slip on the pedals, so try and choose some with grippy soles.

Yes, you can technically operate a vehicle in stilettos or snow boots, but it’s probably best that you don’t!


It’s Up To You

In short, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your footwear is sensible and allows you to operate your vehicle safely; a failure to do so could land you in trouble with the law or, worse, result in an accident.

Looking for a driving school in Peterborough? At GoGoGo, we offer intensive five-day training courses to get you out on the road in no time. Find out more about what we offer today. Just remember: don’t turn up for a lesson barefoot!

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