So you’ve just bought some fancy new footwear from your favourite outlet or shoe shop, and you thought you’d put them on to “bed them in” whilst you drive home or to another destination.
Or, you’ve actually decided that this might not be a great idea because you’ll get possible blisters on your feet and you have second thoughts about this idea and decide about driving home or to your destination with bare feet.
Is this Illegal? Are you breaking the law by driving barefoot in your car?
Well, in this article, I’m going to debunk the myths and tell you the government’s advice on driving a car barefoot so that you can make an informed decision.
Is Driving Without Shoes Illegal?
Regardless of how much you want to “bed in” those new shoes of yours when you get home there’s that chance that you won’t want to make them dirty just yet, and instead decide to drive barefoot until you get home.
The simple answer is: driving barefoot or without shoes isn’t actually illegal here in the UK but that doesn’t make it the right or valid thing to do right?
There’s a reason that you wore shoes on your driving test…
Do you remember that reason?
I guess mostly because of your driving test examiner isn’t going to want to see your feet whilst examining your pedal and feet position, but more importantly…
You needed to be in control of the car whilst taking your test! And this is by far the strongest, valid reason for not driving a car barefoot, you’re simply not in full control of the vehicle even if you think that you are.
You simply aren’t!
What’s The Government’s Guidelines On Driving Barefoot?
Whatever decision you decide to take, considering that it isn’t illegal to drive a car barefoot, there are for sure some government guidelines when you’re driving a car in terms of the type of shoes you can wear and the condition that they’re in.
These simple guidelines are the following:
- Your shoes should have a sole no thicker than 10mm.
- … but the sole shouldn’t be either too thin, or too soft when wearing it.
- Your shoes should provide you with enough grip to prevent your feet slipping off the pedals when you use them.
- The shoes you should wear shouldn’t affect or limit your ankle movement.
- They shouldn’t be too heavy when wearing them.
- Your footwear of choice should be narrow enough to avoid accidental depressing of two or more pedals at once.
And whilst this is just advice given by the government of what you should wear or shouldn’t wear, it should be taken seriously.
If you’re a new or young driver, you should take even more care with the footwear that you decide to wear as you won’t want to be making a car insurance claim early on in your driving career due to the footwear that you wear.
What About Flip Flops When Driving?
My opinion on flip flops when driving is pretty vague, but I don’t agree or disagree with these when you’re driving, as long as they’re secure on your feet, and you take extra care when wearing these then you should be good to go!
Typically during the Spring and Summer months you’ll be more inclined to wear this kind of footwear as it suits the weather more, we all tend to adapt our clothing and footwear to the weather.
But this doesn’t mean we should wear this kind of fancy footwear when driving our car!
We want to be as safe as possible on the roads, and to be a better ans safer driver we need to take the precautions to help us with this!
Driving Barefoot Is Painful Over A Long Distance!
Another reason I’d advise against driving barefoot is quite simple…
It’s a painful experience!
The bare metal of your car’s pedals, the clutch (in a manual), the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are all made out of hard, cold metal, and typically can build up some amount of debris on them!
This can be a hazard if you’re driving over a longer distance, not only to you, but other people. You could develop a foot infection from your car’s pedals should you cut your feet whilst driving.
Not only this, but if something was to go horribly wrong whilst driving barefoot, you would find it a little tricky to be able to resolve the problem without pulling over to a safe spot, by which point it could be too late.
Driving Barefoot Is Just Simply Dangerous
One thing I absolutely can say about driving barefoot, is it is just simply dangerous isn’t it, and ask yourself…
If you’re driving barefoot are you going to be walking around in barefoot wherever you are at your destination?
If you are, then fair enough, but if you’re carrying those new shoes that you just bought, you likely have an older pair of shoes with you that you wore to the shop or clothes outlet initially!
Just keep your older pair of shoes on whilst you’re driving so that you don’t have to drive barefoot!
Shoes You Shouldn’t Drive In
If you’re really going to be driving around in certain types of shoes, I strongly recommend not driving around in any of the following heels as they could put you, or someone else at danger:
- Flats – you really shouldn’t be driving in these kind of shoes as they’re not really secure on your feet.
- High Heels – although they might look great, they don’t give you the foot control needed when you’re trying to operate a car’s controls.
- Flip Flops – as discussed earlier, these types of shoes aren’t recommended, as they can easily fall off of your feet whilst driving.
- Any shoe that means you aren’t in full control of operating your vehicle!
I’m sure there are other types of shoes out there that making driving barefoot dangerous or reduce your control whilst driving.
Driving Barefoot – Our Conclusion
Whilst a simple car topic to cover, it is likely a car topic that has been playing on your mind recently or at some point in the past.
Can you drive barefoot, or is it illegal to drive barefoot in the UK. And I hope that car topics has answered this question for you.
So, to summarise.
Driving barefoot in the UK isn’t illegal, but there are certain criteria and guidelines that you should follow to help keep your driving safe and under control.