Why Dress Shoes Don't Drive

A fashion faux pas can be embarrassing, but not dangerous. At least in most cases. But when driving, you should pay close attention to your footwear. The wrong shoes can become jammed behind your brake pedal or gas pedal, causing an accident. According to Flaxman Law Group, “thick-soled shoes can make it very difficult to tell how much pressure you’re applying to brakes, so that you brake suddenly or speed without realizing it, which can lead to an accident,” they say.

The Stats aren’t Pretty

27% of the British feel they are wearing the wrong driving shoes, according to a representative poll in 2012. And a further 5% say they have either already caused an accident because of wrong footwear or were really close to it. Even though a study like this doesn’t exist for the United States, those numbers are a bit worrying. Which shoes are ‘wrong’ for driving and what are the features a shoe must have to be eligible to be worn behind the wheel?

Things to Consider

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your shoes are if you are unfit to drive in them. The sole of a shoe is most important, since a thick sole will take away most of your sensibility to the brakes and clutch. Even if you are driving an automatic: Hitting the brakes too hard or too softly can cause serious accidents. A commonly made mistake is wearing runners when driving. Another factor is the weather. As soon as it starts pouring, your soles are going to be far too slippery to have enough control over the brakes.

Now you may think: Fair enough, I’ll just take my shoes off completely when driving. Even though driving barefoot is not illegal, it is not particularly safe either. Your feet might get slippery due to perspiration or the socks you are wearing don’t produce enough friction.

The Solution: Designated driving shoes

Lucky you, there is a pretty simple solution to this problem. When wearing your fancy, thick-soled shoes out and about, just switch them to an eligible driving pair. By keeping them in your car at all times, they are always easily accessible.  Those few seconds of changing into different footwear is well worth it, especially when it is rainy outside.

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