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What Shoes Not to Wear When Driving

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Since our feet play an important part in the task of driving—operating the actual stop and go controls of the vehicle–it’s surprising how little thought goes into people’s decisions on driving footwear.

Now, thankfully, most drivers understand that flip-flops and high heels are not the ideal shoe choices for driving. (Same could be said for walking).

“Drivers should wear safe footwear that does not have an open heel such as flip-flops or sandals because these types of shoes can slip off and wedge under accelerator or brake pedals. High-heeled shoes can also be problematic because heels can get caught in or under floor mats and delay accelerating or braking when needed,” stated the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

The agency also discourages people from driving in bare feet, stockings, or socks because it’s very easy for feet to slip off the pedals.

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So, flip-flops, sandals, bare and stocking feet are out, but what about our trusty and oh-so-comfy sneakers or athletic shoes? These surely have to be made for driving, right?

Not so much, according to writer, Aaron Miller.

He says running shoes are detrimental to a driver’s control and accuracy while driving. Since athletic shoes sport thick, cushiony soles, they diminish a driver’s ability to feel the pedals hence hampering control.

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Miller cites government projections that “the average driver will hit the wrong pedal between 11 and 20 times a year”—this estimate includes hitting the wrong pedal as well as times when the foot grazes or hits both pedals at the same time. As such, Miller stands to reason that the wide width typically found in athletic shoes is potentially a major contributor to this statistic and may even cause this number to go higher.

So, it’s a better idea to use those sneakers for more athletic activities and when driving choose a thin-soled shoe or a pair of “drivers,” according to Miller.

“When you step on something like a pencil, you should be able to clearly feel where it presses into your foot. In the car, you won’t just feel the pedals, you’ll feel exactly what part of your foot is on what part of the pedal, and you’ll have way more control when you’re accelerating, braking, and most importantly, when you’re transitioning from one to the other,” said Miller.

News Source: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles,