Soleful Summer: The Best & Worst Shoes For Driving

June 30, 2015

When it comes to shoes, women tend to choose the pair that goes best with their outfit and not necessarily the one that is most practical. This is especially true for driving. Although there are presently no laws in Canada restricting the wearing of specific footwear—or any footwear for that matter—while driving, if your footwear or lack thereof is found to have played a role in an accident then you could be charged with careless driving.

Footwear is especially a concern in the summer months when boots are traded in for strappy sandals and shoes with flimsy foundations. Numerous studies have shown that women don’t always wear appropriate footwear when driving—some report not wearing footwear at all.

In fact, one such study reported that as much as 80 per cent of women wear unsuitable shoes with one third admitting to wearing flip flops. Another study found that flip flops are the most dangerous shoe to drive in by far, contributing to 1.4 million near misses or accidents each year.

The 5 Most Dangerous Shoes to Drive In

According to a recent report, these are the most dangerous shoes to drive in:

  1. Flip Flops – These shoes slip off the pedals and decrease driver deceleration time by 0.13 seconds, approximately 5.6 km at 96 kmph
  2. Bare feet – Feet can slip off the pedals and cramp up
  3. Heels – Stilettoes have sharp pointy heels that can get caught in the floor mat and force your feet into awkward, unsafe angles. Wedges on the other hand have thick soles that restrict movement and feeling, and risk getting jammed
  4. Flats – These shoes are not secure enough and could slip off as you drive
  5. Sandals – This flimsy footwear runs the same risk as flats while also increasing your chances of injuring or scratching your feet

Give Your Driving A Little Sole

When choosing a pair of shoes for driving, you’re going to want to look for a few things. The Canada Safety Council recommends a sole that:

  • is neither too thin or too soft, and no thicker than 2.5 cm
  • has enough grip to prevent it from slipping off the pedals (on rainy days, wipe the sole off before hitting the gas)
  • is not heavy or cumbersome
  • does not limit ankle movement (this includes boots)

If The Shoe Fits

Running shoes that aren’t too thick are always a good option. Your best bet is to leave a good pair of driving shoes in the car so you have them handy at all times.

This summer, practice safe driving. Avoid risking a careless driving charge and an insurance premium increase by swapping those summer sandals out for secure sneakers. Your feet—and your driving record—will thank you.