Is It Illegal to Wear High Heels While Driving?

Driving is a relaxing activity for many people. Although it’s not illegal to kick your shoes off and relax while you drive, you won’t have any extra protection on your feet in case of an accident. However, some shoes are safer to wear behind the wheel than others.

High heels look glamorous once you exit the vehicle and can also create the illusion that you’re a taller driver. Still, given their unpractical design, can you drive in high heels? Here’s what CarsGuide has to say.

A person getting in to a car wearing a pair of black high heels.
Getting into a car with high heels | Getty Images

It’s not illegal to drive in heels

While it’s not against U.S. or Australian law to operate pedals in heels, they’re far from the safest footwear. Wheels24 agrees, noting that heels offer less grip due to the awkward positioning of your feet. The heel could also become lodged under the floormat, hindering your ability to pivot quickly between the pedals. 

What are the best shoes to wear while driving?

Geico says that a pair of sneakers or running shoes are the safest shoes to wear behind the wheel. Without the long heel, you can easily switch between each pedal at a moment’s notice. These shoes are also often more comfortable than a set of heels, eliminating fatigue that can distract drivers.

Geico also recommends wearing driving shoes. Frequently worn by racecar drivers, the soles give you a better grip on the pedals and come with a built-in pivot point. They wrap snugly around your feet without the risk of falling off. They’re also fireproof, which can be extra valuable in severe accidents.

The worst clothes to wear while driving

Some say the only worse shoes to wear behind the wheel are wedge shoes. The wedge messes with your perception of how hard you’re pressing on the pedals. This lack of awareness could cause an accident, either due to misjudged input or the wedge getting stuck under a pedal.

Although flip-flops and sandals are much more comfortable than heels, they can also get caught under the pedals. Wet flip-flops can slide around too much on your feet, reducing your traction on the pedals. Crocs are a little better thanks to the backstrap but not as safe as a fully enclosed shoe.

Any shoes meant for indoor use, like slippers or regular moccasins, shouldn’t be worn while driving. The soft soles won’t be able to grip the pedals like traditional footwear. Brand-new shoes can also have slippery soles, not to mention they have a distracting tightness until broken in.

While the heel is not as obstructive, you might want to reconsider wearing boots behind the wheel. With big work boots, it’s hard to judge the accuracy of your pedal inputs. This is especially true for cowboy boots with a higher heel.

Baggy jeans and long dresses can also get stuck under the pedals while driving. Any pants or garments with stray threads can also get tangled on paddle shifters or foot pedals, restricting your movements. Even during the chilliest weather, make sure your hems and sleeves are rolled up to your ankles and wrists, respectively.

A good rule of thumb is to wear clothes that are both comfortable and well-fitting behind the wheel. If you must wear high heels for an outing, keep a pair of sneakers to wear on the commute. Your feet will thank you.

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