Driving involves the constant use of pedals, which can take its toll on your feet and ankles.

By wearing the right shoes, you can not only ensure that your feet feel relaxed, but also be sure that you have better control of the car with accurate clutch control, braking and acceleration.

Nthabiseng Moloi, head of marketing at MiWay insurance, said: “Ladies, forget about the high heels; they look great in social settings, but they’re probably the worst possible choice for driving.”

How do you know which shoes are appropriate for driving?

The sole of the shoe is very important in determining what type of footwear to use. The sole shouldn’t be too thick, and should have enough grip on the pedal to avoid slipping.

With thick soles, your feet can’t feel the pedals properly, so you can’t accurately judge how much pressure to apply, which will make your braking and accelerating more abrupt and jerky.

Also avoid wide soles, as you run the risk of pressing two pedals at the same time. The important thing is that your shoes should allow you to feel the pedals and gauge how much pressure to apply.

Driving in high heels and platform shoes

Female drivers are warned about the risks of driving with high heels, which go well beyond the possibility of damaging the precious shoes and can include causing an accident.

These are the reasons why you should think twice before driving in heels:

The heel of your foot needs to be on the floor to achieve the correct pedal action: high heels elevate it and distort the ability to measure how much pressure needs to be applied.

High heels result in a reduced grip on the pedals from an awkward driving position.

The heel can get caught in the floor mat or stuck under the pedal.

Platform wedges are more dangerous than heels – they deliver a double whammy of high heels and thick soles.

If you do wear heels and drive, it’s a good idea to keep a spare pair of ‘sensible shoes’ in the car. Just kick off the fancy footwear and slip on your tekkies for the trip.

Driving Barefoot

How about ditching the shoes altogether? Although it’s not illegal to drive barefoot, there are also risks associated with barefoot driving. They include:

Repeated use of the clutch can cause cramp or spasms in the foot, reducing control of the vehicle.

Bare feet may become slippery from perspiration.

Nylon socks or tights can reduce grip between feet and pedals.

Driving in flip-flops

Flip-flops are also not ideal. Risk factors associated with this footwear choice include:

Inadequate ankle support, which could result in a foot slipping off the pedal or missing the pedal altogether.

They come off easily and can get jammed or trapped under a pedal

They make it difficult for drivers to apply full braking, releasing the clutch brake or accelerator.

While South African law doesn’t have any restrictions on footwear for driving, it is in your best interests to minimise any hazards that could compromise your car control.

That means sensible shoes, however unglamorous, are your best bet behind the wheel.

Article credit: http://www.iol.co.za/motoring/driving-your-fancy-footwear-could-be-fatal-1990469