Is it ok to drive on bare feet?
A part from hands, feet are the only other part of your body used to control the car per se. It is for this reason that most racing shoes are crammed with more technology than most normal cars. The right shoe gives racing drivers the perfect amount of feel and control, whereas the wrong one will result in under braking or over revving. Unfortunately, proper racing shoes are very expensive and are as stylish as a pair of surgical gloves, and won’t go with anything in your wardrobe. So, what are the best normal shoes to drive in?
Lightweight and advanced materials, superbly engineered structures and sticky soles make your average pair of sneakers a perfect partner for footwork behind the wheel. They give good feel on the pedal and are designed for proper ventilation, which comes in handy when your feet are inches away from a hot engine. However, just make sure the sneakers are original, as knock offs give your feet as much pedal feel as a pair of gumboots.
Probably the coolest of casual shoes featuring classic basketball soles that stick to the pedals and a flexible canvass construction. They are easy to walk in and wonderful to drive in. An original pair will cost a pretty penny, but they will last you for a while, and the feel will be worth the smiles. If you don’t mind looking like an overgrown schoolchild, rubber shoes from Bata or the likes are also just as good and for much less.
Initially, well-made loafers with rubber soles were the original driving shoes made for rich playboys, for driving their Italian sports cars.
Their light and glove like fit give immense pedal feel and have been used by the likes of Ayrton Senna to set hot laps. Best worn without socks, they double up as fashionable footwear. A pair of matching driving gloves completes the look.
You should note, however, the absolute worst shoes to drive with are thick heavy soled boots for men or stilettos for women. If you do have to wear such, leave a pair of sneakers in your car for the driving bit and leave the rest for walking.
Some people get better pedal feel barefoot, but in an accident situation, a case of reckless driving may be argued on that account. Technically, it’s not illegal and it may be argued that driving barefoot is better than doing so in the wrong shoe.
Nonetheless, it would be best to get a pair of really nice driving shoes.