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Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Florida?

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Let’s say you’re getting ready to live your best life, about to go outside with your friends but you’re the one driving. What are you doing with your heels? Keep in mind driving barefoot is extremely frowned upon. Yes seriously! It is! Today we are talking about how driving comfortably can leave you with an uncomfortable financial situation. Though there isn’t a law that specifically says that it is illegal to drive barefoot but if you get pulled over or get into an accident with your shoes off, you will get a reckless driving ticket. I know, crazy! That is why we are here to tell you the things they won’t teach in driving school.

drive barefoot

Can you be ticketed for driving barefoot?

You hear about texting and driving and drinking and driving but not enough people talk about how driving barefoot could be a danger. Let’s say that you are driving from the beach with your friends, and you are wearing flipflops, you are still at risk of getting a ticket because if the officer pulling you over deems that your driving was impaired by your footwear or that you are impaired without footwear, a ticket will be issued. If you think about it, the flip flops can get caught onto the pedals and keep you from operating the vehicle in a safe manner. And don’t get me started on driving with socks! That’s the worst way to drive, there’s no traction, no kind of support.


Some people want to preserve their shoes, like a sneakerhead taking off their Jordan’s to make sure they don’t crease them, but at the end of the day do you want an accident where any worst possibility can happen or the worst that can happen be a crease in a shoe?

According to Drivesafeonline.org, they explained “They believe that wearing these types of shoes to drive is a safety hazard and that driving barefoot is preferable. When they remove their shoes to drive, they think it improves their grip on the car’s pedals. They feel more in control with less friction between the foot and the pedal. There’s some merit to these theories. Some types of shoes are more dangerous to drive in than driving barefoot. But that doesn’t mean that driving barefoot is safe or advisable. If you wear funky shoes a lot, consider keeping an extra pair of comfortable driving shoes in your car. That way, you can stay in fashion, drive in comfort, and avoid the safety concerns surrounding barefoot driving.”

As there are many excuses as to why you feel it’s necessary to drive barefoot, we advise bringing driving shoes to avoid any unnecessary tickets and complications.


If it's not a traffic law then why does it matter if I drive barefoot or not?

When it comes to traffic laws, people think they are something that they make up because it’s something that “might happen” or “think” will happen. They instill these laws and discouragements after something has been proven to be a danger. Driving in general is dangerous, but it is up to us to mind others as well as ourselves to avoid situations that can put people in harm’s way. Some officers don’t know that it is legal to drive barefoot so they might try to give you a ticket.


Can I drive barefoot while riding a motorcycle in Florida?

Now, many people ask, “What about motorcycles? Do they count?”. If you ride a motorcycle or even ride on the back of one, and the bike were to go sideways, what do you think happens to your feet? It is not safe! We do not advise!


Shoes are a second line of defense for your feet, you can be held responsible for negligence if you’re in an accident as it could be seen as distracted driving. Flip flops don’t make anything better because they have the ability to get caught on the pedal, get stuck under the pedal, slip off the pedal, even get stuck to the pedal.

According to Zebra.com, they emphasize, “Driving barefoot can be safer than driving with flip-flops, high heels, or even shoes with long laces. Flip-flops get their name from their ability to flip up and flop around, and both of these attributes can pose serious problems when trying to drive. They can flip up under pedals, which is a massive hazard for stopping with the brake pedal or accelerating with the gas pedal. Also, they can flop to the side as you try to move your foot from the gas or brake pedals, blocking your foot from its destination. Again, the tangling is a huge problem if you need to put on the brakes, especially if you don’t have much time to stop.”

What about driving in High Heeled shoes?

Flip flops aren’t the only menace to driving, high heels and sandals can prevent you from driving with your best foot forward. Regardless of what you’re wearing on your feet, the way you drive and your behavior while driving play a factor in whether or not a ticket is issued, but luckily driving without your shoes won’t affect your car insurance rates but if an accident happens as a result, your claim could be denied by your insurance company.


So what is the safest option between flip flops, high-heeled shoes, or going barefoot?

If there is a choice between driving in high heels, flip flops, or bare feet, by far the safest option is bare feet. Some drivers find it easier to drive barefoot as it allows them to gain a better 'feel' for the car, in particular the clutch bite point. As a result, driving barefoot helps some from stalling the vehicle, that’s if you drive a manual car. Female drivers are often warned the risks of driving with high heels, here is why it is so dangerous:

  • For safe driving the heel of your foot needs to be on the floor to apply the correct pressure on the pedals.

  • Both accelerator and brake pedals are worked with the heel on the floor.

  • Having the heel of your foot resting on the car floor allows a driver to move from the accelerator to the brake faster and easier and to apply pressure on the pedals.

  • High heels elevate it and distort the ability to measure how much pressure needs to be applied.

  • High heels offer reduced grip from an uncomfortable driving position.

  • High heels also have the added danger of the heel getting caught in the floor mat.

  • Getting stuck under the pedal or on the carpet/ floor mat is a major risk - you may not be able to react swiftly when having to brake or accelerate quickly.

  • The only thing worse than high heels is platform wedges - a double whammy of high heels and thick soles.

  • Ladies who like to wear high heels or platform shoes should rather change into these before going out of the vehicle.

We have discussed many of the risks - but what do we recommend?

Even though some of the sportswear manufacturers offer specific footwear for motorsport professionals, we would like to offer guidance to the everyday driver:

  • Your footwear/ shoes must be comfortable enough for long driving.

  • The most important consideration is to focus on the sole of the shoe.

  • The sole should neither be too thick or too thin.

  • It should not be too soft or too flexible and it should have enough grip on the pedal to avoid slipping.

  • It should be lightweight to enable easy movement - it is important not to hinder ankle movement in working various pedals.

  • Ensure that the sole is not so wide that it might cause you to step on two pedals at the same time.

  • The sole of the shoe should be no thicker than 2.5 cm, but something along the lines of 4mm is even better.

  • The basic trainer shoes & plain flat walking shoes are best suited for driving - The typical leather shoe worn by business people is a good choice for driving.

  • It fits well without being uncomfortable and is bulky enough to offer some foot protection in crashes.

  • In the event of a vehicle breakdown or a flat tire, you might be better off with comfortable shoes than being barefoot or in high heels next to the road.

What other things should I keep in mind while driving in Florida?

In addition to all the advice we gave, there’s more that needs to be taken into account. Be careful in rainy weather, especially after walking on wet ground, which could also cause slippage on the pedal, because the soles of your shoes can not grip, it can put you in an unfortunate situation.


Many people who drive long distances for numerous hours such as truck drivers, traveling entertainers, or any family road trippers often do what they deem is comfortable for them for those hours, but if you have not been in that position, you would not know that your foot can lose sensation after a few hours. That means literally anything can happen because you may be putting too much pressure or not enough pressure on the pedal.


Who should I call if I got into a car accident?

We are here to help and advise you all to make safe choices while on the road, so if you or a loved one has been in an accident contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Demesmin and Dover today. Call 866 -954- MORE (6673) for your free consultation.

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