Home » How Do You Feel About Driving Barefoot?

How Do You Feel About Driving Barefoot?

Aa Feet

Human feet always sort of confused me. You’d think that, evolutionarily, we’d have adapted to have feet with bony plates or something on their soles, instead of the relatively tender skin we do have. Bare feet seem too delicate for the sort of demands we make of them! Plus, mine always seem to be cold. I suppose that the relative tenderness of human foot soles drove us to develop shoes, and from there more advanced leatherwork and lacing and pumps and innersoles and all that, and from there it’s a short leap to Crocs, then canoes and cars and spacecraft. So, with images of bare feet now in your mind, I’d like to ask you: How do you feel about driving with bare feet?

Interestingly, lots of people seem to think that driving barefoot is illegal. It’s not. There are no laws in any state in America that says driving barefoot is illegal. That doesn’t mean it’s always a great idea, but I generally find the reasons given why barefoot driving is dangerous to be pretty lame; they tend to note that your feet could slip off the pedals, or the pedals may be hot, or that the amount of braking pressure needed will be greater for bare feet.

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The problem with all these reasons is that they all seem to be pretty easy to debunk, or at least mitigate. I think there are some shoes that are as likely to slip off a pedal, I’ve yet to encounter blazing hot pedals (they’re always in the shade!), and I think the braking pressure is the same, it’s just perhaps more focused on the ball of your foot instead of being distributed over the whole sole.

I think there are some kinds of shoes – big wooden clogs or stiff leather dress shoes with slippery soles, or flip-flops, for example – that are actually worse for control in a car than bare feet. I don’t drive barefoot often, but I have, sometimes, on summer days where my shoes were soaking wet or something, and there’s an undeniable pleasant sensation about it, I think.

I like the feel of the textures of the rubber pedal cover on my foot, and I think you can get a lot more sensitive in your throttle control barefoot. Sometimes barefoot driving can give you a stronger connection with the car, as you can feel the engine vibrations through the clutch, for example, or tell if your brake rotors are worn on the brake. I’m sure in a wreck it could be worse, and the potential for injury or toe-stubbings is greater, but I don’t know if I buy the idea that barefoot driving actually impairs anything.


What do you think? Is barefoot driving just something for foot fetishists like Quentin Tarantino or is it just something we can all enjoy, happily and safely? Or is it a dangerous, disgusting perversion? You should all discuss and argue about it in the comments, right?



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Penguin Pete
Penguin Pete
2 months ago

In Brazil driving barefoot is indeed specifically illegal. As is driving in high heels. And driving without a shirt.

If you’re prepared to not have matching footwear you can break all three laws at the same time.

The chance of encountering a Brazilian traffic cop who’s not looking at his phone is near zero, and if he has a flat battery the chance he would care about any of the above is absolutely minimal.

2 months ago

If I’m out in flip flops, I’ll take them off and drive barefoot. It definitely feels different losing 10mm or more of foam and rubber between your toes and the pedal, and having the pedal pressure on just a couple toes instead of spread out by the sole, but It’s not a bad thing, and it’s way better than keeping those loose sandals on.

Argentine Utop
Argentine Utop
2 months ago

First off: Crocs are NOT the result of human evolution, they are the manifestation of evil from an intergalactic hell.
Second: France.
Third: Driving barefoot is simply fantastic. You retain all the control and gain a hitherto unexpected sensitivity towards the pedals. The only downside is that it is quite implausible to do it in cold weather, and that loose footwear is not exactly safe when roaming in the footwell.

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