Yes, you can drive in Crocs in the UK. There is no law against driving with sandals, flip-flops, and slides which is what many Crocs are. It is simply a matter of preference for some to drive in sandals or flip-flops like Crocs.
On this matter, the Driving Standards Agency says they do not recommend driving barefoot, because you don’t have the same braking force with barefoot as you do with shoes on. So as long as your feet are covered you are good to go and you aren’t breaking any law.
Why driving shoes are important in the UK
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Driving shoes are important in the UK for safety reasons. As the Driving Standard Agency indicates, driving with shoes helps you make errors while stepping on the pedals down there. It is difficult to differentiate barefoot between the brake pedal and the accelerator.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 16,000 crashes happen each year due to driver pedal error. Simply stepping into your car to drive without proper shoes on or barefoot can have dire consequences for you, your passengers, and other road users.
Unlike barefoot, driving shoes allow you to distribute force across the surface of the pedals evenly. Driving shoes allow for more impartial judgment in the footwell where the pedals are located.
Even though no strict laws make it illegal to drive with Crocs it is important to understand what kind of shoes are proper for driving in order not to endanger yourself and others on the road.
Qualities of proper driving shoes in the UK
There’s a lot of confusion about what constitutes a good driving shoe in the UK. It is impossible for authorities to make hard and fast rules, specifying shoes for everyone. It would be going overboard to control people’s wardrobes. The following qualities will help you determine which shoes to drive with:
Shoes with flat soles
Go for shoes that feel comfortable on your feet and fit securely. Tennis and running shoes happen to fall in this category.
The flatness of the soles makes them ideal for distributing and applying even pressure on pedals. Such shoes also make pivoting on your heel easy because they are not bulky.
Rubber sole shoes
Pedals in the footwell usually has a thin rubber covering on the surface, this makes contact with rubber-soled shoes resulting in the best control.
The rubber allows for grip, allowing you to move your foot easily from the brake pedal to the accelerator.
Strapped shoes or sandals
Many drivers love to be as loose around their feet when driving as possible. Some love to wear sandals – like Crocs.
If you must drive with Crocs or any such sandals whatsoever, make sure the sandals have a strap that secures the shoe around the back of your feet. This also allows for a secure operation in the footwell.
Not too heavy
Driving shoes should be lightweight shoes. Heavy shoes like boots can be difficult to flip easily from one pedal to the other. Or they can be too bulky to pivot as they may fill up too much space in the footwell.
Heavy shoes slow your reflexes and can result in accidents when you are unable to step on your brakes promptly.
Shoes that don’t limit ankle movement
Certain shoes like boots can limit ankle movement because they are usually tight around the ankles and above. Some high-top canvas shoes and sneakers also fall in this category.
The lace-up closure of such shoes can be too tight for you to make a minute ankle wiggling between pedals.
The shoes should be narrow because shoes with wide width can cause you to step on two pedals at the same time.
Frequently Asked Questions on driving in the UK
Is driving in heels illegal in the UK?
It is not illegal. Yet, it is not recommended that you drive in heels. Although many women do this and have become quite proficient at doing so, driving in heels can pose serious risks.
Driving in heels can interfere with your ability to transfer your feet from one pedal to the other. The heels raise your feet higher than the pedals, pivoting from the brake pedal to the accelerator can become ineffective when you need it the most.
Is it illegal for you to drive in sandals in the United Kingdom (UK)?
No, there is no law against driving with sandals. However, there are types of sandals that are not recommended for driving in the UK. Sandals that do not have straps to secure them around your heel are risky.
Sandals without a secure strap can slip off your feet and become wedged between the brake pedal and the floor of the footwell leading to an accident.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot DVLA?
It is not a specific offense in the UK to drive barefoot. But the law says you must be able to operate the controls of your vehicle safely.
The law says it is illegal to wear inappropriate footwear without stating exactly what inappropriate footwear is.
Rule 97 however says you must have appropriate footwear and clothes on which do not prevent you from controlling the vehicle in a correct manner.
If driving barefoot is the reason for an accident you can be charged with a £5000 fine.
Is it illegal to drive in backless shoes in the UK?
Again, the law does not specifically say it is illegal in the UK. To paint a clearer picture, imagine this scenario: you drive with a backless shoe, like a croc flip-flop, but the shoe falls off and is wedged in the brake pedal leading to an accident.
If the investigation concludes that your backless shoe is the cause of the accident, you will be charged a fine of £5000 and up to nine penalty points.
You may also be banned from driving. Suitable driving shoes include shoes with straps that secure themselves properly on your feet preventing them from falling off. And they should not limit ankle movement.