We'll be the first to admit that when shopping for a new pair of shoes, But can I drive in them? isn't usually the first question to pop into our heads. Sure, we consider how walkable they are and if we'll wear them enough to justify the price, but given that driving safety is so essential, shouldn't we be thinking about how our shoes can affect that? Since the answer is a resounding yes, we consulted a few experts on the subject of driving shoes.
Our aforementioned experts include podiatric surgeon and luxury footwear designer Marion Parke, podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon with Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center Robert Khorramian, and our very own market editor, Nicole Akhtarzad, who has spent many hours behind the wheel going between market appointments and showrooms while in very stylish shoes. All three agree that the shoe style that you should definitely avoid is probably one of your favorites during the summer months: slide sandals.
While we love the ease and comfort of slide sandals, you can't argue with the fact that they don't make the best driving shoes, especially after hearing what the experts have to say. Read on to find out why driving in slide sandals is actually dangerous, and shop a slew of other stylish options that would make for safe driving shoes.
I always feel the least responsible when I drive in slide sandals because they can so easily slip off and, at the least, momentarily distract you, or worse, cause you to make a mistake with the pedals. Instead, I'd recommend anything that stays more securely on your foot, whether it's strappy sandals that tie on, slingbacks, or sneakers.
Any shoe that is loose or that prevents a driver from having good control of a vehicle can be dangerous. In terms of walking, again, if loose, a slide or other loose style can cause the wearer to grip their toes. If worn with enough frequency, that toe-gripping can lead to hammer toes, cramping, and discomfort.
Slide sandals are truly designed to wear for short distances (e.g., to and from your mailbox). When you wear slide sandals for long periods of time, your feet become sweaty from the slippery surface, which can cause fungus and cracked heels, among other things. And sometimes the chemicals that are used for the color of the shoe can also cause contact dermatitis. Other than the hygienic factors behind slide sandals, they are also dangerous to drive in because sweaty feet can also slip right out of the shoe when trying to transition from gas to break, increasing the risk of a bad accident. So if you love your slide sandals, be sure to have a second pair of "driving shoes" handy to slip on when you get in your car.
SHOP DRIVING SHOES
Sandals with a heel that can be folded down or left up are genius.
Marion Parke shoes are designed with foot-friendly arch support (and they're really stylish).
Sneakers are a no-brainer behind the wheel.
Slingback kitten heels are a much safer option than tall stiletto mules.
Sturdy and sleek.
We're not sure what's better—the perfect color or the comfort factor.
A block heel and ankle strap ensure these are both walkable and drivable.
Meet your new favorite off-duty summer shoes.
This editor gets so many compliments on these.
We highly recommend keeping a pair of chic ballet flats in your car's trunk.
There's a reason these fly out of stock every summer.
Not every Gucci shoe is driving-friendly, but these definitely are.
It doesn't get much better than Everlane's perfect classic loafers.
Swap your slide sandals for lace-up sandals.
Slip-on sneakers are another handy style to keep in your trunk.
Acne Studios shoes for 60% off? Grab your credit card.
We're already obsessed with the shoe offerings (and everything else) in Alexa Chung's new line.
We love a rose gold shoe, in case you haven't noticed.
This color is having a moment, and it happens to go with everything.
These are some of the coolest, most feminine espadrilles we've seen.