woman getting out of an exotic car barefoot

California driving footwear laws

Can you drive barefoot in California?

Too many Americans, especially those not from California, often believe California to be riddled with restrictive laws, but that may not actually be the case. At least not when it comes to driving. Still, many residents and non-residents alike keep asking: Can you drive barefoot in California? We are here to answer that question once and for all.

Man's feet on the pedals of a car with flip-flopsDo you have to have a shoe on to drive in California?

Despite many popular myths and theories, it is entirely legal to drive your car barefoot in California. Whether you are fresh off the beach, or just don’t want to let your dirty shoes touch those pedals, you are within your rights to drive with unshod feet.

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In fact, there are no laws on the books at all regarding footwear when driving in California. This means you can drive with any footwear whether it be flip-flops, boots, or even high heels. Though it’s legal, many of these options remain unwise.

Can you drive a motorcycle barefoot?

Okay, this is a pretty bad idea. Driving a motorcycle has enough danger, but leaving your feet out in the open, ready to take the abuse of impacts of all kinds including bugs, rocks, and debris, is just unsafe. Imagine a scenario where your foot gets injured, and suddenly you are unable to properly react to the unfolding situation on the road. This is not just dangerous for you, but others as well.

State parks in the Redding area

shoes of multiple colors on a rackSafe footwear options while driving

Many argue that driving barefoot is actually safer as it gives you a better feel for the pedals. We would disagree with that. Much like riding a motorcycle, driving a car barefoot can leave you much more prone to injury, and though injuries like a stubbed toe or a damaged toenail may be minor, the actions it could cause you to take on the road are not.

Other footwear can also be treacherous. High heels can be awkward, boots can be too bulky to discriminate pedals, and flip-flops or loose sandals can actually get caught on the pedals.

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Tricks for having the right shoes for driving

The best solution is to keep a pair of shoes in your car just for driving. You don’t have to wear them every time you drive but utilize them when your current footwear isn’t up to the task. What’s more, they don’t have to be a pair of expensive driving shoes. They can be something as simple as an old pair of tennis shoes.