Some fashionable shoes sold by top manufacturers such as Nike, Adidas and Balenciaga could see motorists breaking the law – and face fines of up to £5,000 and a driving ban – have warned automotive experts.
Over the past decade, sneaker culture has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, with brands from Nike and New Balance to high fashion brands leading the way with regular releases and new colorways. Some of these sought-after sneaker styles feature extravagant designs with chunky soles, innovative heel designs and more. But even though they look good on Instagram, they might not be the best suited for driving – and could in fact land wearers hefty fines and points on their licence.
Although there are actually no laws in place to prevent drivers from wearing certain shoes or driving barefoot, Rule 97 of the Highway Traffic Act states that before you pick up your car you must ensure that “Clothes and shoes don’t prevent you from using the controls in the right way”.
Choosing to ignore this could lead you to a “driving without due care or attention” offense (code name CD10, CD20 – “Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users” or CD30 – “Driving without reasonable care or attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users ‘road users’) if spotted by a police officer. All of these offenses come with a fixed fine of £100 and three points on your driving license (the police officer might instead offer a driver education seminar depending on the situation).
However, if your expensive sneakers cause you to drive dangerously and the police consider your shoes to be a contributing factor, the same penalty will apply, in addition to potentially sending you back to the justice system. In these cases it could result in a fine of up to £5,000 and nine points on your license or even an outright driving ban.
Dan Gick, Managing Director of Scrap Car Comparison, comments: “The idea of having ‘driving shoes’ for many may seem unnecessary and sound like something from a bygone era, but with many current sneaker designs featuring huge soles, unusual features and a lack of a heel. support, it makes the humble driving shoe all the more important.
“We would never want people to stop wearing the clothes that help them express themselves, but we advise them to wear a pair of comfortable shoes that fit in with the driving tips, before putting on the pair of trainers. of your choice. It’s a small inconvenience to potentially avoid being landed with a fine or points on your license and worse than that, in an accident because you can’t drive your car properly. Prevention is always better than cure .
According to the Driving Standards Agency, your driving shoes should:
- Have a sole no thicker than 10 mm… but the sole should not be too thin or soft.
- Provide enough grip to prevent your foot from slipping off the pedals.
- Don’t be too heavy.
- Do not restrict ankle movement.
- Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally stepping on two pedals at once.
With that in mind, Scrap Car Comparison has compiled ten sought-after sneakers that could fetch you a more expensive fine than the shoes themselves…in most cases!
Adidas Yeezy Slide: MSRP: £50-£60 – Resale Value: £70-£300
Slides have become the go-to summer shoe choice for most, and the Yeezy Slide has established itself as the choice of most sneakerheads – however, the understated design comes with zero heel support and therefore falls well outside the guidelines of the Driving Standards Agency.
Balenciaga Triple S: RRP: £695-£825
A brand beloved by the Kardashians and hip-hop royalty, the Balenciaga Triple S is an instantly recognizable silhouette that has fans from Jeff Goldblum to Bella Hadid. Behind the wheel, however, it’s not as supportive, its chunky sole comes in at 45.72mm, well above the 10mm guide, and the shoe’s substantial width also increases the fear of accidentally hitting the wrong pedal. .
Nike Vapormax RRP: £140-£200
A style that doesn’t require big spend on the resale market and can be purchased at most retailers, the Vapormax can’t be mistaken, with its full air bubble sole. The unique sole design, however, could cause individual “bubbles” to get stuck in the pedals and put you in the “reckless driving” category.
Nike Sacai Vaporwaffle: RRP: £164.95 – Resale Value: £250-£950
Another popular sneaker that would see you falling for having too much of a chunky sole (around 46mm), the Nike Sacai Vaporwaffle also features an unusual rear, with a sole that splits in two to form a ‘tongue- like ‘shape, which makes it also lacking in the heel support department.
Adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2: RRP: £200 – Resale Value: £250-£500
A second entry for Kanye West’s Yeezy brand, featuring its most popular silhouette. Since its first release in September 2016, this sneaker has been hugely influential in the sneaker world and with its multiple colorways, it can often be seen worn everywhere you go. Its “BOOST” filled sole and large 40mm heel allow it to overhang the guide by 10mm, so although it’s a stylish and flexible option, it could still get you in trouble.
Alexander McQueen ‘Oversized Sneaker’: RRP: £420
Taking the design of the Adidas Stan Smith and putting it on steroids, the Alexander McQueen is, as the name suggests, potentially the king of oversized soles. Its heel reaches 50mm in height, ideal for anyone looking to look a little taller, but not so great behind the wheel, being five times higher in the steering.
Fear of God – The California Sneaker: RRP: £165-£175
Part slider and part sneaker, one of Jerry Lorenzo’s brand’s latest models offers a smarter alternative to the Yeezy Slide, but still doesn’t eliminate ride concerns. The lack of any heel support and its slick, no-grip style would likely get you in trouble if you spot them being driven by a police officer.
Off White x Nike Blazer Low: RRP: £137 – Resale Value: £145-£250
The late Virgil Abloh’s Off White collaboration with Nike spawned sneakers that will forever be heralded in fashion circles, and one of the most recent releases is the reimagined Blazer Low. A shoe that would pass all riding tests without its elongated heel, which could be a problem when switching from pedal to pedal and finding a comfortable place to sit your foot.
Balenciaga Defender: RRP £750
The second entry from haute couture brand Balenciaga which is increasingly entrenched in the world of streetwear, the Defender was created in its Spring/Summer 22 and features a rugged not-so-summery look dominated by a huge tyre-style sole tread that far exceeds the guide by 10 mm. The multiple “notches” on the sole will also make it difficult to hit the pedals.
Nike MAG (Back to the Future): RRP: £400 – Resale Value: £10,000 – £400,000
One of the rarest sneakers ever released, the limited-edition Nike MAG shoes are a recreation of the shoes worn by Marty McFly in Back to the Future II and, due to their rarity, can fetch exorbitant sums on the market. resale. While they might be suitable for a hoverboard, they are definitely not suitable for riding, with the bulky shoe offering very little ankle movement and again, a sole that goes well above the 10 guide mm. However, if you can afford it, you can probably afford the fine.
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