Is it legal to drive in sliders in the UK?


With sliders becoming the new go-to footwear for many people of all ages in the UK, the question of whether you're allowed to drive while wearing them is more important to answer than ever. Here motoring journalist and expert Pete Barden takes a look at the rules around driving while wearing the footwear.

sliders for drivingCan you wear sliders and socks while driving, or will the police come calling?

Can I drive in sliders and socks in the UK?

There is no direct legislation that makes it illegal for a driver to wear the shoes while driving a car in the UK - either with or without socks on.

In fact, there is currently no legislation in place that requires Brits to wear appropriate shoes for driving.

However, there is advice from the the DVSA that says 'suitable shoes' are important while driving a vehicle in the UK.

What are sliders?

The popular slipper-like shoes are a form of footwear that can be worn by males and females - but has become particularly in vogue for younger men during 2021.

They are a backless, open-toed shoe that can be worn without socks, but many people are now choosing to wear them with the garment.

They take their name, because of the ease of which wearers can simply slide them on and off without the need to undo laces, buckles - or even use hands.

Do they count as suitable shoes for driving in the UK?

There is no definitive description of what amounts to 'suitable' footwear for driving, but motoring experts at the RAC offer these points:

According to the RAC there are some guidelines for what footwear is suitable.

  • Have a sole no thicker than 10mm…
  • … but the sole should not be too thin or soft.
  • Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals.
  • Not be too heavy.
  • Not limit ankle movement.
  • Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once.

What could I get charged with for wearing them while driving?

Rule 97 of the Highway Code states the drivers must have "footwear and clothing which does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner".

By their design, the open-toe shoes and exposed socks could get caught or wedged beneath a car's pedals, such as the brake or accelerator. This could result in an incident - leaving the driver open to being charged with the likes of careless driving.

What other problems could they cause while driving?

The change in sensitivity or weight caused by wearing the lightweight shoes and socks could cause weaker or harder braking than normal, along with erratic use of the accelerator. All of which could cause an accident and leave the driver open to a charge.

What's the fine for wearing them while driving?

If wearing sliders brought about a charge of careless driving, you could receive an instant fine of £100 and three penalty points added to your driving licence

However, if the incident is more serious and was dealt with by a court, you could receive a fine of up to £5,000, up to nine penalty points and possibly a driving ban.

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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (, New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? ( Stuff Magazine (, Fastcar Magazine (, Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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