Last Updated on November 14, 2023 by Martina McKeough
If you are wondering are Vans good for driving I’ve been road-testing the shoes over the past few weeks to give you my thoughts on the shoes and how good they are in an average car.
Wearing the right type of shoes when driving doesn’t just increase your comfort but also increases your safety so using the right footwear is crucial. Here’s what I thought about Vans and how easy they are to use for driving.
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What Makes a Good Driving Shoe?
So what makes a good driving shoe? Well, there are a few things I consider when I’m thinking about what shoes I am going to wear when I am driving my car. Let’s start talking about the obvious things first:
I wear low-heeled shoes as they allow me better control of the pedals. High heels are much harder to drive in plus the heels will get scuffed because of the angle of your foot in relation to the pedal.
I don’t wear any shoes that are slippery. I want shoes that have grippy rubber soles so that my feet have better pedal control. I don’t however wear shoes with thick soles or large deep treads because then it is harder to feel the pedals.
My shoes also need to fit me well. The last thing I want is a shoe where my feet feel like they are slipping in and out of them.
I’ve found that the best shoes to drive in have flexible soles that bend and flex as I move in them. Super chunky shoes don’t allow me to feel the pedals well so I tend to stick to trainers and shoes that have a thinner sole.
I should add that I also think a lot about comfort even though I am sitting down. If I am driving long distances I want comfortable driving shoes with cushioning and a wide toe box.
Obviously, if I were a professional racing driver I would have additional criteria but for standard car driving this works for me.
Are Vans Shoes Designed for Driving?
Now that you know the styles of shoes that work are Vans shoes good for driving or should you be wearing something else? From my experience, Vans works well provided they aren’t in the platform or stackform styles. This is because those shoes have too thick a sole making them more difficult to drive in because they don’t flex well and you can’t feel the pedals properly in them.
If you buy the normal style Vans I would definitely say they could be considered good driving shoes. This is of course dependent on them fitting you properly and you feeling comfortable whilst wearing them.
These lace-up Vans are a great example of a style that works well for driving in a car.
Why Vans Can Be Considered Good Driving Shoes
Why are Vans good for driving? Well here are some of the reasons why I think they make safe and comfortable shoes to drive in.
Vans has flexible soles provided you buy the standard not platform styles. That flexibility is important as it allows you more pedal control when shifting gears accelerating and braking.
Vans also tend to have that waffle tread pattern on their rubber soles. Gfippy soles help you with safe driving as your feet are less likely to slip off the pedals.
Standard Vans shoes have a low profile sole which makes it easier for you to feel the brake and accelerator. This allows you to be more responsive when you are driving.
Classic Vans tend to have a slip-on design or shoe laces. Both types of design keep your feet firmly in the shoe. Your feet are not going to slip out of them whilst you are driving which keeps you safer.
The shoes tend to have good cushioning and insoles which makes them more comfortable to drive in. They also have that wide toe box which allows your toes to spread out. Comfortable shoes for driving are important especially if you are going to be driving long distances.
Whilst their laid-back style isn’t a comfort or safety feature it does make them more desirable. Personal style is important and these are great casual shoes that are fashionable enough for you to want to be seen in them.
The Best Vans for Driving
Are Vans good for driving? Well as I mentioned earlier it will depend on the style of Vans shoes that you buy as the brand makes a huge range of styles. These are some of the classic styles that work best.
I have to say that in the UK if you are thinking about buying a pair of shoes from Vans you instantly think of their checkboard slip-on style.
These are a slip-on shoe with flexible rubber soles that are going to give you a combination of comfort and control while you are driving. These are super versatile casual shoes and are worn by men and women.
Vans Sk8-Hi shoes are a very different style. These have laces and a high top but they still make great driving shoes.
This pair of Vans helps with ankle support if that is what you need and once again they have grippy soles for that control over the brake and accelerator.
Finally, these Vans are similar to the previous ones only without the high top. These are a great pair of shoes that again are a classic style so they won’t go out of fashion.
Footwear to Avoid When Driving
Whilst Vans make great shoes for driving there are plenty of shoes that I would avoid when driving a car. Here are some of the shoes you most definitely shouldn’t be wearing when driving if you want to stay safe.
Why Mules, Slides and Flip Flops Hamper Driving
I would never consider getting into my car and driving when wearing backless mules, slides or flip-flops.
Why? Because your feet can slip out of them really easily and when that comes to driving a car that can be dangerous. Leave these shoes for the beach or casual wear but slip on something more secure when you are getting in your car to drive somewhere.
Pitfalls of Wearing Wedges While Driving
Wedges are another type of shoe that I would never wear while driving.
Wedges are heavy and their soles are too thick to allow you to react well when pressing the car pedals. Platform wedges are the worst as they obstruct your positioning over the pedals and limit your ability to move your feet to press the pedals in an emergency.
The Dangers of Driving in Heels
I’ve already mentioned that I don’t drive in high heels and here is the reason why.
Heels can easily get caught on the floor mats of my car or on the pedal edges and then come off. This clearly isn’t safe so I avoid wearing them.
Plus my heels are expensive. The last thing I want to do is scuff them on the floor of my car as I drive.
Why Work Boots Are Not Suitable for Driving
Finally, not everyone thinks about this but work boots aren’t the best for driving in.
This is because they have thick stiff soles which are inflexible which really restrict how you can feel and control the pedals on a car. They also tend to weigh much more than standard shoes which tires your feet and reduces your response time.
Whilst I don’t wear work boots I would recommend that you remove them when you are driving and put on something else before you set off.
Frequently Asked Questions on Vans and Driving Shoes
Are Vans Driving Shoes Comfortable?
Vans shoes are incredibly comfortable for driving in because of their cushioning and wide toe box. They are a great shoe to wear if you are intending to drive for a long distance. However what about Vans Arch support?
Well, the fact is that Vans aren’t great when it comes to arch support which is where I think they fall down on their design. I personally find them uncomfortable for walking in unless I use an orthotic inside. This shouldn’t bother you when you are driving sat down but having a shoe that is good for walking and driving is obviously better.
Are Vans Driving Shoes Affordable?
When it comes to affordability I would say that Vans are a mid price range shoe.
There are certainly plenty of slip-on style shoes that you can buy for cheaper however they will not be of the same quality and have the Vans kudos.
Final Thoughts on Vans as Driving Shoes
So are Vans good for driving in? I would totally recommend the styles I mentioned earlier as good shoes to use for driving in but take on board what I mentioned about their platforms which are less useful.
Stick to my main rules for a driving shoe and you shouldn’t go wrong with finding footwear that will keep you comfortable and safe behind the wheel.
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