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Is it Illegal to drive in high heels?

Professional drivers and experts all advise against driving in high heels. (image: Wikimedia Commons)

Technically, no, it's not illegal to drive in high heels but the laws of common sense dictate that you'll be a safer driver if you're wearing flats. 

Firstly, as the height of a shoe's heel increases your feet are put into an increasingly poor position to operate the pedals. You should be comfortable while driving and proper ergonomics are essential to paying full attention to the road and what the traffic is doing.

While there is no law against wearing heels while driving it is a requirement in all states and territories of Australia to maintain control of your vehicle, and ensure you can operate it in a secure and safe manner.

If you think you're fine, there is an easy way to double-check whether you pass the police's requirement for you to have "full and proper control of your vehicle", and that is to ask yourself one question; 'If a child runs out in front of me, can I slam the brakes on?'

Professional drivers and experts all advise against driving in high heels due to the shoes potentially reducing the amount of control you have in an emergency situation. Due to their unpredictable nature these events often happen in an instant, meaning reaction times and the ability to move confidently are paramount to avoiding the child who has just run, unsupervised, onto the road (or similar).

Also consider that, with a stiletto heel, you have a very small, unstable, point of contact to the floor of the car. So, if you intend to use the stiletto as a balance point you are risking having it easily slipping out or becoming unbalanced under the weight of the rest of your foot acting on the car's pedals.

Just because there is no specific law against driving in high heel shoes and boots doesn't mean the police cannot issue a fine to you. If an officer feels you are not fully in control of your vehicle you can be stopped and issued with a fine for failing to maintain control of your car.

The easiest way around this, and to ensure your safety behind the wheel of your car, is to keep a pair of slip-on sneakers in the car to use while driving. Or even drive in bare feet where appropriate!

This Australian legal blog clarifies that, at the time of publication, it was not illegal to drive in bare feet in Australia.

This article is not intended as legal advice. You should check with your local road authority to verify the information written here is suitable to your situation before driving in this manner.

​Do you drive in high heels? Tell us in the comments below.