Definition of Heel-and-Toe

Heel-and-toe is a performance-oriented technique of down-shifting the gearbox while braking, requiring the driver to use all three pedals of a manual-transmission car simultaneously.

To perform a heel-and-toe downshift, the driver brakes with the toe of his right foot, and, while continuing to brake, uses the heel or the side of the same foot to blip the throttle and raise engine rpm as he downshifts. The left foot operates the clutch pedal in the normal fashion.

The sequence is as follows: brake with the right toe; depress the clutch with the left foot; shift to neutral; while continuing to brake, blip the throttle with the side or the heel of the right foot to raise rpm; shift to a lower gear; let the clutch out; then, release the brakes.

The technique is difficult to master, but after practice the entire process can be performed in less than a second. This technique is best for smooth power flow and long transmission life.