up hill is a whole nother gig, and so is gravel! I walk my bikes out of parking spaces and what not, but it's flat, walking along side the bike, bike's weight on my hip, near the seat (below) and hands on the grips, right hand covering the brake lever. if it's up hill I'd just slip the clutch a little, and stay seated on the bike, but that's me.
I have 1 inch soles on a couple of sets of boots. it clears the levers, no problems, if it's a high top length boot. not so cool on a pair of full length track boots (ask me how I know) lol!
to each her own.