If you’re a racing enthusiast, be it drag racing, kart racing, motorcycle racing or any other form of motor racing, a vital piece of equipment you shouldn’t forget is your footwear. Good shoes will keep you safe, increase your comfort and help you look great too. Here’s our rundown of the top picks.
1. RaceQuip 30300110 Size 11 Black SFI 3.3/5 Race Shoe
These shoes from reputable brand RaceQuip are made in traditional classic American style. They feature suede leather uppers with a Pyrovatex flame-retardant inner for protection and security. They also include molded rubber soles, offering comfort and reliability.
The ankles are supported with extra padding, and the shoes also feature firm arch support to keep your feet in the correct, healthy position. They also have an achilles flex opening. These shoes fit quite tightly, giving you extra control of the vehicle. They carry SFI 3.3/5 certification for racing.
2. RaceQuip 30500150 Euro Carbon-L Series Size 15 Black SFI 3.3/5 Racing Shoes
This is another pair of specialist racing shoes from RaceQuip, and they boast many of the same outstanding qualities as the pair reviewed above. This includes the suede leather uppers and Pyrovatex flame-retardant inners as well as the ankle padding and arch support.
They differ in that they are European-style racing shoes and feature an attractive contrasting stitching design. They include carbon L-pads on each side for increased support and the manufacturer claims they are up to 30% lighter than most other racing shoes. SFI 3.3/5-certified.
3. Simpson MT100BK Shoes
This is a pair of standard racing shoes from another highly-regarded manufacturer of racing equipment, Simpson. This is a company that has spent many years building up a reputation for a high level of safety and reliability, making this a pair of shoes you can trust.
The shoes feature a simple, classic racing design with laces and a Velcro strap at the top to hold them in place. They are firm at each end but, unlike many racing shoes, are more flexible in the middle, making them more comfortable for walking. They are SFI and FIA approved and certified.
4. Simpson Racing 28100BK The Hightop Black Size 10 SFI Approved Driving Shoes
These shoes are another pair from trusted company Simpson, but this pair is quite different from the pair reviewed above. They are high-top-style shoes that reach further above the ankle. They fasten with laces but have two Velcro straps instead of one, ensuring they stay right in position.
They are lightweight and comfortable to wear – you shouldn’t have any problems wearing these, even for longer races. However, bear in mind that you might need to break them in a little before wearing them for longer periods of driving. They are fully SFI-certified.
5. Simpson Racing SP110BK Black Sprint Size 11 SFI Approved Driving Shoes
This is another high-quality product from Simpson, but these shoes are quite different again from the two we’ve already looked at. They are lace-up shoes with two straps that fasten above the ankle. They are made of leather and feature a leather protective cover to keep the laces out of the way.
These are a dependable pair of shoes for someone who takes their racing seriously and who needs equipment and clothing they can rely on; they also have a particularly professional look. These shoes are SFI-approved for racing.
6. Simpson CP110BK Circuit Pro Shoes
These high-quality racing shoes are among the most striking produced by Simpson. Just like any other Simpson products, they are well-made and reliable. They feature suede outers, and inners that are made of fully flame-retardant material.
These shoes are comfortable to wear, are built to last a long time and should be with you for many years of racing. They have SFI 3.3/5 accreditation and are also approved by the FIA.
7. Simpson Racing Equipment AD850BK Adrenaline Shoe
Simpson produces a wide range of shoes and other racing equipment, and this is another example of the high-quality products they always seem to offer. This pair of shoes is built to be lightweight and comfortable. They have laces down the front and are secured with a Velcro strap above the ankle.
They have a particularly attractive design, being mostly black but with a few dashes of red that make them stand out. These are a good pick for someone who is looking for a stylish shoe backed up by the experience and expertise of a company like Simpson Racing.
8. Sparco 00120240NR Esse Black Size-40 Canvas Shoe
Another company with a well-deserved reputation for making a range of high-quality racing gear is Sparco. These shoes are actually geared towards regular street driving rather than track racing, but if you are looking for a pair of comfortable and reliable driving shoes, these are an option.
These shoes are designed to give you complete comfort when driving and to give you the maximum amount of control over your feet – and therefore your vehicle – while driving. At the same time, they are quite suitable for everyday use. A good option for someone who is a fan of racing fashion.
9. Sparco 00127011R Shoes
If the previous pair of Sparco shoes we reviewed are aimed at the casual driver or occasional racer, these shoes are at the other end of the scale. They are specifically aimed at the serious competition racer and include several specific design features geared toward this end.
They are extremely lightweight and are designed for high levels of comfort and control. They feature a wide toe box and extra cushioned sole for comfort. There is also a comfort cell on the ball of the foot to absorb shock and vibration. They look have a very slick look – a top pick for dedicated racers.
10. Sparco MX Race Shoes
This is another pair of shoes from Sparco that is designed as a compromise between the needs of an amateur racer and the requirements of someone who also hopes to wear their driving shoes when they are not driving.
They feature breathable mesh and a reinforced toe and heel; the outer part is made of textured leather for durability. The sole features a Vibram EVA anti-shock system and they are resistant to fuel and oil – making them equally suitable for somebody who goes to the track but doesn’t drive.
11. Goodyear Mens Clutch Racer Sneaker – High-Top Sneakers, PU Leather & Mesh Lining
Goodyear is another venerable name from the world of motorsports, although the company is much more famous for the tires they produce than their shoes.
These lace-up racing shoes feature PU leather uppers, mesh lining and EVA soles. They provide vibration resistance, and the arch and ankle supports are specially designed to fight against fatigue during races.
These are a reliable shoe that is built to last. They are available in three different color schemes.
12. RJS SFI 3.3/5 Racing Driving Shoes Black Mens Size 11 / Womens 13
These specialist racing shoes are incredibly light, weighing well under 1lb (9-11oz, depending on the size). They feature suede outers and Nomex fire-retardant interior liners. They feature a streamlined design that has been created for maximum pedal clearance.
Another great aspect of these shoes is the fine friction ridge that gives you a firm tactile grip on the pedal. They include reinforced ankle and arch supports to help minimize fatigue and duress. These shoes are SFI 3.3/5-certified and are a suitable option for both male and female racing drivers.
13. Alpinestars Men’s 251551813195 Shoe (Black/Grey/Red, Size 9.5)
These racing-style shoes from Alpinestars could be a worthy pick for amateur motorsports fans and part-time racers. They feature carbon fiber construction, a 3D ankle guard for support and a speed-lacing closure system that makes them quick to get on and off.
At 2.7lbs, they are a little heavy – and they don’t have FIA accreditation – but they could be a good option for the casual race fan.
14. Alpinestars 2710115-7210-10 Alpinestars Tech 1-T Shoes Blue/White/Black SFI 3.3 5/FIA
If the previously reviewed Alpinestars racing shoes are aimed at the casual driver, these shoes are more specifically designed for the serious racer. They are made of full-grain cow leather and feature a rubber compound textured sole.
They include carefully positioned perforation zones to help with airflow, ensuring your feet will stay as cool and dry as possible, even in demanding racing conditions. They offer good toe protection and the padded tongue protects the rest of the foot. FIA 8856-2000 and SFI 3.3-certified.
15. Alpinestars (2712113-12-5 Black/White Size-5 Tech 1-KX Karting Shoes
These shoes, also from Alpinestars, are specifically designed for karting. They are made of a combination of synthetic leather and mesh, and they feature a speed-lacing system that is derived from Moto GP racing. Lace-up and Velcro fastenings ensure a precise and secure fit.
The sole is made of a rubber compound designed for enhanced grip, even in wet conditions, and the polypropylene heel gives extra support where it is needed. The forefoot also has a flatter design allowing you more sensitivity to feel the pedal more accurately.
16. Alpinestars SMX-1R Vented Men’s Street Motorcycle Shoes – Black/White/Red
These boots from Alpinestars are designed for motorcycle riders. The uppers are made of synthetic microfiber, offering increased comfort while riding as well as providing a high level of durability and resistance to abrasions.
While they are really designed for road use rather than the track, they could be an option for an occasional racer who doesn’t want to spend money on specialist racing boots that will only see infrequent use.
17. Men’s Motorcycle Racing Boots
These striking leather boots for motorcycle racing and riding are available in either red or white. They are made of lightweight and durable materials with a fiber leather outer shell. The inside lining consists of 100% breathable nylon.
The boots are strong but flexible, offering excellent protection and high levels of comfort. They are weather resistant and easy to care for and might be a good pick for anyone who is passionate about the combination of high speeds and two wheels.
18. Vulcan V300 Mens Velocity Motorcycle Sport Boots
If you are looking for a pair of budget-friendly motorcycle boots designed for the road but that could also be pressed into use for occasional visits to the track, these Vulcan V300 boots might be worth checking out – at such a reasonable price for such decent boots, you can’t go very far wrong.
They feature leather uppers with waterproof membranes and also include reinforced ankles and shins for extra protection. They have stretch panels and a padded top line to keep your feet wrapped up and secure, making them a particularly comfortable boot to wear.
19. Fly Racing Unisex-Adult Maverick Mix Boots
If you prefer a pair of motorcycle boots more specifically suited to racing (but also perfectly fine on the road), these could be the boots you have been looking for.
They have a four-buckle fastening system with adjustable quick-lock buckles, making them easy to put on and take off quickly (they are also available in a youth version with only three buckles).
They have a dedicated 3D shin protector on the front that is pre-shaped from molded plastic to increase safety and protection.
One particularly welcome feature is the added grooves and texture that is specially designed to help you with changing gears, making sure you never miss a shift. Another nice touch is the sealed gaiter around the calf that ensures no debris finds its way in.
These unisex boots are designed to look great on both men and women and are definitely worth taking into consideration if you want a reliable pair of boots for the track and the road.
An important piece of kit whatever type of vehicle you race
There are many types of motor sports, but one thing they all have in common is that you need the right kit to stay safe and make yourself more competitive. Whether you race on four wheels or two and whether you’re a weekend casual or a pro, owning an excellent pair of boots is a top priority.