You might have never thought about wearing sim racing boots before, but you see a lot of YouTubers and esports professionals wearing them. This may leave you wondering whether you need sim racing boots, and what the benefits are of wearing them.
The 5 key benefits of wearing sim racing boots are:
- Less fatigue
- Lots of grip
- Heel protection
- Breathable for comfort
- Designed for performance
Below, we go into more detail about each of these benefits so that you can decide if you need a pair of sim racing boots for your own rig. We’ll also discuss the different types of sim racing boots that are available on the market.
The 5 Key Benefits Of Sim Racing Boots
1. Less Fatigue
Purely and simply, the slightly stiffened material of sim racing boots will help keep your feet properly supported and therefore able to race for longer. Gone will be the days of foot cramps after only an hour or two of racing!
2. Lots Of Grip
Unlike racing boots, the soles on sim racing boots are not only thin for improved feel on the pedals, but they’re also made of a rubber compound that makes them stick to surfaces better. Probably one of the biggest gripes I had while racing at my rig without boots was how my socks or slippers never gave me good coverage on the pedals.
I was losing time at every turn because my feet were slipping off on every other lap! A good pair of sim racing boots can help alleviate these issues and keep you racing faster for longer.
3. Heel Protection
Most sim racing boots you can find on the market will come equipped with special heel inserts that will protect you from blisters. No discomfort = more time spent improving your lap times!
4. Breathable For Comfort
Unlike racing shoes for cars or go-karting, sim racing boots are designed with a breathable material to keep maximum comfort for you even after multiple hours of racing. Your house isn’t going to replicate the icy wind you feel as you race down the straights, which is what racing/karting boots are designed to combat. You want breathability rather than warmth here!
5. Designed For Performance
When you start getting to the level where you’re searching for every possible gain in your lap times and racing skill, this is when sim racing boots come into their own. They’re designed to be lightweight but durable, and grippy but comfortable, to help you improve on the track!
Do You Need To Wear Sim Racing Boots?
You do not need to wear sim racing boots. However, you can benefit from a more realistic feel, as well as more control over your pedals. Sim racing boots can also make your longer racing sessions more comfortable, so you don’t have sore feet after a 1-2 hour session.
Different Types Of Sim Racing Boots
You may think of high-top boots when asked to think about racing shoes, and this is because typically, these are the preferred style for racing drivers. However, in the sim racing industry, manufacturers understand that people want a variety of styles to choose from.
There are 3 distinct types of sim racing boots available on the market to suit everybody’s preferences:
- Mid-Top Racing Boots
- Rubber Sole Racing Shoe
- Sheet Sole Racing Shoe
Mid-top boots meet the standard image of what people think about when considering racing boots in general. They rise up to the ankle in height and have padded cuffs to avoid the sometimes-characteristic chafing that can come with this cut of shoe.
The heel guard feature I mentioned previously is most commonly seen in these boots, and they often also possess rubber on top of the right boot to avoid discomfort when using the heel-toe technique of driving.
Rubber Sole Racing Show
In the case of the rubber sole racing shoe, they’re typically cheaper than the mid-top variants and they’re usually made of breathable material to avoid sweating during long stints of racing. They aren’t usually lace-ups and instead feature a simple slip-on, slip-off design. The rubber sole specifically allows for greater durability than some other shoes, without compromising on pedal feel.
Sheet Sole Racing Shoe
The sheet sole racing shoe is the best lightweight boot of the three, with each shoe only weighing in at about 6 oz (170 g). Their soles are the thinnest of the bunch too, allowing for maximum pedal feel but sacrificing some of the longevity of the other racing boots.
All three types of sim racing boots/shoes are great options to improve your skills, and deciding between them will be down to personal preference.
While you don’t need a pair of sim racing shoes, they can provide several key benefits that will not only make your sim racing experience more comfortable, but you may also find your on-track performance improves too. There are lots of varieties out there to suit all styles and budgets.
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