Over the course of this article, I’m going to explore the benefits of this gear, specifically racing boots, and then look at the iconic pair that Jimmy wears from the sim racing and kart racing gear manufacturer, Abruzzi.
So, what boots does Jimmy Broadbent wear? He wears a pair of racing boots made by Abruzzi. This company in particular specializes in customizing their products for go-kart and sim racers alike, which make them a very attractive option.
Honestly, if one of the major names in sim racing is happy with a pair of boots for making his content worldwide, I think that’s a pretty good indication that the gear is not only stylish/unique, but actually offers all of the benefits that racing boots should.
Why Wear Boots?
Imagine constantly moving your feet in the same way; back and forth on the pedals as you shift gears, brake and accelerate respectively. When you’re racing in any capacity, these movements will be faster than when you’re driving a road car, and the low-top sneaker will start to rub and cause blisters on your heels.
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A huge advantage of racing boots is their hi-top design and how this protects from repetitive blisters due to rubbing on the skin. The tops of racing boots are often softly padded to help protect against this eventuality even more.
Perhaps even more important than overall discomfort that normal shoes can bring, and an overall advantage compared to driving bare-foot, is the structure that racing boots provide.
They are made of lightweight materials that fully enclose the foot and provide support against repetitive strain. And while the sole of these boots is sturdy, it is simultaneously thin enough that you can feel feedback in the pedals that you’re pressing.
Unlike with sneakers which will feel clunky and heavy, racing boots are designed to be light! In go-karting, this contact and lightweight construction is absolutely crucial so that you can truly feel how your kart is performing. There’s a lot to be said about vehicles communicating through their controls and how they feel to drive!
Within the sphere of Sim Racing, these boots with their thin sole and special structure will allow full comfort for long race sessions while allowing a similar level of minute control of your rig.
You can feel any resistance that might be present, and be more attuned to feedback so that you can react faster without the possibility of your feet slipping, something which will happen more often than not if you’re driving in socks!
The ‘Broadbent’ Boot: Review
Now that I’ve covered why racing boots are important for the world of sim racers, let’s return our attention to Jimmy’s boots in particular.
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I’ve previously heard of Abruzzi as a brand while I was racing karts, but never purchased or owned any of their products. Some of my racing peers picked up some personalized gear from them after they were signed onto teams, due to the fact that the brand is rather inexpensive when compared to others.
The fact that you can print your name, team and the country you’re representing on race gear without breaking the bank makes Abruzzi a very appealing option. And although they’re a UK-based company, they do offer worldwide shipping for a decent price.
Another advantage of Abruzzi when compared to other, larger race gear companies is the fact that they make every pair of boots to order.
They hand-make the boots themselves and make the stitching in the same manner, so you’ll be getting an entirely unique pair of racing-ready boots delivered to your door. Every order you place will take 3-4 weeks to fulfill due to this fact, so it isn’t exactly the best for something time-sensitive, but you can liaise with Abruzzi to make sure that everything meets your specifications to a T.
All of the reviews left by customers praise the high quality of materials used, and that the wait time is worth it due to how gloves and kart boots fit perfectly; far better than anything bought in stores.
For somebody like Jimmy Broadbent, who has made sim racing and content creation around this area his livelihood, Abruzzi is a great company to partner with and get gear from.
Their designs are very striking and unique, and because of the highly customizable selections on offer, nobody will be receiving the same product even if they decide to order the iconic ‘Broadbent Boot’. If sim racing is part of your career and you want to stand out, Abruzzi is the ideal manufacturer to consider.
The only real downsides of these boots are the inability to try them on before purchasing, and the long wait times to see if your desired product actually fits/suits you. Of course, if you know your shoe size in EU sizing, this isn’t a problem.
But, the highly personalized creation process could perhaps create some nuances in the shoe size, resulting in a pair of boots that are too tight or too loose. If you’re considering Abruzzi as your next go-to for sim racing gear, I’d recommend taking some time trying on different types of boots in stores near you.
This will help when it comes to ordering from Abruzzi so that you know exactly what you’re looking for in a pair of boots.
Is It Worth It?
While Abruzzi offer different racing boot products at different prices, the Broadbent Boot specifically fetches a high price tag. Even for having the boots personalized with whatever bells and whistles you want, it’s something pretty hefty if you’re just looking to take part in sim races casually.
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Personally, as somebody who races karts and is highly competitive, I’d be tempted to say that Abruzzi is worth a look. Their products are multi-purpose for one thing, with the option of specifically asking for something for sim racing or karting respectively.
The fact that a pair of boots you order will be handmade and you’ll have full rapport with the maker throughout the process is also very appealing; it makes the 3-4 week wait feel worth it to see your boots take shape.
However, I’m currently a racer who is looking for a competitive edge at every turn. As such, I’d deem the boots to be a worthy investment because I spent most weeks at a kart track trying to improve on every part of my drive.
I know people who’ve spent up to and over $200 on a single pair of boots, just for every ounce of extra lightweight suede to cut down on lap times by hairline amounts every time. By that calculation, for something entirely personal the price doesn’t seem bad whatsoever!
Similarly, for somebody like Jimmy Broadbent, who spends a lot of hours practicing sim racing and attending professional races all over the world, he needs a pair of boots that will last and hold up during those times. And, the added bonus of being instantly recognizable probably doesn’t hurt, either…!
To totally boil this down, I’d really assess how long you spend on your sim racing rig. I doubt that everybody reading this article is competing and racing as much as Broadbent himself, but you clearly know of his prowess and fame in the sim racing sector.
He spends a lot of time honing his race-craft and because of that, he needs a pair of racing boots that properly support his feet to give him that edge. If you’re enjoying an hour or two every so often on your rig, I’d hold off on dropping around $80 on a pair of race boots; you’d still have a blast in a pair of gently used $20 boots and still gain a lot for wearing them.
But if you’re exceeding a few hours spent every day on your rig, that’s when you should look at investing some more hard cash for a better edge in the competition.