If you’re a weekend warrior that loves taking your car to an occasional track day, it’s time you invest into a competent pair of racing or driving shoes. Spending hours on a track can be grueling and exhausting, especially if you have the wrong gear. So much of driving involves your feet, so naturally, a durable and comfortable pair of racing shoes are a necessity. A proper pair of racing shoes also plays an important role in safety, providing secure grip on pedals, better pedal feel and, most importantly, protection against fire.
It’s worth noting that shopping for racing shoes online isn’t the most ideal option, since you’ll likely want to try them on to make sure they’re comfortable. Unfortunately that’s not always possible, depending on where you live. So in this post, we’ll show you some our favorite budget-minded race shoes you can buy online.
To learn more about the best racing and driving shoes, refer to our table of contents.
Updated 12/4/20 with a new product recommendation!
Table of contents
- 1. Editor's Pick: RaceQuip Black SFI Race Shoe
- 2. Sparco Race Competition Shoes
- 3. G-Force Pro Series Racing Shoes
- 4. Simpson Racing The Hightop SFI Driving Shoes
- 5. G-Force RaceGrip Mid-Top Racing Shoes
- 6. Simpson Racing Adrenaline SFI Driving Shoes
- 7. RaceQuip Euro Carbon-L Series SFI Racing Shoes
- 8. Simpson Racing Sprint SFI Driving Shoes
- 9. PUMA BMW MMS Drift Cat 7S Ultra Sneaker
- Everything You Need to Know About Racing Shoes
- Q & A
1. Editor's Pick: RaceQuip Black SFI Race Shoe
One of the most popular and highly rated racing shoes on Amazon comes from RaceQuip. These shoes exceed SFI 3.3/5 rating and feature classic American styling with a suede leather outer layer paired with and a Pyrovatex flame retardant liner. The bottom of the shoe sports a molded rubber sole, along with padded ankle and arch support. There’s also a unique Achilles flex opening in the back of the shoe, which allows for easy foot extension for full-throttle action.
The durable construction of these shoes is highlighted by a reinforced lace area and double-stitched seams. These shoes are only available in black and in whole-sizes racing from size 8 to 13. They are also fire retardant.
With a clean design, great price and awesome build quality, these shoes are our Editor’s Pick.
2. Sparco Race Competition Shoes
When it comes to racing equipment, Sparco is a brand nearly every automotive enthusiast recognizes. These Sparco Race Competition Shoes are developed exclusively for the U.S. market with a focus on providing comfort and control. They feature a wide toe box and an extra cushioned sole, along with an additional comfort cell on the ball of the foot, which helps reduce shock and vibration.
Aesthetically, these shoes sport an aggressive design with a suede upper and boot cut design with Velcro closure. They are SFI approved and available in black, blue, and red in sizes from 7.5 to 13. They feature Nomex fireproof material.
3. G-Force Pro Series Racing Shoes
Available in sizes 5 to 14 and in black, blue, or red is G-Force’s Pro Series Racing Shoes. They meet SFI 3.3/5 rated specifications and feature a radial grip treaded sole that is inspired from the world’s best high performance tires. The tread on this shoe rolls up the back and sports chamfered edging to prevent any catches during hard driving, while the sole itself is designed with multiple tread channels that move cooler air between the feet and floor pan of the vehicle. They are also fire retardant.
On the styling front, these shoes use carbon fiber printed leather, while the laces are secured under a Velcro enclosure so annoying slack doesn’t get loose. The back of these racing shoes feature a deep cut-out where the shoe meets the back of the leg to allow for the rolling and rocking necessary for performance driving.
4. Simpson Racing The Hightop SFI Driving Shoes
If you’re looking for a pair of high top racing shoes, Simpson Racing has an offering in red, blue, or black in sizes ranging from 4 to 14 (some sizes only available on certain colors). These are SFI 3.3/3.5 certified and feature a double speedfit closure and fleece Nomex lining. There are satin suede toe, heel, and lace guard reinforcements along with a triple layer anterior toe area for added wear protection.
These racing shoes feature a non-slip, super sensitive polyurethane sole with posi-grip traction. Of course, this well-known racing brand’s trademark shoe features race certified fire retardant material.
5. G-Force RaceGrip Mid-Top Racing Shoes
One of G-Force’s most popular racing shoes, this is a mid-top option that features full leather construction with double-stitched seams. They are lined with fire-retardant cotton and have a sole manufactured from a high grip rubber compound for long life and solid pedal feel. There is also ankle padding for added comfort and fit, while a RaceGrip insole offers superior arch support.
Available in black, blue, and red in sizes 3 to 14, these racing shoes also sport a low-profile beveled sole that keeps the shoe from catching on the pedals.
6. Simpson Racing Adrenaline SFI Driving Shoes
Available exclusively in black are Simpson Racing’s Adrenaline Driving Shoes. These meet SFI requirements and feature a single “Speedfit” enclosure with low cut Achilles support. A fleece Nomex lining, triple layer anterior toe area, and a non-slip polyurethane sole with posi-grip traction adds safety and comfort for these racing shoes. These shoes are available in sizes ranging from 4 to 14.
7. RaceQuip Euro Carbon-L Series SFI Racing Shoes
Available in sizes 1 to 20 are RaceQuip’s Euro Carbon-L Series Racing Shoes. These shoes are only available in black and exceeds SFI 3.3/5 rating. They feature a lightweight, flexible design that incorporates durable construction features including a reinforced lace area and double-stitched seams. Helping provide extra support for the heel while driving is a high traction molded rubber sole, which rolls up the back of the shoe.
“Carbon-L” wear pads have been added to both sides of the toe, adding extra protection and durability in the high wear and high heat areas. Giving these shoes a unique look are a soft suede leather out layer with contrast stitching and European styling. The liner is constructed of flame retardant Pyrovatex, while additional padding at the ankles give built-in arch supports. Helping allow easy foot extension is a unique Achilles flex opening in the back.
Compared to a standard racing shoe, RaceQuip says the Euro Carbon-L Series weighs about 30-percent less.
8. Simpson Racing Sprint SFI Driving Shoes
Featuring super smooth leather toe, lace, and heel guard reinforcements are Simpson Racing’s Sprint Driving Shoes. These shoes are available in sizes 9 to 12 and are SFI 3.3/5 rated. A polyurethane sole with posi-grip pattern is complemented by a sloping Achilles heel design and adjustable wrap-around ankle support. To keep these racing shoes nice and secure are seven hole lace-up with dual speedfit closure and lace guard.
These are a great option if you’re looking for leather racing shoes instead of suede.
9. PUMA BMW MMS Drift Cat 7S Ultra Sneaker
If you own a BMW or have a BMW enthusiast in your life and need a gift idea, check out these sneakers from PUMA. Available in a variety of styles, the PUMA BMW MMS Drift Cat 7S Ultra Sneaker is an update to the classic Drift Cat 7. The Ultra version features new sleek upper material and elevated motorsport-inspired design. But more importantly, the BMW MMS branding makes it ideal for any motorsport fan, especially if they own a BMW M model.
These sneakers combine a low profile silhouette with geometric design elements to give it a nice, sleek appearance. Synthetic leather is used up top while a full lace closure and low profile rubber outsole round out its design details. You also can’t miss the PUMA Formstrip graphic design on the lateral side. BMW branding with a comfortable fit? We’ll take a pair please.
Everything You Need to Know About Racing Shoes
As we mentioned before, racing shoes are a very important accessory if you’re planning to take your car out onto the track. Here are a few pointers when shopping for racing shoes and what you should look out for.
Depending on the sanctioning race body, your racing shoes will likely have to be FIA or SFI approved. In the U.S., you’re more likely to find SFI-approved or rated shoes. The level of certification will depend the type of racing you are doing.
Safety is an important factor when shopping for racing shoes. One of their primary jobs is to offer protection in the case of a fire, so always look for flame retardant material. Many shoes will feature Nomex, which is a material that is similar to nylon. Nomex however, has added rigidity and durability and is the most commonly used material for racing shoe lining.
When it comes to material, you’ll want to keep in mind that leather racing shoes retain more heat. They are however, more durable and some incorporate perforated zones to increase ventilation. You’ll likely find suede to be the more popular material, since it offers a balance of durability, flexibility, and heat dissipation.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to sole construction and material. Along with comfort, the sole will play the biggest role in pedal grip and feel. The last thing you want is trying to heel-and-toe and having your shoe slip off the pedals. A thin sole is preferred by some drivers, since it provides better feedback from the pedals.
Ultimately comfort may be the most important quality when shopping for a proper racing shoe. If you’re planning to spend hours on the track, make sure your racing shoes are up to par!
If you do track days or sanctioned racing, you will want a pair of racing shoes. While shopping for footwear online can be hard, racing shoes typically run true to size or a bit smaller than usual. You’ll also to ensure your racing shoes are SFI or FIA certified before you pull the trigger.
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