What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear?

Cars racing in close proximity at over 200 mph for 500 miles is a very risky sport. This shows you the element of danger that is present in such sport, just like in every other sporting activity.

Among these include what every race are driver wear for every race. So, what kind of shoes do race car drivers wear?

Race car drivers wear soled racing booties that typically have uppers that are made with leather or suede, and thin rubber soles which allow them to feel the feedback through the pedals.

For race car driving shoes, Sparco, Simpson, OMP, and Alpinestars are the leading shoe brands that produce most of the best car racing shoe

For racecar drivers, it requires a steady hand and a lot of safety equipment.

Understanding that there is a high probability of injury during a crash, there are many safety regulations, devices, and accessories that keep race car drivers as safe as possible.

Racing shoes have indeed evolved over the years and have become a specialized piece of equipment for racers, just like for every other thing associated with racing.

Racecar drivers do not drive the car with just any type of sneakers, they are specific shoes worn by these drivers for both protection and functionality.

Most car racing shoe designs look like wrestling shoes that have thin soles and are snug around the foot. An ideal shoe for race car drivers is fire retardant and usually takes up as little space as possible.

In the rest of this post, we will be looking at some of the best and leading shoes for race car drivers, their key features, specs, pros and cons, and why they stand out among the plethora of options out there.

We will also look at the reasons why race car drivers wear these specific types of shoes.

Best shoes for race car driving – Overview

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

Racecar drivers understand the importance of wearing the best driving shoes. Not only do they ensure a better pedal feel, but they also play a key role in safety, secured grip on pedals, and of course, protection against fire.

The table below shows an overview of some of the best shoes for race car driving which we shall be looking into in detail. They have been presented with the key features, grades, and where they can be bought.

Product Grade Key Features
Sparco Race Competition Shoes 5.0 Extra cushioned sole, Comfort cell on the ball of the foot, Velcro closure, and SFI approved.
Alpinestars Men’s Sektor Vented Street Motorcycle Shoes 4.5 Available in two different colorways, Lightweight microfiber upper, 3D ankle guard for comfort, and High slip resistant
Simpson Racing Adrenaline SFI Driving Shoes 4.0 Fleece Nomex lining, Satin suede, and Polyurethane sole for extra comfort

Top shoes for Race Car driving – Full review

Sparco Race Competition Shoes

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

Sparco brand is recognized by almost every automotive enthusiast especially when it comes to buying racing equipment. So it will come as little or no surprise if they keep on releasing top-notch shoes for race car drivers.

This particular  Sparco Race Competition shoe has been specially designed with an exclusive focus on providing comfort and control. And here is why it is coming into this ultimate buying guide as our favorite:

Why we like it

The Sparco Race Competition Shoe is designed with a wide toe box and an extra cushioned sole, this is coupled with the extra comfort cell on the ball of the foot. With this, every race car driver wearing this shoe will experience less shock and vibration.

When it comes to look and design, this Sparco Race Competition Shoe gives an aggressive design with a suede upper and boot cut design with Velcro closure.

To sum it up, they are SFI approved and available in three colors for variety – black, blue, and red. And of course, the Sparco Race Competition Shoe is designed with Nomex fireproof material.


  • Wide toe box
  • Extra cushioned sole
  • Comfort cell on the ball of the foot
  • Suede upper
  • Velcro closure
  • SFI approved
  • Option to choose from three colors


  • The Sparco Race Competition Shoes comes in fairly limited sizes which is  from 7.5 to 13

Simpson Racing 28105BK The Hightop Approved Driving Shoes

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

Sold in red, blue, or black colors, the Simpson Racing 28105BK The Hightop  Approved Driving Shoe is an answered prayer to anyone looking for a pair of high top racing shoes.

They are certified and approved racing shoes that feature a double speed-fit closure and fleece Nomex lining.

Any racecar driver wearing these will have added wear protection, thanks to the satin suede toe, heel, and lace guard reinforcements which have tripper later anterior. Here is why it is rated among the best shoes for racing:

Why we like it

First off, Simpson is a well-known racing brand trademark that can be trusted, their 28105BK The Hightop racing shoe features a non-slip, super sensitive polyurethane sole with posi-grip traction.

It is made with a race-certified fire retardant material that is sure to protect drivers’ feet while driving.


  • Comes in a wide range of sizes
  • Three colors variety
  • Fleece Nomex lining
  • Satin suede
  • Polyurethane sole


  • Majority reviews from experience user recount slipper sole

G-G Force 236 Pro Series Racing Shoes

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

When it comes to racing shoe materials, these impressive G-Force Pro Series shoes have carbon-fiber-printed leather.

They are also designed with a set of hook-and-loop fasteners that secures the laces.

The back of the shoes has a  cut-out space by the lower leg which allows drivers to have extra flexibility of forward and backward rolling and rocking which is very necessary for racing.

In addition, the cut-out space by the lower leg improves the overall of the shoe as you work the pedals

Why we like it

The G-Force Pro Series shoes are available in sizes 5 to 14, and they come in three readily available colors which are red, blue, or black.

Significantly, the materials used in designing this shoe are fire retardant, and the shoe features a radial grip sole with treads.

This allows for better grip on the pedal, and then comes the Chamfered edging on the treads, which is needed during difficult driving to avoid aches.

Unlike some other traditional racing shoes, this one allows air to flow between the feet and the floor panel of the car, thanks to the multiple tread channels.

Alpinestars Men’s Sektor Vented Street Motorcycle Shoes

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

This is a go-to shoe for many race car drivers and motorsport enthusiasts, these shoes are available in either white, black, blue, or red colors.

This means that you have options to choose which color goes well with your bodysuit, such that you do the to-match thing without sacrificing safety and functionality.

Also, the Alpinestars Men’s Sektor Vented Street Motorcycle Shoes have a lightweight microfiber upper that provides breathability to your feet.

While this is an important feature, you won’t find it in many racing shoes. Apart from these, here is why it is ranked among the best for race car drivers:

Why we like it

We love the advanced 3D mesh inserts in the shoe that gives extra ventilation, thanks to the 3D ankle guard that allows the shoe to fit perfectly to the shape of your foot.

This feature also helps to mold your ankle and bring about stability and comfort at all times.


  • Plenty of ventilation to keep your feet cool
  • Stable and comfortable with the advanced 3D ankle guard
  • Impressive Sleek design


  • It has a narrow-fitting
  • The shoe is quite pricey

Simpson Racing Adrenaline SFI Driving Shoes

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

Featuring a pretty hardcore design, this Simpson Racing shoe only comes in black but also features a speed-fit enclosure alongside low-cut Achilles support.

The low-cut Achilles support gives maximum flexibility and comfort and the shoe also features a non-slip, highly sensitive polyurethane sole – this is what race car drivers look for in a shoe to keep them firmly on the ground.

Why we like it

We like that this shoe is designed with a satin suede alongside a super comfortable fleece fire-retardant lining. Also, the triple-layer anterior toe area adds extra wear protection.

As mentioned earlier, they only come in black and are SFI certified.


  • Triple-layer anterior toe area
  • Speed-fit enclosure
  • Maximum flexibility and comfort


  • Some drivers had problems with the back of their foot while wearing this particular Simpson Racing shoe, and that is why we would not recommend these for 100 and above mile racing.

OMP KS-3 Karting Shoes

What Kind Of Shoes Do Race Car Drivers Wear

Designed for kart driving, this OMP KS-3 Karting Shoes is made with suede leather and available in several different bright colors. It is a sure bet for those whose bright and bold colors are favorite.

These elegant shoes have mesh inserts that keep race car drivers’ feet cool at all times. This speaks well of the breathability and durability of the shoe.

The manufacturers understand the importance of breathability in racing shoes, and that is why these OMP Unisex KS-3 Shoes have put every feature in place to ensure that drivers are not left with hot stuffy feet.

What about the outsole, specially designed for kart driving, the design brings a different reflection in racing performance when worn.

Why we like it

We mentioned earlier that these shoes are ideal for those who find bright and bold colors as a favorite. It is a racing shoe that set you apart from the crowd especially when you use attractive lace colors


  • Unique colorways for racing outfit
  • Mesh inserts for improved breathability
  • Suede leather material for long-lasting durability


  • The OMP KS-3 Karting Shoes is quite expensive
  • The sizing of the OMP KS-3 Karting Shoes is also  slightly large

Why Race car drivers wear these special shoes

For better grip

One of the characteristics of a very good shoe for race car driving is that they offer the feet more grip on the pedals.

Racers use this kind of specified shoe as it helps them to control their vehicle better than sneakers. It is also recommended because it helps to drive more precisely.

For Convenience

You will observe that nearly all of the shoes reviewed in this post features slip-on fit, making them easy to slide on and off. This convenience is needed by every race car driver especially when they are not driving.

For comfort

Most especially when driving long distances, race car drivers need the most comfortable driving shoes, and that is why these types are developed with drivers in mind.

A good pair of driving shoes will make a huge difference in comfort and relaxation when engaging in such a sport

For aesthetics

Just as with other things in racing, car racing shoes have evolved over the years such that it is not easy for driving shoes to be a fashion statement.

As you have seen with some of these brands, manufacture shoes that come in a variety of styles, designs, and materials, and colors.

It’s a wrap

Racing shoes and boots play a very important role in protecting the driver, especially the feet from heat and flame injury in an accident.

The need for Racecar drivers to wear ideal shoes can not be overemphasized as they also provide improved feel and control of foot-operated vehicle controls in the pedal box.

Unlike traditional footwear, many racing shoes and boots have thin, grippy soles and fit the foot very closely.

Ideal shoes for Racecar drivers are generally as thin and light as possible to give the driver the highest level of sensitivity and sensation.

Lastly, it is quite terrible to use Car racing shoes as walking shoes because the rubber soles are extremely soft and oil resistant.

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