Driving shoes and why they matter
Driving shoes may not be a requirement for most drivers, but they are certainly a worthy investment for any automobile enthusiast. While the equipment needed by the everyday driver is relatively limited, a good pair of racing shoes is a definite plus. They not only provide substantial foot mobility, but also offer the driver a better feel of the pedals, enabling more precise control.
Driving shoes appear like reasonably regular shoes and they are extremely comfortable while driving. For driving shoes designed for everyday use, you could be walking in a pair and attack the course in them, and they’d still feel comfortable for your after-track activities.
When choosing a pair of shoes, you’d be spoilt for choice, or perhaps end up buying the wrong shoes for the job. Here, we will explore a few key areas on what makes a great driving shoe, and help you make an informed decision for your next purchase.
The first, and most obvious component of racing shoes is the sole. Notice that the sole of a racing shoe is significantly flat, slim, thin, and much stiffer. This design makes racing shoes unique for optimum pedal feel and control. Don’t be alarmed by the lack of flexibility when compared to regular shoes. While driving, it is presumed your feet will be doing a great deal of quick work and its best to have nothing restrain your movements. Racing shoes meant for racing usually have rather smooth soles, so if you’re looking to use them off the track, try to look for one with a much grippier sole.
The heel of the racing shoe is weighted, and more pronounced, with a clear distinction in its rounded heel. The much heavier and thicker heel area is to stabilize, and create an anchor point from your foot to the surface of the car. While not the most ergonomic fit for everyday use, these rounded, rubber heels are specifically designed for seamless pedal changes and quick heel movement.
Now when it comes to the actual reliability of the shoe in question, safety is one of the most crucial aspects when considering a new pair. One of their primary tasks is to offer protection in the case of a fire, so it would be common to see them made with flame-resistant material, such as Nomex. A material similar to nylon, Nomex is one of the most widely used materials used by race car drivers and fire fighters.
For the casual driver however, leather or suede shoes will prove to do the job, being both sturdy and flexible. Look out for designs that incorporate perforated zones to increase ventilation – there’s nothing worse than having a pair of leather ovens on your feet.
Now this goes without saying - Try them on, pretend like you’re driving, and pay close attention to the actual feel of the shoe. Your foot is unique and racing shoes sizes tend to feel different due to their material and rather snug fit. Consider your “foot size” rather than the available shoe size – make sure there’s some room to spread your toes, as this bit of freedom allows for better pedal grip and feel. The last thing you’d want happening while negotiating a corner is having your shoe slip off the pedals.
While style can be subjective to tastes, versatility is key for the everyday racing shoe so you can match your footwear with many different styles. Look out for sleek designs, with understated colours. A low-profile silhouette combined with cushioning and technology of a reputable shoe manufacturer guarantees both style and substance.
We’d recommend the BMW Motorsport Drift Cat 5 Sneakers by PUMA. This shoe combines motorsport style and function with everyday comfort, featuring a lightweight build, anti-skid rubber soles with tyre tread pattern, perforated stripes on the side for breathability, and a rounded heel for driving stability.
It’s important to be informed about the things that affect what we do every day. At the end of the day, it’s about selecting the right pair of shoes to make your driving experience that much better, as the common racing phrase goes; the smallest of margins make all the difference.
A good pair of racing shoes guarantees that your drive will be an act of excitement, comfort and pleasure- So choose well!
For more information on the BMW Motorsport Drift Cat 5 Sneakers and more from the BMW Lifestyle Collection, visit the Quill Automobiles showroom at Ground Floor, Quill 9, 112, Jalan Professor Khoo Kay Kim, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
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