Alberto Segovia wrote this little article as a reminder on the importance of the footwear.
Today, we pay very little attention to the feet, is the great forgotten of our body and however, is the part of the body where it end many nerve endings.
Our feet support our weight, are in almost direct contact with the ground and driving are responsible for achieving a good and correct work when stepping on the brake, clutch and throttle.
Its importance in daily life increase its relevance in motosport and our feet need to be protected against fire, humidity, sweat and water. Hence boots must meet a number of features for drivers to concentrate on driving almost immediately and do not expect a mishap on the wheel.
Fireproof: As track suit, fireproof clothing, gloves and boots today are created from a material called Nomex; fiber artificial light and flame resistant, able to withstand 850° C, about 12 seconds surrounded by extreme heat in the event of fire, avoiding possible deformations and decomposition in the weave by flames or caustic gases.
Breathable: The shoes need to protect the driver from moisture, sweat, because the temperature of the pedals on the race usually about 50º C ~ 60º C, and even the water that can enter the boot. To do this you must have a protective membrane barrier against these external agents and prevent the concentration of the driver is not affected by an unusual situation in their feet.
Lightweight, comfortable and flexible: You must provide a sense of “freedom” of the foot inside the boot. Sole should be very thin, fire-resistant, anti-abrasive, non-slip and made of rubber to provide a “natural” touch on the pedals. Ensuring maximum comfort and tack on any surface.
The driver has to be comfortable and focused. If the heel or sole sweats or something happens in the foot, the concentration goes. People do not understand the importance of a boot to the pilot.
“More than a boot, is a ‘elongation’ foot as driver, stepping the throttle and brake, touch has to be as natural as possible and with full grip, feet and footwear as if they were a single member.” Mark Webber
There are some good items out there if you are looking to substitute or improve your current shoes:
Simboot: Custom tailored footwear, seems good but no activity since 2013 🙁
Fasttrack shoes: Pretty good balance between price and quality.
Boxing shocks: Useful if you are using stock pedals or without load cells.
Puma cat 6: A cheap classic for us, simracers.
Also, any real racing/karting shoes from OMP, Sparco or AlpineStars should do the work.