While plenty of sim racers put lots of money into their hardware equipment, most of us never worry about what shoes to wear for driving, even though regular shoes or socks don’t provide as much grip and comfort as possible.
The Electronic Racing Appeal Company is here to change that with their innovative SimBoot product. What’s hiding behind the catchy name? Find out by reading the full review.
There’s a good reason no professional or even amateur race driver will ever drive his car wearing regular street shoes. Apart from security concerns such as flammability, normal shoes don’t fit the needs of those who drives their cars in a competitive manner.
While sim racing is not completely the real deal, the footwork required to be quick on virtual soil comes pretty close to what real race drivers encounter. Still, most sim racers stick to wearing regular shoes, socks or even drive barefoot – Mainly because of the limited options available.
While professional-grade racing shoes from companies like Puma or Alpinestars are available to buy, only very few sim racers would be willing to pay $200+ for a set of shoes. Apart from the SimSox product a few years back, no shoe product has yet been made with the needs of sim racers in mind.
This changes now as Randall Jonson of E-R-A-C presents his SimBoots, tailor-made sim racing shoes.
Made of closed cell jersey backed neoprene, the SimBoots are no mass production product but tailor-made to fit the needs of every customer. Customization starts with size and coloring and goes on to your choice of rubber grips – The clue behind the Simboot idea.
These rubber grips can be chosen to be under the sole, the heel or a combination of the two, allowing all kinds of driving techniques from left-foot braking to heel & toe. The boots use a utility cord system to fasten them around the foot, the cord can be fastened and loosed using a lock at the back of the boot.
Ordering the Boots
Since these boots are not made in mass production, the order process requires a little more effort by the customer as providing the right measurements is the key to get a perfect-fitting shoe. What sounds a little complicated is no big deal as only three values need to be provided.
You have to measure your foot’s length from heel to toe, the width at the widest point as well as the circumference of the ankle. All of this is explained on the website and can be quickly done using a sheet of paper.
The little hassle aside, this system allows E-R-A-C to provide perfectly fitting boots, even taking care of special needs such as different sizes for left and right boots. Once the right measurements are provided, you have to choose your rubber grips.
You can customize your boots even further by choosing a color combination. Colors aren’t limited to a simply design as every segment of the shoe can be in a different color if you want it that way.
Once every choices are made, the boots can be ordered. The process ends here for US & Canadian customers as E-R-A-C sells the boots for $49,98 including shipping. If you order from another country, the boots sell for $45,98 plus shipping to your country. A customized shipping quote will be provided following your order.
The Boots in Action
I was able to test one of the first SimBoots ever made, ending the days of racing with socks. Since regular shoes numb the feeling for pedals too much and I hate racing barefoot, the boots were pretty much what I was waiting for.
I was really anxious to see if the boots would fit right, especially since my right foot is a size smaller than the left one. The measurements I provided must have been spot on as the boots fit like a glove right away.
Since the material used is flexible, you won’t have no problems getting them on, even though the fit is pretty tight. Using the cord, the boots can be put on even tighter so nothing will move even the slightest bit.
I´ve tested the boots with Fanatec’s Clubsport pedals and the rubber grips performed beautifully on the aluminum pedals as there was no sliding around whatsoever, the foot would stay exactly where it was even when things got hectic on track and on the pedals.
The 3mm neoprene is thick enough to provide good grip but thin enough to not numb the feeling for the pedals or the vibration feedback.
Even though (or because..) these shoes are not made in mass production, the build quality is excellent, providing the feel of a quality product. All seams and stitches are carefully done, the boots even come with a professionally-looking stitched company logo on top of the boot.
Selling for less than 50 bucks, SimBoots are the perfect choice for those who are unhappy about driving with street shoes or socks. If you´re looking for some more grip and feel on the pedals, look no further as these boots provide both for a very competitive price.
The product you´re getting is not just tailor-made to your needs and likings, it also supports the business idea of a fellow community member as these boots are not sold by a big and anonymous cooperation but by an inventive member of our community – A product by sim racers, for sim racers!