There are few topics where the opinions of sim racers differ as widely as when it comes to choosing the right shoes. Is it worth investing a reasonable amount of money in this area, or will a pair of street shoes be enough in the end?
Adidas Speedex 16.1 Boxing shoes
The first test candidate, in alphabetical order, is the Adidas Speedtex. The model, which is actually intended as a boxing shoe, is the lightest sturdy shoe in the test with a weight of just 279 grams and is very tightly cut. This, in combination with the very stiff sole without cushioning, ensures perfect power transfer to the ground in the actual application. If you use it in the home rig, however, the stiff sole hardly allows a precise control of the throttle or brake pedal, despite the very good grip. In addition, the tight cut does not exactly provide the most pleasant comfort in longer sessions.
Conclusion: If you already have boxing shoes in your closet, you can definitely use the Adidas shoes for one or two quick rounds. However, if you are planning to buy a new pair, you should consider a different model at a price of around €99.
Note on the shoe sizes: The shoes are extremely tight, you should probably add at least one shoe size here in any case.
Asetek Invicta Sim Racing Boots
The Invicta Sim Racing Boots from the manufacturer Asetek already indicate the intended use in the name. The sole of rubber is in contrast to the Adidas Speedtex more flexible and thus allows a much better feel on the pedals. It is just thick enough that it still has enough material in very heavily textured pedal plates (for example, in the Asetek Invicta pedals: Review). The shoes are also designed very sturdy, especially in the area of the ankle joint, and thus offer the greatest stability in the test field and are also correspondingly heavy with about 345 grams. Especially when using hydraulic pedals with high forces of over 50 kilos of brake pressure, this provides a significant plus in comfort during longer races.
During the test, the Velcro closure attached in addition to the laces was also considered a bonus point, which is otherwise known mainly from racing shoes in the price range above 150€. The perforated surface in the front area is supposed to provide more breathability. Whether this is also sufficient in summer temperatures, however, remains to be seen.
Conclusion: The Asetek Invicta Sim Racing Boots combine comfort with functionality. Especially when using high-end pedals, they offer real added value. With a price of 99.96 €, the good quality shoes are not a bargain, but very fairly priced.
Note on the shoe sizes: The shoes fit quite normally, but if you are between two sizes, you might want to choose the next larger size if in doubt.
Puma Evoknit Esports socks
If there’s one stand-out in the field, Puma’s Evoknit Esports socks certainly do it. With a weight of just 179 grams, they live up to their name and are actually more like socks than shoes. This is accompanied by by far the best wearing comfort during the review, which is helped by the very flexible design of both the “main shoe” and the sole.
However, this advantage quickly becomes a disadvantage with pedals with a high braking pressure. Because the Evoknit Esports socks offer hardly any support for the ankle and behave here more like thick socks instead of solid racing shoes.
The MSRP for the socks is 79.95€.
Conclusion: The Puma Evoknit Esports socks are worth considering, especially for desk drivers. Here, the principle-related disadvantages hardly take effect, but the advantages can be taken full benefit. For use with higher-priced pedals, you should rather reach for the other models in the test.
Note: The Puma Evoknit Esports socks are regularly on sale for 40-50€.
The Sparco K-Pole karting shoe completes the test round and is currently probably the most popular choice for simracers from the field of karting shoes in the entry-level range. At 293 grams, it is slightly lighter than the shoe from Asetek, which is reflected in slightly less padding in the area of the shoe tongue and around the ankle joint, as well as a thinner sole.
A positive aspect for use in summer could be the shoe’s perforation, which is distributed over almost the entire shoe and also the tongue. This should provide a bit more breathability.
Due to the relatively thin sole, you have a good feel for the pedals, but can definitely feel them on heavily textured pedal plates.
Sparco shoes have an MSRP of 95€, but are usually available for around 80€. They come in many different colorways and special editions are released regularly.
Conclusion: The Sparco K-Pole karting shoes are not very popular among us sim racers for no reason. They deliver a solid overall package for a fair price and are available in many colors. Those who can do without the slightly better sole and the additional Velcro closure of the Invicta Boots will find a very good shoe here.
Note: Three of the products presented here were provided free of charge for this review. Of course, no influence was exerted at any time.
There is hardly an area in simracing for which so many different products come into question as for the footwear. In addition to the models presented here, there are a variety of other options: From water shoes (a lot of fun when sweating in the summer) to non-slip socks, you can really achieve a coherent result for yourself here with almost any footwear.
The Invicta Boots offer arguably the most complete package in the test field while the exotic Puma Evoknit Esports socks should be a good choice for desk drivers. The boxing shoes from Adidas should rather be left out of a new purchase, here the concept-related disadvantages outweigh too much. The K-Pole karting shoes, on the other hand, bring a real racing feeling into your own four walls and are also available in many different colors.
In the end, the decision for the right footwear is very subjective and always depends on the pedals used as well as one’s own preferences. The Asetek Invicta Sim Racing Boots and the Sparco K-POLE karting shoes emerge as the test winners here.
It is planned to add more models to this test in the future. Therefore, please feel free to use the comment function for suggestions.