Karting Shoes Vs Auto Racing Shoes: The Differences [2024]

Written By Saraf

Go-karting or karting and auto racing are really fun sports that are played by kids and adults alike. Therefore, proper gears are important for both of them.

This is where the footwear for these sports comes in. There are many people who don’t know about the proper footwear for these sports: how are karting shoes and auto racing shoes different?

Well, I am here to answer that question for you.

Even though they are very similar, karting shoes and auto racing shoes are not the same. While you can wear auto racing shoes for karting, karting shoes cannot be worn for auto racing because auto racing shoes require some additional features that are not present in karting shoes.karting-shoes-vs-auto-racing-shoes

Now that you know that they are not the exact same shoes, what are the differences and similarities between them?

I will be answering all your questions regarding karting and auto racing shoes.

Karting Shoes Vs Auto Racing Shoes: Similarities

When it comes to understanding how two types of shoes differ, knowing the differences are important, but knowing the similarities is also very important.

So, how are the karting shoes and auto racing shoes similar? What do they have in common? I’ve listed all them for you.

Here are the similarities between Karting shoes and auto racing shoes:

They Are Not Heavy Weight

Both karting shoes and auto racing shoes have similar weights.

The thing about racing shoes is that they are usually heavy, but due to the advanced feather weight technology used in both karting and auto racing shoes, they are comparatively less heavy than other types of racing shoes.

Check out my new post on Can You Use Shoe Cream On Nubuck Boots.

They Are Closed Fitted

Karting shoes and auto racing shoes, both are closely fitted.

Most of the time they are true to size, so you can simply get the size that your feet actually are without worrying about them being too tight or too loose.

They are closely fitted shoes because the comfortably firm grip on the feet is needed to efficiently move around your feet and carry out all the necessary accelerations, brakes, gear shifts, and such.

They Are Abrasion Resistant

One excellent quality of these shoes is that they are both abrasion resistant.

This means they have the ability to withstand harsh friction or rubbing and it does not damage the surface of the shoes as it would in case of shoes that are not abrasion resistant.

Karting shoes are usually made of special leather or suede leather composed of abrasion-resistant microfibers.they-are-abrasion-resistant

And auto racing shoes are also made of materials composed of abrasion-resistant microfibers.

They Are Comfortable With Extra Padding

Both karting shoes and auto racing shoes have extra, comfortable, and soft padding inside the shoes. This extra padding provides added security and minimizes blow-on impact.

The padding also adds comfort and desirable warmth to the feet of the drivers.

They Provide Good Ankle Support

Ankle support is an important aspect of footwear. When it comes to footwear for sports such as different forms of racing, ankle support is again very important.

In the case of karting shoes and auto racing shoes, both provide adequate ankle support.

Moreover, besides the ankle support, these shoes also provide protection from injuries and prevent blister formation.

They Have Similar Designs

The design of auto racing shoes and karting shoes is somewhat similar.

They both have a narrow structure, which makes sure that the shoes do not take up too much space in the pedal box area.

For additional protection and security, they have lateral forefoot support along with a slim tongue flap structure to hold everything in place firmly.

But before that, you check out how Red Wing VS Caterpillar.

They Have Similar Soles And Good Grip

The soles of karting shoes and auto racing shoes are both anti-slip soles that provide excellent grip and firmness, which along with the added ankle support, is excellent for long races.

The soles are made to be very thin and flexible so that the rider can have maximum grip and comfort while racing in them.

So, when you want to perform different stunts, take a turn, or overtake another vehicle, you can flexibly take full control of your own vehicle without any stiffness.

Karting Shoes And Auto Racing Shoes: Differences

Now that you know the similarities between karting shoes and auto racing shoes, it’s time for you to know the differences between the two designs.

What are the features that differ between karting and auto racing shoes? I have mentioned them to you, below.

Here are the differences between Karting shoes and auto racing shoes:

They Are Made Using Different Fabrics

The material used to manufacture karting shoes and auto racing shoes is one of the major differences between them.

Karting shoes are mostly made using special non-fire retardant materials, which means their threads do not meet fire codes instead they are treated with chemicals that are flame retarding so they eventually meet fire safety codes.

Some materials used to make karting shoes include nylon, polyester, vinyl, leather, suede, cotton, and such.they-are-made-using-different-fabrics

These materials are treated threaded and built in such a way that they provide optimum protection for your feet. It protects the feet from mechanical injuries as well as thermal or heat-related injuries.

Most of the time they are made to be waterproof as well so that you do not have any difficulty in case of rain.

On the other hand, auto racing shoes are made using much thicker material. These materials include Nomex, carbonx, pyrovatex.

These materials also provide excellent insulation and protection to the feet of the user.

Also read, What Does TD Stand For In Shoes.

They Have Different Types Of Closure

Most auto racing shoes have dual closure features, where it has both laced closure and velcro – this minimizes the chances of the shoes getting loose.

However, in very few cases, only velcro or laced closure may be found in them.

On the other hand, karting shoes usually have a different type of closure that fastens firmly around the feet to prevent the shoes from getting loose.auto-racing-shoes-have-higher-fire-resistant-properties

Auto Racing Shoes Have Higher Fire Resistant Properties

Karting Shoes have a low fire retardant capability because the likelihood of a fire breaking out during a karting competition is low.

On the other hand, auto racing shoes have a very high fire retardant capability because the likelihood of a fire breaking out during an auto racing competition is much higher.

Breathability Is Present In All Auto Racing Shoes

Breathability is a special feature that allows air flow within the shoes.

Breathability is present in all auto racing shoes. However, that is not the case for karting shoes as not all of them have this breathability feature.

They Have Different Heel Support

Racing Shoes also give enough support for the Achilles heel, which protects the area of your foot that would otherwise be injured in the event of accidents caused by friction, impact, or collisions.

On the other hand, this function could be missing from the majority of karting shoes.

Can You Wear Karting Shoes For Auto Racing And Vice Versa?

The shoes made for karting and auto racing are very similar. However, they have some prominent differences which play a role in determining whether they can be worn interchangeably while karting and racing cars.

You can wear auto racing shoes for karting without facing any issues or any worries.

However, you cannot use karting shoes for auto racing. This is because karting shoes have little fire retardant properties, so they will not be able to protect you from accidental fire outbreaks.

Since karting as a sport is much less risky in terms of fire outbreaks, which are much more prevalent and common in the case of auto racing sports.

karting shoes do not have proper fire retardant features – this deems karting shoes unsafe for being used during auto racing.

However, since auto racing shoes are comfortable, dependable, and well ventilated, they can easily be used while karting without any worries.

Follow our guide to know Can You Restore Color On Suede Shoes.


Regardless of the sports you actively participate in, wearing the proper gear is vital in ensuring your safety and optimizing your performance.

Likely so, when you are karting or auto racing, wearing the right karting shoes and auto racing shoes is very, very important.

While you can wear your auto racing shoes for karting, you much wear actual auto racing shoes when performing this sport.

Make sure that you try on your shoes before purchasing them or driving in them because the right fit, comfort, proper ventilation, and flexibility are very important!

I hope this informative article was helpful for you. If you have any further queries, you can drop them in the comments below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

About The Author
Saraf has a utmost passion for footwear and fashion. She loves helping people in all sorts of ways, that’s when she decided why not help people in this regard as well? So now, she’s here with all her expertise.

Leave a Comment