If you’ve ever watched a motor race, you may have noticed that drivers don’t tend to sport conventional footwear. While regular shoes are designed to be comfortable, racing shoes are all about transferring as much information from the car to the driver as possible. By donning a pair of light and tight racing boots with ultra-thin soles, racing drivers are granted as much feel over the pedals as they can get, allowing whispers of pressure to be placed on either the brake or throttle without interference.
The closer the soles of a driver's feet are to the surface of the pedals, the better, so most would probably race around in just their socks given the choice. Of course, what with all the weather and fire hazards commonplace in real-life motor racing, such a preference would never be permitted, but taking to the racing simulator and driving socks begin to make a lot more sense.
Wearing socks on the sim rig
For stay-at-home sim racing, away from all the weather and fire hazards, driving socks make the perfect driving footwear. Keeping to the tarmac on a sim racing game requires pedal feel just as it does in a real racing car; racing socks grant your feet all the pedal feel they need without the inconveniences of the outside world making shoeless driving impractical.
They’re also a lot cheaper, lighter and more comfortable than racing boots, so if you’re in the market for some new sim racing footwear, save yourself some cash and go for a pair of socks.
What features should I look out for?
As well as being ultra-thin, the soles of racing boots are also ultra-grippy. Since socks are among the slipperiest bits of clobber, most purpose-built sim racing socks include silicone padding on the bottom to improve grip. There’s no value to pedal feel if you can’t keep your feet where they should be, so for anyone wishing to take their sim racing seriously, grippy socks are a must.
Support and comfort
Sim races can go on for a while - stay comfortable, energised and ready for the worst with a pair of supportive socks. Some examples feature breathable fabric, cushioned heels and arch support to keep fatigue at bay.
If you're interested in picking up a pair of sim racing socks, here are our favourites to get you started.
If it’s racing heritage that captures your imagination, look no further than these sim racing
- High quality
- Expensive for a single pair
This pair of socks from Cube Controls is another purpose-built example from a sim-racing kit
- Quality internal gel pads for comfort
- Expensive for just a single pair
In terms of value, few sets of racing socks rank as highly as this example from Sim Hound.
- Breathable material
- Feet might get cold in the winter
Like the Sim Hound set, these sim racing socks from Dapper Racing come in packs of three pairs,
- Three pairs to rotate
- Great value
- Cheaper options available
Best affordable alternative
If you’re building up your sim racing kit on a budget, there are plenty of affordable options out
- Possibly too heavy in warm climates