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The Difference between Karting Boots and Circuit Racing Boots
By Right Motorsport – Matthew Lambert
Motorsport requires specialized gear that provides both protection and precision for the driver. This is especially true when it comes to footwear, which must allow drivers to navigate the track or course with confidence. In this article, we will explore the differences between karting boots and circuit racing or rallying boots, including their design and features, to help you determine which type of footwear is best for your needs.
FIA specification karting boots are designed specifically for use in karting. They are made from lightweight materials and have a slim profile that allows for greater control and precision on the track. These boots must meet certain safety standards, including abrasion resistance, and impact protection.
FIA specification karting boots are made to be lightweight and flexible, which allows for a greater feel of the pedals allowing for control and precision on the track. They also provide excellent protection against abrasions and impacts. Karting boots tend to be more water-resistant than the shoes you would find in circuit racing, due to their exposed nature on the circuit.
Karting boots can vary in shoe style and tend to always offer a decent amount of ankle support. The fastening style: laces, velcro, rotor or cable can be found on karting shoes. Whilst Velcro may be the lightest form of fastening, it can tend to wear quickly when used regularly.
It is vital that all racing boots, do not come loose when they are being used on the track.
Examples of karting boots:
High-end: the OMP KS-1R Kart Shoes, with a rotor lacing design
Mid-range: the OMP KS-2 Kart Shoes, with a lace free closure with a single strap
Beginner: the OMP KS-3 Kart Shoes, offering innovative design and color options
Circuit Racing or Rallying Boots
Circuit racing or rallying boots are designed for use in a wide range of motorsports, including circuit racing, rallying, and other forms of motorsports. These boots are typically made from high-quality materials and feature a more substantial design that provides greater protection and support. They must meet certain safety standards, including abrasion resistance, impact protection, and a high level of flame resistance.
Circuit racing or rallying boots are suitable for use in a wide range of motorsports, making them much more versatile than karting boots. Circuit racing shoes can come in a range of styles, from low ankle to mid-shin and can range in materials from fire-resistant leathers to suedes and Alcantara.
The fasteners on circuit boots can also range, similarly to karting boots, where velcro, laces and rotor / cables can be used to tighten the fitment of the shoes. In all eventualities, you need to have laces that can be easily tucked away and will not come loose during use.
Examples of circuit racing boots:
High-end: OMP ONE EVO X R Rotor Lacing Shoes, a flagship race boot brings all the elements required of a professional racing driver today.
Mid-range: Alpinestars 2022 Tech-1 T V3 Racing Shoes, which offer drivers optimum levels of comfort, fit, and feel.
Beginner: OMP SPORT Racing Shoes, which are designed to offer the clubman racer a cost-effective solution with the latest FIA approval.
Design and Features
The main design and features of karting boots and circuit racing or rallying boots differ significantly. Karting boots are made to be lightweight and flexible, which allows for greater control and precision on the track. They are designed to be slim-fitting and have a low profile, which is ideal for karting.
Circuit racing or rallying boots, on the other hand, are made to be more substantial and provide greater support and protection. They often have a range of ankle designs and offer more padding to protect the foot impacts. These boots may also have additional features, such as breathable materials and reinforced soles for added durability.
The key difference between both types of shoes however is their fire resistance rating. All circuit racing shoes can be worn for karting, but, no karting shoes can be worn for circuit racing and because of this, karting boots are generally cheaper.
Choosing the Right Footwear
When choosing between karting boots and circuit racing or rallying boots, consider the type of motorsport you participate in, your level of experience, and your budget. If you primarily participate in karting, then karting boots may be the best choice for you.
However, if you plan to make the step from karting into circuit racing or rallying, paying the difference for a pair of circuit racing shoes might be the way to go.
If you participate in a wide range of motorsports, including circuit racing and rallying, a more versatile option like circuit racing or rallying boots may be a better choice.
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