Alpinestars Tech 1-K
  • Nitrile Rubber
  • Best Mid-Range Shoes
Best Value

Sparco Superleggera-K
  • Suede Leather
  • Best Premium Shoes
Premium Pick

K1 Race Gear Pro-Lite
  • Suede Leather
  • Best Budget Shoes
Most Affordable

10 Best Karting Shoes in 2020

If you are starting to take go-kart racing more seriously and are looking to get some professional equipment, you’ve come to the right place. A proper pair of karting shoes is part of the core equipment set that go-kart racers have. Sometimes, karting shoes are also referred to as go-kart racing shoes or karting boots.

The importance of getting the right pair of karting shoes is ciritical for racing on the track. You need to ensure that you maintain adequate focus and that’s why your shoes need to feel comfortable and ventilated. You also need to benefit from good pedal control in order to accelerate and brake at optimal timings. Therefore, it’s important to get the perfect go-kart racing shoes for you, so that you can take advantage of these benefits. 

Best Karting Shoe Reviews

This review article is focused on ranking the top 10 go-kart racing shoes on the market. Each shoe has been carefully tested and reviewed according to the materials it was manufactured with, the features it has, the comfort that it provides and the overall build quality. Here’s a quick summary and list of the 10 best karting shoes available:

  1. Alpinestars Tech 1-K (Score: 99%) – Read Review
  2. Sparco Superleggera-K (Score: 98%) – Read Review
  3. Sparco Omega KB-6 (Score: 96%) – Read Review
  4. Alpinestars Tech 1-K Start (Score: 95%) – Read Review
  5. Sparco Gamma KB-4 (Score: 93%) – Read Review
  6. Simpson MT-BK (Score: 91%) – Read Review
  7. OMP KS-3 (Score: 89%) – Read Review
  8. Alpinestars Tech 1-KZ (Score: 86%) – Read Review
  9. RaceQuip 303 (Score: 85%) – Read Review
  10. RaceQuip Euro Carbon-L (Score: 84%) – Read Review

1

Alpinestars Tech 1-K

  • Ultra-thin rubber sole
  • Dual asymmetric closure
  • Durable & lightweight
  • Microfiber stains easily

Brand
Alpinestars

Material
Nitrile Rubber

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Velcro + Laces

Sizes
US 2.5 – 13 (US)

Colors
7

The Alpinestars Tech 1-K are at the top of buyer’s lists when it comes to go-kart racing shoes. They have been designed specifically to enhance the endurance and strength of the shoes. The Tech 1-K has been anatomically developed in a way that they provide you increased comfort along with a modern design and style.

The upper part of the shoe is made with nubuck and microfiber that provide increased durability. Moreover, the ultra-thin Formula 1 rubber sole has strategically placed ribs to ensure tight grip in both dry and wet environments. The perforated zones on the side of the shoes ensure good ventilation. The dual asymmetric closure system which provides a tight grip to the feet and is secured by Velcro and laces.

These stylish go- kart racing shoes feature a soft microfiber collar, nitrile rubber collar padding and perforated soft padding on the tongue which provide you increased comfort. Toe reinforcements on outer sides provide resistance to scuffing and eroding. These features make the shoe fit perfectly and are a great choice for kart racers.

Criteria Rating

Material 95%
Features 100%
Comfort 100%
Build Quality 100%

Overall Rating

99%

AWESOME!

2

Sparco Superleggera-K

  • High-quality leather
  • Memory foam sole
  • TPU reinforced structure
  • Limited colors available

Brand
Sparco

Material
Leather

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Laces

Sizes
7 – 13 (US)

Colors
2

The Sparco Superleggera-K are our premium pick for this list as they are extremely lightweight and easy to wear. These pair of go-kart racing shoes weigh about 40% less than typical karting shoes. They are made entirely by using a combination of ultra-light fabric and leather which makes your feet feel extremely lightweight and airy.

The sole of the shoes is made from next generation, ultra-thin lightweight material that gives good pedal feel and grip. The comfort factor of the shoes is enhanced by an additional latex insole having memory foam characteristics, thus giving you extra comfort on the race track.

These karting shoes also feature thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) lateral reinforcement on the outer sole to provide extra durability. The exterior is treated to be highly water resistant and you can easily wear them in wet weather conditions. In summary,  these shoes are the perfect premium choice for kart racing and will meet all of your requirements.

Criteria Rating

Material 100%
Features 95%
Comfort 95%
Build Quality 100%

Overall Rating

98%

AWESOME!

3

Sparco Omega KB-6

  • Dual closure system
  • Durable leather
  • Anatomic inner sole
  • Relatively high top

Brand
Sparco

Material
Leather

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Velcro + Laces

Sizes
4.5 – 15 (US)

Colors
6

The Sparco Omega KB-6 are next on the list of best karting shoes. The upper part of the shoe is made from a very soft leather material. Perforations on the leather makes your feet feel ventilated and breathable while racing on the track.

The shoes are designed in a very uniquely and the color contrasting make it look stylish and modern, at the same time providing comfort and support. Moreover, the dual closure system of Velcro and laces securely wrap around your feet, enabling you to have better grip on the pedals. 

These karting shoes are built to be extra comfortable as they have an anatomically placed innersole with support for the heel that enables you to move freely while providing extra high-grip at the same time. In addition, the sole of the shoes is resistant to slips, slides and is anti-static. In short, the Sparco Omega KB-6 is a great pair of karting shoes worn by those who seek style, comfort and quality.

Criteria Rating

Material 95%
Features 95%
Comfort 95%
Build Quality 100%

Overall Rating

96%

AWESOME!

4

Alpinestars Tech 1-K Start

  • Suitable for all weather conditions
  • Breathable ventilation
  • Durable heel support
  • Microfiber can be hard to clean

Brand
Alpinestars

Material
Microfiber

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Laces

Sizes
2.5 – 13 (US)

Colors
6

The Alpinestars Tech 1-K Start shoes are a classic pick for go kart racers in search of durability and style. Made from durable and perforated microfiber these shoes make your feet feel extra lightweight and breathable. The perforations enhance airflow in the shoes and prevent your feet from sweating. This is especially noticeable when racing.

The collar of the shoes is designed to provide support to the heel and is very robust. Its collar padding is made from nitrile rubber which not only provides you grip and support but is also very light in weight. These shoes have been specifically designed by Alpinestars for go-kart racing. They help to promote endurance and pedal control during a race, while providing comfort and safety. 

The external rubble on the heel provides extra resistance from abrasions and friction damage. In conclusion, the Alpinestars Tech 1-K Start shoes are a perfect fit for kart racing in all weather conditions as it is strong and durable.

Criteria Rating

Material 90%
Features 95%
Comfort 100%
Build Quality 95%

Overall Rating

95%

AWESOME!

5

Sparco Gamma KB-4

  • High-quality suede
  • mid-boot design
  • Reinforced sides & pivot points
  • Limited bottom & side ventilation

Brand
Sparco

Material
Suede

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Laces

Sizes
4.5 – 15 (US)

Colors
7

The Sparco Gamma KB-4 karting shoes are a great pick for go-kart racers when it comes to high-performance and enhanced durability. They are made of a high-quality suede material and a contrasting upper portion design which makes them look very sporty.

The anatomical build of the shoe features a mid-boot design. The inner soles are equipped with impact absorption areas in the rear part. This provides your feet the extra grip and support for go-kart racing, making these shoes a great choice for karting. Additionally, they’re designed asymmetrically to reinforce the pivot points of your feet which gives you superior pedal control.

The upper portion of the shoes has a mesh panel, which enhances ventilation and provides just about enough airflow to your feet. The Sparco Gamma KB-4 are fantastic karting shoes with a great blend of strength, comfort and style. They’re available in 7 different colors and sizes ranging from 4.5 – 15 (US).

Criteria Rating

Material 90%
Features 95%
Comfort 90%
Build Quality 95%

Overall Rating

93%

AWESOME!

6

Simpson MT-BK

  • Flame-resistant Nomex material
  • SFI 3.3/5 certified
  • Slip resistant properties
  • No perforated ventilation

Brand
Simpson

Material
Nomex

Ventilation
No

Closure
Velcro + Laces

Sizes
10 – 13 (US)

Colors
1

The Simpson MT-BK shoes are the choice of style and sophistication for go-kart racers. They are entirely made from a black satin suede material with grey reinforcements on the toe, heel and lace guard. The solo speed fit closure provides protection to the Nomex fabric and also adds to the mid-boot design of the shoes.

The cut on the rear portion of the shoes provides comfort to your Achille’s heel and overall flexibility. The inner lining of the shoes is made from fire-retardant fleece material providing your feet extra safety and security. They’re also SFI 3.3/5 certified and commonly used is professional go-kart races. 

The PU sole of the shoes is highly slip-resistant with Posi-grip traction that provide you with the needed grip in both wet and dry conditions. The anterior portion of the shoes is layered three times around the toes to provide extra wear protection. Please note that the link to this shoe is only size 13. Simply search for other sizes to get the correct size for you.

Criteria Rating

Material 95%
Features 85%
Comfort 90%
Build Quality 95%

Overall Rating

91%

AWESOME!

7

OMP KS-3

  • Durable suede leather material
  • Mesh inserts for increased air flow
  • Elastic padded inserts
  • Underwhelming shoe laces

Brand
OMP

Material
Suede

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Laces

Sizes
2.5 – 13 (US)

Colors
6

The OMP KS-3 shoes are next on the list. These unique pair of shoes have been made with a high-grade suede leather material that makes them look rather casual, yet modern. The anatomical design of the shoes feel like they wrap around your feet. This gives you superior pedal control during a go-kart race.

These shoes also have mesh inserts on both sides which allows air ventilation  and prevents your feet from becoming sweaty and slippery. The sole of the shoe is customized specifically by OMP to provide good fit and foot grip, while the rear inserts are made of an elastic padded material that ensure for improved comfort. The padded ankle provides you with enhanced comfort during your race.

It also features double layers on the sides of shoes making them robust and abrasion-resistant. The OMP KS-3 are a good choice for kart racers who seek quality, style and comfort along with strength and durability.

Criteria Rating

Material 90%
Features 80%
Comfort 90%
Build Quality 95%

Overall Rating

89%

VERY GOOD!

8

Alpinestars Tech 1-KZ

  • Great heel protection
  • Perforated padding for ventilation
  • Dual closure system
  • Relatively thin material

Brand
Alpinestars

Material
Suede

Ventilation
Yes

Closure
Velcro + Laces

Sizes
2.5 – 15 (US)

Colors
9

The Alpinestars Tech 1-KZ features a thermo-welded construction in combination with a 3D mesh, which makes these shoes extremely lightweight and allows for efficient performance. The perforations on the upper body of the shoes provides extra airflow to the feet, which is noticeable during racing. 

The sole of the shoes is made from ultra-thin formula 1 material with rubber compound on the heels that gives extra grip in all weather conditions. The comfort factor of the shoes is enhanced by the perforated soft padding, and nitrile rubber collar padding, which feel quite comfortable. An innovative heel counter made from polypropylene material gives great structural integrity to the shoe construction.

The polymer resin lace system is exclusive to Alpinestars and makes your feet feel secure and perfectly fitted. The lace system is further made secure by a dual asymmetric closure system with a hoop and loop grip strap providing extra strength and durability. Thus, this pair of karting shoes are a perfect blend of strength, quality and durability.

Criteria Rating

Material 80%
Features 90%
Comfort 85%
Build Quality 90%

Overall Rating

86%

VERY GOOD!

9

RaceQuip 303

  • Exceed SFI 3.3A/5 rating
  • Made with durable suede leather
  • Flame-retardant Pyrovatex material
  • No ventilation

Brand
RaceQuip

Material
Suede

Ventilation
No

Closure
Velcro + Laces

Sizes
8 – 13 (US)

Colors
1

The RaceQuip 303 showcase an exquisite American style and a mid-boot design. The shoes are entirely made from black suede leather with stitching designs around the toes, ankle and lace guard. This gives them a very robust structure. 

The inner portion of the shoes is lined with flame-retardant Pyrovatex and the ankles are also padded to provide your feet with extra comfort and support. Moreover, the Achille’s heel support at the back of the shoes provides extra flexibility for full-throttle karting action. The extra Velcro strap ensures that the shoes are securely fastened around your feet. 

Noteworthy are also the rubber sole of the shoes, which are molded with unique cuts to provide a strong grip on the pedals in all weather conditions. The sole is rolled up at the back to enable your feet to balance pedal control perfectly. The RaceQuip 303 also exceed SFI 3.3A/5 rating, which may come in handy if you are entering a competition with strict requirements.

Criteria Rating

Material 90%
Features 75%
Comfort 85%
Build Quality 90%

Overall Rating

85%

VERY GOOD!

10

RaceQuip Euro Carbon-L

  • Traditional European design
  • Made of high-quality suede
  • Flame-retardant Pyrovatex material
  • No ventilation

Brand
RaceQuip

Material
Suede

Ventilation
No

Closure
Velcro + Laces

Sizes
1 – 20 (US)

Colors
1

The RaceQuip Euro Carbon-L series racing shoes boast great materials that are perfect for go-kart racing. They showcase a black suede leather upper body, which look quite traditional. Moreover, the body of the shoes have stitches in a traditional European style around the anterior portion which gives it a very unique look and feel.

The extraordinary part about these shoes is that the have Carbon-L pads on both sides which gives them extra durability and wear protection. They’re built to last, and it’s noticeable. The inner lining of the shoes is made from Pyrovatex with increased support around the heel area which provides extra comfort to your feet giving you a perfect fit.

They have a similar design and build like the RaceQuip 303. One features they have in common is the rolled-up soles up at the back of the heel which gives extra support. Overall, these karting shoes are a great choice for go-kart racers who look for the latest features along with traditional European design and style.

Criteria Rating

Material 95%
Features 75%
Comfort 80%
Build Quality 85%

Overall Rating

84%

VERY GOOD!

Buying Guide: How to Choose Karting Shoes

With so many different types of karting shoes on the market, it can be quite challenging finding the one that suits you best. Some shoes may have a unique blend of high-quality materials, whereby other pairs may have a superior ventilation system. There are so many different options and features to look at. 

When it comes to selecting the right go-kart racing shoes there are a few things you should consider. The following buying guide will highlight important aspects such as size, comfort, fabric, closure, features, price and design. Let’s take a look!

Size

The size of your shoes will partially determine how comfortable they feel around your feet. Take it from me when I say that racing with shoes that are too tight will feel extremely uncomfortable. Racing with shoes that are too lose will result in ineffective pedal control. 

Therefore, it’s important that you get the exact shoe size for your feet. I’ve created a small shoe size chart that you can use to convert shoe sizes depending on which region you are from (US, UK and Europe). This is a general guide, please check on the product page or the manufacturer’s site for their sizing guides.

General Shoe Sizing Chart

US 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5 14 14.5 15
UK 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 10.5 11 11.5 12 12.5 13 13.5 14
EU 36.5 37 38 38.5 39 40 40.5 41 42 42.5 43 44 44.5 45 46 46.5 47 48 48.5 - 50

Comfort

Wearing uncomfortable equipment can negatively affect your performance on the track, as you can easily get distracted by it. This also applies to karting shoes. Getting a good pair of racing shoes in the correct size can also help with your pedal control and overall comfort while racing. 

It’s also a good idea to wear socks when go-karting to ensure a better fit. Socks also help to absorb sweat. Make sure that your socks cover your ankles, as most karting shoes usually have a higher top than normal shoes. 

Closure

Go-kart racing shoes have different closure systems that securely fasten them around your feet. It’s important that your shoes don’t come loose, as you would have to re-tie them mid-race, which is not optimal. 

Velcro Closure

A Velcro closure works with two different types of strips. The strip attached to the karting shoe has hooks on them, and the closing strap has loops that bind with the hooks once they are closed. This ensures that the racing shoe is securely fastened and doesn’t come loose. 

Lace Closure

Go-kart racing shoes also come with traditional shoe laces. You will have to tie these with a proper loop to ensure that they don’t come loose. It can be very dangerous when they come loose, as they can accidentally get caught around the tires while racing. Laces also allow you to tighten the shoe from front to top, as compared to a Velcro closure.

Dual Closure

A dual closure is ideal as the laces allow you to fasten the front part of your shoes and the Velcro ensures that the top is securely tied around your feet. I personally opt for karting shoes with a dual closure to be extra safe.

Fabric

There are different kinds of materials and fabrics that go-kart racing shoes are made of. One thing that all these fabrics need to have in common is durability, light weight, and resistance to abrasion. The three most common fabrics used in go-kart racing shoes are leather, suede leather, and Nomex.

High-quality leather is found in the more premium racing shoes as it is are generally more expensive and it’s a very durable material. Suede leather on the other hand is made from split leather via a mechanical process and therefore has a slightly lower-grade durability, but is still exceptionally abrasion-resistant. Both top grain leather and suede leather have fire-retardant properties.

Nomex on the other hand is a more recent material since the early 1980s in motor sports. It’s very durable and has excellent flame-resistant properties that are also used for general FIA / SFI certified race gear. Below is a short summary of the 3 most common karting shoe materials:

Leather Karting Shoes

  • Generally more expensive
  • Used by any manufacturer
  • Highly abrasive-resistant
  • Used in high-quality shoes
karting shoe suede

Suede Karting Shoes

  • Mid-range pricing
  • Used by any manufacturer
  • Abrasive-resistant
  • Used in mid-range shoes
karting shoe nomex

Microfiber Karting Shoes

  • Mid-range pricing
  • Patented material by DuPont
  • Flame-retardant properties
  • Used in all kind of shoes

Features

Most go-kart racing shoes come with a basic set of features that are required for it to even be considered a pair of karting shoes. Depending on your needs, some racing shoes have more features such as perforated ventilation to provide airflow to your feet or even Achilles Heel support, if you are prone to heel injuries. Lets take a look at some of the additional features that you can look out for. 

Additional Protector Features

  • Perforated ventilation
  • Premium fabric
  • Dual closure system
  • Achilles heel support
  • Flame-retardant material
  • Lightweight materials
  • Anatomic Insoles
dual closure
Karting Shoes with dual closure
ventilated mesh
perforated ventilation

Price

Investing in a good pair of karting shoes does not need to be a costly endeavour. In fact, if you’re on a budget you can get very decent racing shoes that are specifically designed for go-kart racing starting at around $70. The average price of karting shoes will cost you about $110 – $130. Premium racing shoes can go well above $300.

  • Entry-Level Karting Shoes: around $60 to $100
  • Mid-Range Karting Shoes: around $100 to $180
  • Premium Karting Shoes: around $180 to $ 350

Design

You should always pick a go-kart racing shoe that suits your preference. I would always recommend to go with function over form when it comes to any type of safety equipment. Remember that the primary function of a kart racing shoe is to protect you and increase your go-kart racing experience and performance.

There are many different designs and styles available ranging from traditional European to modern and minimalist. Pick something that you like and feel comfortable with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about go-kart racing shoes. If you have questions that you would like to have answered, please get in touch with me and I will add them accordingly.

Question: What’s the Difference Between Go-Kart Racing Shoes and Auto Racing Shoes?

Technically speaking, you can use auto racing shoes for karting, but not necessarily the other way around. Let me explain. Given the fact that go-kart racing has a much lower risk of fire, compared to auto racing, the shoes tend to be slightly different.

For that reason, it’s commonly not a requirement for a karting shoes to have a high grade of flame retardancy. Auto racing shoes will have a flame-retardant material like Nomex that is also sanctioned in FIA events. Therefore, it may be a bit of an ‘overkill’ to wear auto racing shoes to go-kart races.

Question: How Do I Find the Right Shoe Size for Me?

While I have included a rough sizing guide above, it should only serve as an estimate. It’s common for some manufacturers to have slightly different sizing charts when converting from US or UK to EU. To ensure that you get the correct fit for your feet, you should always check the sizing chart or guide that is provided by the manufacturer.

Question: Do I Really Need to Get a Pair of Kart Racing Shoes?

The answer to this question depends on you. People who usually ride go-karts leisurely often just wear normal sneakers, which is absolutely fine. You’ll notice that intermediate and professional go-kart racers will always have dedicated karting shoes.

This is because they are much lighter in weight, increases the safety of the racer and also has a much thinner sole. This allows for much better pedal control which is important for accelerating and braking efficiently. In a race, every second counts.

Conclusion

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this buyer’s guide and the list of the best karting shoes that are available for racing. Keep in mind that this article is intended to help you make your purchase decision easier by giving you some recommendations and aspects to consider. Thanks for your time and see you on the track!

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