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Driving Shoe Test Drive: Racequip Euro

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Henry Ford would’ve loved these shoes. They’re basic, affordable and only come in black.

At $99.95, the Racequip Euro is one of the lowest-priced fireproof racing boots on the market, but comes outfitted with all of the features you need.

There’s an ankle strap that can do double duty as a lace holder, low-friction wear pads on the sides of the toe made from a proprietary synthetic material with the mysterious name of Carbon-L, and a rubber sole that runs up the back of the heel and is finished with the requisite tire tread pattern in case your car breaks down and you have to get out and push.

Style elements are limited to white contrast stitching and the Racequip logo plastered on the sides, giving them a classic speedway look, but the uppers are roomier than some and have a ribbed ankle that delivers extra flexibility.

Racequip’s core market is the oval track/drag racing scene, but from the looks of them, and with a name like Euro, there’s no reason these shoes shouldn’t be able to get a ride in sports cars, too. To find out if they’ve got the stuff, I wore them to the Monticello Motor Club, the fanciest track I know of, and took them for a whirl in the high-tech Nissan GT-R.

There, in a brilliant moment of synchronicity, when I went to borrow a helmet off the club’s rack, I grabbed the only Racequip among the dozens there. Unlike the shoes, it was white.

The suede the boots are constructed of isn't as buttery soft as the expensive stuff, but they broke in quickly. The soles feel good on the pedals, the rolled heel offers a perfect pivot, and that Carbon-L does slip and slide against the sides of the footwell better than most natural materials do.

The GT-R very famously has an automatic transmission, but I took a seat in a Spec Miata racer just to see how they’d do in a three-pedal environment, and they worked well there, too. The wide forefoot easily bridging the gap between brake and accelerator for some good old fashioned heel and toe downshifting excitement.

That’s sure to be even truer if you’re a giant. Unlike any off the shelf equipment I can think of, the Euros are available from size 1 to 20, the price jumping slightly to $109.95 above size 13.

The only downside of the Euros is that they are as well-ventilated as some of the higher-end boots are, so you could end up being a literal hot shoe on a steamy summer day. Of course, for the price of the ritzy stuff you can get a pair of these plus a pair of Racequip gloves and still have enough left over for a tank of gas for the ride home from the track.

Henry would surely approve.

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