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I've been footbraking for a few years running mid to high 11's (7.40-7.70 eighth mile depending on weather) and I've been using the same pair of tennis shoes for the last year. I have been, overall, really satisfied with my reaction times, especially with how this season has began.

Last summer I went to the track straight from work and I still had ankle high steel toe shoes on (forgot any other shoes) and it slowed my R/T's down significantly. This may have been purely anecdotal but that day I was WAY behind the bulb.

I have been looking at getting better driving shoes but I am real happy with my reaction time right now. So I am just curious if people have any experience having different shoes changing their reaction time if they are on the footbrake, or if shoes don't really play a role and I was just coincidentally having a bad day with clunky steel toe shoes.

Thanks.
 

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That's a great question and observation. I have zero analytical empirical data but having raced for over 30 years I would say that it would make a difference. Isn't being consistent in all you do and having a set routine what successful bracket racing is all about? Putting on heavier shoes would affect your muscle memory. I have big feet (some of my shoes are size 15) and my racing shoes are quite a bit lighter than normal tennis shoes. They are also more narrow and have less "traction" than my tennis shoes. I would think it would make a big difference.
 

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I cruise my 11s car on the street all the time. It is a 5 speed manual though. I wear sandals and slip the off and tuck them under the seat while driving. I have a hell of a time driving at the track with my shoes on. Don't see how a thin and lightweight racing shoe wouldn't help.
 

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EFI/N2O JUNKIE
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Yes, I find it actually matters, that is why I don't wear the racing shoes my wife bought me. New sneakers are no good, no feel on the brake pedal. I keep an old pair in each trailer that I know "work"!
 

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I do think it makes a difference for both foot braking and using a stick. I recently switched over to a stick and use the same method that I did for foot braking. I didn’t like the “cushy” feel of new shoes. I would only race with a pair that I would walk around in for at least 6 months before they became my race shoes. Mine are the same New Balance sneakers that I would buy 3 or so pairs at a time. Keep the new ones in boxes and “break down” the current pair to make race shoes.

It is somewhat like the shoe equivalent of a seasoned block being faster once rebuilt again for me.
 
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