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Need Heel-Toe Help & Advice

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,465
1,446
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
I wear wide Skechers sneakers, makes getting the gas pedal with a roll of the ankle very easy and they transmit pressure very well. I have driving boots which I haven't used in years, they look all racer-ish but they are skinny and in production cars the wider sneaker works better IMHO. I think the driving boots are really necessary for formula cars with tight footboxes and not so much for production sedans. Sneakers likely won't pass muster for real racers but for lapping days I've never had a problem from tech people about them.
 
361
423
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
SoCal
OP, at the risk of explaining something you already know, I suspect you aren't using the correct heel toe method. I'm no super expert and I can prove it but I was fortunate to be taught by someone who really knew how to heel toe. You can find this info buried on the internet but here it is anyhow....

The most important thing to know is that "heel toe" is a total misnomer. Lots of people mistakenly think your toe goes on one pedal while your heel goes on the other. That is wrong and it also is nearly impossible to do. It's also dangerous because now you have your entire foot up in the air and unsupported and you can't make accurate or quick inputs. Your heel really needs to be firmly on the floor between the brake and gas. I personally put it a little closer to the gas but that might be personal preference. The left side of the ball of your foot will go on the brake pedal. The right side of the ball of your foot will go on the gas. Don't try to "roll your ankle." That's not a quick, accurate, or easy movement. Instead, think about "locking" your ankle like it's in a ski boot. Apply the brakes, and when you are ready to blip, think of moving your right knee towards the center console. With your ankle locked and your foot straddling the brake and gas, the right side of the ball of your foot will roll onto the gas and you are now doing a proper heel-toe. Somewhat counter-intuitively, the easiest place to do really good heel-toe is at speed on a track, because you are braking much harder so the brake and gas pedals tend to be on the same plane. On the street or under light braking, the brake pedal sits higher than the gas. So that takes a little practice but it's not hard once you are practicing the proper movements. If you can heel toe smoothly during your commute, you can do it anywhere.

If you are doing it right, under initial braking your right knee will be over towards your left side, probably touching your left knee. The left side of the ball of your right foot will be pushing on the brake pedal, and the right side of the ball of your right foot will be over the gas pedal but not pushing on it, ready for that right knee movement towards the center console to do the blip.

Sorry for the long post but I get frustrated with people saying how hard heel toe is, when 90 percent of the time it's because they are practicing a totally wrong and totally impossible movement with their feet. Instructors need to get better at teaching this point. Good luck!
I tried this driving home yesterday and WOW! Seems so obvious and simple but it felt completely natural with my heel on the floor. Nailed it first attempt.
Previously, I was braking with my heel on the floor but then would pick it up to blip the gas, I guess it never occurred to me that I could keep my heel on the floor and still reach.
My other thought was I recently got a racing seat so I sit much lower to the floor which I think is helping my foot position.

Anyhow, thanks for this response!
 
139
116
I tried this driving home yesterday and WOW! Seems so obvious and simple but it felt completely natural with my heel on the floor. Nailed it first attempt.
Previously, I was braking with my heel on the floor but then would pick it up to blip the gas, I guess it never occurred to me that I could keep my heel on the floor and still reach.
My other thought was I recently got a racing seat so I sit much lower to the floor which I think is helping my foot position.

Anyhow, thanks for this response!
This seriously makes me happy, because I had the same exact experience as you! Spread the word!
 
38
22
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Phoenix
What's everyones thoughts on heel-toe vs rev-matching, seems like I tend to rev match on the big straights and than brake, and heel toe on the shorter straights into the corners. I always think there's more load on the engine when rev matching even though the idea of course is to keep the RPM's in harmony. Does this make sense what I'm saying?
 
38
22
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Phoenix
Shifting early in the braking process can cause you to over rev the engine. Better to release the clutch a bit later. Brake then shift while slowing.
I see what you mean, a tad bit later in the progression. Would anyone here say they hell-toe out of a long straight into a bus stop, or rev-match?
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
547
611
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
heel-toe vs rev-matching
Heel-toe is how you rev-match a downshift when you also have to be on the brakes. Right foot works the brake & gas pedal, left foot works the clutch. If you downshift too early, you can mechanically over-rev the engine (and no, the rev limiter does not help when it's the rear wheels spinning the engine too fast). So, many times you need to wait until you're in the turn to downshift. You want to blip the throttle and rev-match the downshift to avoid a "shock" to the tires / contact patch from the engine braking in the turn - what the drifters call a "clutch kick" - which can break traction and cause a spin.

For novices, getting most or all the braking done in a straight line and then turning into the corner means you can coast a bit at the apex, allowing you to do a rev-matched downshift off the brakes and without heel-toe. But when you start getting faster and do more trail-braking to the apex, you're on the brakes pretty much until the point you start accelerating out of the corner, so you need to do your downshifts while braking. Thus the heel-toe to work 3 pedals with 2 feet.

I wear wide Skechers sneakers
Converse Chuck Taylors for me, at least when they were inexpensive. Thin flexible soles and retro punk good looks.
 
2,068
883
Bay Area
Auto-blip.

A person under stress has limited excess bandwidth....or "$10.00 of attention" as Keith Code teaches.

How much and where do you wanna spend it? Pay for easy ;) .
Auto blip almost killed me, then put my car into limp mode.(long story but went WOT at the bottom of turn 6 at Sonoma). The due that runs it now is a kook and his way of calibrating his system is by hooking it up to his car. And will not verify anything with pics or videos. RIP to the original Owner. His brother will ruin the business
 
2,068
883
Bay Area
After I literately ripped my blip out my guy Trent said just raise your pedal up. He put some spacers in land lifted my go pedal to about .25 / .50" lower than the brake and he told me to try it. On my 2nd outing with it I was still learning but even someone that I look up to for advice stated I was doing Heel / Toe really well. And I just stated, " this is my 2nd attempt at this".

Thanks @VoodooBoss
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,465
1,446
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
Heel-toe is how you rev-match a downshift when you also have to be on the brakes. Right foot works the brake & gas pedal, left foot works the clutch. If you downshift too early, you can mechanically over-rev the engine (and no, the rev limiter does not help when it's the rear wheels spinning the engine too fast). So, many times you need to wait until you're in the turn to downshift. You want to blip the throttle and rev-match the downshift to avoid a "shock" to the tires / contact patch from the engine braking in the turn - what the drifters call a "clutch kick" - which can break traction and cause a spin.

For novices, getting most or all the braking done in a straight line and then turning into the corner means you can coast a bit at the apex, allowing you to do a rev-matched downshift off the brakes and without heel-toe. But when you start getting faster and do more trail-braking to the apex, you're on the brakes pretty much until the point you start accelerating out of the corner, so you need to do your downshifts while braking. Thus the heel-toe to work 3 pedals with 2 feet.


Converse Chuck Taylors for me, at least when they were inexpensive. Thin flexible soles and retro punk good looks.
75 bucks in Canada. Not bad. I pay more than that for Skechers.
Might have to have a look at them, gotta have that wide sole though!
 
153
112
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
75 bucks in Canada. Not bad. I pay more than that for Skechers.
Might have to have a look at them, gotta have that wide sole though!
if you are looking better buy real drivers shoes preferably FIA certified for fire protection. It's really important to have proper footwear and protection.
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,465
1,446
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
if you are looking better buy real drivers shoes preferably FIA certified for fire protection. It's really important to have proper footwear and protection.
I have racing shoes, I choose not to wear them. In 1989 when I started racing I wore fireproof "racing boots". If I was still racing I would wear them because.... rules. But lapping ain't racing, it's mostly old guys driving quickly around a race track in largely street legal cars wearing open neck t-shirts and jeans.
I'll stick to my sneakers, until the safety Nazis say I can't and they currently don't have a problem with old guys in sneakers. If they did they'd likely have about 3 customers. If they change their minds I'll quit and sell the car and take up golf or some other "safe" thing.
Apologies for the rant, I just get a little touchy about all the "safety" bullshit these days.
 

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