What Does a Vinyl, Rubber, or Leather Shift Boot Do Besides Looking Great?

Updated: Mike on 2023-08-30

The original cloth, vinyl, rubber, or leather shift boot on your vehicle provides a valuable service aside from looking great. It helps to keep dust, dirt, and other debris from getting into the shifter. The shifter can consist of many different gear-type parts and components that are often lubricated.

When the shift boot wears out and gets holes in it, so that dust and dirt can get in the shifting mechanism, it can cause it to stop working correctly. Another concern with worn-out shift boots is part of the boot could get caught in the moving parts and components of the shifter.

If this happens, it can cause damage to the shifter, so you will not be able to shift correctly. This can be quite dangerous and lead to accidents because you may not be able to get the car out of gear or from one gear to another.

To help prevent damaging the shifting mechanism on your vehicle, and to reduce the risks of getting into a car accident, you should replace your broken and damaged shift boot as soon as you notice it needs to be replaced.



Why You Should Splurge on a Leather Shifter Boot Replacement

When it comes to selecting a shifter boot replacement, you have several different options to choose from, including:
→ Cloth
→ Vinyl
→ Rubber
→ Leather

It is important to evaluate the differences between each of the shifter replacement options. Investing more into a quality genuine leather boot replacement is always the best choice.

Cloth Shift Boot Pros

→ Wide selections of colors and patterns
→ Low cost

Cloth Shift Boot Cons

→ Cloth shift boots can easily tear and rip.
→ Stains are hard to get out and can soak through and down into the shifter mechanism.
→ Cloth is not UV-resistant and will fade.
→ Cloth attracts dust, dirt, and lint, and it will be harder to keep clean.
→ Cloth will need to be replaced more frequently.

Vinyl (Pleather) Shift Boot Pros

→ Vinyl looks and feels like real leather.
→ It costs less than leather.

Vinyl (Pleather) Shift Boot Cons

→ Vinyl can dry out, crack, and break.
→ Vinyl is not as sturdy as leather.
→ Vinyl is less durable than leather.
→ It is easy to puncture, rip, or tear vinyl.
→ It will not last as long as leather boot replacements.

Metal Shift Boot (Shifter Gate) Pros

→The metal can be colored to just about any color you want. →Popular in classic supercars of the 70s/80s/90s.

Metal Shift Boot (Shifter Gate) Cons

→Fabrication costs for an aftermarket shifter gate is expensive. →Each shifter gate has to be customized based on how the vehicle shifts.

Rubber Shift Boot Pros

→ Rubber is flexible and easy to move and bend.
→ Rubber is more durable than plastic and cloth, but not leather.
→ Basic rubber shift boots are less expensive than leather.

Rubber Shift Boot Cons

→ Rubber can crack, tear, and rip from continued extreme temperature changes and direct sunlight exposure.
→ Not all rubber is UV-resistant, and it can fade.
→ Rubber can stretch out of shape if it gets too hot, and then not return to its normal shape when it cools down.
→ Rubber shift boots do not last as long as leather shift boot replacements.
→ Custom rubber shift boots can cost as much as or more than leather boot replacements.

In addition, cloth, vinyl, plastic, and rubber shift boots are not as responsive in various temperature conditions. In the winter months, when temperatures are cold, these types of shift boots can freeze and be difficult to move. This can make safely shifting the vehicle much harder.
These types of shift boots are also prone to problems in hot weather in the summertime. When you keep your vehicle closed up all day, temperatures inside can easily be well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what this heat does to your shift boot - it is essentially baking the interior of your car, which can cause these types of shift boot materials to deteriorate. In some cases, the extreme temperatures can even cause plastic and rubber to melt!


Leather Shift Boot Pros

→ Leather is more durable than other shift boot materials.
→ The longevity of genuine leather is higher compared to the other materials.
→ Leather shifter boot replacements come in a wide range of colors.
→ It is possible to customize leather boot replacements to suit your own tastes.
→ Leather looks better compared to other types of shift boots.

Leather Shift Boot Cons

There really is no downside to getting an aftermarket shift boot made of genuine leather. If you were to compare the costs associated with the other materials and the frequency at which they need to be replaced, the costs often end up being comparable to having invested in a single leather boot replacement initially.
For example, a vinyl shift boot lasts about four years before it will need to be replaced. On the other hand, a genuine leather shift boot can last eight years or longer if it is cared for correctly. The cost to buy two vinyl shift boots normally ends up being about the same as buying one leather boot replacement. If the leather one lasts 12 years, you would actually end up saving money!
The same would be true with cloth, plastic, and rubber shift boots, too. You would end up having to replace these more often and could end up spending more in the long run than had you originally replaced the shift boot with a leather one.


OEM Shift Boots vs. Leather Shift Boots

Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) shift boots do not offer the durability and longevity of genuine leather. The only way to get an OEM leather shift boot on a new car is to purchase high-end models, such as Porsche, Corvette, Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes and spend well over $50K for the vehicle.
However, you can buy any model of vehicle you like and replace the OEM shift boot with a high-quality, leather aftermarket shift boot. Not only do you get the added benefit of being able to customize the leather replacement shift boot, but you also give your new vehicle a high-end luxury model look and feel!


Why Get a Shifter Boot Replacement for a Short-Throw Shifter Modification

Short-thros shifters (STS) reduce the shifter travel length. There are both performance reasons and aesthetic reasons for making short shifter modifications. However, one major issue is what to do with the existing shift boot.
If you attempt to cut it down to fit the new shorter shifter, it will look bad and distract from the overall styling inside your vehicle. On the other hand, if you were to simply try to use the existing shift boot and push it down to compact it to the size of the short shifter, it would have an overhang/overlap.
The overlap can cause all sorts of problems. It could get stuck in the shifting mechanism and make it difficult to shift or even damage the mechanism. In addition, dust, dirt, and other debris can get trapped in the overlap, which just makes for a bad-looking short shifter modification.
Fortunately, the easiest way to avoid these issues is by ordering a customized shift boot for a short shifter. The new boot replacement will be the right size to fit the shorter shifter and have a great-looking short shifter modification.



Why Get Leather Aftermarket Shift Boot Replacements from RedlineGoods?

At Redline Goods, we offer endless customization options with all of our aftermarket shift boot replacements, including:
→ Contrasting Thread
→ Quadruple Thread
→ Stripes
→ Double (Racing Stipes)
→ Pipe
→ Endless Color Combinations
→ Special Style Boots (Flag Colors, Vehicle Styles, and More!)
→ Two-tone, Three-tone, and Other Custom-tone Boots

Thanks to our wide range of customization options and choices, our customers have made our middle name "customize." All of our customers are able to design and create a shift boot that is not only unique for their vehicles but also fits their sense of style and taste.
To learn more about our customizable leather shift boot replacements or for assistance in designing and creating one for your vehicle, please feel free to contact us at (888) 827-0026 or email us at info@redlinegoods.com today!
We also offer a wide range and variety of other high-quality genuine leather aftermarket products to customize your vehicle, including:
Padded Armrest Covers
Headrest Accents
Seatbelt Pads
Lumbar Support Pads
Steering Wheel Covers
Flat-Bottom Steering Wheels



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