Track riding requires specific protective equipment. Most motorcycle street-wear is not applicable to the requirements of aggressive track riding. In general, the rule of thumb is: buy the best gear you can afford--it's for your comfort, but most importantly your safety!
Your helmet protects your most valuable asset. The PSRA requires helmets to meet DOT certification, it is prudent to use the best, newest, and best-fitting helmet possible. Full-face helmets are required. It is recommended that a helmet be newer that 5 years old (the protective materials degrade over time!) and be visibly free of any damages. Helmets that have suffered impacts should be replaced and not reused. Certifications to look for include: North America: Snell M2010 or M2015, Europe: ECE 22.05 P, Great Britain: BS 6658 Type A, Japan: JIS 8133:2007
A suit may be your largest equipment investment, but it can last a very long time if cared for properly. Suits must fit well to optimize protection. Suits must be made of leather and can be either one or two-piece. If a two-piece suit is to be used, jacket and pants must be securely fastened to each other over their full circumference. If the suit is not equipped with an integrated back protector of suitable construction and coverage (recommended from base of neck to the tailbone),
Boots and Gloves
Good boots and gloves offer both great protection and comfort. Here, it is particularly true that you should buy the best you can afford--good equipment will last longer, allow you to move freely, and protect you in the event of a tip off. Boots must cover the ankle and offer good lateral support. Gloves must be "gauntlet style", leather, and it is highly recommended that track or race-specific gloves be used.