I have a C5-C6-T1 fusion with a pin. Crashed pre-neck brace era. 2nd gear missed double, but could have been running into a log or ditch and done the same thing - impact handlebar cross bar dead stop head snaps forward too far since helmet can travel too far. A brace would have stopped the travel. If one tucks and rolls, but is far enough off the ground the impact on the helmet could cause damage too. Seems like few have the time to tuck and roll since your legs have to clear the bike first. I've ridden with the Leatt and have encountered no problems. Marvin Musquin and Justin Barcia seem to do well with them. Just saying you become comfortable with gear by wearing it. Properly adjusted the collar causes me no issues and my neck is now about 1 inch shorter than pre-crash. As for your flat track instructor, I'd ask why virtually EVERY flat tracker these days wears MX boots, not Redwings like the old days. They seem to do pretty good with the brake too. If it was just about feel, I'd wear Converse All-Stars Chuck Taylors and no helmet. You can feel a pea if you step on it and going without the weight of the helmet and air movement make it nice... Just a little food for thought regarding what feels good versus what makes sense.