best surf booties - intro

Best Surf Booties – Top Picks & Guide for 2021

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Yes, you can surf barefoot, especially when you are in the tropics. But when water temperature starts to drop, you begin to see reasons for wearing surf booties. Surf booties do more than just protect your feet from the elements. They also protect you from unsurfaced rocks, poisonous urchins, and can help with traction if the shore is slippery.

Surf booties can redefine your surfing experience. Most people that complain about surf booties aren’t wearing the right type or fit. If you don’t buy a quality pair of surf boots, you are going to feel that the boots aren’t worth wearing for surfing. If the boots don’t fit, you’ll end up with lots of water in the boots and this could affect your performance.

Having done rigorous research into several brands and types of Surf booties in the market. It is safe to say that the list that follows are some of the best, effective, and yet pocket-friendly surf booties.

The 7 Best Surf Booties for 2021

O’Neill Men’s Heat ST BootiesOur Top Pick

O'NEILL Heat 3 mm. Split Toe Boot Black 15

$54.95  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 9:31 am

The design of the O’Neill wetsuit booties shows the effect of expert craftsmanship in the way the boot pays attention to the little details which other wetsuit boot lines might have ignored.

With these wetsuit booties, you can be guaranteed that your feet get optimum protection and warmth not leaving out comfort even when sporting in very cold water. They are lightweight and are elastic.

The booties are made of neoprene rubber with glued and blind stitched seams that keep water from penetrating your boots. The O’Neill’s Techno butter three design ensures that the boots have a soft smooth feel on the inside and allows them to stretch during movement.

This pair of booties are suitable for use in cold water. They are one of the best all-round surf booties used by surfers. With these booties, durability is not a problem, they can serve you for a very long time.

 Specifications

  • Material: neoprene
  • Style: split-toe
  • Thickness: 3 mm

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Optimum warmth
  • Comfortable
  • Durable sole

Cons

  • No major shortcomings

Quiksilver Syncro Booties

Quiksilver Syncro 5mm Round Toe Wetsuit Boot Boots Black

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 9:31 am

The Quicksilver wetsuit booties are a well-designed one that comes with nice attributes that you’d want. The booties are made of neoprene material, with triple glued and blind stitched seams that ensure your booties are impermeable to the (cold) water.

These booties come with a heel reinforcement system for durability, ensuring that your pair will serve you for a long long time. There is a strap that ensures your feet are kept in place when wearing the Quiksilver surf booties.

It is a round toe boot, with no internal separation for your toe, making it more comfortable for your feet since it gives you the natural feel and of course more insulation. With this pair of booties at your feet, you can be assured of the desired warmth you want for your feet even in the water below 10°C.

 Specifications

  • Material: neoprene
  • Style: round toe
  • Thickness: 5 mm

Pros

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Comfort
  • Better insulation for your feet

Cons

  • No major shortcomings

Rip Curl Flash Bomb Booties

Rip Curl Flash Bomb Round Toe Wetsuit, Size 10/7mm, Black

 out of stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 9:31 am

The Rip Curl surf booties were designed to satisfy water sports enthusiasts as it has lots of nice attributes like attention to detail was one important factor considered in the making of these booties.

It is designed in the split-toe style, ensuring more traction and of course less slippage. It is designed in such a way that the booties can retain heat and when wet ensuring optimum warmth for your feet even whilst in cold water.

With all the nice features that come with this pair of booties, it still maintains a lightweight that allows for easy and flexible movement through the water when surfing. They are made of neoprene materials with taped seams to reduce water penetration.

 Specifications

  • Material: neoprene
  • Style: split-toe
  • Thickness: 7 mm

Pros

  • Quick to dry
  • Lightweight
  • Durable

Cons

  • No major shortcomings

XCEL Drylock Booties

XCEL Drylock Split Toe Boot 5mm - Black/Graphite | 6

$89.95  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 9:31 am

XCEL is one of the best brands out there for your wetsuit accessories, of which surf booties are part. These booties are desired to give optimum warmth to its users even when surfing in very cold water, as low as 7°C.

It is designed in the split-toe style and gives you optimum traction and guarantees you the needed fiction. With these booties at your feet, you are assured of not slipping while surfing or engaging in other water sports.

With this pair of XCEL Drylock booties at your feet, you get more than protection and warmth but also comfort. They fit well when worn under your wetsuits. Your feet are kept in place in the boots and of course, they do not allow water penetration.

These booties are designed using XCEL’s celliant black materials that give it its optimum heat-retaining capacity ensuring that your feet are well protected from the cold at all times provided the booties are worn.

 Specifications

  • Material: neoprene
  • Style: split-toe
  • Thickness: 5 mm

Pros

  • Heat retaining property
  • Durable
  • Quick to dry

Cons

  • No major shortcomings

Patagonia R3 Yulex Booties

PATAGONIA SURF R3 YULEX SPLIT TOE WETSUIT BOOTIES 89426 - NEW - M's 6 - W'S 7.5

$89.99  in stock
as of November 28, 2021 8:14 am

R3® Yulex® Split Toe Booties. Condition NEW.

The wetsuit boots by Patagonia offer your leg the needed warmth even when in very cold water bodies. The surf bootie is 85% natural rubber making it less harmful to the environment when compared to other brands.

This boot comes with some nice attributes that make your feet the needed protection in the water. The special Z-strap that gives it guarantees your feet are well fitted in the boots. It comes with an internal split toe that assures you flexibility without giving away the protection it offers.

These boots’ closure system is top-notch, as the exterior, as well as the interior components, are well sealed. This ensures that no excess water will penetrate. It is safe to say that with this pair of surf booties at your feet comfort is assured. In need of well-designed surf booties that will give your feet optimum protection and warmth throughout your stay in the water, then these boots are for you.

It must be said that the Patagonia Surf booties offer customers one of the best after-sales services. In cases of faulty boots, Patagonia will help make amends or provide a substitute at no cost even at post-warranty times.

 Specifications

  • Material: rubber
  • Style: split-toe
  • Thickness: 3 mm

Pros

  • Environment-friendly
  • Comfort
  • Great after-sales services.

Cons

  • No major shortcomings

Hotline Reflex Booties

Hotline Reflex 5mm Round Toe Booties sizes 9-12 NEW

$69.99  in stock
as of November 28, 2021 8:14 am

No half sizes available. We suggest rounding up if you are a half size foot, but it's personal preference.

The Hotline Surf bootie is designed in such a way that surfers using this pair of boots have full control yet still maintain the required warmth for the feet. It comes with a Velcro strap that helps ensure feet are kept in place and assists in preventing water penetration.

It is a round-toe surf bootie. However, unlike most other booties with the round toe, it has high traction, preventing slippage when in use. Also, they ensure protection when moving on rough and hard terrain.

These boots are made out of reinforced rubber, which is very soft affording you comfort.
The soles of these boots are probably the most durable ones you’d find in the market ensuring that you are able to use this pair of booties for a long time. They provide for you optimum protection from injury even when walking along the rocky shore.

 Specifications

  • Material: rubber
  • Style:  round toe
  • Thickness: 5 mm

Pros

  • Durable
  • Sturdy soles
  • Can be used for hiking

Cons

  • No major shortcomings.

Skyone Booties

Neoprene Socks Diving Scuba Socks Wetsuit Fin Booties for Men Women Kids, 3MM 5MM Surfing Booties Beach Socks Thermal Flexible Anti Slip for Rafting Snorkeling Swimming Wading Sailing (3mm Black, M)

$16.98  in stock
Amazon.com
as of December 2, 2021 9:31 am

The Skyone wetsuit socks are made out of neoprene material. They are a perfect fit for your feet when engaging in water sports. No reports of leg fatigue when using these dive socks, as users can easily maneuver through the water.

They are not like your regular sturdy surf booties. It is in the form of a sock. However, it still guarantees you optimum protection against cold. Also, they prevent slippage and protect users from injury by rocks and rough terrains.

They are lightweight and capable of being stretched. The sizes are adjustable to fit perfectly into feet of different sizes, ranging from grown-up men to even kids.

It must be said that even though these Skyone surf booties are in the form of a sock, they are durable. You need not worry about them wearing out easily.

 Specifications

  • Material: neoprene
  • Style: round toe
  • Thickness: 3 mm / 5 mm

Pros

  • Adjustable sizes
  • Durable
  • No report of leg fatigue
  • Premium comfort
  • Perfect fit for the feet

Cons

  • No major shortcomings

Best Surf Booties – The Guide 

Why Use Surf Booties?

Surf Bootie is one important outdoor sports accessory. I would advise every wet sports enthusiast to get one for themselves, especially for those that engage in these sports in cold regions of the world. For those who choose not to use booties when engaging in wet sports, you probably have to moan or make other weird noises a couple of times as the cold water comes in contact with your feet. Also, you probably just discontinue sporting activities during winter. With these boots at your feet, you need not worry about cold water or have to stop the sports you like doing during winter.

Surf booties are footwear designed specifically for use in water sports like surfing, canoeing, diving, etc. They serve as shoes but are to be worn when engaging in these sports. They cover the feet completely and are usually at ankle height or a little above the ankle. The soles are made of natural or synthetic rubber, since these shoes are to be used in water, they need to be water-proof.

One of the most important functions of surf booties is to protect the feet against the cold so as to retain the fun of engaging in sports. They do this by acting as a shield for the foot- preventing or minimising the feet’ contact with the cold water. Also, most surf booties are designed in such a way that water cannot penetrate the boots. Some are even designed in such a way that they can retain heat giving the user’s feet optimum warmth.

Other than the provision of warmth, the surf booties also protect the feet from injury, especially when engaging in these sporting activities in locations with hard and rough terrains. Some of them are even sturdy enough to be used as boots for hiking. They prevent rocks or other sharp objects from hurting the feet or causing any form of injury.

It should be obvious now that these booties are essentially meant to serve protective functions to the users. They also help you maintain traction- sort of a grip. They prevent you from slipping when engaging in these sports. Essentially, there is really no disadvantage to using these boots. They are meant to keep you safe through your sporting experience.

What Thickness Should I Aim For?

Deciding how thick you want your booties to be, will be dependent on where you are engaging in your water sports. Most surf booties are 3mm or 5mm thick. However, some are up to 7mm thick.

The thicker your surf boot, the more warmth you get but there is a downside to this. You have less board feel when using these very thick boots. As stated earlier, your choice of boots should depend on your location. Since these booties are essentially used for protection purposes, the main criterion to look out for will be the temperature of your water. For example, a boot of 3mm thickness should be good enough for surfers in the mid-Atlantic region. This might not be the case for one who is surfing in the north pacific region which is a very much colder region. You would need to use a thicker boot- say the 5mm or the 7mm boot depending on the choice of the individual.

The terrain too could be a factor in the selection of the surf booties. A person surfing where there are lots of rocks- such as an individual surfing along a rocky coastline, that individual would probably need a thick surf bootie.

Round Toe vs. Split Toe Booties

When it comes to comfortability, then the round toe styles are the one, since they give you the natural feel, no separation of your toes. They are in the boots just the way they occur naturally.

Although they may not be so suitable for you, especially when you intend to use them for surfing. Due to the lack of clear separation between your first and second toes. There is a higher risk of your foot sliding away in these boots when surfing. But it needs to be said that these round toe booties offer the best insulation.

For the Split toe style, comfort is not one of the strong suits of this design. However, there is a lesser risk of your feet sliding away when using these booties. Also, these booties are less convenient to wear when compared to the round toes style. This is because of the split.

There is a third option, more like a mix of the two styles. We call this one the internal split toe. With this one, you get the comfort of the round toe as well as the traction of the split toe. However, the traction is less than that of the full split toe. Though there is less risk of slipping away than those of the round toe.

Other Aspects to Take Into Consideration When Choosing Your Surf Booties

Other than the thickness and the style, there are some other features of the surf booties that need to be considered before choosing the type to buy. Some of them are discussed below.

Construction & Seams

Surf booties are usually made of synthetic rubber- neoprene. However, a few are made of natural rubber. Even though most of these booties are made from similar materials, I’m sure you don’t expect them all to be of similar quality.

How the bootie is constructed is a very important factor to consider before going ahead to make your selection for the bootie to purchase.

Booties with glued and blind stitched (GBS) seams appear to be very durable for your surf booties. Also, those with glued and taped seams, as well as those with flatlock stitching. These constructions listed can prevent water from affecting the quality of your bootie since it is meant to be used in water.

You need your bootie to be able to maintain its integrity in water. The best surf booties are those that can prevent water from penetrating the bootie. This feature enables them to provide optimum warmth as well as maintain the quality of the boot for a long time.

Traction

The traction of any shoe is mainly based on the sole. The same thing applies to our Surf booties. Though as earlier stated, the style also affects traction. However, the sole is the major factor for the grip of the bootie. For firm traction on your board as well as protection from reefs and rocks, you’d need a bootie with a good and sturdy sole. Surf booties with good, sturdy soles could even be used for hiking purposes.

Comfort and Fit

It is always advised to buy booties that are one size down from your normal shoe size since the material used in the production of these boots is rubber, which is elastic and would stretch in the long run. Hence, for comfortability and fit, one might need to follow this rule of buying a size down one’s normal shoe size.

Also, ladies need to be careful when deciding the sizes to go for. Most of these surf booties are usually sized using men’s sizes. Therefore, unless otherwise stated, ladies should assume that the size stated is a man’s size.

Finally, it must not be left unmentioned that booties to be bought shouldn’t be larger than your feet or too bulky. Likewise, you shouldn’t buy one that will be too small, as those may even hurt your feet.

Final Thoughts

With all that has been said, it is safe to say that a surf bootie should be considered an important gear for water sport enthusiasts. If you are yet to get one or still feel you do not need one, all I can do is to advise you to get one before your next outdoor trip.

Also, in making your choice for the one to purchase, I’ll advise you to go through the buying guide again to avoid making the mistake of buying a poor quality surf bootie which is tantamount to a waste of resources.

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