As a surfer or bodyboarding, keeping warm is your topmost priority besides being comfortable under water. Your warmth is of particular importance more so if you surf in extremely cold waters. This also applies if you are the type of person whose surfing is not deterred by the harsh winter climate.
Now that you have got your wetsuit ready, it is time to complete your surfing gear. These suits usually don’t keep your toes from the ice-cold water. This is where surf booties come in handy. These have become a must-have for cold water surfers of late due to their warming abilities.
Choosing the best surf booties is always a tall order as there are numerous options to sieve through. We have eased this task by providing you with a review of 6 of the best booties as well as a guide on how to choose the best.
How to Choose the Best Surf Booties
Round Toe or a Split Toe?
This might be the first consideration you will have to make. The split toes feature a toe that is separated into two. Your big toe fits into one, the rest fits into the other section. A natural feel that guarantees balance is created in the process. It also does not slide off the board.
Round toes, on the other hand, look like normal shoes. Since the toes are crammed up together, you feel a lot warmer in them. A possible disadvantage is that they easily slip off your feet. Making a choice between the two depends solely on a surfer’s preferences and tastes.
The temperature of the water that you will be surfing in determines what thickness of bootie you need. For warm tropical waters, you need a 2-3 mm bootie, 5 mm for moderate temperatures and 5-7 mm for the coldest waters such as during winter.
The nature of the surfing location is another aspect that affects the thickness you need. Sandy beaches do not require much thickness, while a rocky seabed needs more thickness so that your feet stay comfortable.
Best Surf Booties Reviews
When surfing in winter, you need a surfing boot much thicker than 3 mm. Thicker booties are great at keeping your feet warm when the temperatures become unbearable down there. This particular product has a thickness of 5 mm to better trap and retain warmth.
It features an ergonomic sole with an outsole that is cut in a way that matches your foot’s profile. With an Ergo design, these booties eliminate any excess water inside. In this way, your feet can remain warmer as you go about surfing or any other water sport.
The design also includes a standard neoprene upper layer and an exterior with thickness markings. Its zipper is kept in place with the use of a loop and hook zipper lock. The boot has its outsole made from vulcanized rubber. The whole of the boot is held together by four seams, 2 at the front and 2 at the heels.
- Abrasion-resistant seams
- Ergo design eliminates any excess water from the boot
- Durable vulcanized rubber outsole
- Available in a number of sizes
- Comfortable to wear
- Easy to wear and take off
- Zippers are corrosion resistant
- Taking them off is a little hard at times
For those of you looking for a pair of booties for surfing in waters filled with reefs, you need one that is best suited for that. Reefs can be very dangerous to your feet if left exposed to the sharp edges. They are known to result in cuts in surfer’s legs.
The Reactor Reef Booties are not only suitable for reef surfing, but they can be worn in warmer climates as well. The 2 mm neoprene synthetic mesh is thinner in comparison with other models of booties. They, therefore, dissipate heat faster when in warmer waters.
The booties are lightweight, yet their soles are considerably strong to withstand numerous rounds of surfing. Their lightweight structure slightly reduces the stability in comparison with split toes or some of the other round toes.
Drainage holes lack on the sides, but this is countered with the presence of a tight liner. This liner keeps out water from getting into the bootie by fitting tightly around your foot. The fluid foam from which they are made from helps keep them breathable when in warm water.
- Tight fitting to keep out water
- Versatile for both reef and summer usage
- Comfortable toe box area
- Available in a number of sizes
- Easy to clean
- Putting on is a breeze
- The fit at the ankles is not always great
- Soles wear out fast
There are surfers who love to go water sporting in the Indonesian Island of Bali. This location is an ideal spot for surfers to showcase their skills. For this location, the Mares Equator is a great choice for your surfing booties.
This bootie is made from a 2mm thick nylon II neoprene. The material of construction gives the bootie a lightweight structure that dries easily and absorbs the least amount of water. For durability, the sole is made from vulcanized rubber.
The joining of the sole and the upper part of the bootie is glued and then blind stitched for a longer lasting bootie. At the heel of this product, the sole extends upwards for a couple of inches to provide your ankle with protection.
The soles feature ribs to minimize the chances of slipping in case you want to go surfing in any slippery environments.
- Non-slip soles
- Great breathability
- Cushioning at the ankle area
- Sand and pebbles do not fill it when worn
- Can be worn with open heel fins
- High-quality construction
- Considerably affordable
- They sometimes fill with water
- Walking on pebbles presses down on the feet
- Durability is questionable
Sometimes getting a gender-specific watersport gear might seem like a tall order, more so for women. However, the Neo Sports Premium Surf Booties are a decent choice for women who like to surf in different types of water bodies.
The structure is made from synthetic neoprene with a thickness that varies for your specific needs. There is a 3 mm option for warm water, 5 mm for moderate waters and a 7 mm for very cold water bodies. A puncture resistant sole is glued and then sewn into the rest of the body.
A heavy-duty zipper is used to make the process of taking the shoes on and off a lot easier. Behind the zipper is a barrier that prevents the entry of water into the bootie. At the bottom is a rugged sole to provide you with the much-needed traction when surfing.
- Available in different sizes from 4-16
- Zippers have water-resistant barriers
- Various thicknesses available
- Can be used by both genders
- Quality finish
- Heavy duty construction
- Easy on sensitive feet
- Puncture resistant sole
- Walking on rocky surfaces is discomforting
- Are bulky
For tropical weather, the water can get pretty warm at times. For this reason, you will need a thin surf bootie to cope with the intense heat generated at the feet as you exert yourself in the water. For warm tropical waters, the 2 mm thickness provides its needed functionality.
These booties feature a unique split toe design with a rubber sole meant for heavy duty usage. The rubber is a credible option for creating more traction when in contact with the surfing board. Perhaps a great feature about them is the presence of drain ports along the side to quickly drain out the water.
A fluid foam nylon construction gives the booties durability as it does not wear out easily. A low-cut ankle design is a great companion when surfing in tropical conditions. Since they are quite thin, they would not suit you when in moderate to cold water.
- Comfortable split toe design
- Tractive rubber soles
- Wear resistant
- Drain ports quickly drain water
- Highly breathable when hot
- Low-cut ankle enhances comfort in the tropics
- Very flexible
- Split toe can be uncomfortable for those with a big toe
- Are only comfortable on the sand
For the general surf booties needs, this 3 mm NeoSport is a great option. The thickness means that it is suitable for most tropical climate or moderately cold waters. But you should never use it for surfing in cold waters as it would make your toes too cold.
This product is made of neoprene material for comfort, durability, and greater finish. The end result is a versatile bootie that can be used for a variety of water sports activities. Bonded threads, blind stitched and glued seams make them durable.
- Great heat retention
- Durable tractive soles
- Easy to put on or take off
- Puncture resistant insert sole
- Durable seams
- Proper fit
- Meant for men
- Can be hard to take off at times
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
- Question: What is the best way to dry surf booties?
- Answer: After use, rinse the booties to eliminate any smell, then allow them to dry is an airy, yet shady area.
- Question: Who Makes the best surf booties?
- Answer: There is no concrete answer to this as it is quite subjective. However, booties from O’Neil tend to have greater ratings.
- Question: Can Booties be worn alongside fins?
- Answer: Yes. There are certain options that can be worn together. But only if the watersport activity needs one.
- Question: Can these booties be used for other watersports activities?
- Answer: Yes. There are versatile options out there that can be used for snorkeling, diving, surfing, wakeboard, scuba diving and so forth.
- Question: Can Surf Booties fill with sand and pebbles?
- Answer: Only if the booties are too loose. But one that snuggly fits around your feet keeps out sands pretty nicely.
Surfers and the best surf booties go hand in hand. They help you maintain the right balance on your board as well as keeping your feet warm when in water. The good thing is that you don’t have to be a surfer to use one. Almost all water sports can utilize these surf booties.