When you go stand up paddle boarding, most people will choose to wear surf booties, although some prefer to go bare foot. Surf booties, which are also known as reef booties, will provide additional support for the arches of your feet, protect your feet if you get off the board to explore an area, and keep your feet warm when enjoying SUPing in colder waters.
There are a range of choices among paddleboard surf booties and you will appreciate the difference between the best and the worst. While the bad ones can be uncomfortable or limiting, the best ones will feel like a second skin and deliver the stability, comfort, and protection you need. With some guidance in your research, you should be able to find your ideal surf booties for paddleboarders.
Top 10 Best Surf Booties for SUP (2017)
|Xcel Wetsuits 3mm Infiniti Split Toe Suit Boot||3mm||split toe|
|O'Neill Wetsuits Mens 4/3 mm Psychotech Split Toe Boot||4/3mm||split toe|
|Xcel Men's Drylock Split Toe Boot 3Mm||3mm||split toe|
|Quiksilver Mens Syncro 3Mm Surf Boots||3mm||split toe|
|NRS Paddle Wetshoe||3mm||round toe|
|O'Neill Wetsuits Mens Superfreak Tropical 2 mm Split Toe Boot||2mm||split toe|
|O'Neill Wetsuits Mens Mutant Split Toe Boot||3mm||split toe|
|O'Neill Wetsuits Womens MOD Split Toe Boot||3mm||split toe|
|O'Neill Wetsuits Mens Superfreak Tropical 2mm Round Toe Boot||2mm||round toe|
|Hyperflex AMP 5mm Split Toe Boot||5mm||split toe|
How The Bootie Fits
The most important factor when buying surf booties for your stand up paddle boarding adventures is how it fits. Unfortunately, the majority of booties will come in full sizes, not half ones. That being said, the sizes vary slightly between brands so you should be able to find one that fits you properly. You can also go up a size then wear a thermal or wool sock to fill the space; just remember that your socks are likely to get wet.
Remember that when finding your size for surf booties, you don’t want any gaps or pockets of air between the neoprene and your feet. This will fill with water, feeling heavy and potentially cold. Instead, try to get a tight fit that isn’t so tight that it will cut off circulation. Stand up paddle boarders need to know that surf booties will not stretch out overtime; what you buy is what you get. This is because of the thick rubber on the heel and toe that provides additional strength and support.
Choosing Bootie Thickness
There are standard thicknesses in surf booties for paddle boarders, typically 3mm, 5mm, or 7mm thick neoprene. Unsurprisingly, thicker boots will help your feet stay warmer, making them something to seriously consider depending on where you go paddle boarding.
Choosing Among Bootie Styles
When you start to look at surf booties for stand up paddleboarders, you will notice that there are a few different styles available. Each has their own advantages so you will have to figure out which is right for you.
Round Toe Booties
The most common type of surf bootie you find will have a rounded toe. These tend to be the most affordable because they are easy to manufacture. They also make it easiest to find your ideal size.
Split Toe Booties
Those who are into surfing or more serious about boarding tend to opt for split toe paddle board surf booties. The name comes from their design which separates your big toe from the others. This does mean that your big toe will get a bit colder since it isn’t right next to the others. Most agree, however, that it is worth it thanks to the enhanced performance. The boot grips your big toe which makes the foot less able to move around compared to in the round toe booties. This translates into more effectively transferring all body movement through the feet to your SUP. By comparison, your foot rolls around a bit more in round to booties, decreasing the energy transfer between your feet and board.
Not all split toe boots you find for stand up paddle boarders will actually appear to have this feature. Some may have an “internal” or “concealed” split toe. These booties will have the split toe design inside, but the exterior will have the toe portion covered. This is actually a great feature as it stops your paddleboard leash from catching between your toes and potentially tripping you.
Booties Dipped In Latex
The average surf bootie will be made from double-lined neoprene which consists of neoprene surrounded on either side by thin fabric. You can also find latex dipped neoprene, which is known for its incredible flexibility and lightweight nature. These booties look like they are single-lined neoprene ones with just one side in fabric. They are a bit less durable, but truly enhance performance. Stand up paddle boarders who want to ride barefoot but know they need the protection of booties will appreciate these particular ones as they are closest to delivering that barefoot feel. Just keep in mind that you will need to replace these booties more often than the average double-lined ones.
Notes About Using And Caring For Your Surf Booties
Once you have your SUP surf booties, make sure you put them on correctly. You will want to wear your wetsuit leg rolled over the boot. This prevents the boots from filling up with water, which will be heavy and uncomfortable as well as put you at risk of losing a boot. After every time you use your boots, try to make it a point to rinse them using cold fresh water before letting them dry in the shade. Doing so will minimize smell and make them last longer.