Best Booties for Surfing & A Helpful Bootie Buyers Guide


Surfing with frozen feet isn’t any fun.

In Western Canada, I wear surf booties all year round because the water is cold. Although surf booties can make it harder to maintain the connection with your surfboard, they are really comfortable once you get used to them.

The last time I was in Mexico one of the locals was shocked that Canadians wore wetsuits, gloves and surf booties for most of the year. He asked a bunch of questions about all the gear, including, “How do you choose the best bootie for surfing?”

The most important factor to consider when choosing the best surf bootie for you relates to the water temperature in which you will be surfing. For water temperatures that range from 50ºF – 60ºF choose 3 mm booties, from 45ºF – 55ºF choose 5 mm booties and below 45ºF chose 7-8 mm booties.

The most important function of a surfing bootie is to provide warmth and comfort.

Keep reading to review How to Chose the Best Bootie for Surfing. If you are just looking for some recommendations scroll down to view the Helpful Surf Bootie Buyers Guide.

How To Chose the Best Bootie For Surfing

Warmth

It is difficult to surf a wave with cold or numb feet. If you can’t feel your feet, you won’t be able to control the surfboard when you are standing up and riding waves.

Although surf booties come in a wide range of thicknesses between 2 millimetres (mm) – 8 millimetres (mm), the most common thicknesses are 3mm, 5mm & 7mm.

The thicker the bootie, the warmer your feet will be.

In order to select the right surfing bootie, you need to consider the water temperature that you will be surfing. To find out the local water temperature, just Google “(Your Surfing Location) water temperature“. You will notice that there is variation between winter and summer ocean temperatures.

Review the table below for my recommended bootie thickness and different water temperatures.

Surfing Bootie ThicknessWater Temperature (Fahrenheit)Water Temperature (Celsius)
3 mm50ºF – 60ºF10ºC – 15.5ºC
5 mm45ºF – 55ºF7ºC – 13ºC
7 mm & 8 mm45ºF & below7ºC & below

The table above is to be used as a guide and you will notice that there are some overlaps between the temperature ranges. If you are worried about being cold, just chose a thicker bootie!

Design

Once you have determined the appropriate bootie thickness, it is important to find the best design that works for you. There are two main design features that you will need to consider:

Round Toe Booties vs Split Toe Booties

With round toe booties all your toes are together and with split toe booties your big toe is separated from the rest.

See the photos below for a side by side comparison.

Round Toe Booties
Split Toe Booties

Round toe booties are warmer because all your toes are together, much like a mitten for your hand.

While Split Toe Booties feel more secure on your feel because your toes don’t move around as much within the bootie.

Booties with Straps vs Booties Without Straps

The most notable design feature on a surfing bootie is whether they come with straps.

Attached straps will be located at the top cuff of a surf bootie to keep water out or across the top of the foot to tighten it around the arch.

No Straps

With Straps

Attached straps provide an extra measure of adjustability to wetsuit booties.

Sizing

Keep in mind that booties will feel tight when standing on dry land but they will stretch out once they become wet.

The basic rule of thumb with booties is that you don’t want them to size them too big because the extra material will roll around under your foot and make it harder to balance on your surfboard.

But you also don’t want to size them too small because they will be uncomfortable. It is best to follow the recommended sizing guide for each company when selecting wetsuit booties.

Helpful Surf Bootie Buyers Guide

Best 3mm Surfing Booties

3mm surfing booties are great for water temperatures that range between 50ºF – 60ºF (10ºC – 15.5ºC). At the lower end of the temperature range, you may find your feet getting chilly once your booties are 1-2 years old.

Keep reading to learn more about the top recommended 3mm surfing booties.

Best Value: Quicksilver Syncro Split Toe 3mm Bootie

Click on the link to check out the current price at WETSUIT WEARHOUSE

The Quickilver Syncro Split Toe 3mm is a great all round bootie and one of the best priced booties you will find.

It has many of the technical features you would expect on a much higher priced bootie. The Quicksilver Syncro has triple glued and blindstitched seams so water stays out and your feet stay warmer.

The split toe design spreads out your toes giving you better balance when standing on top of your surfboard. It comes with a heal reinforcement system, grippy sole and an ankle strap that provides additional stability for you foot.

Best Eco Conscious: Patagonia R3 Split Toe Bootie

Click on the link to check out the current price at Patagonia.com

The Patagonia R3 Split Toe 3mm bootie is Fair Trade Certified and made with 85% Yulex/Natural rubber. The natural rubber comes from Hevea Trees, which helps reduce the carbon emissions by as much as 80%.

The R3’s have several performance features including a cuff gasket to reduce water penetration and a split toe for improved balance. In addition, there is a heel loop to help with pulling the booties on an off and an ankle strap for added adjustability.

Patagonia offers one of the best guarantees in the surfing industry. They offer hassle free replacements, repairs or returns at anytime if you aren’t happy.

*I have found that the Patagonia booties fit a bit small so you may want to consult the sizing chart and go up one size of you are in between sizes.

Best Overall: XCEL INFINITI Split Toe 3mm Bootie

Click on the link to check out the current price at WETSUIT WEARHOUSE

The XCEL Infiniti Split Toe 3mm is a great all round bootie and one of the best performers on the market. The Infiniti model is XCEL’s mid range offering and it continues to exceed expectations year after year.

The XCEL Infiniti’s split toe design helps spread out the toes for better balance and comes with a Thermolite Infrared liner that traps heat to keep your feet warm.

Additional features include a heel loop to help take them on and off, quick dry fibres and an ankle strap for additional adjustability.

Best 5mm Surfing Booties

Most Comfortable: Rip Curl Flash Bomb Round Toe 5mm Bootie

Click on the link to check out the current price at Amazon.com

The Rip Curl Flashbomb is one of the most comfortable booties on the market. The E5 Flash Lining is plush, comfy and warm and has anti stink treatment to reduce odours.

The technical features include cuff straps to keep out water, ankle straps for adjustability and a flexible and textured sole for added grip. The wide, round toe allows your feet to spread out and have ample room within the toe box.

The Rip Curl Flashbomb Round Toe 5mm is probably the most comfortable bootie I have ever worn but the soft, flexible material can get cut more easily and scuff easier than some other brands.

Best Eco Conscious: Patagonia R4 Round Toe 5mm Booties

Click on the link to check out the current price at Patagonia.com

The Patagonia R4 Round Toe 5mm bootie is Fair Trade Certified and made with 85% Yulex/Natural rubber.

Most of the booties on the market are made from non-renewable resources like oil or limestone, but Patagonia’s wetsuits and booties are made from natural rubber that comes from Hevea Trees, which reduces the overall carbon footprint.

The R4’s have several performance features including a cuff gasket to reduce water penetration, a heel loop to help with pulling the booties on an off and an ankle strap for added adjustability.

Patagonia offers an Ironclad guarantee and has hassle free replacements, repairs or returns at anytime if you aren’t happy.

*I have found that the Patagonia booties fit a bit small so you may want to consult the sizing chart and go up one size of you are in between sizes.

Best Overall: XCEL INFINITI Round Toe 5mm Bootie

Click on the link to check out the current price at AMAZON.COM

The XCEL Infinit Split Toe 5mm is my best overall ranked bootie due to its overall performance and durability.

It is warm, comfortable and lasts a couple of years before it shows signs of wear. The XCEL Infiniti’s round toe design is warm, and comfortable and has a large toe box where you can spread out your toes.

Additional features include a heel loop to help take them on and off, quick dry fibres and an ankle strap for additional adjustability.

Best 7mm & 8mm Surfing Booties

Most Comfortable: Rip Curl Flash Bomb Round Toe 7mm Bootie

Click on the link to check out the current price at AMAZON.COM

As previously mentioned above, Rip Curl Flashbomb’s are one of the most comfortable booties I have ever worn. The E5 Flash Lining is plush, comfy and warm and has anti stink treatment to reduce odours.

The technical features include cuff straps to keep out water, ankle straps for adjustability and a flexible and textured sole for added grip. The wide, round toe allows your feet to spread out and have ample room within the toe box.

I have found that the soft, flexible material will cut and scuff easier than some of the comparable booties on the market but the maximum comfort is worth the slight decrease in durability.

Best Overall: XCEL Drylock Round Toe 7mm Booties

Click on the link to check out the current price at AMAZON.COM

The XCEL Drylock Round Toe is the top of the line bootie 7mm on the market in my opinion.

Booties that are 7mm thick can feel sloppy because of the thickness of the Neoprene material but the XCEL Drylock booties feel stable and secure.

The technical features include a quick dry material, a heel hook for easy entry, a single rubber bottom to maximize surfboard feel and an ankle strap for added adjustability.

Warmest: XCEL INFINITI Round Toe 8mm Booties

Click on the link to check out the current price at AMAZON.COM

The XCEL Infiniti 8mm is one of the warmest booties and great for surfing on the coldest days. It is durable, comfortable and has a large, round toe box where you can spread out your toes.

Keep in mind that the added Neoprene material in an 8mm bootie will impact performance and surfboard feel.

Additional features include a heel loop to help take them on and off, quick dry fibres and an ankle strap for additional adjustability.

In Conclusion:

Surf Booties provide warmth and protection from the elements and are necessary for surfers in water temperatures below 60ºF (15.5ºC).

If you have questions about other brands or styles of booties that haven’t been mentioned, please send me a message through the Contact Us Page below and I will try and help you out.

Go surfing, have fun, repeat!

Johny

I am the person behind Surfers Footprint. Thank you for taking the time to read through the post! If you want to know more about our story, scroll down and click on ABOUT SURFERS FOOTPRINT at the bottom of the HomePage.

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