If you enjoy or compete in a watersport, should you get a pair of wetsuit booties? The primary function of wetsuit boots is to protect your feet from the elements and enhance performance, no matter what kind of water sport you do. They’re excellent for dinghy sailing, paddling, and kayaking and provide comfort in cold water conditions as well as prevent cuts and scrapes. The grip factor is also a major reason for investing in a good pair of neoprene boots for water sports that rely on trapezing and connectivity with a boat’s surface.
At Vaikobi, we have three main styles of unisex boots to suit your specific athletic needs – whether you’re looking for women’s or men’s surf booties or sailing shoes, we’ve got you covered.
This wetsuit boot is the ultimate all-rounder for any water sport and is the closest to your traditional surf booties or reef shoes. Their ergonomic ankle cut design allows for comfort and grip in sports like paddling, kayaking, rock fishing, outrigger canoeing, and ocean skiing. They have a durable, sleek profile minus the bulk. They slide on and off easily without laces for when you’re itching to get out on the waves.
All Vaikobi boots have an ultra-grip 2mm rubber sole to ensure the best contact between your feet and vessel. Its upper diamond grip also provides excellent connectivity to hiking straps for dinghy sailing.
Vaikobi’s speed-grip high cut boot is the best sailing shoe for skiff sailing, trapezing, hiking, and general sailing. They have unsurpassed performance in ankle protection, durability, and warmth. A removable ankle strap is available for added support and stiffness to prevent further rolling or stress on the joints when moving around quickly in high adrenaline racing.
This boot also features an ankle-forward zipper and non-stretch woven backing to maximize hiking performance and stamina. The diamond upper grip also effectively connects to hiking straps (laser sailors, these are for you!) to enhance racing performance. This sailing boot is also an excellent choice for colder weather, providing higher coverage with 5mm neoprene padding to insulate the foot.
For extra warmth, Vaikobi also sells 2mm neoprene socks, which can be worn under sea boots in Winter if you’re off shore and need another layer of cold protection.
The split toe boot is Vaikobi’s lightest, fastest, and most agile boot. Its unique design prevents the foot from rolling inside the boot for maximum ankle protection. They are super lightweight and have a thin strap for a secure, firm fit over the foot’s arch.
It is an ideal choice for water sports that require grip, flexibility, and sensitivity for when you need to better feel your surroundings, e.g. paddling, rock fishing and canoeing. This boot has strategic panel placement with programmed support and flex zones to maintain this sensitivity without compromising security.
Our Top 5 Tips For Your Feet On the Water:
- Buy your boots according to your sport. The Speed Grip High Cut boots are best for skiff sailing and cold water ocean sports due to their support and warmth. The low-cut boots and split-toe boots are more diverse in sports performance but are extra lightweight allowing extra sensitivity to your surroundings.
- Always wash zips with fresh water to prevent seizing.
- Buy boots that fit snugly but that don't press on the toe. This will make swimming in them easier in the event of a capsize.
- If you're unsure about your size, or if you're in between sizes, always buy the bigger option to leave room for growth (or socks!).
- Dry your boots in the shade so they do not get damaged by sun
Frequently Asked Questions About Vaikobi Wetsuit Booties
How do I know what size I should get?
In the event of a capsize, swimming in booties is easiest when they fit as snugly as possible. Like regular footwear, there should be a little wiggle room for your toes, and they shouldn’t press against the front of the shoe. Generally, if you’re between sizes, always size up. The last thing you want is an awesome pair of booties ruined by too much pressure on the toes.
Our unisex design means we have both women’s and men’s neoprene boots ready to go. If unsure, you can double-check our size guide under each product (we use standard US sizing).
Should I wear my watersport booties over or under my wetsuit leg?
While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this one is a personal choice, Vaikobi boots work best when worn OVER your wetsuit. Our ankle strap design is deliberately secure, so you won’t have to worry about them slipping off if you end up swimming on the racecourse.
How do I look after wetsuit booties?
Leave your wetsuit boots to air out and dry in the shade. While it is a slower process than your average wetsuit, your shoes won’t become smelly with the proper airflow. For fast drying, completely undo the zips and all strapping on our high cut boots to increase exposure to air.Got a question we didn’t answer? For further information on specialized wetsuit boots Australia, visit the Vaikobi website.