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Solite bootie review

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by grantmac » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:47 am

Nothing on the net for a review of these specific to windsurfing, just some happy SUP riders but they don't deal with footstraps so I decided to roll the dice on a pair.

I ordered 1/2 size down from my shoe size (as was recommended) which was about right although the big toe pocket was a little small (this is a common complaint for me). I did the heat molding and they definitely changed shape but I think I should have just kept the hot water localized to the toe box since I gained some unneeded room in the heel.

In the area I sailed there is a long walk over pavement, crushed rock, driftwood and finally barnacles. The soles so far show zero wear which is favorable compared to other surf booties I've used.

On the water they are the warmed 3mm I've ever used. 5 hours yesterday in 10 degree water without any complaints. The upper seals keep them from flushing extremely well.

My footstrap sizing feels like it could be reset down close to bare feet and I wasn't stuck at any point (a previous frustration). I think the material for the shoe section will also not cause the strap wear I've seen with other booties.

Time will tell on the durability front but if they last 12 months I'll get another pair next year. I'm hoping to also get some Atans for comparison.

-Grant
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by tweegster » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:29 am

I had never heard of these, look good and price is similar to the major brands. Which model did you buy?

I have been using the ripcurl rubber coated ones. They are convienent to purchase (SSurrey outlet), warm, allow good feel on the board and no footstraps.

But, the soles wear down quick and allow themselves and user to be easily punctured by sticks and shells. I go through a pair a year, but often they are full of holes long before the end of winter.
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by grantmac » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:31 am

I got the Custom LTD because I wanted the ankle seal and wasn't sure I'd like the strap (but in hind sight it seems like it might have been a good idea).
I may rig a strap through the heel pull.

They didn't try to pull off despite getting launched fairly hard but they filled up with more water than I'd prefer. I may try molding them tighter with tape or something.
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by Slappy » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:29 am

I wear a pair of crocs over top of my booties, usually 1-2 size up from my feet to fit the booties in. Then take them off right before the water. You can get cheap crocs for like $12 so if someone takes them it's not a big deal. The only time I've had mine taken were at the Spit and I'm pretty sure they just took the wrong pair.

Doing this all the time (not just at the Spit) doubles the length of time you get out of a pair of booties as it's really the walking on nasty stuff that wears them out more than anything.

The Solite booties look interesting, that yellow colour though ...
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by grantmac » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:37 am

If I get a set of Atans I'll be doing either crocs or flip flops to keep them intact. Doesn't help when you do an unintended down winder though. Trying to figure out if I could stuff flip flops down the mast sleeve.

It did feel like walking around with duck feet, but at least they don't get lost in my gear bucket.
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by tweegster » Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:38 am

Good tip Slappy, the walks at locust and 72nd really eat booties. Here I thought your crocs were just for style... :mrgreen:
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by grantmac » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:31 pm

I should add that although the upper is 3mm neoprene the lower is something else entirely. It's thinner (1-2mm?) but quite toasty. It's also not as expandable as neoprene but seems way slicker and more resistant to cuts/abrasion. Best I can think is some sort of very high density abs foam/whatever crocs are made from just denser.
I think I'll be molding them again but use a compression bandage to get the heel and mid foot tighter.
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by Faceplant » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:36 am

"I'm hoping to also get some Atans for comparison."

On my second pair in 5 years. Great bootie.
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