Yooooooo...So, for this blog post I thought I would talk about my favourite wetsuit bootie, why its my favourite and how you can get your hands on a pair!
Now, a little pre-blog disclaimer: Solite have not paid me or asked me to do this blog post, I am doing it because I genuinely think these booties are amazing and want to share the stoke with you guys!!
So, we've all heard it, and some of us have probably muttered, freezing cold in some gravel floor car park. The age old surfing statement of "I hate wearing booties" which can be heard at lineups all across Britain, Europe and any other country/continent who's waters drop below 13°C (54°F) and its a valid one. For years, in my opinion, wetsuit books have been out dated, heavy and f@!*ing smelly! Nearly all pairs of boots I have owned up until now, I have needed to replace after one season; they just don't last!! No company has been able to crack the code of a warm, durable and functional wetsuit boot. At least, I didn't think they had until I came across Solite.
I first found out about Solite through a friend, and after some research, realised they were legit. Names like Kelly Slater, Ben Gravy and Stab Mag have all given the seal of approval. And after receiving my first pair (3mm Custom Pro's) I was hooked, and realised it was gonna be hard to wear another boot after using these. They were light, warm and they fit my foot snug as a glove. Now you're probably wondering what is so different about these booties to others..? Well, they use special heat mouldable thermo-foam in the base of the shoe, which when heated up and cooled, will hold the shape of whatever was pressed into it.
I like to think of them more like a gum shield but for your foot! It does sound gimmicky, but trust me, it's the real deal. These things really allow you to feel your surfboard, and rather than having two lead weights for feet, these are some of the lightest booties on the market and for sure the warmest.
I just received a pair of 3mm Solite Custom LTD's today, so lets dive in and look at the process of how to get these things to fit you like a glove!
Its always the best feeling coming home to a new package! Here I want to say a big thanks to Solite for providing me with wetsuit booties for the past year! I am seriously stoked with their support and am loving repping the boots.
step1) Get those booties out of the box! Make sure they're the right size and model. Pick em' bad boys up and feel how light they are...mental huh.
Step2) Boil dat kettle!
To activate the heat mouldable thermo-foam, you need !HOT! water. So fill up the brewer and get it piping.
Step3) In the meantime, whilst you're waiting for the kettle to boil, slip on the heat booster socks ready for moulding!
These socks also play a vital role in making sure your booties don't smell like raw sewage! After each session, these socks make it easier than ever to keep your booties clean, simply rinse the boot out with fresh water and air dry, and you can just throw the sock in the washing machine/hand wash in order to keep your booties and feet, smelling and looking fresh every session!
Step4) Once the kettle is done boiling, take your boots and pour the water in. Take care not to fill them up to the neoprene and only to the brim of the yellow shell. Make sure you follow the instructions provided with the booties, so as not to void your warranty!
Once both boots are filled, let them sit n' soak for 5 minutes! This will heat and soften up the bottom allowing your footprint to be stamped into em'!
Step5) After 5 or so minutes, pour out the hot water, quickly rinse them with some cold water (so you wimps don't burn your feet) and get your sausage toes in there ASAP! Once I've got mine on, I like to have a little dance around (optional) but then take a seat, keep firm pressure on the boot and let them work their magic!
And voilà, you have perfectly fitted and moulded wetsuit boots. The nice thing about Solites is that they can be re-moulded as many times as you like. If you don't quite feel like you've moulded them properly, you can always re-do them and put more pressure in the spot you wanted an bit more space in.
Also, when you first receive your booties, you can still send them back for a different size even after you have moulded them. So my advice would be to mould your booties even if they feel tight, as once they are properly fitted they loosen up around your foot and feel great.
I've been wearing the booties for quite some time now and they just keep getting better and better, Solite seem to always be wanting to improve their products, and are always looking for feedback from us team riders and the general public about how we are finding their boots and any ways they could be improved!
Ow yeah, Solite don't just do boots for cooler water! Earlier this year I took a trip out to Indonesia and took with me a pair of the 2mm Custom Reef Boots! Safe to say, I had just as good of an experience with these as I did my winter ones! They were comfortable, lightweight and most importantly, protected my feet from the various species of urchins found out in Indo.
I would thoroughly recommend these to anyone heading to tropical locations notorious for sharp coral reef-they work!!
Here's some of the over all pro's and con's that come with the booties:
Good talking point in cold car parks
High end boot-High end prices
Aint the most beautiful booty out there
Gotta wear a sock
These boots will mean you won't want to wear anything else when surfing
Overall, I think a pair of Solite Booties is a good investment, they're gonna last you at least 2 seasons, I've R+D'd them at my local reef breaks vigorously throughout winter and they're tough as nails. They're warm, comfortable and you can feel better than everyone else in the lineup knowing you have a superior booty!
Anyways, hope that covers everything you could ever want to know about Solites booties! Sorry to drag on, but I get a lot of questions about the boots, and thought it best to cover it all here!
This weekend, I'm heading up to Surf Snowdonia on a media trip with Puravida Surfboards! So stoked to get a load of waves in the wave pool up there and test out all of the rad and retro boards Jim has got piled in his van! Pics to come of the trip next week!
I hope everyone enjoys their easter and I'll see you in ze water soon!
To check out Solites full range of boots, go here: https://soliteboots.eu/collections/all-products
Nice wan!! (-_-)