Booties - Protection and Rudder Control

3 months 3 weeks ago #37866 by sarzelopez
Hello

I recently got stung real bad by a ray. First time in 6 years of constant paddling. , just to add on to this year's blessings. 

I've read from surfing sources that with neoprene booties the sting will go through but cause way less damage. I am concerned tho about having problems using the toe pedals for steering. 

Could I get some recommendations on footwear? 

IDk if I should get 3mm or 5mm or something thinner due to the climate, or something like Vibrams (I know Rob uses these, I had a pair 8 years ago but remember the sole being a bit too hard, so I don't know about steering with those) 

Note: I live in year round 30°C - 35°C weather

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3 months 3 weeks ago #37868 by Jef58
I'm in Florida and I get away with 2mm booties. Where I launch there is barnacles in spots and they do protect from that. Not sure about any sting ray protection as of yet. The soles in my booties are very flexible and there is no hindrance using the pedals. I could go with a 3mm with no issues though, and most people I see out on SUP wear some kind of foot protection....we have a lot of sting rays here on the walking part of the beach that we are all aware of.

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3 months 3 weeks ago #37871 by mcnye1
I live in North Florida and also wear booties during the winter when the water temps are a bit lower.  During the warmer months, I wear Body Glove Three Toes.  The sole is a little stiffer but there is a lot more protection there.  In the past, I have also used the Vibram Five Toe water shoes but there is much less protection there.  From my perspective, it is pretty foolish to paddle bare foot here in Florida.  I had a friend get dumped by a boat wake and he ended up with a very nasty cut on his foot from an unseen oyster bar.  Once you get used to them, you won't notice any impact to your ability to steer.   

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3 months 3 weeks ago - 3 months 3 weeks ago #37874 by agooding2
I have not tried these but they look sturdy:  www.levelsix.com/products/riverboot2

I use Astral Loyak's:  www.astraldesigns.com/shop/footwear/mens/loyak-ms which are comfortable in warm weather and dry quick, but they don't provide any more protection underfoot than a regular sneaker does.  they do have great traction in wet areas, not so much on mud and mine are on my third year, so they are durable and rot proof. No issue with using surfski pedals with them

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Think Fit, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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3 months 3 weeks ago #37876 by Epicpaddler
Sorry to hear you got zapped by a ray. Wish I could paddle in Florida year round. When I went out this weekend I had to avoid the ice that was building on my cove. I love paddling barefoot, but most of the time from October until May I wear 5mm Akona scuba diving wetsuit booties. The sole is not to thick or bulky and I can stuff my size 12 feet into the tight footbox of my V10 just fine. I've also worn them in Florida to protect myself from oysters and other rough spots without overheating or loosing steering control. 

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3 months 3 weeks ago #37879 by sarzelopez
Thanks for the replies.

I think I´ll go for 3mm and see how it goes. On the Pacific side rays are common, now that I think about it people should be getting stung more often lol. I usually watch them swiming in pairs from the balcony. I guess they´ll also be usefull for the rocky, reefy beaches on the Atlantic side.

I suppose they wont have the "soggy" feel that I get from occasionally paddling in regular socks.

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