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Laser Booties

whirlwind2

New Member
I don't like wearing booties when I sail a laser because my feet get tangled in the mainsheet. The problem with not wearing them though is sometimes my feet get cold and/or my ankles get sore and/or the tops of my feet become raw. Today I saw the Zhik barefoot booties online and wondered if anyone has them and what they think of them. They look like they may be a good solution. Thanks in advance for your input.
 
R

Ross B

Guest
I have them, and used them for awhile, they were "ok", the design is a great idea, but they seemed to slip down on me a lot, even with the ankle bands. I think for it to work, they have to be super, super tight. Just stick with regular boots..
 

foxy

Member
I've been wearing the relatively new Gill Aquatech shoe and like it a lot when the weather isn't really cold enough for boots but too chilly to go barefoot. Also if the beach is more rocks and shells than sand.
http://www.gillna.com/footwear/956.php

Another trick I've found for making regular boots more bearable is to punch holes in the heels with a soldering iron. You are going to get them full of water launching anyway and they are much more comfortable with the water drained out. They still keep your feet warm which is the whole idea.
 
Look for Rooster Sailing, Rooster Hiking Boots, the short-top ones. These short-top booties more readily allow for straight leg/toes pointed hiking. They are compact and even with a snug fit, wearing wool/polypro socks keep my, usually cold, feet comfortable. They are not as ridgid as some traditional hiking boots which I thought would be a problem; however, they proved to be comfortable in all conditions.
Good Shopping
 

Chainsaw

Brmmm Brmmm
Another trick I've found for making regular boots more bearable is to punch holes in the heels with a soldering iron. You are going to get them full of water launching anyway and they are much more comfortable with the water drained out. They still keep your feet warm which is the whole idea.
This sounds like a good idea, if I could make the holes small enough. I previously used magic marine skiff boots. They last a fair while, but have no reinforcing on top and the neoprene rips on the footstrap adjustment line as they get older. So I got some magic marine hiking boots which are heavily reinforced and have good positive soles, but they tend to hold a lot of water. Problem is that there are also sea lice around here at times that might swim in the holes and bite me. Nasty little S.o.B's they are - a good bite swells up painfully for a few days. Might try heating up a thin piece of wire and perforating the heel... Or maybe I'll just continue with my plans to be airlifted into my boat everytime I go out.
 

Nicko

New Member
Look for Rooster Sailing, Rooster Hiking Boots, the short-top ones. These short-top booties more readily allow for straight leg/toes pointed hiking. They are compact and even with a snug fit, wearing wool/polypro socks keep my, usually cold, feet comfortable. They are not as ridgid as some traditional hiking boots which I thought would be a problem; however, they proved to be comfortable in all conditions.
Good Shopping
I think they are very good boots, and with a pair of wet socks on as well (also from Rooster ) my feet have been fine all winter.
 

foxy

Member
I made the holes with a round tip on my butane soldering iron. It melts the edges so nothing ravels and the finished holes are about 1/8" in diameter. All three holes are in the heels, one center and one on either side.
I still prefer to sail barefoot and with good well padded hiking straps, I don't have any problems with chaffe on my feet. I only wear boots when its cold or the launch area requires foot protection.
 

SGTLaser

New Member
I made the holes with a round tip on my butane soldering iron. It melts the edges so nothing ravels and the finished holes are about 1/8" in diameter. All three holes are in the heels, one center and one on either side.
I still prefer to sail barefoot and with good well padded hiking straps, I don't have any problems with chaffe on my feet. I only wear boots when its cold or the launch area requires foot protection.
I always wear them, can't be too careful around oyster shells
 

TriTow

New Member
If you're having a hard time finding hiking boots you like, take a look at scuba boots. I'm wearing an old pair of U.S. Divers boots designed to be worn with scuba fins and they're very comfortable and effective. They have the same type of non-skid rubber on the upper part of the boot as the Zhik hiking boots (designed to prevent the fins from moving around and chafing your foot) and they're reasonably flexible with a non-marking sole. They have a good ykk plastic zipper and are well cushioned all around.
I like the idea of putting small holes in the heels to let the water drain.

Linda
 

fracisco

New Member
O'Neill (and I'm sure Rip Curl, etc.) also make 3 mm surfing booties. That is what I have been using, sometimes with a wool sock underneath for extra warmth.

http://www.oneill.com/mens-surf-gear-boots.php

My only complaint is the lack of arch support when pointing my toes. Good for feeling a surfboard underfoot, but a stiffer sole would be perfect for me. I found Aigle boots to be too stiff and just seemed to get caught on everything in the cockpit.
 

pirouette

Member
Aigle unfortunately discontinued their GREAT booties (my opinion of course). Neil Pryde came out with Elite Evolution; look-alikes but they are junk because the rivets for the laces were low quality stainless if they were even stainless at all [they fell out and rusted out] and the seams broke after 2 seasons. I wrote and called Customer Service at Neil Pryde when the rusted rivet issue showed up within months of using them and their response was generic and not accepting any responsibility for what they produce. Any suggestions for replacements? I like a pretty stiff sole and surfing booties are just too soft

Arguably the best Master sailor on the East Coast and winner of the St. Francis YC Laser Slalom recommends the GiIl Trapeze 905s as well. Perhaps I will give them a nod. He also melts holes in the heel for drainage. When my cockpit is filled with water in big air and chop upwind, water in my booties is the least of my problems...
 

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LaLi

Well-Known Member
If you (or he) mean(s) these, then I can recommend them, as I have worn a slightly older version for many years and have been very happy.
Like quite a few others, I had Aigles ("Maramu" I think was the model name) back in the 1980s, and looking back I think they were overrated. Modern boots are better exactly because they're more flexible everywhere, including the soles. The lacing system was a pain, too.

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