February 11th, 2016
Gear Review | Xcel “Dipped” Booties
This season’s standout wetsuit innovation goes to a goo that goes between your fingers and toes. Liquid neoprene technology was formerly used only to seal seams, but now covers most vital panels in need of serious insulation and stretch.
The SWELL surfaholics tested the XCEL dipped comp bootie on an Orange County lobster hunting mission to see how it stacked up against the thermocline that dips into 50’s.
What We liked
-The booties’ sleek outline slipped comfortably under swim/dive fins.
*Other strappy booties cause cramping while worn with fins.
-Handy heel-loop tab minimizes risk of stretching.
*Stretched out booties flush in water and freeze your feet.
-Dipped section reaches high ankle where wetsuit leg can fully seal off water.
*Fully Dipped bootie openings are prone to breakage & leakage after pulling on & off repeatedly.
-Ergonomically shaped sole panels still allowed toes & arch to cling to objects
*Thick foot soles lose ability to feel your surfboard
What Else We Learned
-The smoothie-skin was less prone to little holes from fingernail cuts and rocks
…but we wouldn’t go running down the asphalt trail to Trestles everyday
-We stayed warm for over an hour in water temps in the high 50’s
…but your feet will probably go numb in any more extreme conditions.
-After bagging 3 bugs a piece, we pulled off our boots and they were dry before our gear was packed.
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