It takes just one wipeout on coral or rocks to keep you out of the water for weeks while you nurse your reef cuts. Fortunately, a pair of reef booties can act as a surfer’s best friend by protecting your skin against sharp coral, rocks, stingers, and cold water.

In this guide, we’ll show you the best surf booties for women including the best for warm water and the best for cold water. We’ll tell you about the key features to look for when you buy a pair of surf booties.

  1. The 10 Best Surf Booties for Women — At a Glance
  2. Why You Need Surf Booties
  3. How to Find the Best Surf Booties for You
  4. The 10 Best Surf Booties Reviewed — For Tropical, Warm, and Cold Water

The 10 Best Surf Booties for Women

SURF BOOTIETHICKNESSBEST FORTOE TYPECUT PRICERATING
PATAGONIA YULEX R5
7 mmCold WaterRoundHigh$$$4.8
PATAGONIA YULEX R3
3 mmCold WaterRoundHigh$$$4.7
XCEL INFINITI3 mmCold WaterSplitHigh$$4.6
RIP CURL FLASHBOMB3 mmCold WaterSplitHigh$$$4.5
ROXY SYNCRO PERFORMANCE3 mmCold WaterSplitHigh$4.7
FCS SP22 mmTropicalSplitLow$$4.8
ROXY SYNCRO2 mmWarm WaterRoundLow$4.1
ONEILL MOD ST3 mmWarm WaterSplitHigh$$4.6
RIP CURL REEFER1.5 mmTropicalSplitLow$4.5
PATAGONIA YULEX R22 mmWarm WaterSplitHigh$$$4.5

Why You Need Surf Booties

Protection: Keep your skin on your feet whenever you surf over coral or limestone reefs. The extra neoprene also protects against harmful UV rays and stingers. Booties also protect your feet against hot pavement and sand as you walk from the lineup to your car.

Warmth: Surf booties keep your feet warm — without them you might even risk frostbite in cold, winter water.

Grip: Surf booties have traction on the bottom that help you keep your feet on the board. They’re great if you’ve skimped on the wax lately, or are in water that’s so cold, your feet would lose feeling otherwise.

How to Find the Best Surf Booties

Fit: Surf booties keep your feet warm by heating a layer of water between your skin and the material. It should feel very snug, like a sock, in order for it to fit well. If you can pinch the material easily, then the reef bootie is likely too loose. Likewise, it should not be so tight that it cuts off circulation or is painful to wear. Over time, the surf booties will probably stretch out slightly.

Split toe versus round toe: Surf booties come in two toe types — split toe and round toe. Split toes offer a bit more flexibility — making your pop ups easier than a round toe bootie. However, round toe booties tend to be warmer. Some reef booties have a hybrid where there the big toe is separated from the rest of the reef bootie but is still kept under a layer of material.

Thickness: Reef booties range from 1.5 mm in thickness to 7 mm in thickness. Obviously, the thicker the material, the warmer it is. You should choose a surf bootie that is thick enough to keep you warm, but is still flexible. Surfers in Bali won’t need anything thicker than 1.5 mm while those paddling out in frosty conditions will need at least 5 mm.

Cut: Surf booties tend to come in two cuts — ankle and high. Ankle length surf booties are best for warm water as they offer protection for the soles of the feet and are flexible. High cut booties are warmer and can often be tucked under your wetsuit.

The 10 Best Surf Booties Reviewed — For Tropical, Warm, and Cold Water

The Best Surf Booties for Cold Water

1. PATAGONIA YULEX R5

  • Extra warm
  • Made from Yulex, a natural alternative to neoprene

If you’re a surfer who isn’t put off by freezing water, the Patagonia Yulex R5 is one of the warmest surf booties on the market. At 7 mm thick, you’ll be able to wear this pair of surf booties in water temperatures 0 C (32 F) and above.

All seams are triple glued and internally taped. The round toe keeps warmth in while the arch remains flexible. There are pull tabs at the heels for ease of wear. The sole has extra traction to keep you on your board for the entire wave.

Yulex is made from natural rubber that are Forest Stewardship Council certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This reef bootie is unisex so double check sizing.

Price Check: Patagonia

2. PATAGONIA YULEX R3

  • Made from Yulex, a natural alternative to neoprene
  • Snug fit
  • Hidden split toe

The Patagonia Yulex R3 is a great all-around surf bootie that does it all – it’s warm, durable, and can handle temperatures 9 C (48 F) and up. Each seam is triple glued and internally taped. The unique strap system ensures a snug fit across the top of the foot and ankle.

The hidden split toe gives surfers some of the agility of a split toe surf bootie, while retaining heat. The heel tab makes putting on and taking off the bootie easy.

Yulex is made from natural rubber that are Forest Stewardship Council certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This reef bootie is unisex so double check sizing.

Price Check: Patagonia

3. XCEL INFINITI 

  • Can wear in versatile conditions
  • Flexible split toe
  • Taped seams

The XCEL Infiniti reef bootie is one of the best all-around wetsuit boots for those who surf in changing climates. The XCEL Infiniti has quick-dry material that wicks water away and keeps you warm from the walk from the surf to your car, has taped seams for extra durability and warmth, and is easy to take on and off thanks to its sturdy ankle loop.

Price Check: Amazon

4. RIP CURL FLASHBOMB

  • Great value
  • Durable
  • Two Velcro straps for best fit

The Rip Curl Flashbomb 3 mm has a hidden split toe that makes it very warm and very flexible. The rubber sole is .8 mm thick, keeping you in tune with your board as you ride. If you surf on sandy bottoms or seaweed covered reef, these booties will be the perfect edition to your set up. Because the sole tends to be a bit thinner than other surf booties, we don’t recommend them for limestone or sharp reef. They also have a narrow fit and FlashWarmth lining.

These booties are unisex, so double check and convert sizing before ordering.

Price Check: Amazon

5. ROXY SYNCRO PERFORMANCE SURF BOOTS 

  • Warm yet flexible
  • WarmFlight Far-Infrared thermal lining (uses body heat to generate warmth)
  • Durable

The Roxy Syncro 3mm Performance surf boot combines warmth and flexibility. The wetsuit boot keeps out water thanks to its glued and blind stitched seams. The seams are also taped. The split toe allows for extra flexibility and the rubber sole is very durable without being too thick or inhibitive.

The Roxy Syncro 3mm also has back heel reinforcement and are known to fit true to size. There is also a heel tab to help put on and take off the surf bootie with ease.

Price Check: Amazon

The Best Surf Booties for Warm/Tropical Water

1. FCS SP2 2MM REEF BOOTIE 

  • Flexible
  • Comfortable
  • Decent grip on the soles

The FCS SP2 is one of the most popular wetsuit boots among surfers in tropical water. It has a 1.2mm thick rubber sole that’s great for gripping and navigating over slippery rock – and is enough to protect against even tough slams against the reef.

The boot is very flexible with 1.5mm to 2mm neoprene and a low cut. The FCS SP2 stays secure with an elastic band around the ankle and two Velcro straps across the top of the foot. Holes on the side of the reef bootie allow water to drain out. There is also a tab on the back to help don and doff the bootie.

*This reef bootie is unisex so double check sizing.

Price Check: Amazon

2. ROXY SYNCRO 2MM REEF SURF BOOTS 

  • Great for cold water
  • Reinforced heels
  • Flexible

The Roxy Syncro 2mm is Roxy’s best surf bootie for warm or tropical water. The booties are made of 2mm thick nylon and elastane. These are probably the best booties for those who want to protection against sharp reef yet want to maintain a close feel to the board. It’s also one of the most affordable high-quality surf booties, making it great value.

Price Check: Amazon

3. O’NEILL 3MM MOD ST

  • Taped, glued and blindstitched seams for extra warmth
  • Flexible

The O’neill 3mm Mod ST surf bootie is a great all-around wetsuit boot for surfers in variable conditions. The high ankle keeps feet extra warm yet at 3 mm thick, you’re unlikely to overheat in warm water.

The surf booties have a pull tab at the heel to quickly change in and out as well as a Velcro strap at the top for extra snugness. The rubber soles are thick enough to protect your feet against cuts without being too rigid.

Price Check: Amazon

4. RIP CURL REEFER 

  • Great for tropical and warm water surfing
  • Durable sole, breathable upper

The Rip Curl Reefer will keep your soles protected without overheating your feet while you surf. The thin neoprene upper is flexible and breathable while having a sturdy sole. There are mesh panels for draining as well as a Velcro strap across the top of the foot for a snug fit. The heel tab makes putting these surf booties on and off a breeze. These booties will give you that extra confidence to take off on the shallow reef break of your dreams.

Price Check: Amazon

5. PATAGONIA YULEX R2

  • Made from Yulex, a natural alternative to neoprene
  • Ultra-flexible
  • Best for minimalist surfers

Are you the type of surfer who is hesitant to slip on a surf bootie because you’ll lose connection to the board? The Patagonia Yulex R2 is perfect for minimalist surfers who want to keep warm yet not feel hindered by a thick rubber sole or tight strap. These are more like part surf sock, part surf bootie. Seams are triple glued and internally taped for extra robustness and warmth. The ball, toes, and heel of the foot are reinforced with extra thick material – leaving the arch completely flexible. Great for water temperatures that range from 13 C (55 F) and warmer.

Yulex is made from natural rubber that are Forest Stewardship Council certified by the Rainforest Alliance. This reef bootie is unisex so double check sizing.

Price Check: Patagonia

Disclosure: The Salt Sirens is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. We are also an affiliate of Patagonia. 

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