10 May 2010

Worst Booties Ever? O'Neill Superfreak Review

Last fall at O'Neill's parking lot sale, I bought some men's 5/4 booties (because they don't make warm booties for women). My feet are always the first body parts to go numb from the cold, and I thought the extra rubber might help extend my surf sessions in winter - and during late spring upwellings, like now.

Unfortunately, Superfreak external split toe booties are the worst design I've ever put on my feet. The overly long velcro straps are a minor nuisance, collecting sand and trailing on the ground when not secured. But the major flaw is the toe design. Unlike the internal split toe booties I've used for years and prefer over round toes, these booties provide complete separation of the big toe from the littles. Not only did this somewhat uncomfortably squash my index toe, but it made wearing thermal socks impossible; the extra bulk cannot be accommodated without pain. Worse, the split between the toes is bare thinnish neoprene. Walking into the ocean, I immediately felt a flood of chilly water between my toes through the split, and it continued to flush cold water throughout my session.

In sum, these 5/4 Superfreak booties are extra thick summer wear. At least I got them on clearance.


  1. AnonymousMay 10, 2010

    I prefer internal split booties as well. I started with the O'Neill Mutant 3mm split toe and always felt my toes were weird and the split was noticeable. I switched to Hotline 5mm internal split toe booties this winter and LOVE them (see my gear list: http://thesurfbot.com/gearlist/). Super warm. They've got them at Sonlight.

  2. I can't stand split toe booties of any kind. Makes me feel like I'm wearing flip flops in the water. But I also picked up a pair on clearance in case any of my friends forget theirs ;)

  3. I don't mind my O'Neill split toe booties. But then again, I haven't tried anything else. However, they're completely falling apart at the seams (after about 18 months of use). I think I'm going to buy some Hotline ones now.

  4. I'll have to try Hotlines. I gave up on O'Neill wetsuits for Hotline a few years ago; don't know why I'm still wearing O'Neill booties...