Episode #013: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast: I Need New Boots!

photo of yellow boots near flowers
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

Alright, so my boots are not as bad as the photo above, but I have had my sailing boots way too long! I need new ones. They have no tread, and have never fit properly. I bought them on sale, and thought what the heck? So, this week I am going to take you along on a gear shopping trip.

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#29: Sorry! I'm still alive! Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast

What do I need?

First off I need to figure out what I need. I currently have Keen sandals for summer, Salomon runners for summer, and then Helly winter boots, so I am doing pretty good. What I really need are summer/off-season sailing boots to keep my feet dry and warm-ish. So I need basic sailing boots. My wishlist includes:

  • comfortable
  • good grip
  • non-marking
  • waterproof
  • easy to put on and take off
  • works with foul weather gear

Which brands should I check out?

Now that I have figured out basically what I am looking for, time to start pricing things out! Here are the brands I am looking into (I have left out Gill and Helly as I already have boots/shoes from them and want to test something new!):

  • Musto
  • Zhik
  • Muck Boots
  • Dubarry

How did I narrow down my list you ask? Well I did a quick Google search and then I canvassed some of my Facebook sailing groups.

What did I find out?

Sailing boots are WAY more expansive than they used to be! LOL! Alright, sticker shock aside, there are a lot of design elements that go into making a boot a sailing-specific boot: non-skid sole, non-marking sole, quick dry material, dry, adjustable calf option (on some race versions).

Musto

  • Style:Gore-Tex Race Boot
  • Price: $560.00
  • Sizes: 4-13 (UK sizes)
  • Colours: Black
  • Accessories: Gore-Tex footwear membrane = completely waterproof and breathable
  • Misc: GripDeck rubber sole = lightweight, shock-absorbing, multi-traction
  • Reviews: 3.5* on 15 reviews
  • Website: https://www.musto.com/

Overall these boots don’t do it for me in the style department, but I’d be willing to give them a try. They appear to be of good construction, but they are mid-calf height and there is no way to tighten the top of the boot. However, I assume that they would tuck nicely under your foul weather pants and they do not appear to be too cumbersome. Several reviewers noted that the rubber toe protection was wearing off quickly.

Zhik

  • Style: ZK Seaboot 900
  • Price: $499.95
  • Sizes: US Mens 6-13
  • Colours: Black, grey, green
  • Accessories: high grip rubber sole, integrated fast draining gaiter system, comfortable 3D mesh lining
  • Reviews: Only see 1 review from 2021. Price 3, Value 4, Quality 5
  • Website: https://www.zhik.com/womens/footwear.html

I really like the look of these sailing boots! Height is nice, calf adjustment is ideal, sole looks great for grip, good reviews. Price point is $499.95, and they may have my size. I am a bit worried that these boots might be a bit more than what I need though. There is no issue with being over-protected, but I’ll have to have a think on it! Still in the running… and I would look cool like Erik Aanderaa or Kika on Sailing Uma 🙂

Muck Boots

  • Style: Forager Tall
  • Price: $127.50
  • Sizes: 4-15
  • Colours: Grey
  • Accessories:
  • 100% Waterproof
  • Easy-to-Fold Rubber Upper Enables Multiple Shaft Height Options
  • Loc-Tite Adjustable Closure System and Muck STOP Gaiter collar provides a customized fit.
  • Guarden Rubber Toe and Heel for Durability and Extended Wear
  • Dual Density Footbed with Memory Foam for Long Lasting Comfort
  • bioDEWIXâ„¢ Anti-Microbial Footbed Insert Topcover with
  • NZYMâ„¢ for Odor Control and Moisture Management
  • Durable Rubber Outsole with Self-Cleaning Multi-Surface Traction
  • Comes with a MuckTuck Nylon Bag for Storage and Packability
  • Reviews: 4.6* out of 102 reviews

Now looking through the reviews many of them are noting that these boots are not very durable. They have ripped or cracked quickly after use. That could be a problem on the boat as I move around a lot and there are many things that the boots could rub against… Something to think about and perhaps a different style is needed. I will continue to research as I like the price point!

Dubarry

  • Style: Dubarry Ultima Sailing Boot
  • Price: $459.00
  • Sizes: UK 35-48
  • Colours: brown
  • Accessories: high performance leather, waterproof sailing footwear which is fully breathable, while also warm due to the GORE-TEX lining. Unique, all leather, waterproof, fully breathable sailing boot.

These look like beautiful boots that I would actually wear out off of the boat! They have a good sole, tread looks pretty grippy, stylish… I am unsure of the height as I do tend to prefer a taller boot, but these might be just right. On the list for the moment and I’m going to try and find some negative reviews online to see what some of the drawbacks may be.

Overall I still have some homework to do, but that the moment I am leaning towards: 1. Dubarry 2. Zhik 3. Muck Boots 4. Musto. I will try to update to let you know where I land! Leave me a comment if you have experience with any of these boots!

Penny

 

 

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