2017 Water Sports Gear Guide: Wakeboard Boots

Learn how to easily find a wakeboard boot that comfortably fits your foot and riding style.

One of the best ways to extend your time on the water is to find a wakeboard boot that not only comfortably fits your foot but also fits your riding style.

Think of your boots as the direct line of communication between your body and your wakeboard. What kind of conversation do you want to have? Stiffer, more supportive boots are more responsive, communicating your movements quickly and more efficiently. Boots with softer flex patterns are more laid-back, providing less-responsive performance but giving you added mobility to poke out your grabs and press deep into rails. To find the perfect boot, start by poring over this primer, and then explore the boots in this section and start matching up your riding style with boots that feature corresponding characteristics. Finally, head to your local watersports outfitter to try them on in store and demo them on the water.

Ask Yourself
Who are you shopping for? Will these boots be for your feet only, or will they need to work for a boatful of your buddies?

How do you want to ride? Are you more interested in responsive performance or adding style to every trick?

Where will you use them? Do you ride primarily behind the boat, or do you spend a lot of time in the park?

Toe Design
These days, wakeboard boots fall into one of two basic categories: closed-toe or open-toe. Like any shoe, closed-toe boots typically have a size-specific fit, which makes it easier to meet your specific performance goals but harder to share a pair of boots among your friends and family. Open-toe boots accommodate a wider range of foot sizes and shapes, making them a good fit for young riders with fast-growing feet or sharing with friends and family.

If you ride at a cable park frequently, you might want to look at boot models with removable liners. They make it easier to get in and out of your boots more frequently, and their durable soles are an added bonus when you're trekking back to the start dock.

There are three main types of closure systems, and each has its pros and cons. Laces make it easy to achieve a secure, snug fit, but getting in and out of lace-up boots takes time. Boots with Velcro straps are quick and easy to get in and out of, but they don't offer the fit customization of boots with laces or ratchets. Much like in a snowboard setup, your boots and bindings are separate in a ratchet system. The easy entry and exit make them a good fit for park riders, and the bindings provide a secure, responsive connection to your board.