2015 Water Sports Gear Guide: Boots

Get the right mix of features for your riding style with these wakeboard boots.

Ultimately, a wakeboard boot's job is to communicate your body's movements to the board. Stiffer, more supportive boots translate those movements more efficiently and offer more ankle support, while softer boots allow for more freedom of mobility — especially when poking out your tricks. Separation
Some bindings have a separate liner or boot that is removable, with a durable sole on the bottom. This is incredibly convenient when you have to traverse across rough terrain to get back to the starting dock or when winching. Toes
Open: Open-toe boots are aimed to fit a wider variety of foot sizes and shapes. This is ideal when choosing a board to accommodate unequipped guests or young riders with rapidly growing feet. Closed: Closed-toe boots follow a more size-specific fit and are generally built for high performance. This is ideal when choosing boots specifically for one rider who will be riding them almost exclusively all season. Closure
+ Laces
Pros: Easy to achieve a secure fit with a classic laced-up feel similar to a shoe. Cons: If you plan to get in and out of your boots frequently throughout your set, then laces tend to take longer to get in and out of, and they can wear out sooner in the process. + Velcro
Pros: For quick and easy entry and exit, velcro allows the tongue of the boot to open fully with less resistance. Cons: It's Harder to achieve as secure a fit as laces or ratchets. + Rachets
Pros: The boot and bindings are separate components, and are not attached. Since cable riders will be keeping the boots on in between falls, entry and exit becomes very quick and easy back at the starting dock. This closure also offers a secure and responsive fit. Cons: Putting on your boots and then attaching them to your bindings adds an extra step to the process when riding behind the boat.
Humanoid Howl
Things We Like: This V Fly Velcro-lacing closure system blends the ease and simplicity of Velcro straps with the tight crank-down power of laces. + Low cuff with a very soft flex pattern right out of the box is ideal for pressing and poking out your tricks. + Baseless chassis allows for a truer feel underfoot. MSRP: $390
Humanoid Odyssey
Things We Like: The dual-lace system includes an upper Velcro strap, allowing you to completely remove the upper lace for a simpler entry, or keep it stock for an incredibly secure fit. + A higher cuff and more-supportive construction provide added ankle protection and stability without being too restrictive. + Humanoid's Smart Toof Technology uses vertical teeth to keep your stance angle from changing on you, even if you've got a screw loose. MSRP: $410
Hyperlite Process
Things We Like: The boot's supportive high cuff combined with the System binding makes them extremely responsive. + The ratchet straps on the System bindings are completely customizable, adjustable on the fly, and very easy to get in and out of. + The Process boots are heat moldable and provide foot protection when walking back to the starting dock at the park. MSRP Boots: $360, Bindings: $195
Hyperlite Team CT
Things We Like: Not too soft, not too stiff: Ankle support and mobility are well blended. + The heel retention strap is integrated into the lower lace zone to eliminate heel lift for a more responsive feel. + The mesh flow-through drain panels work quickly, cut down on overall weight, and expedite the air-drying process for a mildew-free setup all season long. MSRP: $385
Liquid Force Harley
Things We Like: Dual-lacing system allows you to tighten the upper and lower zone independently to fine-tune your desired fit. + The outer shell features a high-cut cuff that is strategically reinforced to offer stability and support for high-end responsiveness. + Flex notches located in between the lacing zones help the boot articulate forward without uncomfortable pressure points on your ankle. MSRP: $380
Ronix Code55 Boots
Things We Like: There's more support built into the structure of the boot for fine-tuned responsiveness. + Heat-moldable asymmetrical liners combined with baseless chassis ensure a comfortable, customizable high-performance fit with no unnecessary fluff. + Interchangeable trim highlights let you customize the look of the boot to better match your board. MSRP: $500