How to choose your surf shoes

Comment choisir ses chaussons de surf - Zeus Surf

Choosing your surf shoes: ultimate guide (2024)

Feel the wave, tame the power of the ocean, surf in complete freedom... But to fully enjoy each session in winter, one essential element is often neglected: surf shoes.

More than just protection against the cold, surf shoes play a crucial role in your performance and comfort. Optimal grip on the board, increased sensations, protection against injuries, choosing the right pair can transform your surfing experience.

Faced with the multitude of models on the market, it is easy to get lost. That's why we created this comprehensive guide.

In this article, we will reveal the secrets to choosing the perfect surf shoes, based on your level, needs and preferences. Size, thickness, sole type, materials... We will review all the criteria to consider to help you find the pair that will allow you to tame the waves with style and confidence.

So, ready to surf with peace of mind? Dive into our guide and discover the surf shoes that will propel you to new sensations!

Orange solite surf slippers

Tips for choosing the ideal size of your surf shoes:

Choosing the right size surf shoes is crucial to ensure comfort, performance and safety. A liner that is too small can cause pain and blisters , while a liner that is too large can limit your grip on the board and put you at risk of injury.

  1. Measure your foot:

  • Place your foot on a sheet of paper and trace the outline.
  • Measure the length from the heel to the tip of the longest toe.
  • Convert your measurement to centimeters or inches depending on the size of the slippers you wish to purchase.
  1. Refer to the size guide of the chosen brand:
  • Each brand has its own sizing system.
  • Compare your measurement to the size chart to find the corresponding size.
  • You can contact the brand's customer service if you have any doubts.
  1. Take into account the type of liner:
  • Neoprene liners tend to stretch slightly over time.
  • Slippers without a sole generally fit better than those with a sole.
  • If you are unsure between two sizes, opt for the smaller size for neoprene slippers and the larger size for slippers without a sole.
  1. Try the slippers before you buy them:
  • This is the best way to ensure the size is perfect.
  • Make sure your toes touch the tip of the sole without being compressed.
  • The liner should fit your foot perfectly without tightening it.
  1. Take advantage of the money-back guarantee:
  • Many brands offer a money-back guarantee.
  • You can return the slippers if the size does not suit you.

By following these tips, you are sure to find the surf shoes that will guarantee you maximum comfort and performance.

At Zeus, we favor well-fitting slippers. Your feet should not move in the slippers, and your toes should touch the tip of the sole.

Take the time to try them out before using them for your next surf session.

solite surf slippers in winter

Types of surf shoes: which shoe to choose?

There are different types of surf shoes, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Neoprene surf shoes are the most commonly used, as they are soft and comfortable, and guarantee good protection against the cold. There are also surf shoes without a sole, which are flexible and provide a better feel for the board, but do not provide protection. If you opt for this type of slippers, we recommend the Wetty brand .

Remember to take a good look at the closing system of the slippers and the quality of the seams, if you want to not be cold and for your pair of slippers to last you, you can check if the seams are waterproof.

Sooruz surf slippers

What is the budget for a pair of surf shoes?

Surf slippers can vary from 10 to 150 € depending on the quality and brand, for a good pair of surf slippers count on at least 50 €, the best pairs cost more than 100 € . It's certainly budget-friendly, but if you surf every week in winter then it might be worth investing in a good pair . You will be able to fully enjoy your winter surfing sessions .

When to wear surf shoes?

Finally, it is important to know when to wear surf shoes. If you are surfing in cold waters, it is always best to wear booties to protect you from the cold .

There's no worse feeling than not feeling your feet when you're surfing.

Additionally, if you are surfing on a rocky or uneven bottom, booties can protect you . Finally, if you want better grip on your board , surf shoes can also help you achieve that.

If you are going in warm weather, there are reef boots which allow you to surf on rocky spots.

Sooruz surf shoe for the reef

How thick are surf shoes?

Depending on the water temperature, it is important to choose the appropriate thickness of surf shoes.

  • For tropical waters (20-25°C) , liners approximately 1-2 mm thick are recommended.
  • For warm waters ( 15-20°C), shoes approximately 2-3 mm thick are recommended.
  • For cool water ( 10-15°C), 3-5 mm slippers are recommended.
  • For very cold water (less than 10°C), 5-7 mm liners are recommended.

If you're worried about getting cold, we have Solite 8mm surf booties for freezing waters and surf trips to polar regions.

Surf suit storage hanger

The best surf shoe brands in 2024

Solite , Wetty ,Billabong , Rip Curl , Oneill & Patagonia

In 2024, the Solite slippers received first prize from the American magazine Stab, in the “wetsuit & boots” category.

Where are surf shoes made?

The majority of surf shoes are made in Thailand at Sheico . There are also smaller factories in Vietnam or China.

Handlebar C Monsta

How to care for your surf shoes

Washing :

  • Rinse your slippers in fresh water after each use.
  • Use a special soft neoprene product if necessary.
  • Gently scrub dirty areas with a soft brush .
  • Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Drying :

  • Let your slippers air dry , away from direct sunlight.
  • Do not tumble dry them, as this may damage them.

Our practical advice: to dry your neoprene suit , your slippers and your gloves, one of the best solutions on the market is the C Monsta Hanger


  • Store your slippers in a dry, cool place.
  • Do not store them in a humid or hot place, as this could encourage the appearance of mold.
  • You can use a hanger to hang them type C Monsta.

C Monsta storage bag

In conclusion,

Surf shoes are an important part of surfing equipment and can improve your performance and comfort on the water. It is essential to choose the right liners based on your surfing level and personal preferences.

Size is also a crucial factor in ensuring the perfect fit and maximum comfort.

Finally, surf shoes are best worn to protect your feet against reefs and rocks , but also to maintain better grip on your board . By following these tips, you can find the surf shoes that best suit your surfing style and allow you to get the most out of each session.


What is the best thickness of surf shoes for me?

The thickness depends on the water temperature where you are surfing:

  • Tropical waters (20-25°C): 1-2 mm
  • Hot water (15-20°C): 2-3 mm
  • Fresh water (10-15°C): 3-5 mm
  • Very cold waters (less than 10°C): 5-7 mm
  1. What types of surf shoes are there?
  • Neoprene Booties: Comfortable and warm, perfect for cold waters.
  • Slippers without sole: Flexible and allow a better feel of the board, but do not protect from the cold.
  • Reef boots: For surfing rocky spots.
  1. What size surf shoes should I choose?
  • Measure your foot and compare with the brand's size guide.
  • Try on the slippers before purchasing to ensure they fit properly.
  • Choose well-fitting slippers, your toes must touch the tip of the sole.
  1. How do I maintain my surf shoes?
  • Rinse them with clean water after each use.
  • Wash them with mild soap if necessary.
  • Dry them in the open air, away from direct sunlight.
  • Store them in a dry, cool place.
  1. What is the budget for a good pair of surf shoes?

Allow at least €50 for a good pair of surf shoes. The best pairs cost over €100.

  1. Where to buy surf shoes?
  • Specialty surf shops
  • Surfing equipment sales websites
  • Surf brand online stores
  1. What are the best surf shoe brands?

Solite, Wetty, Billabong, Rip Curl, O'Neill & Patagonia

  1. Where are surf shoes made?

The majority of surf shoes are made in Thailand, but there are also factories in Vietnam and China.

  1. When to wear surf shoes?
  • Cold waters: Protection against the cold.
  • Rocky or uneven bottom: Protection against injury.
  • Better grip on the board.
  1. What should I do if I have doubts about the size or type of slippers to choose?
  • Contact the brand's customer service.
  • Ask a salesperson in a specialized store for advice.

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