Local Beach: Naish Beach - Kanaha - Maui, HI USA Teach Beach - Kanaha - Maui, HI USA
Favorite Beaches: _ Crandon - Key Biscayne, FL Sherman Island - Antioch, CA Crissy Field - San Francisco, CA Kanaha - Maui, HI Anne's Beach - Islamorada, FL Curry Hammocks - Marathon, FL Kite Beach - Cabarete, Dominican Republic Tableview - Cape Town, South Africa Main Beach - Langebaan, South Africa Mui Ne Bay - Ham Tien, Vietnam
I looked into these awhile back, came across alot of negative reviews both here in the US and in Europe about using them for Kitesurfing. They help with things that slice - like razor clams, oysters, etc. - but not things that puncture/pierce, like urchins.
I ended up trying two different products, both of which work quite well.
Solhquist Water Socks with kevlar bottom and 3mm Neoprene sides
xCel reefwalker 1mm super thin water socks (1.5mm neoprene with a thin pvc? layer on the bottom).
They both work quite well altho the Solhquist ones got a tear on the kevlar bottoms from shagging on a rocky piece of hard coral. One major difference is that the xCel reefwalkers have drainage holes which is an absolute must for ktiesurfing or your socks can get pumped full of water around your feet and then pop off your feet if you ever need to body drag in high winds.
If you buy those socks, make sure they are REALLY snug (or put some holes in them so they drain).
My first time out with the socks was interesting. I was heading back to the launch to land, it was late, the light was low and I was to seaward of a partially exposed section of rock reef. Long story short, for no good reason I accidentally ended up on part of the reef. The bottom was irregular, lots of sharp rock with some smaller waves to move you around in all this cutting stuff. I got out quickly but not before stomping around enough to do some harm. I went in, looked at the socks and there wasn't a cut on them or me.
It was bad enough out there to have badly sliced my feet up, if my feet were exposed as they usually are. When I took the socks off I noticed a small cluster of several sea urchin spines in the side of one heel. One was a few mm in while the others were largely stopped from much penetration by the sock. The sides of my feet and ankles would have also likely been cut while I was stumbling around in there but weren't. That one dumb accident made a believer out of me. It sure beat going in for stitches and walking around on sliced up feet for a while. Anyway, narrow pointing things like sea urchin spines can get in through the weave at times. The same might have happened through the side of neoprene booties such as I might wear here but never do due to the normal lack of cutting risk. In the Keys, the west coast of FL, even Miami and in the Bahamas, I have been cut with bare feet routinely on all the stuff on the bottom and on shore in places. Despite that, I still often don't wear booties even when I should due to home launch habits. Dumb, but there it is. It is good to have found a comfortable solution that should work in most places.
So, I intend to put the socks on when I ride, forget they are there and work to avoid the odd foot cut at my home launch areas or elsewhere.