I have recently bought a new pair of booties and after some browsing and deal searching I went with Xcel Drylock 5mm. Even though I got them on sale they were quite expensive. But after having cold feet all the time in my old booties I wanted something warm. Are they warm? After a 6 hour surf session in 52F (11C) water my feet were thankful for every penny spent so I can say: “Yes, they are!”:). So what’s the deal with these booties?
What Are You Buying?
Drylocks are Xcel’s most advanced and expensive booties. They feature:
- all new TDC Thermo Dry Celliant, inner lining with smart fibers that recycle your body heat into infrared energy for greater warmth, increased endurance, faster recovery, and enhanced overall performance. It’s warmer that traditional polypro lining.
- UltraStretch Neoprene,
- 100% glued & blindstitched booties – liquid seal,
- Drylock ankle seal,
- split toe design,
- angled Velcro strap.
What all this means in practice?
I am not familiar with Xcel booties without the TDC lining so I can not comment on the difference this lining makes but I’ve read other people are noticing that TDC really is warmer. All I can say is – they are warm. It is also a quick dry lining, but when it comes to booties the term quick dry is to be taken lightly. The inside of the boot is a very hard place to dry because there is no airflow, most of the time it’s damp as an old house cellar and it soon starts to smell like one. You can try drying them inside out. Anyway…the warmth is not just the internal lining’s “fault”.
As the name Drylock suggest, they really lock the water out of the boot. These are the driest booties I have ever worn. First the blindstitched, glued, and liquid sealed stitches stop water from coming in through the stitches. And then you have the ankle seal, a special tighter doughnut shaped piece of neoprene on your ankle that really grips your foot and stops the water from getting in from the top. In the past there was always a pool of water in my booties, even the ones that had ankle straps could not stop some water from the wetsuit to end up in my booties. This time I could actually feel the water stop just above the ankle. Warm booties + no water getting in = thumbs up!
Split toe design helps prevent your foot rolling inside the boot when you’re up and riding, it’s cool and pretty standard. On the outside the big toe is connected to the rest of the foot so your leash can not get stuck in the gap between the toes.
Velcro strap fixes the boot a bit tighter to your foot, even without is they feel snug.
What I like
- no water getting in,
- flexible neoprene makes putting them on and taking them off easier (I have yet to find booties where I could say easy),
- support and “feel” through the sole.
What needs work
- Sizing is a bit off, I got half size bigger than usual and they are just right, if they were a bit smaller they would be tight,
- The strap looks and feels a bit weak and if you have skinny feet you may stretch it over the Velcro (maybe that is just my impression),
- The price:).
All in all, if you want really good booties and you don’t mind spending a bit more – get them!