Just like some neoprene Play-Doh, Body Glove’s soon-to-be-available Solite Red Cell bootie will hit the market as the world’s first heat-moldable surf bootie.
What this means is, you pour in some hot water, let it cool, slide ’em onto your stompers, wait for the boots to take shape, and voila! You’ve got yourself a custom fit pair of wonderful water moccasins. This form-fitting technology has become standard in a lot of ski and snowboard boots, but this will be the first glimpse of it in the surf world. We’ve yet to get our hands on a pair, but word on the street is that it’s no gimmick.
Here’s what New Jersey pro surfer Andrew Gesler, who has been trying out some of the prototypes, had to say:
I used the R&D version of these boots last winter at home — Jamie Meiselman (creator of this new technology) gave them to me to test the product. The 6mm boots got me through the entire winter, and I noticed a remarkable improvement in performance and support than other boots. They’re about as tight as a pair of basketball shoes, and as a result you don’t suffer from toes folding over or “bootie roll”, which is when your foot slides inside the bootie as it rolls around your foot. It’s not the warmest boot in the world, but it got me through the whole winter over here no problem. I will definitely be wearing mine again this winter if they’re still in working condition.
Gesler negotiates a warbly tunnel without concern. Photo: Ryan Mack
If Gesler made it through a New Jersey winter without loss of limb, you can bet these things will hold up just about anywhere. When you combine that functionality with unmatched feel and comfort, it sounds like Body Glove might have just stumbled into the future. But how did this technology land in the wetsuit company’s lap? We asked technology co-owner Tyler Callaway that very question.
A few years ago, Jamie came to me with this idea for a form-fitting boot, which came from his years of working for Burton and seeing how much heat-molding improved the snowboard boot game. I thought it was a great idea, so I hopped on-board and helped Jamie negotiate the surf industry. We did R&D for a couple years, and when we finally reached a product that we were completely satisfied with, we started reaching out to wetsuit brands. I happened to know a few people at Body Glove, and Jamie and I thought they were already doing really cool stuff with their suits, so it ended up being a great fit. We licensed our “Solite” technology to them so they can incorporate it into their pre-existing products.
That said, we are not tied exclusively to one brand or another. We are currently in negotiations with several other wetsuit companies that have showed great interest in our product. We believe that this is the future of bootie technology, and eventually everyone will be wearing these form-fitting foot warmers.