We’re going to do something really nasty here and provide you a thorough review of a product that you can’t buy anymore, namely Blacktip Jetsports’ slip-on neoprene water shoes. Unfortunately, in late 2014, Blacktip opted not to continue their water shoe (ie. “booties”) line, but many who were fortunate enough to have had purchased them previously will obviously know first-hand what we’re talking about. So while you cannot purchase these booties from Blacktip today, you will find a market otherwise rife with such shoes. Obviously, not all brands are the same, so it might be worth noting what things we liked and disliked here so that you can shop accordingly.
As you can see from our pictures, our Blacktip booties saw a heck of a lot of use. No really, like more than most anything we’ve gotten our hands on. What wear-and-tear you’re seeing is not a sign of poor craftsmanship either, but nearly 8 months of constant use. As mentioned, the watershoes are made with a breathable neoprene sock that is cut low below the ankle for non-restricted motion. Likewise, the shoe features a thick elastic band around the opening that has remained taut since the day we unpacked them until today. The neoprene sock is glued to a thick two-part rubber sole that feels more like a tennis shoe than boat shoe.
As these are completely slip-on, there is no lacing required to keep them on. Unfortunately, this also means that you cannot cinch the shoe up any tighter than it already is, which might not work for persons looking for that extra bit of tightness or support. Although the neoprene drains water well, there aren’t any drains visible through the soles for us to note either, and such is noted in the time needed to properly drain and dry out. Deck traction is equal to most racing boots and water shoes we’ve used too. We did wish that there was a little bit more rigidity at the toe and heel though, as those points tend to get knocked around.
As you can see for yourself, the neoprene sock doesn’t exactly age well. After a couple of snags, being filled with various types of silt, mud and sand, and plenty of exposure to the elements, the black bootie has begun to discolor and yellow, particularly along the stitching. Equally, the thick glue bonding the two parts together has begun to leech. This of course happens on lots of water shoes (such as Slippery’s race boot), so it’s worth doing a little more brand investigation when it comes to shopping. Similar water shoes offer drawstrings at the ankle or added ventilation through the use of different materials.
Again, these booties have been discontinued, but that shouldn’t be enough to discourage you from shopping at SBT.com or in pursuing a new pair of riding shoes. We’ve found similar booties ranging between $19.95 to $40.