Having tried countless pairs of boots over the last few years, some good, some bad I finally managed to get my hands on a pair of the new Roosters
. Having fed back to Steve during development what I think to be the best features I have to say I am very pleased with what has been developed…in fact so much has gone into the boot I am going to have to bullet point it!
- Internal Split Toe Design – I feel this is essential in a high performance dinghy boot. In standard boots I have found that in waves downwind if you bury the bow the sudden loss of speed makes it very easy to lose your footing. The split toe helps by preventing the boot ‘rolling’ round your foot and providing a more positive grip on the rack/gunwhale. The internal design also prevents phantom mainsheet cleating between your big toe and the rest of your foot and other objects such as stones, control lines, foot straps and tiller extensions getting caught up mid tack or gybe!
- Velcro Straps – I’m a fan of a strap as long as it’s a simple design. The Rooster strap is attached to a webbing band that goes round the back of your heel and locks the foot into the heel of the boot. This stabilises the foot, helps to provide grip and again helps to prevent the boot rolling round your foot. Another nice little addition is that straps are reinforced. I have found that a basic Velcro strap will either snap or wear out very quickly so the extra webbing removes this problem.
- To provide the required level of grip the sole is 1mm thick and diamond cut. The thin sole makes it easier to feel what the boat is up to underneath your feet. The only downside of this is that you feel every stone on slipway before/after every sail! One way around this is to buy a large cheap pair of strap on sandals to wear during launch and recovery to save wear on the boots. Despite never having conducted a controlled experiment I believe that pulling boats up and down slipways inflicts more wear than the sailing itself!
Certainly from a comfort perspective a combination of single and double lined 5mm neoprene and sealed seams has created a very warm boot without the need for socks. Water ingress has also been minimised due to a shaped entry to the boot which has meant it is perfect for year round sailing. Overall a great pair of trapeze boots