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The Ion Ballistic 3/2 RT windsurf boots offer a good feeling, and a valid protection from the cold, if used in spots with relatively low temperatures. In this article, we summarize our impressions.

 

Windsurfing, test: Ion Ballistic 3/2 RT boots

I premise that I do not love windsurfing shoes. As soon as I can, I don't use them, because I love the sensibility that contact with the board gives me, with bare feet. But there are some situations, particularly in the case of low temperatures, in which their use is highly needed. So, I look for a product that gives me, as far as possible, a sensation as close to that of a bare foot.

Recently, I've bought these shoes, to use in moderately cold water (around 10 degrees).

These are the Premium ION shoes, with no-split round toe, that is, with a rounded tip, without a partition between the big toe and the other fingers (personally, I prefer them without it). The sole and the portion that surrounds the edge of the foot are characterized by a sturdy, but soft, neoprene reinforcement. The sole is wrinkled, but flat, except for two grooves, positioned to ensure greater flexion of the shoe. The edges, as shown in the photo, are rounded and quite smooth, in order to guarantee the insertion and extraction of the foot from the strap, without particular difficulties. It should be clear, however, that the feeling and fluidity of the bare foot, when we put it on or take it out of the strap, is something quite different.

 

Windsurf Ion Ballistic boots 001

Windsurf Ion Ballistic boots 004

 

The upper part of the shoe is made of thinner, non-reinforced neoprene to facilitate the foot insertion. In this regard, I would like to point out that, in order to have greater sensibility, during their use, I chose an exact size, that is, not abundant in relation to the size of my foot. This choice has certainly rewarded as for the feeling with the board and the straps, but it requires a little more patience when I put on or take off the shoes. Internally, the boots are lined to ensure comfort and warmth. The drying times of the lining are reasonable (1-2 days, depending on the air temperature), and do not require the shoe to be turned inside out (which is impossible).

The grip on the deck of the board is optimal and safe, I would say. Comfort and protection from cold, in moderately cold waters, are also guaranteed. If you go out in colder waters, you can consider the ION Ballistic 6/5 boot; in the case of less cold waters, the 2.5 mm ones.

Sizes from 36/5 to 48/12.

Price: around 70 euros.

 

Windsurf Ion Ballistic boots 003

Windsurf Ion Ballistic boots 005

 

I chose this product to replace the ATAN boots, which I have used for a long time, which are certainly very warm, and guarantee an exceptional feeling on the board, almost equivalent to bare foot; but they have two drawbacks: their latex wears easily, resulting in a product life of no more than 2-3 years, in case of frequent use; moreover, the drying times of the inner lining are quite long, and require, in fact, to turn the shoe inside out (practice not recommended by the manufacturer, and which further wears the shoe, but essential unless you are available to wait a week for the complete drying).

For this reason, I decided to try the Ion Ballistic 3/2 RT, having already tried, with some satisfaction, other boots of this brand.

Fabio Muriano

 

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