CL62 Race Boot by Ronstan

Flexibility, grip, and affordability are the main selling points of these popular dinghy boots. "Gear Up" from our June 5, 2007, /SW eNewsletter/

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Ronstan

While sailing doublehanded in 2007 Thistle Midwinters East, I tested Zhik's Boot 300 and my father tested Ronstan's CL62 Race Boot. While the CL62 is not a new product, for my dad, who has been wearing the same PFD since Apollo 11, donning Ronstan's top end dinghy boots constituted one giant leap for mankind. "They are very flexible and grippy," he reports. Flexibility is a key factor for Thistle footwear, since we're always contorting ourselves into uncomfortable positions in order to properly balance the 17-foot torture chamber. When you're wedging your foot into an acute angle, it's nice not to have to fight a rigid sole. Grippiness, of course, is a necessity on any boat. Compared to the rubber Aigle boots he once wore, my dad found the Ronstans to be more comfortable. "Also, they're very easy on and off, especially when wet," he says. If you've ever had to request outside assistance to remove the rubber boot suctioned to your foot, you'll appreciate the side zipper feature on the Ronstan CL62.The only foreseeable drawback of the CL62 is the durability of the neoprene upper. "They are pretty much all foam on top, so I don't know how long they'll last," says Dad. Still, the neoprene material should help keep wet feet warm on cold days.In general, the Ronstans have a more rugged, less contoured feel than the Zhiks I tested. The sole, though flexible, is fairly thick, and the tread is more gym shoe than boat shoe. The addition of a Velcro tab beneath the zipper prevents slippage, and a rubber-like material reinforces high wear areas at the heel and on top of the foot. The CL62 seems to have become a standard among small boat sailors, and it's easy to see why. The boots are relatively inexpensive ($69.95), very athletic, and easy to find: www.ronstan.com