Why Are They Called Booties? When the water’s cold, we all dress up like babies.


While out surfing the other day, I came down with a bad case

of woodfoot. I kept getting colder and colder, until I truly felt like a

human head perched atop the shoulders of a mannequin. I struggled

to the beach, where I was met by a friend who admitted he too had a

harsh case of woodfoot, but his was accentuated with a side order of

oaktoe. My friend and I aren’t Navy Seals, but we aren’t infants,

either (meaning we aren’t particularly wusses or badasses). We

decided as a team we were going to invest in a pair of booties each,

thus avoiding future occurrences of woodfoot and woodfoot-related


We ventured into a surfing accessory shop and checked out

the lineup of booties. Just then it struck me--why are they called

booties? It’s such a lame name. They should be called footsuits or

suitfeet. “Booties” sounds like something babies wear. This train of

thought led me to another question--why aren’t they just be called

boots? “Boots” sounds cool, like something motorcycle gangs and

pirates wear. I came back to the surf shop ten minutes later holding

a sign that read, “Booties are for babies, boots are for badasses.” I

picketed the shop for three hours until they closed for the night. I

think they got the message, though.

Join me in this fight! Next time you go into a surf shop, ask to try on a pair of suitfeet or boots. When the kid behind the counter says, “Don’t you mean booties?” say, “No. I mean surf boots, brah.” The clerk will think you’re rad, and inside your heart, you’ll know you are, too.--C.C.

Caption: The sun is shining, but the whip of winter water in Central California has forced Josh Mulcoy’s feet into his boots--not booties. Photo: Nelly