ION Ballistic 3/2 socks

When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Here’s why you can trust our tests and our affiliate partner.

Filter Products
ION boots - ION Ballistic 3/2 socks

Wetsuit boots are an oft overlooked and underappreciated, yet sometimes vital piece of equipment which can make or break a session when things start to get nippy or aggressive underfoot. ION have completely reworked their premium offerings this year in the form of the Ballistic range, which offers a blend of various exotic technologies from across their wetsuit range, as well as some specific to footwear.

For our relatively temperate UK autumn waters, we tested the 3/2mm Ballistic socks in both split toe and standard round toe. The inner neoprene material, ION have coined Plasma Plush 2.0. The high-density fleece lining feels super soft against your skin, captures a lot of air, and feels like an ultra-comfortable pair of ski socks on entry, with vertical pinstriping guiding your foot in. Thankfully entry is a simple process, with a printed grip on the top of the ankle cuff to hang onto, which also helps hook on to seal between the ankle of your wetsuit. Out of the box they are lightweight, and don’t seem to absorb a great deal of water during use. The upper is comprised with two pieces of cleverly sculpted neoprene, minimizing the seaming. Where this is normally stressed on the cuff it’s seam taped internally, and a rubberized reinforcement covers the first couple of inches of the join, making it extremely robust. The remainder of join is liquid seamed, and bonds into the sole increasing strength even further. What sets these boots apart from the pack is a rubberized Kevlar outsole which offers a high amount of grip and protective quality. If you manage to plant your foot straight on a sharp rock, it seems to absorb it rather than split, much like a high-end barefoot shoe. There’s also enough sole wrap around the toe area to prevent stubbing on rocks and boards.

With various tricky launch spots on our regular kite test areas, we often find ourselves teetering over sharp rocks and wetsuit boots are a necessity, but we often see some wear and tear and we’re lucky if they last a season without getting damaged and losing their water tightness. Even in a 3/2 sock form, the Ballistics allowed us to stamp around wherever we liked with confidence and concentrate on the kite rather than stepping on anything sharp.

When it comes to deciding between a split toe and a round toe it’s a pure matter of personal choice and both prove extremely comfortable, particularly with the high stretch neoprene and excellent fit pattern. The split toe perhaps allows a little more flexibility for strapless riding for instance. ION have done a great job of retaining that all-important tactile feedback of the board through the toes and soles of your feet, but also made something that is extremely robust and comfortable to wear. They’ve balanced sensation vs protection well, producing a product with a potentially long life span as well as excellent thermal properties.

Visit Website
Subscribe Today