Humanoid Howl are boots created by a wakeboarding company especially for wakeboarding. You’re probably wondering how the heck they are being reviewed by us. Hmm, the reason is simple. Humanoid established cooperation with Best Kiteboarding and ,this way, these boots also became boots for kiteboarding.
Was it a good step for Best? We’ll see.
The model of boots presented in this article comes from 2014 edition. Best Kiteboarding didn’t replace the boots on their website with a newer model although Humanoid introduced two new generations since - color generations. This way, boots, from a technical point of view, haven’t changed for the last two years and they were redesigned only when it came to color. Therefore, when buying 2014, 2015 or 2016 models, we are, in fact, buying the same boots.
We bought the boots for $370 on Amazon in 2015. The price is quite high, but we know that boots of that type can cost much more.
It’s easy to notice that the prices of wakeboarding boots are surprisingly high in comparison with snowboarding boots. The technology of their production and the materials are not that different. What do we get for that amount of money? Let’s find out.
Boots arrive in a simple white box with the name of the company and the model. We can find the size chart table on the side of the box, which informs that the boots come in the following sizes: 6-8, 8-9, 9-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13+. Ours are size 12-13+. After opening the box we can see the boots packed in foil bag with Humanoid logo.
1). Box with boots....
The bag contains boots and an accessory kit for assembly: a set of screws, 4 hefty clamps resembling car parts and Humanoid brochure praising their product to the skies.
2). "Smart Toof Technology" Assembly Kit
We bought our beautiful boots in turquoise. It’s hard to say whether this color is nice or not. While we were buying them, the other choice was only red. Of two evils, turquoise seemed a ‘more normal’ option. Now, Humanoid offers the boots also in brown, green and dark blue.
3). Humanoid Howl Turquoise
While holding the boots, the first thought coming to one’s mind is that they are huge and unbelievably light at the same time.
The weight of our pair of boots is 4lbs 5.4oz / 1.97kgs! After soaking water it goes up to 4lbs 12.2oz / 2.15kgs (YES! just 6.8oz / 0.18kg more!) and it’s rather this weight that we should take into consideration.
4). Weight - Dry and Wet
The next element that draws attention is for sure the system of mounting the boots with the board. Humanoid calls the system ‘Smart Toof Technology’ and the name shouldn’t surprise anyone after seeing the aluminum, tooth-shaped clamps. After mounting boots to the board with them, one can be sure that the only weakness of the set is the board…
5). "Smart Toof" Assembly Kit
But before mounting, I decided to try them on and see whether the size is right (my shoe size is 12). The boot 12-13+ fits perfectly but I’m not sure if people with shoe size 13-13+ would be as happy. After trying the boots on, it was time for the biggest disappointment of the test – Velcro straps, responsible for locking in the feet, are too short to switch them in both boots. I also have to mention that my feet are extremely narrow and the foot size is not important at all in this case. It’s like buying running shoes for $370 and finding out that the shoe laces are too short and you can’t exchange them for longer ones. A boot with such a defect is simply useless and most users would immediately put them back in the box and send them back to the shop. However, maybe it was only us who received defective boots.
6). Too Shorten Velcro Strap...
On second thoughts, we decided not to send the boots back and find a solution to the problem. We went to Home Depot and bought Velcro straps for bundling cables and, with their help, make the straps longer. This worked out so well that after this update, the switching system worked even better because the main strap didn’t fall out of the last clamp, which made the process much easier, especially when we had our kite already launched.
7). Strap Problem Solution...
In our test we combined our pair of boots with Naish Dub 138 board. The boots, after loosening all the straps, are easy to put on, even while we’re being yanked by the kite. A problem occurs when we have to pull on the strap responsible for locking in the feet (the one that’s too short). If it goes through many holes it’s quite difficult ‘cause we’re pulling on its end part. Pulling on the wider strap doesn’t cause any problems, neither does taking off the boots.
Boots work perfectly while riding. By loosening the widest velcro strap, we can adjust their stiffness. The boots are quite soft when compared to typical wake boots so the riders who are just starting their adventure with kitewake style should easily haul off and be able to maneuver.
8). Humanoid Howl and Naish Dub
Compare to boots from Humanoid we used before, riding with these seemed to be most similar to the feeling of riding on straps. Maybe it’s also thanks to the fact that the boots, after soaking water, don’t change their weight that much. The water is effectively drained through holes in the sole. Boots, even after a few hours of riding, are very comfortable. Personally, I haven’t noticed any abrasion or wounds even though I rode without a wet suit.
In conclusion, although Humanoid’s stretching straps were quite a failure (which we managed to fix) we can, without a doubt, recommend the product for kitesurfing. I am sure that it’s one of the best models of boots available on the market for users just starting to ride with boots on. I’m also sure that advanced riders will derive a lot of satisfaction from riding wearing the boots. The workmanship quality is very high and their endurance is better compare to the competition. The price? There are more expensive and less sustainable boots on the market and you can buy the Humanoid boots on the producer’s website for $320.
9). Humanoid Howl
- Very light after soaking water (just 6.8oz / 0.18kg more)
- Interesting colors, now 5 colors available
- Light construction, even when wet
- Strong mounting with the board
- Easy fastening system
- Wide main strap making boots easy to fasten
- Quick water drainage
- High-quality workmanship (apart from the foot part strap)
- Risk of getting a pair with a strap too short to fasten the foot part
- The price: $370 ($320 on Humanoid website)