Testing Methods

We designed our products to protect users from stingray stings. We have tested them with real stingrays, but we can't guarantee they will prevent all stingray injuries. It is still possible to be stung by a stingray while wearing our booties, although wearing them will significantly reduce the odds of being stung.

Stingray Striking Force Meter

In order to verify the stingray resistance of our products, we started by sampling the average force of stingray stings. Our team performed tests on five separate round stingrays, by inducing them to sting a force meter and flesh analogue. Based on these samples, we created a pendulum to replicate sting strength, which we then loaded with round stingray barbs. We used this pendulum to test the puncture resistance of a variety of materials, eventually settling on a hybrid design that balances puncture resistance with flexibility. All stingrays were released back into the ocean following testing.

Sting Replication Pendulum Calibration

In parallel to this testing, our team performed a survey of individuals who had been stung by stingrays in order to determine the frequency of different sting locations on the foot. We determined that almost all stingray stings occur on the foot, at or below the ankle line. This survey is ongoing, and if you would like to contribute to it, you can find it here!) 

Regions of the foot for Sting Location Survey

The percent-coverage figure on each bootie reflects the approximate percentage of foot area at or below the ankle that is covered with puncture-resistant materials. It is possible for the stingray barb to penetrate through this materials, although this is an unlikely occurence.

Our team has strived to design the booties to cover the maximum area possible while still allowing for user comfort and mobility in the water.


Validation Testing

To validate the product performance, our team performed another test to further verify the stingray resistance of our design. We inserted a foot-shaped flesh analogue into a pair of DragonSkin™ booties, and induced stingrays to sting a section of these booties entirely covered with protective material. We used a thin membrane on the outside to determine how many strikes landed in the appropriate area, and a membrane on the inside to determine how many strikes penetrated through to the foot. We then repeated this test with a regular neoprene surfing bootie for comparison. The results were as follows:

Outer (# strikes)

Inner (# penetrations)

DragonSkin™ Bootie



Regular Neoprene Bootie



This test was performed over a section of the DragonSkin™ booties covered entirely with protective material. The full booties do not cover the entire foot with protective material, in order to allow for stretch and flexibility. The estimate for percentage coverage for each model is listed on the corresponding product page.

Test Equipment