Are you looking for a good pair of scuba diving boots? If so, you are in the right place! While booties are not as essential as other parts of our diving gear, such as masks, regulators, wetsuits, or BCDs, I promise that they create a much better underwater experience. There is no comparison!
Scuba diving boots will help keep your feet warm while also protecting them from cuts, blisters, and scratches. When it comes to finding the best dive booties and boots, you have to consider the type of dive, the dive site, the fins you are using, and the water temperature.
There are hundreds of models on the market and, therefore, it’s not easy to make a choice. But don’t worry! In this article, I will talk about the main features that you should consider. In addition, I will review the best models of the year so that you can find the one that best suits your needs.
The Top 10 Dive Boots:
THICKNESS: 2 mm
USE: Snorkeling and scuba diving.
FEATURES: These low booties have enough height to protect your ankles. They have a non-slip, vulcanized rubber sole for better grip. You can use them to walk over the rocks as long as they are not too sharp. Lightweight, flexible, and comfortable. A budget option for diving in tropical waters.
THICKNESS: 3 mm, 5 mm and 7 mm
USE: Snorkeling, diving, canyoning, kayaking, walking over the rocks
FEATURES: Great thermal protection thanks to the thickness of the neoprene. They include fin tabs to ensure that the fin straps won’t move during the dive. The soft sole provides a fantastic grip. They are available in various thicknesses, so you can dive in tropical, mild, and cold waters.
THICKNESS: 7 mm
USE: Diving in cold water, water sports
FEATURES: Excellent ankle protection. Built with flexible neoprene and a vulcanized rubber sole for improved grip. ERGO shaped footbed for extra comfort. Reliable zipper fasteners create a great seal.
THICKNESS: 5 mm
USE: Scuba diving and adventure water sports
FEATURES: Robust design featuring a hard sole that looks like the sole of a hiking boot. Great foot support and grip.
The ankle area is built with super-elastic neoprene for extra comfort. Reliable zipper fasteners. Fin tabs on the heels will hold the fin straps. Recommended for diving in cold water, walking over sharp and slippery rocks, canyoning, and water sports.
SEAC PRO HD
THICKNESS: 6 mm
USE: Coldwater diving (down to 10 ºC – 50º F)
FEATURES: Similar to the previous model, Seac Pro boots provide even greater thermal protection because they are built with high-quality 6 mm neoprene. The zipper system has a useful tab to secure the puller. The sole is non-slip, robust, and comfortable.
THICKNESS: 3 mm
USE: Scuba diving, spearfishing, free diving, water sports
FEATURES: These boots are very popular for diving in warm to mild-cold waters. They are perfect for boat diving and for walking over sandy (or even slightly rocky) beaches. They are lightweight, comfortable, and affordable.
THICKNESS: 3 mm
USE: Diving in mild-warm waters
FEATURES: Great booties for diving with both open-heel and full-foot fins. Pretty basic design, easy to put on and take off. Actually, they work more like diving socks. They are perfect for traveling.
THICKNESS: 5 mm
USE: Diving, spearfishing, canyoning
FEATURES: Non-slip sole, ergonomic design, and great thermal protection. The zipper includes a Velcro strap to secure the puller. These boots are very versatile. They stand out for their comfort, grip, and flexibility.
THICKNESS: 2.5 mm
SOLE: No sole
USE: Diving in tropical waters, freediving
FEATURES: Designed mainly for scuba diving and spearfishing. They are flexible, ultralight, and affordable. You can use them with open-hill fins or full-foot fins.
CRESSI ULTRA STRETCH
THICKNESS: 1.5 mm
SOLE: No sole
USE: Snorkeling and scuba diving
FEATURES: Perfect socks to wear with full-foot fins. Keep in mind that they are not designed to walk over rocks. However, they will protect your feet from small blisters and scratches. They are perfect for traveling, as they take up very little space in your backpack.
The benefits of wearing diving boots:
Let’s be clear: You won’t always need to wear scuba diving boots. If you dive only in tropical waters, use full-foot fins, and don’t need to walk over rocky areas, you’ll be okay without booties (though you’ll feel more comfortable wearing them).
However, wearing boots can be essential in other situations.
When we dive in cold water, we are likely to lose a significant amount of heat through our feet. Therefore, it’s very important that we wear a good pair of boots to keep our feet warm.
In addition to the thermal function, dive booties protect our feet from scratches, blisters, and impacts. On many occasions, we have to enter the water by walking through rocky areas, thereby exposing our feet to wounds.
Some rocks are sharp or pointy, and they can cut us. Also, we might find other potential dangers, such as sea urchins, corals, or other elements that could injure us if we touch them or cut ourselves on them. Did you know that if you cut yourself on a coral, the wound could take weeks to heal and could even become infected?
How to find the best dive boots:
TYPES OF BOOTS
High-cut boots cover the ankle (and sometimes the lower leg, too), providing greater thermal protection. This type of boot also provides greater ankle support, which makes it a favorite option for divers who need to walk over irregular surfaces, especially when diving in cold water.
Low-cut boots usually cover your feet up to the ankle (or right below the ankle). Regardless of the thickness and thermal protection, they don’t offer the best ankle support, so they are not recommended for walking over irregular or sharp rocky areas.
This type of boot and bootie is popular for diving in tropical waters and for snorkeling. They are great for walking on sandy beaches. Also, they’ll protect your feet from fin abrasion.
WHAT KIND OF FINS DO YOU WEAR?
Dive booties will help you avoid blisters caused by full-foot fins. In addition, they’ll protect you from the cold. If you are diving in tropical waters, I recommend that you wear thin booties or even dive socks.
If you have open-heel fins, you can wear them with hard-sole boots or soft-sole boots, depending on your needs and the type of access to the sea. In any case, wearing diving boots will be absolutely essential. I recommend boots with a decent thickness. With this type of fin, you shouldn’t wear thin boots or socks.
WHAT THICKNESS DO YOU NEED? WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO DIVE?
As you know, the neoprene thickness directly impacts the thermal protection of the bootie. Therefore, you will need to determine the thickness of your booties based on the temperature of the water in which you’re going to dive.
Thick boots are the recommended option for diving in cold water. Make sure to choose the right thickness because the limbs can lose heat very quickly when temperatures drop.
Thin booties work well for scuba diving, snorkeling, freediving, and spearfishing in mild and tropical water.
Cold tolerance is another crucial factor when choosing the right thickness. Keep in mind that some people are more cool-natured than others. If you have doubts about two thicknesses, grab the thicker boots. You’ll be happy to have that extra protection.
Take a look at the following thickness recommendations:
2-3 mm: water temperature above 22°C (72°F)
5-7 mm: water temperature below 21ºC (70ºF)
Most boots and booties are made of neoprene. As you know, neoprene is a very popular material for diving gear because it provides thermal protection, flexibility, and comfort.
Dive socks are much thinner and are usually made from Lycra.
WHAT KIND OF SOLE DO YOU NEED?
Boot soles are usually reinforced with rubber and other synthetic alloys for added protection and grip. Resistant soles protect your feet from sharp objects and pointed rocks. Before you make a purchase, ensure that they are made from non-slip materials.
They are thinner and more flexible, which makes them perfect for boat diving and entries from sandy beaches. This type of boot feels very comfortable but doesn’t provide enough protection when you are walking over sharp rocks. They are available in various neoprene thicknesses. The most popular are 3 mm, 5 mm, and 7 mm.
Hard soles are similar to the soles used in a hiking boot. They are not as comfortable or flexible as soft soles, but they provide great protection, grip, and support. They’ll allow you to walk over sharp rocks and pretty much any kind of irregular surface. Most boots featuring a hard sole are at least 5 mm thick.
Some boots have no sole but, rather, a non-slip pattern printed on the neoprene. This pattern is usually made from rubber. Keep in mind that this type of bootie or sock is not designed for walking over rocky areas. The non-slip rubber is designed for walking on a boat deck, a pier, or a sandy beach. One of the advantages of this type of bootie is that it is ultralight and compact, making it a great option for traveling.
The most commonly used fastener types are zipper, Velcro, and slip-on.
The classic zipper provides a firm and secure seal. Some zippers include a small Velcro strap or a clasp to ensure that the zipper puller doesn’t open during the dive.
The Velcro system is also a popular option, though, in my opinion, it’s not as reliable. Zipper fasteners provide better protection from possible abrasions or complicated entries into the water.
The slip-on system doesn’t include auxiliary elements. The right fit is created thanks to the flexibility of the neoprene, which adapts to the shape of the foot. This type of bootie is very popular for diving in tropical water, dive entries from a boat, and entries from fine-sand beaches.
BRANDS AND BUDGET
Among the most popular diving boot manufacturers are Cressi, AguaLung, Tusa, Seac Pro, and Mares. These brands offer quality products at reasonable prices.
You can find a good pair of thin booties for about $20-$40 dollars, while a pair of thick boots with a hard sole will cost $50-$80. The product’s final price will also depend on the country where you are buying it.
How to choose the right size
Diving boots come in the same sizes as sneakers or hiking boots. I recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s size guide to determine exactly what your size is.
Make sure the boots feel slightly tight but are still comfortable. They shouldn’t feel too tight. Also, check to make sure there isn’t too much free space inside the boot, as that will cause a loss in thermal protection. In addition, large boots could come off if you make a sudden movement or enter the water backward.
How to take care of your diving boots
It’s important that you take care of your diving equipment to extend its durability. When it comes to scuba booties, I recommend that you rinse them with freshwater after each dive. Afterward, let them dry face down, always in the shade.
To conclude, remember to store your boots in a dry place, out of direct sunlight.
Did you like The Best Diving Boots? Please, leave a comment!
Hi, I’m Miguel; Adventure traveler, scuba diver and hiking lover. I have been traveling the world for the last 12 years and I hope my experiences, photos and hiking routes inspire you to travel the world too.