Scuba diving boots are a special kind of shoes that are won by divers. They are also known as booties, dive boots or wetsuit boots. These boots are designed to protect the diver from cold and other extremities while in water.
If you have ever been in the water, then you must know that your feet are heat loss zones. This makes your feet very sensitive. And without the proper scuba diving boots, you are likely to experience discomfort, which can make it hard for you to concentrate and enjoy diving.
Design and construction
There are a variety of dive boots that come in different types and sizes. Typically, the booties are made from a synthetic rubber material known as Neoprene Polychloroprene. The layer of this material usually ranges from 2mm to 7 mm in terms of thickness.
The construct of the booties can be categorized into two types. These are the high top booties, which rise above the ankles, covering them completely and low top booties that go below the ankles.
Source: Different Types of Dive Boots
The texture and the thickness of their soles also vary. Each and every scuba diver can get the right dive boot, depending on where they intend to go for diving.
Some of the boots are finished with a zipper or an elastic top so that they can be won easily and have a good grip on the feet, while others come with hoop and loop fasteners.
Source: Scuba Tech Tips: Dive Boots
During a diving expedition, safety is of the essence. For this reason, the boots are made in such a way that they are tough enough to protect you from common hazards. Moreover, every beach entry is unique in its own way. In some beaches, you may encounter sharp objects, including rocks and shells that can pose some risks if you have the wrong diving shoe.
Given that you will be carrying around 35-45 lbs of weight on your back, a thin soled dive boot means you may experience pain while stepping on the rocks and the sharp shells. Fortunately, the right dive boot with a fairly thick sole protects you from possible bruises, stings, cuts, and bites. In addition, these shoes are made with traction in mind mainly because of the slippery grounds.
Whereas divers face various challenges in water, a comfortable gear is extremely important. Dive boots play a major role in ensuring comfort. The temperature in the water is sometimes frigid. Additionally, as a diver, you are required to wear fins. Open fins can strain your muscles if you were to go diving barefooted. They can also rough up your skin, making you sore.
Have you ever hurt your toenails in the water? It is quite an unpleasant feeling. Dive boots have a padding that provides an extra cushion to your toes, knuckles, and toenails as you navigate through water.
The manufacturers of diving gear understand the importance of insulation against cold conditions. Neoprene is a material that perfectly serves this purpose.
Dive boots come in handy when it comes to ensuring that your feet, toes, and ankles are warm and dry both in and out of the water.
Extreme cold reduces blood flow to your skin for the purposes of helping your body conserve and retain body heat. This makes your feet get really cold. The ideal thickness of booties in cold water zones is 3-7 mm. However, in warmer water zones with the temperatures of at least 75°F, 2- 3 mm thickness is enough. The last thing you want to contend with as a diver is a cold-induced foot or leg cramps which can make your movement unbearable.
Size and fit
Source: Dive boots! Styles and fit tips.
Wetsuit boots are not much different from ordinary shoes when it comes to size and fit. Nevertheless, a majority of dive boots are made in men’s size. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find the right boot in terms of size and fit if you are a woman. Ladies can buy slightly smaller booties in comparison to their regular shoes.
Where to buy dive boots
If you want to purchase booties for your diving endeavors, there are various online platforms and stores that stock a variety of dive boots. As long as you know your size, you can order a pair of dive boots on eBay and Amazon.
You can also go online and look up some of the stores that stock booties in your home areas. This especially advisable if you don’t know your size. Visiting a store allows you to try different types of dive shoes until you find the perfect match. Besides that, you get the opportunity to interact with experts and get recommendations on some of the best booties.
Notable dive boots brands
If you have no experience in booties whatsoever, there are common brands that have gained popularity among divers across the U.S. Once you know the best players in this field, it gets pretty much easier to identify the best boots either online or in stores.
Here are some of the renowned booties brands;
• Cressi Isla
• Xs Scuba Thug
• Henderson Aqua Lock
• Ocean Pro Venture
• Mares Trilastic
• Scubapro Delta
• Mares Flexa Ds
• NeoSport-High Top
With the above-listed brands, you can rest assured you will find the right dive boot as you embark on your diving trip.
How to care for your dive boots
The best thing about dive boots is that they require fairly minimal maintenance. This is because the material that makes them is water friendly. Furthermore, you are likely to wear your dive shoes only a few times throughout the year compared to your regular shoes.
You should soak and rinse your booties with fresh water for a short time. Then, allow them to completely dry and keep them in a clean, dry place away from direct sunshine.
Every sport or recreational activity has its own code of dressing or gear, scuba diving is no exception. If you intend to try your hand in diving, you will need to wear the right gear. This includes booties. As you set out to purchase the correct dive shoes, the above information will come in handy. Good luck!