Obviously the best scuba diving boot for you depends on where you're diving from. If you're entering the water by clambering over rocks you need a different solution to someone walking in off a sandy beach or rolling back from a dive boat. Indeed some people have different dive boots for different occasions.
If you are a warm-water diver and use full-foot fins, dive boots may not be at the top of your gear list. If you are a cold water scuba diver, then you probably have open heel fins and dive boots are probably close to the top of your dive gear list. In cold water with full foot fins, neoprene dive socks are commonly used.
The three key factors to dive boot are:
One important point to keep in mind is the vast majority of scuba diving boots do not keep your feet dry; they trap the water that enters the boots and trap your body heat, which warms the water within the boots. The exception to this rule is drysuit boots, which do not allow any water to come into contact with your skin. Don't be surprised when you exit the water and a flood of water follows your feet as you free them from your dive boots.
The majority of modern dive boots are made out of neoprene. Neoprene is measured in millimeters; the greater the thickness, the greater the millimeter amount. For example, 3 mm boots are not as thick (thus, as warm) as 5 mm boots.
Additional warmth contributors include if the boots offer a Velcro strap or tab at the ankle/calf to reduce the water transfer in and out of your boots, if the boots include a supplemental material (for example, titanium), and the number of seams created during the manufacturing process. The fewer the seams, the less likely you'll encounter a leak.
Some boots offer zippers at the ankle that make the donning and ditching processes easier. The trade off is zippers typically invite leaks into the boots.
Some warm-water divers and snorkelers like to wear dive socks or booties (neoprene socks that cover the foot without covering the ankle and calf), even when wearing full-foot fins. While the dive socks offer a slight amount of warmth, their main function is to reduce wear and tear on the diver's/snorkeler's feet. Blisters and raw spots are invitations to infection, especially in tropical waters. To protect yourself from such a discomfort, booties might be an ideal addition to your gear bag.
Regardless of how warm dive boots are, if they are uncomfortable, they will do nothing but be a hindrance while you're at depth. If something doesn't feel quite right when you're on land, it will feel very wrong when youíre underwater and stuck with the boots throughout the dive.
If your boots are too small, the seams will experience increased stress and you may experience numbness in your toes. Eventually, the seams may wear out, which means they'll allow cold water into your boots. Because the stressed seams cannot stop the transfer of water, your feet will continue to feel colder as your dive progresses.
If your boots are too big, water will not get trapped between your boots and your feet. If it is not trapped, your body heat cannot warm it. Therefore, you'll be facing cold feet throughout your dive.
Neoprene, as a material, offers a lot of stretch. It does not, however, offer a great deal of strength and protection from slipping while on the beach or boat deck. By protecting the soles of a dive boot, the life of the boot is greatly increased. All dive gear experiences a certain level of wear and tear.
In addition to adding to the durability factor of boots, non-neoprene materials on the sole of boot, booties, and socks increases your level of safety. These materials make your boots slip-resistant, which can prove to be beneficial in and out of the water. These soles also protect your boots from the sharp edges of barnacles and rocks as you walk into and out of the water. The non-neoprene soles also keep you safe on the boat deck, if you're a boat diver, by keeping hazards, such as slivers, broken glass, etc. from moving from the boat's deck to your foot.
Our picks of the best dive boots are:
Apollo Edge Pro Dive Boots - 5mm Unisex
RRP: $75, Our Price: $67.50, You Save $7.50 (10%).
Our best selling dive boots. These unisex 5 mm neoprene dive boots feature an angled design that matches the contour of your leg when fining providing superior performance. The huge range of sizes available ensures you get great fit and comfort. The non-slip, white coloured, hard sole is brilliant on a wide range of surfaces. The zip makes them easy to don and doff.
Probe iDry Quick-Dry Ziperless Dive Boots - 5mm (Unisex)
RRP: $70, Our Price: $65, You Save $5 (7%).
Some divers don't like zips on their boots and these are our best selling zipless dive boots. We like to call them the Ugg Boots of diving and once you put a pair on you'll instantly know why! But, the best bit is that they dry in minutes! So you'll never have to put on a sloppy, wet, cold dive boot ever again!
Tusa Imprex 5mm Dive Boots DB-0101 - Full Cut
RRP: $111, Our Price: $100, You Save $11 (10%).
These dive boots feature an injection moulded super tough and durable sole with super traction. Made from 5.0 mm neoprene and nylon jersey they are sure to give your feet superior comfort. There is a nice zip tab to stop the zip sliding down.
Apollo ATB Pro Dive Boots - Unisex
RRP: $129, Our Price: $116, You Save $13 (10%).
When the times get tough, the tough get going! These All Terrain Boots are ideal for military tactical groups, technical diving, search and rescue diving, shore entries, rock fishing, kayaking, canyoning, tramping and horticulture use. They are also our best selling dive boots for divers using drysuits with socks.
For more options, please see Boots / Socks.
Underwater Kinetics Super Accessory Hanger
RRP: $35.50, Our Price: $32, You Save $3.50 (10%).
This hanger keeps hold of your dive boots, gloves, hood, and fins. This sturdy hanger allows for proper drying or your dive boots and keeps your precious gear off the floor to prevent damage.
Adrenalin Wetsuit and Gear Wash Concentrate - 250ml
Our Price: $11
Because neoprene is very porous, it can also absorb and trap smells. Keep your boots smelling fresh by bathing them in water with added neoprene shampoo. Simply rinsing your boot with fresh water will reduce the amount of residue, but won't remove odours.