Selecting the right Boots for you
Dive boots are important for three main reasons; warmth, protection and comfort. To ensure you achieve these three, you have a lot of considerations when choosing the right diving boot for you. Size, thickness, tread and style are the main features we have broken down and discussed here, in hope of guiding you to the perfect pair for you.
Dive boots fit either by shoe size or general sizes such as S, M, L, XL, XXL, etc. They should be comfortable without being excessively small or large. Foot sizes in relation to S, M, L vary widely so see the individual manufacturer's guide if you are unsure which size relates to your shoe size.
Many divers prefer boots with a thicker tread as these are multi-functional, great for wearing out of the water as they are more similar to a regular shoe. It means you can wear them on your way to your dive location and simply slip your fins on once in the water. They support your foot shape once in the fin, making it more secure, which a lot of people prefer.
Thinner treads, however, are more flexible and therefore recommended for people with wider feet. They don't offer much in the way of protection however, so bear this in mind when purchasing yours. If you will be diving from a beach, for example, you might not need to invest in the protection a thicker tread can offer as you will only be walking on sand.
Typical boot construction consists of neoprene foam with semigrid soles moulded from hard or semi-hard rubber, with textured surfaces for traction and protection. The neoprene comes in various thicknesses from 2mm to 7mm, if in doubt, opt for a thicker option as it is rare to be too hot underwater and adversely being too cold can affect the enjoyment of a dive. You would only suffice with 2mm thickness when diving in tropical waters, and even then it can get cooler the deeper you dive.
In some models, the sole wraps up over the heel and toe for protection and longer wear. Some boots have side entry zippers, which makes it easier to put them on. The simpler versions are simply pull-on boots, similar to thick socks. Depending on their thickness, they can be quite difficult to get on and off, so depending on your patience, make sure you pick the right style for you.
Diving Shoes, or short boots, sometimes also referred to as 'Shorties' are made from the same materials as dive boots but closer resemble a shoe as they do not have the height provided by the ankle cuff of dive boots.
These aren't recommended for use with dry suits, dry suits often come with foot pockets or shoes attached already which is why you have to specify your shoe size when ordering a dry suit.
They are however perfect for people participating in water sports such as wind surfing and jet skiing as they provide foot protection and comfort without restricting ankle movement.
If you have already purchased you Fins, take these along with you when picking your dive boots as you will need to try the adjustable fins over the top of your boots to check for a comfortable fit. Similarly. If you haven't purchased your fins yet, make sure you take your boots along when you buy those!
Diving boots don't come in half sizes, so if you are a half size, opt for the next size up. Pressure underwater can often squeeze your dive boots and you won't want crushed toes whilst out diving!
Fitting your Diving Boots