The best dive boots really depend on your diving lifestyle. Dive booties which have softer, more flexible soles may be great for sandy walk-in dives, getting easily in and out of vacation fins, not adding extra heat to the feet, generally being lightweight and drying quickly, both of which are great for travel. Meanwhile, more rigid soles are defined by having hard bottoms which are molded into anti-slip patterns with walking in mind. These types of dive booties are better if you do rocky walk-in dives, need to walk across variable terrain before/after the dive, you need arch support or a lot of warmth and you want added toe/heel protection along with no-slip bottoms and fin strap zones — great for colder water divers, walking to the location or planning to be in the water, possibly on the bottom, for a while.
ALL THE DIVE BOOTIES THAT WE TESTED
The Cressi Isla Dive Boots come in neoprene of either 5mm or 7mm thickness. These dive booties feature a built-in sole and super-elastic neoprene to provide maximum comfort. These booties come with a fin strap holder to prevent mid-dive fin slip. They also have a ribbed sole to create traction for walking on shore or a boat. While these booties do have a zipper with a pull, they also have a sealing flap behind the zipper which prevents water leaking along the zipper. A heel and toe cap also prevents wear in the high-rub areas of the dive booties. Also, these booties have two holes to prevent dive booties flooding, which also means the water which warmed up between foot and bootie is flushed out — something to consider for cold water divers. These dive booties fit true to size.
MATERIAL: 5 or 7mm super-elastic neoprene, ribbed rubber sole
BEST SUITED FOR: Cooler water diving down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit
TECH: Fin strap holder, heel and toe caps
ALSO SUITED FOR: Shore divers or those working on the seabed
EXTRAS: Sealing flap over zipper to prevent leaking
- Super warm 5mm or 7mm thickness
- Highly durable, with ribbed sole and heel and toe caps
- Two holes may constantly flush warmed water from bootie
NEOSPORT 5 mm Hard Sole Boot
If you’re looking for a diving bootie that has a hard sole, then the NeoSport 5mm hard sole boot is ideal for you. They can’t really be used with fins like other dive booties, but they are perfect for both in and out of water. The hard sole ensures your feet are protected at all times and the 5mm neoprene ensures they’re kept warm even in colder waters. It has glued and sewn seams so this dive booties is made to last.
BEST SUITED FOR: Cooler water
TECH: Anti-slip hard sole,heel and toe caps
ALSO SUITED FOR: Shore divers or those working on the seabed
EXTRAS: Zipper closure on the inside of the foot
- Great balance between warmth and protection
- Can’t be used with most fins
SEAC Pro HD
The SEAC Pro HD Neoprene Wetsuit Boots are made of 6mm neoprene designed for cooler water diving (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit). These scuba dive booties feature extremely rugged, rigidly molded, high-grip soles which can tackle any shoreline, no matter how rocky. This dive booties’ zipper is reinforced with a hook-and-loop closure which prevents the zipper from sliding down during a dive or entry/exit walking. Not only that, but the Pro HD boots have arch support and a heel air bubble to help reduce stress on soles. An aspect to note is that some career divers, who dive more often than leisure divers, have noted that these dive booties start disintegrating over time — which looks like sole or seam damage.
MATERIAL: 6mm neoprene, rigid, high-grip sole
BEST SUITED FOR: Divers looking for a warm and rugged boot
TECH: Heel air bubble to reduce sole stress
ALSO SUITED FOR: Divers with poor arches or sore feet
EXTRAS: Zipper reinforced with hook-and-loop closure
- Designed to take care of your feet, both via protection and warmth
- Arch support and heel air bubble for those with sore feet
- Career divers have noted sole/seam deterioration when worn every day
The Mares Classic Dive Boot in 3mm neoprene is designed for comfort and ease of use. The neoprene surrounding the ankle is super-elastic, for a close, comfortable fit. Meanwhile, the back of the dive booties has a rubber pad to keep your fin strap from slipping. A side zipper adds to the ease of use factor. These diving shoes are softer soled than other scuba dive booties, meaning that they are flexible enough to easily go on and off and into fins. However, it also means that they are not the best suited for walking on rocky, sharp or uneven shore. These booties may be better suited to a sandy shore or boat entry diver. Another aspect to consider is that they do not have a Velcro tab to keep the zipper locked in place. If you’re wearing full wetsuits, this most likely won’t be an issue. However, it may be something to note for divers wearing shorties or no suits. Also, please note that these dive booties tend to run large.
MATERIAL: 3mm neoprene, rubber back and bottom
BEST SUITED FOR: Sandy shore or boat divers who wear long-leg suits
TECH: Soft sole, high zipper to keep shore/bottom substrate from getting into boot
ALSO SUITED FOR: Divers who hate pebbles getting into their boots
- Rubber pad on the back grips the find strap, keeping it in place
- Has a higher zipper than other booties, keeping substrate out of boots
- Not suitable for rocky shore walking
Neosport Premium Scuba Booties come in 3mm, 5mm and 7mm neoprene thicknesses, covering the range of water temperatures that a diver may need to buy for. There is a water entry barrier (WEB) behind the zipper to prevent leakage along the zipper teeth. While durable, the sole is more flexible than other dive booties, which translates to being able to feel rocks or harder substrate under the sole of the foot when walking. The sole is, however, high-traction molded, meaning that the grip while walking is no-slip. These dive booties are easy to put on, come in a range of warmth levels and hold up well over time. Please note that the sizes run a bit small.
MATERIAL: 3mm, 5mm or 7mm neoprene
BEST SUITED FOR: Sandy shore or boat divers
TECH: Water entry barrier behind the barrier to prevent leaks
ALSO SUITED FOR: Divers looking for an all-around high-durability, high-traction boot
EXTRAS: High-traction sole
- High-traction sole with lightweight design
- Protection against zipper teeth leaking
- Flexible sole means substrate can be felt
The Tilos TruFit Dive Booties come in 3mm, 5mm and 7mm thickness options as well as short and tall height options. One of the best aspects of the TruFit design is the commitment to creating comfort and warmth for the diver, both in the water and on land. The design features arch support and a rocker shape sole, meaning walking on shore will feel great for your feet. It also has an asymmetrical toe box to better shape to your foot, as well as low internal volume so the amount of extra water in the bootie is minimal, keeping your feet nice and toasty. This is a bootie for divers who are tired of getting literal cold feet on every dive. It is also worth noting that this dive booties does not have a locking mechanism for the zipper, meaning it may slide down over the course of the dive.
MATERIAL: 3mm, 5mm or 7mm Titanium neoprene, YYK stay-put zipper
BEST SUITED FOR: Divers who get cold feet easily
TECH: Low volume for warmth
ALSO SUITED FOR: Divers looking for comfort and durability, both in water and on land
EXTRAS: Arch support, rocker sole design
- Designed to keep feet warm via low internal volume
- Versatility with thickness and height
- The zipper does not lock in place
The Mares Trilastic dive booties is made of 5mm super-elastic neoprene with a hard sole. The neoprene surrounding the ankle is especially supple, designed to give maximum comfort during wear. The Trilastic bootie features a hard, vulcanized rubber sole to provide non-slip grip for walking while also protecting the sole of your feet against any surface terrain. The dive booties has a fin strap lug which keeps any fin strap locked firmly in place, so you don’t need to fix your fins during a dive. These diving boots have a zipper for ease of dressing. The zipper dam keeps the boots from water leakage through the slide fastening. These dive booties are thicker (5mm) and quite beefy, so are probably best suited for diving in waters which may be a bit cooler, as well as more rugged shore terrain. These boots come with a 24-month limited warranty.
MATERIAL: 5mm super-elastic neoprene, no-slip hard sole
BEST SUITED FOR: Cool water diving
TECH: Fin strap lug to keep straps locked in place
ALSO SUITED FOR: Rugged terrain shore diving
EXTRAS: Zipper dam to prevent water seepage
- Rugged no-slip vulcanized sole
- No water seepage along the zipper
- Sizes run large for some divers
BEST DIVE BOOTIES
Sole Texture: Flat, Ribbed, Textured
As you may expect, the actual bottom of the shoe is important to its no-slip ability. Lighter dive booties, such as 3mm slip-on short dive booties, may have flatter bottoms, with barely any ribbing or texture which means they aren’t designed for heavy walking or more variable conditions. Medium-range shoes, such as 5mm zippered short dive booties, may have some form of ribbing in addition to a rather flat sole, indicating moderate-level of walking on the shore and potentially cool waters. Chunkier booties, such as 6-7mm zippered tall dive booties, may have highly textured soles which resemble hiking boots. They are capable of walking on any substrate, aim to keep the feet toasty and are also durable.
Zipper vs. Slip-On
Some booties are slip-ons and some have zippers. Simply put slip-on booties are usually for tropical locations — warm water and sandy or boat entry. Zippered dive booties are more durable to handle more difficult situations such as a rougher walk-in entry, rescue situations, working along the seabed and increasing warmth for cooler water divers.
Many divers would argue that the best scuba dive booties with zippers are those that have a zipper locking mechanism. The lock can involve a clasp or Velcro. The idea is that once the zipper is all the way up, the lock keeps it from falling mid-dive — something which can be quite annoying. This is important to keep water from leaking into the booties, making the feet cold.
Fin Strap Pad
Some booties have a special rubber section on the back of the heel designed to keep a fin strap in place. These sections are especially nice if falling fin straps mid-dive are something which annoy you. (If they do keep falling, also consider getting spring fin straps.)
Bootie Height: Short vs. Tall
In general, dive booties come in two heights: short and tall. Short booties are around the ankle, usually just above the bone. Short dive booties are often used in tropical waters or on boat dives where it is unlikely that a diver may brush their ankles against rocks. Tall booties sit higher up above the ankle by a few inches and protect the lower leg while preventing sand or pebbles from getting into the shoe.
Neoprene Thickness: 3mm vs. 5mm vs. 6mm vs. 7mm
Just like wetsuits, there are varying thicknesses of dive booties, ranging from 3mm to 7mm. Booties with 3mm thick neoprene are generally for warmer waters and recreational divers. The thicker booties, 5mm up to 7mm, are designed to keep feet warmer and are recommended for cool water divers, divers who are diving at night/deep (where the water might be cooler) and career divers who are in the water for a long time.
As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!