Dive boots provide you with stability, protection, and comfort before, during, and after a dive.
Investing in a good pair of dive boots, also fondly referred to as booties, is a no-brainer.
But it’s challenging to know which are the right dive boots for you.
Fortunately, we’re here to help!
We’ve reviewed all the best boots for diving and snorkeling so that you can simply pick the ones that best suit your needs and budget.
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Best Dive Boots
These dive boots offer a high level of protection without compromising comfort. They’re also durable, versatile, and will last a long time.
The Tilos TruFit Dive Boots offer everything you could ever need or want in a dive boot. Every little detail of this innovative dive boot has been perfectly designed to offer optimal comfort, protection, stability, and warmth.
The TruFit design is lower volume than most other dive boots, this reduces excess water inside the boot which, combined with the Thermoflare lining, helps keep your toes extra toasty! This slimmer design also makes it much easier to get in and out of your fins.
Although they may feel a little tight to start with, the snug fit is what creates such a comfortable and supportive boot. Just like a new pair of sneakers, these boots will mold perfectly to your foot after a few wears.
These booties feature built-in arch support that keeps your foot in a natural position which applies more power to your kicks underwater and more comfort on land. A padded heel cup also helps absorb shock when walking.
The soles of these dive boots have been ergonomically designed with a rocker shape. This means you can “roll” your feet easily while walking, which helps reduce muscle strain and fatigue as well as improve your balance. Plus, they’re also puncture-resistant.
What’s more, they’re available in 3 different thicknesses, in both short and tall designs, so you can choose the option that best suits you and your diving environment.
- Exceptional thermal protection.
- The metal zipper is well secured so it won’t slip down during the dive.
- The asymmetrical design fits perfectly around your toes reducing dead space.
- Rocker sole, padded heels, and built-in arch supports makes walking a breeze
- Variety of thicknesses and heights available
- The snug fit can take a little getting used to
- Not great for wide or flat feet
You are getting a lot of quality for the price of these dive boots. The Mares 3mm Classic dive boot has been a popular option for years, thanks to its affordability and durable design that fits almost every diver perfectly.
The thickness is ideal for warm water diving and snorkeling, with the super-elastic material providing a snug fit that’s still easy to take on and off.
One of the things we love about this dive boot is the rubber notch at the back, which helps to keep your fin strap perfectly in place. The side zippers are also well designed to come above the ankle so they don’t slip down during the dive.
Although the rubber grip sole offers great traction, it’s a little on the thin side. So these boots aren’t the best choice if you need to navigate more rugged terrain.
- The ideal thickness for warm to moderate climates
- Lightweight design perfect for traveling
- Easy to remove and put on
- Rubber grip sole creates strong traction when walking
- Handy notch to keep your fins in place
- Sits above the ankle for extra protection
- Excellent value for money
- Thin soles are not great for rocky shores
- Not warm enough for colder waters
If you’re looking for a durable and long-lasting dive boot, the Neosport Premium dive boots are an ideal choice. You’ll love how well-made these boots are.
With heavily sewn, double glued seams and puncture-resistant soles, you know these dive boots are built to last. Construction-wise these are some of the best dive boots available.
In addition to their solid build, what makes these boots stand out is the water entry barrier installed behind the zippers. This prevents any cold water from flushing in even if the zips come open.
They also come in 3 different thicknesses, 3mm, 5mm, or 7mm, so you can choose the best option for your diving conditions.
- Rugged soles offer great stability and protection on all terrains
- Well constructed and built to last
- Excellent thermal protection
- Variety of thicknesses available
- Strong seals prevent sand or cold water from flushing in
- Sizes run a little small so consider ordering a size up
- Rugged tread on the sole may cause damage to soft surfaces such as foam paddleboards
The Tusa Imprex 5mm dive boot is a super sturdy and comfortable choice. A specially designed injection-molded sole provides unrivaled grip and stability making these dive boots ideal for difficult shore entries or climbing up dive boat ladders in full gear.
The inner sole offers excellent support for divers with high arches and helps to keep the foot in a more natural position both when finning and kicking.
Plus the secure velcro strap just below the zipper ensures that these boots will never come lose.
- Exceptionally comfortable
- Unbeatable grip and traction on all surfaces, both wet and dry
- Snug fit provides optimal warmth
- Internal support reduces foot strain and fatigue
- Great for high arches
- Solid and durable construction
- Not the cheapest option
- A little heavier than similar styles
These rugged dive boots from Seac are perfect for colder waters or rocky terrain. What will capture your attention first is the thick soles. These offer unrivaled protection and stability when walking on rough ground.
The inner arch support and air bubble within the heel provide added comfort whilst helping alleviate stress to your feet when carrying heavy gear.
The 6mm of neoprene will keep your feet warm in cooler water but isn’t too thick to cause overheating if you want to use them for warmer locations. There’s a handy notch at the back to keep your fins in place and the zippers stay perfectly in place with a hook and loop closure.
- Strong and sturdy soles for more rugged terrain.
- Great arch support that reduces strain on the foot and ankle.
- Superb warmth in colder waters.
- Great value for money
- Rugged construction that can withstand a beating
- Sizing can be difficult to get right
- Bulky & heavy design not ideal for traveling
So what are the best dive boots for you?
This pair of dive boots is our top choice for comfort and fit. The ergonomic design makes these boots effortless to wear both in and out of the water. The innovative features of these boots mean you’ll experience minimal muscle strain and fatigue when wearing them. Aside from superior comfort, they also offer exceptional thermal protection and the thick soles also ensure that your feet are well protected from injuries.
Best Value: Mares 3mm Classic Dive Boots
As long as you are not dealing with extremely sharp rocks, these are great value for money. They won’t break the bank and most divers find these dive boots offer a perfect fit.
Best For High Arches: TUSA Imprex 5mm Dive Boots
If you’ve got high arches, the TUSA Imprex dive boots will give you the best support. The carefully designed insole helps keeps your foot in a natural position, which significantly reduces strain when walking and finning.
Most Solid Construction: NeoSport Premium Wetsuit Boots
When it comes to boots that offer the best construction, look no further than this pair. Everything feels well-made and it is backed by testimonies about how users were able to walk on rocky shores with no problems.
Best For Rugged Terrain: SEAC Pro HD 6mm Neoprene Wetsuit Boots
Aside from great style, this pair of boots also offers unrivaled stability and thermal protection. They’re thicker than other dive boots of the same price range, so they’re a great option if you do a lot of diving and occasionally dive in cold waters.
Is Wearing Dive Boots Really Necessary?
You don’t always need to wear boots for scuba diving. If you’re wearing closed heel fins and diving or snorkeling in warm, tropical waters then boots are not necessary.
Dive boots can also be used for a wide range of other activities including sailing, surfing, and kayaking. So it’s worth investing in a strong and comfy pair of boots.
Here are the 3 main benefits of wearing dive boots:
1. They Keep You Warm
One of the key functions of a dive boot is to provide warmth. Dive boots are typically made from neoprene and work in the same way as a wetsuit by trapping a layer of warm water close to the body. They come in a range of thicknesses from 1mm up to 7mm for varying water temperatures.
Without dive boots, even in warm waters, you’ll find your feet getting cold quite quickly. And nothing ruins a dive quicker than numb toes!
2. It’s More Comfortable
Without dive boots, open-heel fins will rub your feet and put additional strain on your foot muscles. There’s a high chance you’ll end up with cramps and blisters if you wear them barefooted.
Not only do dive boots make open-heel fins more comfortable, but they also make each kick more efficient as they are designed specifically to be worn with boots. So your overall dive or snorkeling session will feel much more effortless if you’re wearing boots.
3. They Offer Extra Protection
Dive boots protect your feet from hot sand, hard rocks, and sharp coral. When you are walking on the shore carrying all of your heavy dive gear, your bare feet will dig into the rocks and shells much harder. With dive boots on, your feet are protected from accidental cuts, scraps, and bruises.
Top Tips for Choosing The Best Dive Boots
What exactly should you look for in a good pair of dive boots? Here are a few buying tips to keep in mind:
Choose something Warm
Dive boots work in a similar way to a wetsuit, by trapping a thin layer of water (warmed by the body) and preventing the colder water from flushing in and conducting heat away from the body.
In general the thicker the dive boot, the warmer it is but only if it fits properly and doesn’t leak. Check the seams are well stitched and bonded properly to prevent water from flushing in. Look for dive boots made from neoprene as this is the best material for retaining heat.
If you get particularly cold feet when diving, choose a dive boot with additional thermal protection. There are several brands, such as Tilos, that have developed their own innovative materials that help keep your toes extra toasty!
How do they fit?
A good pair of dive boots should fit snug but not too tight. If a dive boot is loose, you won’t be able to move efficiently underwater and it might even slip off.
Plus boots that are too big won’t provide you with much thermal protection as cold water will flush through and conduct the heat away from your feet.
However, if the boots are too tight they’re likely to rub, pinch, or even restrict your circulation. Plus you’ll struggle to get them on and off, putting extra strain on the seams.
Finding a perfect-fitting dive boot is crucial for it to perform well both in and out of the water.
Consider the Conditions
If you’re only diving in warm, tropical waters, then you don’t need to invest in thick, heavy boots.
More sock-like boots are easier to travel with and provide a good level of protection from chaffing and blisters.
The only exception would be destinations where you have to enter the water over rocky terrain, then you may want to choose a sturdier diver boot.
If you are diving in cold water you’ll want a thicker boot to keep you warm.
Similarly, if you have to navigate rocky shores and rough terrain to enter the water, look for boots with reinforced soles. This ensures that your boots are more durable and provides better traction on slippery surfaces.
Think about the length
Dive boots usually come in two different lengths, those that sit below your ankles and those that come up above your ankles.
Shorter boots work well in tropical waters for diving and snorkeling, but longer boots offer more warmth, stability, and protection.
But it’s mostly a matter of personal preference, so you can decide which one is the best option for you.
Decide on the type of closure
Dive boots come with different closures; zippers, velcro or just slip on with no closures. Which option is best will depend on your personal preference.
Zippers are good because they make putting the boots on easier and help create a close fit. Look for a robust zipper with a velcro tab or other mechanism that will prevent the zip from slipping down and open.
Poorly made zips tend to break easily and allow water to flood the boot. Velcro tabs and straps are less likely to break than zippers but don’t create such a strong seal.
Some divers find the zips rub their ankles, or don’t want to deal with the hassle of them breaking, so they prefer slip-on boots.
Many female divers also like slip-on boots as they often provide a more snug fit, although they are more difficult to put on and take off.
Decide on a budget
And lastly, it’s also important to set aside a reasonable budget.
Don’t skimp too much or you’ll end up with a pair of dive boots that will get damaged easily or aren’t fit for the conditions.
As with the majority of dive gear, the higher the price, the stronger construction, and the better features you’ll get.
As you can see, a good pair of dive boots can make a big difference to your comfort both in and out of the water. And they’re not the most expensive piece of dive gear either.
So there’s no reason not to get yourself a pair!
Do you have a favorite pair of dive boots that we should add to our list?
Let us know in the comments!
Alexa Worswick is a PADI and SSI scuba diving Instructor, recreational freediver and freelance copywriter. She first learnt to scuba dive in the UK aged 15 and has since travelled and dived in multiple locations across 3 different continents. After quitting her marketing job in London in 2016, Alexa is now based in Indonesia where she can pursue her passion for the ocean fulltime.