10 Best Diving Boots for 2018

If you’re interested in diving, then it’s imperative that you have all of the right gear. While most people will remember their wetsuit and flippers, one other essential piece of equipment will be your diving boots.

Diving boots are critical because they not only protect your feet but they ensure that you can use your flippers more effectively. For that reason, we’re going to be looking at the best diving boots of 2018. Let’s see what they have to offer.

10 Best Diving Boots - Comparisons

Best Diving Boots - Reviews

1. NeoSport Wetsuits Premium Neoprene 5mm

If you’re not familiar with diving boots, then one of the first things you should know is that there are boots and shoes. They are similar in a lot of ways, but they are designed for different uses, so it’s crucial that you understand the difference.

As we’ll see, diving boots are a bit more functional and useful, even when you’re not underwater. What makes this a boot and not a shoe? Well, the primary reason is the sole. Diving shoes don’t have a thick rubber sole because they are meant to be worn with a full flipper. These boots will work on almost any terrain.

With these models from NeoSport, you can take them with you on your next kayak or boating adventure. They have thick treads on the bottom, and they are super comfortable to wear for extended periods. They also utilize a thermal protector inside to help keep your feet warm, even when the water is chilly.

Although these are diving boots, they are missing one critical element - a fin holder on the heel. Because of the thick sole, you have to wear adjustable flippers, which means that you have a strap going around the foot. These boots have a rough patch to help keep it in place, but it’s not as reliable as a ridge.

What we like about these diving boots is that they come in a variety of thicknesses. Also, the sole is puncture proof, which is part of the reason they are perfect for almost any water activity. Feel free to wear them while walking on rocks or the dock and you will have grip and stability all the time.

The zipper on the side of these boots is also incredible, and it will enable you to get in and out quickly and effortlessly. There’s a water entry barrier behind the zipper to ensure that water doesn’t leak into the shoe as well. Overall, these are a comfortable accessory to bring on your next excursion, no matter what kind of activity you’re doing. 

What we liked

  • Rugged neoprene construction
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Various thickness options
  • Puncture-resistant sole
  • Excellent traction
  • Heavy-duty zipper for security
  • Easy to get in and out
  • Works in all wet environments
  • Water entry barrier to help keep feet dry
  • Thermal protection for warmth

What we didn't like

  • Not ideal for adjustable flippers
  • Sizing can be tricky

2. Cressi ISLA, Premium Neoprene Anti-Slip

Another crucial element to understand when picking out diving boots is how the thickness can play a part in your overall comfort and safety. When you’re diving in shallow water or walking along the shoreline, you don’t need a boot with extra thickness because you can stay relatively warm. However, when you dive deeper, the water will get a lot colder, so you need a thicker boot to stay comfortable.

For the most part, shallow and free diving is great with boots that are three millimeters thick. If you’re SCUBA diving and the water is not too cold, a five-millimeter option is perfect. You want to go up to seven millimeters if the water is going to be between 10-18 degrees Celsius.

These boots come in the two larger sizes, so they are not ideal for shallow water. However, the thick sole and traction enable you to wear them both in and out of the water with ease. These shoes are also comfortable enough to have on for long periods.

As we mentioned above, one feature you will need with diving boots is a fin strap holder. You get a sufficient bump on the heel with both of these boots, so keeping your flippers strapped on won’t be a problem.

Overall, these are an excellent choice for deeper dives where you need extra protection. They are well-built and will last a long time.

What we liked

  • Thick Neoprene construction
  • Multiple thicknesses and sizes available
  • Built-in fin strap holder
  • Ribbed sole for better traction
  • Thick puncture-resistant bottom
  • Stylish and comfortable design
  • Thicker material keeps your feet warm
  • Smooth top doesn’t rub as much
  • Thick rubber toe cap for extra protection

What we didn't like

  • Sizes may run small
  • In rare cases, the zipper may come undone on its own

3. XS Scuba Thug 8mm Zippered Boots

As we talked about above, the thickness of your diving boots can help you determine what sort of diving you can do. In this case, you only get one size from which to choose - 8mm. This means that this set from XS Scuba is one of the warmest options you can find. If you plan on going into cold water, you will want something like this to protect your feet.

Because warmth is the primary function of these boots, they also have a few extra features to keep your feet toasty. First, there is a thick barrier behind the zipper to keep water out and ensure proper dryness inside. Second, they have a tall shaft so that you don’t have to rely as much on your wetsuit to keep your feet protected.

Finally, there is a proprietary exterior layer called Ryno-Hide. This coating helps ensure that the boot lasts longer and keeps the cold out. It’s anti-abrasive and will extend the life of these diving boots.

Another thing that we like about these models is that they have a cushioned insole. Most diving boots are not necessarily made for walking around, which means that they can be quite uncomfortable if you do so for a while. However, with the extra padding, you will feel a lot better when going from shore to sea.

As with other high-quality diving boots, you can expect a flipper ridge to keep your fins in place while swimming around, as well as heavy duty zippers. The zippers make it easier to get in and out, and they will keep the boot tight around your foot so that it doesn’t slip at all under the water. 

What we liked

  • Multiple sizes available
  • Extra thick material
  • Tall shaft provides extra protection
  • Heavy-duty zipper is easy to get in and out
  • Advanced thermal insulation
  • Glued and double-blind stitching
  • High-tech traction for walking out of water
  • Exterior is laminated with Ryno Hide
  • Cushioned insole
  • Built-in fin strap holder

What we didn't like

  • Not ideal for shallow water
  • Insole may start to break down with extended walking

4. Mares 5mm Trilastic Dive Boot

One element of diving boots that we haven’t discussed yet is making sure that they are compatible with your flippers. As we mentioned, diving shoes are built to fit inside full-sized fins, which gives you some flexibility because you can always tighten the flipper and make it snug.

However, with diving boots, you have to buy your fins at the same time to ensure that they are a match. To be 100% sure, you have to try them on together. If you already have a set of fins, then you may have to get a couple of different pairs of boots until you find the right one.

Although adjustable flippers can be tightened, the size and thickness of the shoe will make a substantial difference. Because part of it will be inside the fin, a boot that’s too thick will not fit, and one that’s too small can slip out. Overall, you want to make sure that they are compatible before hitting the water. If there is some movement, you may lose a flipper when you’re diving.

What we like about these boots, in particular, is that they offer more efficiency when swimming. One of the issues with diving boots is that they can be too flexible. As a result, a lot of your energy is lost because of drag. With these, however, you get more power with each kick, enabling you to work smarter, not harder.

The other thing we appreciate about these boots is that the fin ridge on the heel is higher up than most. The reason why this is a good thing is that it keeps the flipper more secure. When the ridge is lower, it’s easier for the fin to slip off. In this case, even if it comes off, it can still stay on the heel - at least long enough for you to fix it before it slips off altogether.

What we liked

  • 5mm thickness for semi-cold water
  • Short shaft doesn’t rub as much
  • Trilastic material conforms to your foot shape
  • Rugged hard sole for better swimming efficiency
  • Extra elasticity around the angle for comfort
  • Thick traction for walking around
  • Glued and stitched construction
  • Fin holder is higher up for better stability
  • Zipper dam inside to keep feet dry
  • Thermal insulation provided

What we didn't like

  • Sizes can run large
  • In rare cases, the sole may start to peel off

5. Aqua Lung 3mm Men's Superzip Ergo Boot

When picking out the best diving boot, you want to get something that will be able to handle whatever kind of activities you plan on doing. As we’ve already seen, a lot of these boots have thick outsoles to enable you to wear them for a lot of different water excursions. This pair, however, is thinner, making it ideal for sand and surf only.

While you may think that the lack of puncture protection may be a bad thing, it’s actually better if you don’t plan on using them all the time. As long as you’re only going to have them on the boat and underwater, they will be incredibly comfortable.

One of the reasons why these boots are better than others for diving is that they are cut to mold to your foot. Most footwear is generically shaped, which means that your foot has to conform to it, not the other way around. The softer and more pliable material will hug the shape of your feet and ensure that they are both warm and snug.

Because the thickness of these boots is just three millimeters, we recommend them for free diving or shallow waters. They also have higher shafts to keep more water out, and they have some cushioning inside for when you’re walking along the shore (or the boat). 

What we liked

  • Ultralight 3mm thickness
  • Unique cut makes the boot fit better
  • Ideal traction for walking
  • Higher shaft for less ankle rubbing
  • Foot bed for added comfort inside
  • Water-shedding design
  • Thermal insulation keeps feet warm
  • Glued and stitched construction
  • Multiple sizes available

What we didn't like

  • No fin ridge on the heel
  • Soles are not thick enough for rocks or reefs

6. Seac 6mm Super-Stretch Zippered Hard Sole Dive Boots

You have probably noticed that a lot of these diving boots use “glued and stitch” construction. If you’re not familiar with this term, it means that the sole is glued on and that the sides are reinforced with stitching. To keep the boots waterproof, the needle doesn’t go all the way through.

Adding stitches to the sides help ensure that the material doesn’t wear down as quickly. Since your ankles are going to put more pressure on the boot, having additional material there will keep them from breaking down.

In this case, we really like these diving boots because they don’t use standard neoprene. While neoprene is excellent, it can be kind of stiff and unforgiving. Instead, these boots use Aquasilk, which is both softer and stretchier. In fact, according to the manufacturer, it will stretch up to 250% more than the regular stuff.

Another element we like about these shoes is the zipper holder. One issue that occurs while diving is that the zipper can start to come undone, which can cause a lot of problems (especially if you lose the boot and flipper altogether). With this closure system, you don’t have to worry about that. 

What we liked

  • Thick 6mm neoprene material
  • Double glued and stitched construction
  • Extra stretchy sides for comfort
  • Harder sole for efficiency while swimming
  • Thick fin ridge keeps them in place
  • Air bubble in the heel for more support
  • Velcro zipper flap prevents it from coming undone
  • Aquasilk fabric is softer and conforms to your foot

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the stitching may start to come undone
  • Velcro doesn’t last as long as other components

7. ScubaPro Unisex 5mm Delta Boots

So far, we’ve only been looking at diving boots that are full-sized. However, while the tall shaft of these boots is great for keep water out and warmth in, they can also be a little bulky. If you prefer a shorter model, then you will want to get these from ScubaPro.

The 5mm Delta Boots come in both a tall and short version, with the latter being perfect for shallow and free dives. Having no shaft gives you better flexibility, and it feels better on your ankles. Best of all, the sole is still the same, so you get extra thickness for walking around as well.

Overall, these are pretty standard diving boots. One unique feature is the Velcro zipper holder on the top to ensure that they don’t come loose while diving. They don’t have a fin ridge on the back, but the sole is more pronounced on the heel to keep the flipper in place. They use neoprene material, and they come in a variety of sizes. As with all diving shoes, you may have to try several different pairs to find ones that fit correctly.

What we liked

  • Thick 5mm material
  • Excellent traction
  • Comes in both tall and short versions
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Reinforced top reduces rubbing
  • Water entry barrier to keep feet dry
  • Thermal insulation for warmth
  • Heavy-duty zipper for easy in and out
  • Velcro zipper holder
  • Toe and heel caps for added protection

What we didn't like

  • Sizing can be tricky
  • In rare cases, the sole may start to peel off

8. TUSA Imprex 5 mm Neoprene Boots

If you want the perfect blend of style, comfort, and performance, then you will appreciate everything that the TUSA Imprex Boots have to offer. While we wouldn’t necessarily say that they are the “best” of the best, they are better than most of the other models we’ve seen so far.

What we like about these boots, in particular, is the softness of the material. Although they use neoprene like others, it’s treated so that it conforms to your foot better and doesn’t cause as much rubbing. Also, the interior is a jersey material that adds more thermal insulation.

As far as the outside, these boots have a hard sole to add more efficiency while swimming, and they have the standard fin ridge on the heel. They also include a Velcro zipper closure to ensure that you don’t lose them while underwater. Overall, excellent diving boots. 

What we liked

  • Thick 5mm neoprene material
  • Super traction for walking on land
  • Thick, hard sole for more efficiency
  • Velcro zipper closure 
  • Reinforced top for less rubbing
  • Water barrier keeps feet dry
  • Material is soft and molds to foot
  • Jersey interior adds more warmth
  • Built-in flipper ridge
  • Internal toe and heel guards

What we didn't like

  • Fin ridge is kind of small

9. Mares FLEXA 5mm Neoprene Dive Boots

We’ve already seen the quality that you can expect from Mares, but the Flexa model is not built for performance as much as it is comfort. As the name suggests, this is a highly flexible diving boot, which ensures that your feet and ankles feel good while swimming. They are 5mm thick, making them ideal for most dives.

What we also like about these boots is that they have added arch support and a thicker outsole. They even come with drainage grooves on the inside so that your foot doesn’t feel like it’s stuck inside the boot (that happens with other models).

Other features include a heavy-duty zipper closure system, glue and stitch construction, and multiple size options. 

What we liked

  • Thick 5mm neoprene material
  • Glue and stitch construction
  • Excellent traction for walking
  • Thermal insulation for warmth
  • Heavy-duty zipper for easy in and out
  • Ideal arch support
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Thick flipper ridge on the heel
  • Ideal for all water activities
  • Internal drainage grooves for comfort

What we didn't like

  • Can feel a little stiff
  • Flipper ridge is not as pronounced as other models

10. Henderson Aqua Lock 5mm Boots

Our final diving boot is made by a company that also creates wetsuits. If you like your Aqua Lock wetsuit, then you may want to get these boots because they are designed to fit together. One issue with combining different manufacturers is that you can sometimes get water inside because there is a gap between the two materials. That’s not the case here. The boots will lock to the wetsuit, creating a waterproof barrier.

The other thing that we like about these boots is that they are built with double stitching. This means that they will last longer and that they can be used in a variety of environments without any trouble. Also, the inside is lined with microfleece, which is super comfortable and keeps your feet toasty during your dive.

The only downside to these boots is that they don’t have a fin ridge, so you have to keep your flippers extra tight. Otherwise, they are perfect for almost any kind of diving.

What we liked

  • Soft and comfortable 5mm nylon and neoprene
  • Velcro zipper closure for protection
  • Excellent traction and thickness on the outsole
  • Sealed ankles for longer lifespan
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Double glued and stitched seams
  • Microfleece lining for comfort and warmth
  • Locks securely to Aqua Lock wetsuits

What we didn't like

  • No fin ridge on the heel

Final Verdict

Although we’ve seen a lot of high-quality diving boots on this list, we have to say that our top two picks are the Cressi ISLA and the Mares 5mm Trilastic. Cressi is one of the top brands in the industry, so anything that they make is going to be excellent. We appreciate the fact that you can choose your size to fit your needs, as well as the soft and comfortable feel of them.

As for the Mares Trilastic, we really like that it comes with a rigid sole. Efficiency is critical when diving because you can save a lot of pain and discomfort in the process. We also appreciate the softer material that will keep your feet comfortable and free of rashes and bumps.

Overall, these two sets of diving boots are perfect for almost anyone, and you will love how they feel both in and out of the water. 

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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