The BEST Dive Boots [2021] – Boots For Every Condition

This is our review of the best dive boots in 2021

The best dive boots are ones that are comfortable, protective, and best suit the conditions for which you are going to be diving in.

I have found that the Mares Trilastic dive boots are the best overall dive boots for most diversBut every diver has different needs.

With that in mind we have reviewed the best dive boots for every type of diver and condition you may face. From warm water recreational divers to cold water divers requiring extreme protection.

Let’s dive in 🙂

Quick Answer – The BEST Dive Boots [2021]

  1. Mares Trilastic Best Dive Boots Overall
  2. Cressi MinorcaBest Warm Water Dive Boots
  3. Mares EquatorBest budget warm water dive boot
  4. TUSA ImprexBest dive boot with a grippy sole
  5. SEAC Pro HD  – Best hard sole dive boot
  6. AquaLung Echozip Ergo BootBest comfortable dive boot
  7. Cressi IslaBest Cold Water Dive boots
  8. XS Scuba ThugBest protective dive boots 
  9. Poseidon One BootBest fashionable dive boot

The Best Scuba Diving Boots Reviewed In More Detail

Thickness5mm or 6.5mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleHard Sole
Fin Strap HolderYes
Best Dive BootOverall

A very popular all round choice for warm and temperate waters are the 5mm thick Mares Trilastic dive boot. If you require a dive boot that offers warmth and durability but also heavier protection then this is one of the best dive boots for it.

These dive boots feature a hard sole which not only helps to insulate and keep you warmer but they are also good for potentially more rugged and hazardous terrain as they offer fantastic protection against sharp rocks and rocky beaches – It also means that they are more durable than a soft soled dive boot.

The zip on the side of the Trilastic boots has a ‘zipper dam’ which prevents water from seeping into the boot through the zipper, and therefore helps keep you warmer.

Pros

  • Really robust and durable dive boot
  • Great for warm & temperate water
  • Heavy duty rubber sole offers good protection
  • Zipper dam prevents water seepage to keep you warmer

Cons

  • Sizing runs a little larger than expected

Thickness3mm
CutLow or High Cut
ClosureSlip on or zipper
SoleSoft
Fin Strap HolderYes
Best ForWarm water

An exceptional booty for warm water diving are the Cressi Minorca dive boots – at 3mm thick they are the perfect thickness for tropical water diving.

They are available in multiple styles and you have the option of purchasing these in either a short cut boot or a high cut boot – The high cut boot also features a fin strap keeper which is designed to prevent your fin strap from slipping/moving around.

The Cressi Minorca is also a versatile bootie that works great in a variety of settings – Use them for scuba diving, snorkeling, canoeing, boating – Basically any water sport that you wish.

Their reinforced heel and toe will provide good foot protection, and they have a flexible rubber sole which is designed to prevent you slipping on wet surfaces.

Pros

  • Available as a short cut/slip on boot, or a high cut zip up
  • Easy to put on and take off in both low/high cut styles
  • Comfortable
  • The high cut booties have a fin strap keeper
  • Quick Drying

Cons

  • The low cut boot doesn’t have the fin strap keeper

Thickness2mm
CutLow Cut
ClosureSlip On
SoleSoft
Fin Strap HolderNo
BestBudget warm water dive boot

Our pick for the best budget warm water dive boots are the Mares Equator – This versatile bootie is good for use not only for scuba diving, but great for snorkeling and many other water sports as well.

The Equators are cropped at the ankle and have feature rubber heels which will help to prevent your open heel fins from slipping. 

These booties feature a textured rubber grip sole which is great for preventing slippage when walking on wet surfaces like rocks and boat decks, and also offers great protection against sharp rocks and corals.

They make a great option for recreational divers for warm water use, and because of their size and the fact that they’re ultra lightweight these booties are really great for travel use.

Potentially the only “downside” to these dive boots is that they’re not super quick drying.

Pros

  • Small, lightweight and great for travel
  • Easy to slip on and off
  • Rubber grip sole offers good protection against slippage, and rocky shores

Cons

  • Not very quick drying

Thickness5mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleHard
Fin Strap HolderYes
Best Dive BootWith grippy sole

The TUSA Imprex dive boots provide great protection through the hard rubber sole and upper layer of rubber on top of the boot, and have additional support and protection through the reinforced heel and toe.

Designed to flex and mold to the shape of your foot, the Imprex provide a lot of support and are super comfortable to wear for long periods, and they also have a handy zipper closure which is there to prevent the zip from coming down and the boot loosening – A problem which can sometimes occur in zippered dive boots.

The imprex are some of the best dive boots for temperate water and will provide plenty of protection against rocky shore entries with their hard sole.

They also have great traction and grip against wet surfaces and slippery rocks and the Nylon Jersey helps to provide additional warmth.

Pros

  • Hard sole & upper rubber layer provide plenty of protection
  • Toe and heel guard for extra support & protection
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Great traction/grip on sole of boot

Cons

  • A bit pricier than others on our list

Thickness6mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleHard Sole
Fin Strap HolderYes
BestHard sole dive boot

One of the best dive boots for cold water, the SEAC HD pro have 6mm thick neoprene to help keep your feet well protected from the cold elements.

The Seac Pro’s are really comfortable – They have really excellent high arch support and also have a heel air bubble to reduce stress and further aid in them being very comfortable cold water dive boots.

As with the TUSA Imprex, they also feature a closure that goes over the zipper to prevent it from falling, and both the zipper and it’s closer are easy to grip with dive gloves on.

Pros

  • Really great arch support and comfortable heel. Great for long wear use
  • Zipper & Closer are easy to use even with thick dive gloves on
  • Excellent all round protection from cold water, slippery surfaces, and rough terrain
  • Great protection through their thick sole

Cons

  • Durability an issue when used extensively

Thickness3mm, 5mm, 6.5mm, 7mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleHard Sole
Fin Strap HolderNo
Best Dive BootFor Comfort

The Aqua Lung Ergo Dive Boots come in a large range of sizes so no matter the water temperature you’re in, you can find an Ergo dive boot to match it.

They are ergonomically designed with a foot bed that is designed to match the shape of your foot and ensure that the comfort of the boot is at a maximum. This ergo design, which helps to make the boot fit better is also supposed to help eliminate excess water from getting in and therefore keep your feet warmer.

The Aqua lung Ergo dive boots are easy to put on and take off and they also feature a hook and lock zipper to ensure it stays in place and the boots can’t slide off, and the zipper is also heavy duty and corrosion resistant.

Pros

  • Available in a range of different thicknesses (3/5/6.5/7mm)
  • Ergonomically shaped foot is very comfortable, and better fitting
  • Designed to eliminate excess water from entering and keep feet warmer
  • Very reasonably priced

Cons

  • Sizing tends to run a little small

Thickness5mm or 7mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleSoft Sole
Fin Strap HolderYes
Best Dive BootFor Cold Water

Some of the best dive boots on the market, but also of the best dive boots on a budget are the Cressi Isla dive boots. 

They come in either a 5mm or a 7mm option, and are made from a soft double layer neoprene which is super elasticated to provide comfort and a nice snug fit, the elasticity of them also aids in them being easy to both put on and take off.

A fin strap holder is built in at the back to prevent your open heel fins from slipping, and the heel and toe are reinforced with rubber to provide additional protection from the elements and also against wear and tear.

Worthy of note is that some models of this dive boot feature two small holes for drainage, and this drainage can mean that some heat retention is lost. If cold protection is of paramount importance to you then this is something to consider.

Pros

  • Best budget cold water dive boots
  • Fin strap holder
  • Super elasticity of the neoprene means they’re easy to put on and take off, and provides a comfortable fit
  • Good traction/grip on sole

Cons

  • Some heat retention lost from drainage holes

Thickness8mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleHard Sole
Fin Strap HolderNo
Best Dive BootExtreme Protection & Warmth

If you’re diving in very cold waters or you need a dive boot that offers extreme protection and durability then the XS Scuba thug dive boots are probably the ones for you.

These dive boots are built to be used in very cold waters, or for those who need extreme protection – They are greatly suited for cold water diving, and activities where you are conscious of needing to keep your feet warm but also highly protected such as wading through rivers and lakes

Pros

  • Extremely rugged and durable. These boots are built to last
  • High protection against cold water and other tough elements, like rocky shores
  • 8mm neoprene insole provides added warmth & protection but also comfort

Cons

  • Quite large & may struggle to fit into some fins

Thickness5mm
CutHigh Cut
ClosureZipper
SoleHard Sole
Fin Strap HolderNo
BestFashionable Dive Boot

The Poseidon One Shoe is very unique in that it basically looks like a converse high top.. But is in fact a 5mm dive boot!

It’s designed to complement the Poseidon One Suit but will fit most dive suits, and offers all of the benefits you’d expect in a high cut, hard soled dive boot. It’s strong sole offers great protection and durability, and it also has great ankle support.

Being constructed from 5mm thickness neoprene this dive boot will serve you in both warm and temperate waters, and given that it looks like a tennis shoe – It won’t look out of place above the water.

Pros

  • Looks great! More like tennis shoe than a dive boot
  • Available in multiple colorways
  • High durability hard sole

Cons

  • They run small. Check sizing before purchase

Do You Need To Wear Dive Boots?

best dive boots

This is probably the first question you may be wondering to yourself – Do I really need dive boots? And, what benefits exactly does wearing dive boots provide?

There may be many occasions where you go diving without wearing a dive boot, but there will also be some situations and places where a dive boot would be considered essential.

In any case, a dive boot is always a good idea to have and bring with you on a trip as you never know what kind of situation you might encounter, and you’ll be much happier bringing them along with you and not using them, then not bringing them along with you and really wishing you had!

You wouldn’t want an amazing dive trip to be marred by the experience of having stood on something sharp – Something like this can really ruin an experience, and turn an amazing dive trip into one you would sooner forget.

Benefits of wearing dive boots

The best dive boots are going to provide multiple benefits to you with very little (if any) real drawback, and they are actually a very important piece of dive safety equipment

Warmth

If you’re diving in cold waters of between 10c/50f to 18c/64f then you will need to have a pair of dive boots with a thickness between 6.5 – 7mm.

Dive boots with a thickness of 5mm will serve you well in temperate waters of 16c/60f – 24c/75f.

And for warm water diving where the temperatures are 24c and above, a dive boot of 2-3mm will do you just fine.

Worthy of note is that whilst you shouldn’t use a 3mm dive boot in cold waters (for obvious reasons!), there is nothing wrong with using 5-7mm dive boots in warmer tropical waters.

So if you plan on diving in a range of different waters you’d be best going with a thicker pair that can accommodate handling any water temp.

It’s also important to remember that while you may also be diving in typically warm waters like those in the Carribean or the Maldives – If you were to dive there at night time, then the water is obviously going to be much cooler. 

Also if you’re visiting in the low season, again the water could be slightly more on the temperate side – A good pair of 5mm dive boots in this case will suit you really well year round, even if you consider yourself to be strictly a ‘warm water diver’.

Protection

scuba boots protection on rocky beach

The added protection to your feet (and confidence that comes with having that extra protection), is well worth the cost of a dive boot.

Sharp rocks, corals, glass, shells, slippery rocks and sea urchins – These are some things that you will regularly encounter when you are diving, and which can quite easily cause you injury with just a simple misplaced footstep.

A hard soled dive boot quite simply, will not be punctured by any of these dangerous objects and not having to worry about this can make you much more confident and comfortable in the water.

Dive boots, much like a regular boot can also provide you with arch support and ankle support. Something which some divers truly need – Especially if you have to do any kind of walk to your destination whilst lugging your dive gear!

Lastly your dive boots will provide protection to the backs of your heels against the straps on open heel fins.

Open heel fins can be notorious for rubbing on the backs of your heel and unfortunately, once the strap begins to rub and you notice the irritation it tends to only get worse from there!

Having a dive boot covering your ankle will prevent the strap from rubbing and completely eliminate this issue.

Traction

Some dive boots have a textured sole much like a pair of sneakers or even a good set of hiking boots would have.

Slippery water entries like algae covered rocks or boat decks are common but they needn’t cause you too much concern if you’re wearing a good pair of dive boots, as they give you the grip and traction you need against these things to help prevent you from slipping over and injuring yourself. 

How To Choose The Best Dive Boots – Buyers Guide

scuba diver taking fins off

What To Consider When Buying Dive Boots

Obviously you will want to buy the best dive boot to suit your individual needs, and there are a few different factors which will influence your decision. 

So let’s look into what you should consider when trying to select the best dive boots for yourself.

Water Temperature

Probably the number one factor is the temperature of the water that you’re going to be diving in.

If you prefer warm water diving and tend to stick to that only – Then you essentially have the freedom to choose any kind of dive boot you like.

If you dive in temperate or colder waters, then this is where it is much more important to have a dive boot that is going to keep your feet warm.

Dive Boot Thickness

Here are some examples on how thick your dive boot should be depending on the temperature of the water.

Best Warm Water Dive Boots

For warm waters above a temperature of 24°C/75°F:

Best Temperate Water Dive Boots

For temperate waters between temperatures of16°C/60°F and 24°C/75°F:

Best Cold Water Dive Boots

For cold waters between temperatures of 10°C/50°F and 18°C/64°F:

High Cut vs Low Cut

A low cut dive boot is one which is typically used in warm water diving.

They tend to be a slip on style of boot, which cover just above the ankle bone.

Low cut dive boots give you the warmth and protection you require over your foot but they will not provide you with any ankle support or protection.

If you’re not going to be doing much in the way of walking in your dive boots whilst lugging around your gear, and ankle support and protection is of no importance to you then a low cut dive boot will suit you just fine.

High cut dive boots on the other hand will provide you with additional warmth as they cover above your ankle, and they will also give you something in the way of ankle support and additional protection as well. 

High cut dive boots are the more versatile of the two, as they are functional for warm, temperate and cold water diving.

Sole

Hard Sole Dive Boots VS Soft Sole Dive Boots

Soft soled dive boots are perfect for soft sand beach entries, or dive boat entries – Basically areas where you aren’t concerned about high protection for the sole of your foot, or having to walk a considerable distance in them.

Hard sole dive boots offer additional protection to the base of your foot. This could be vital for you if you encounter rough terrain or will be walking some appreciable distance in them.

Dive Boots Care & Maintenance

Dive boots are pretty simple and easy to maintain. Actually the way you should care for your dive boots is pretty much the same as how you should care for your wetsuit.

Give your dive boots a good rinse in clean fresh water – Leave them to dry (not in direct sunlight), and make sure they are dried through completely before you store them away in a dry place that is out of direct sunlight.

Our Verdict

A lot of divers have different needs due to the different environments people choose to explore. 

Without a dive boot suited to the type of climate you’re diving in then your trip may not be the best that it could be!

Every divers needs vary so hopefully this guide has been helpful for you in deciding on how to select the best dive boots for you as an individual.

But for most divers, the Mares Trilastic Dive Boots are going to be an excellent choice due to their versatility – They’re great for warm and temperate waters, provide good protection and warmth, and are super comfortable.

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