Water sports like scuba diving will continue to be a big thing in 2020. So, are done completing your scuba diving gear? How about diving shoes?
More and more people are getting passionate about water sports because of the adrenaline rush they get. Other than understanding how these sports can help you boost your physical health, self-confidence, and morale, it’s also a nice idea to know other factors before buying your first or next scuba shoes.
So, let’s start your buying journey!
Know the Difference Between Diving Water, Scuba Boots, and Aqua Socks
If you are new to the world of water sports and hobbies, then you might be confused about whether you’ll buy scuba shoes or boots or go for aqua socks. Don’t worry. We’ll give you valuable ideas about them.
- The Design
Scuba shoes are designed for full foot fins. They are very flexible, but we aware that they aren’t strongly reinforced. They are perfect for scuba diving and also for snorkeling, freediving, or spearfishing as they are constructed from neoprene. Choose ones with a later or coated soles for greater insulation and grip and more resistance.
Diving boots are known to be slightly sturdier than scuba shoes. They feature a sole that is made of rubber to ensure a better grip. These sole provides reinforcements on the instep, heel, and toes for increased comfort and protection.
Aqua socks, also known as water socks, look like everyday socks. But they are made from materials like neoprene or lycra instead of cotton. They come in varying heights such as high-tops and ankle-high. Others are designed with adjustable ankle cuffs to hold the socks up while swimming and to adjust the fit.
- The Purpose
A pair of scuba shoes will help to protect your feet against the bottom of a sea or ocean. They also keep your feet safe in cold waters, especially when they get uncomfortable and very cold, which will shorten your driving time.
Unlike scuba shoes that are designed for full foot fins, diving boots are intended for adjustable fins. If you plan on going to a rough bottom, then this footwear will keep your feet safe and also protect them against cold water.
Aqua socks are mainly worn by people who go snorkeling to avoid the snorkeling fins from rubbing against the skin of the feet. Be aware that excessive rubbing may result to blisters and chaffing. High-top aqua sock can be worn together with low-cut scuba shoes to enhance protection against jellyfish stings and any other hazards underwater.
Know the Benefits
Before you end up buying a pair of scuba shoes, let’s talk about the benefits of wearing them.
- Complete Foot Protection
When going to water sports activities, you cannot prevent yourself from floating through the roiling water after falling out of the boat or walking on a rocky, sharp sea bed. As you wear scuba shoes, you can protect your feet from abrasions, bumps, and spikes while keeping sediment or rocks out.
- Quick Drying
Although you can wear a sealed rubber boor to keep your feet dry, scuba shoes are more fun options and less expensive.
- Absolute Traction
Since scuba shoes are meant for water sports activities, manufacturers have realized that people can be exposed to the slippery footing. So, they make sure that these shoes are incorporated with a grippy sole. This means that you’ll stay confident about the condition of your feet regardless of the terrain.
Know the Thickness
Scuba shoes come in different thickness ranging from 2mm to 7mm. Both the wetsuit and scuba shoes are made of neoprene. Practically, your shoes should of the same size as that of your wetsuit.
By determining your diving preference, it’s a lot easier to figure out the thickness of your wetsuit and shoes. If you plan on a scuba diving activity in warm water, then you can go for scuba shoes measuring 3mm thick. For sure, this pair of shoes would be a perfect companion in the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, if you prefer cold-water diving, then it’s best for you to buy shoes with a thickness of more than 5mm. As for scuba diving into extremely cold water, you can opt for a thicker pair of shoes. Make sure that the material is close to 7mm thick.
Know the Water Temperature
You can choose the perfect pair of scuba shoes for your needs based on the water temperature. For better ideas, we’ll give you the estimated water temperature to determine how thick your shoes should be other than figuring out whether it is warm or cold water.
- Between 10˚C and 18˚C
For cold water or between 10˚C and 18˚C, you can pick scuba shoes with 5 – 6.5 mm of neoprene.
- Between 16˚C and 24˚C
For 16˚C and 24˚C or temperate water, you can opt for shoes with 2 – 5mm of neoprene.
- Over 25˚C
For warm water or over 25˚C, you can choose shoes with 2 – 3mm of neoprene.
Know the Size
For you to easily determine the correct size for the scuba shoes, consider the size of everyday shoes. In the case that you’re a half size, it’s better to round it up because most scuba shoes are available on whole sizes.
Upon trying on, you can choose a bigger pair because you may find them too snug or too tight. Instead of getting enough space for your feet, it’s always better to have a little extra.
Be aware that buying scuba shoes is far different from buying ordinary shoes. That’s because the curling of your toes requires a bigger size. Make sure that the shoes must not be too tight or too loose as they might bring your discomfort, especially if you are already underwater.
Additionally, you will need scuba shoes that vary based on the point of entry when you are about to perform the diving. In short, different considerations, different scuba shoes. You’ll purchase shoes for rolling back from your dive boat, for walking in off the sandy beach, and for clambering over the rocks.
Know the Sole
If you are undecided in terms of sole type, then you can consider your driving style and preference. If you prefer shore diving, then you can purchase a thick sole due to the presence of hot sand and rocks.
For ocean floor types of diving, thick soles can also be ideal since you will encounter a number of sharp objects. Thin soles would be a waste of money because they can quickly get punctured. However, if ocean floor diving isn’t your interest, then thinner soles or monster soles will do.
Know the Construction
You can prolong the life of your shoes by protecting its sole. Remember that any dive gear will soon undergo wear and tear.
Materials for scuba shoes like neoprene is quite stretchable. But, the downside of this material is that it does not offer much grip. So, you can try non-neoprene materials on the sole. Apart from they provide durability, they also offer a little roughness to the surface to ensure slip-resistance. In addition, slip-resistant shoes can be used either in or out of the water. They provide protection from sharp edges.
Know the Proper Care for Your Scuba Shoes
Like any other diving gears, scuba shoes also require proper maintenance to prolong their service life and help you save money in the long run.
- Rinse in Clear Water After Each Dive
After your diving activity, make sure to rinse the scuba shoes in freshwater. You can find a rinse tank at most dive sites. Remember that leaving neoprene unrinsed will give off an awful smell. Not only that, saltwater can lead to loss of material’s flexibility.
- Soak for about 15 Minutes
As you went home, see to it that you’ll soak your scuba shoes for about 15 minutes. You can use a special, quality wetsuit shampoo.
- Look for Potential Damages
Keeping your scuba shoes and other gear in good condition will introduce you to the best diving experience. Check for tears or rips, and before storing them, make sure to fix the damage immediately.
- Practice Proper Storage
After washing, prevent yourself from rumpling or even folding your scuba shoes to prevent loss of insulation. You also need to prevent them from exposing to direct sunlight and never store then in your garage.
Passionate divers like you deserve to have the best pair of scuba shoes. You’ll definitely enjoy the entire diving experience once you find the best ways on how to purchase the right shoes for all your diving needs.
Never live your home without bringing high quality and dependable scuba shoes. After all, they are an incredible investment to ensure an unforgettable experience after every dive.