And diving, too. When I last bought a pair of wetsuit boots I just went for something cheap that fitted and would keep me warm. Boots with thick soles were available but I didn’t think I would need them. I admit that was a bad decision. A number of times over the life of the boots I ended up with sea urchin spines in my feet and also had discomfort while walking over sharp rocks too and from shore dive entry points. While diving in Borneo in October, the zip on one of my boots broke and it was time for a new pair.
I went to Caitlin, told her I needed a new pair of boots and said I wanted a pair with decent soles on them. She recommended a pair of Mares TriBoot 5 boots. After trying on a few pairs to get the size right, I settled on size 9. They felt a little loose but the next size down was too tight. I’d rather have them feel a bit loose than cramp my feet.
The first dive I did in the boots was at Bare Island. We walked around the eastern side of the island to enter on the far southern side. The rocks are quite rough and sharp but the boots protected my feet well. In fact, they were very comfortable and didn’t seem loose anymore. In the water, the boots also did their job keeping my feet warm and were still comfortable inside my fins.
The boots include a raised knob just above the heel which secures the fin strap. I was a little concerned it might be tight on my Achilles tendon but the knob works well and caused me no problems. It works very well with the bungie strap on my new Scubapro Seawing Nova fins.
I have done 15 dives since then, including a number at The Leap, The Steps and The Monument, all of which can be hard on the feet. I’m very pleased with the boots.
While boots are only a small part of the diving kit, I see no reason not to find a comfortable pair that also protect the feet while walking to and from a dive site. The Mares TriBoot 5 do just that.
Here’s a video Damien put together from some footage and stills taken from the Hideaway Island trip over New Year’s.