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  • Scuba Boots, revisited

    I tried to find the original thread via the search function and archives, but sadly could not.

    Anyway, someone mentioned getting scuba boots for my winter wear. It rains a fair bit, so they will get wet, but not "soaked" like being underwater.

    I am seeing all kinds of versions -- 3 mm thick up to 6.5 mm thick. I like a pair (looks-wise) that is 3 mm.

    But, I wonder, would that keep my foot dry and warm? I have no problem adding some socks to it, that will be fine, I just want to make sure that my feet don't get wet because wet is the bane of winter existence here! Wet wet wet wet and some more wet.

    Do I need to go for something 5/6 mm or would 3 mm be ok?

    Thanks, divers (and others who wear scuba booties as minimalist shoes).

  • #2
    They usually have a huge and porous (I assume) zipper right up the side. It has never occurred to me to wear scuba shoes as raingear! Just get some rubber boots. Sheesh. Personally I don't think you'd easily find a pair that is a great fit either - they usually don't sell half sizes, etc. They are just designed to keep your feet warm underwater and not blistered by your flippers.
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    • #3
      Not sure how SCUBA boots would help. Mine just keep my footies warm while diving but they get wet. True its not soaking wet like with soaks and my feet stay warm but they are still wet. Mine are for use with a wetsuit, basically they keep a layer of water/dampness near the skin, the body heats that layer up, and you stay warmer rather than fresh cold water constantly moving over the skin. Drysuit boots are usually attached to the (full-body) suit-at least all the ones I've seen. I've been trying on drysuits for the past two months trying to decide on one so maybe I've only seen a special type (I do dive the Pacific Northwest, aka cold cold water).

      Not sure if you are trying to go barefoot or...but I'd get some waterproof boots with the fleece lining. Heavy on your feet but they stay dry and warm. Probably not primal though...what are you looking for? Just an everyday shoe or?
      Last edited by Kaylee99; 04-12-2011, 08:43 PM.
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      • #4
        first, rubber boots are not minimalist -- feeling the ground, lots of toe-space boots. I have waterproof hiking shoes (keens) that function just fine -- so I can and do use those when it is particularly mucky. But they are heavy and have a thick sole and now don't feel as comfortable as they once did (since i started wearing vibrams All The Time)!

        second, i'm doing another shoe-cull. These are the shoes I have in NZ (i have special shoes still in the US): 1 pair tennis shoes; 1 pair hikers (mentioned above), one pair sandals, one pair vibrams, two pairs of high heels, one pair of ballet flats. The ballet flats, tennis shoes, and sandals are shot, so they are going to recycling. The heels are usually kept in storage (up in the closet), but the hikers and vibrams are kept on our shoe rack.

        I would like an easy, minimalist shoe to wear during wet weather where my feet won't get wet. I found the beautiful moccasins hand made by Russell Moccasin. But, they are on a 6-month back order, and while they are beautiful, I'm not sure that they are to my particular tastes (in so far as "looks) go.

        Then, I can store my hikers, and replace my sandals with a pair of huaraches, and I'm good to go.

        I'm also culling and finishing out my wardrobe as well as Hawk's. He only owns two pairs of shoes -- his sneakers and his wellies -- but i'm going to replace his sneakers with some minimalist shoes also because he prefers to be barefoot and I don't blame him! So, when he grows out of this pair of shoes, he'll get minimalist ones (if i can find them).

        I like these and these. Both are only 3 mm. For 5 and 6.5 mm, I have found some where there is an inner liner and outter liner/zipper designed to keep water out, but they are considerably more expensive (ranging in around $60). And, I'm not as fond of the high-top boot. I like these low, pull ons. I was just wondering if they'd keep the wet out while I walked to work.

        And I already know I wear a men's six, because roller derby skates only come in men's full sizes, and i was sized for those. and according to the local dive shop, same rules apply.

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        • #5
          I'm looking for something waterproof and minimalist. That's it.

          My walk to work in winter is *wet*. It's usually raining (and windy), and there are puddles.

          Right now, there is the "perma-puddle" on the footpath from our house to the main road. Because I wear my vibrams, my feet get wet and smell like murky puddle. I have to wash feet and vibrams more often. It's not a deep puddle, but my feet in my vibrams get wet (particularly between the toes.

          I need something that I can walk to work in. At work, I take them off. In my vibrams, my feet are wet/damp as soon as I step in a puddle. I would prefer not to have this wet/damp experience.

          I do not want to buy fleece boots -- basically anything that isn't minimalist is off the list *because* i have my water proof hiking shoes. I'll just wear those if there aren't any viable minimalist options.

          Like i said, someone mentioned "scuba boots" and so I thought I would check them out. But, I don't know much about them -- and whether i need to go thick-thick or medium or what.

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          • #6
            Heck, even just puddle/rain resistant will be fine. I just don't want cold/wet toes.

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            • #7
              I've tried on some rather thin-soled wellies--maybe you can find some?
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              • #8
                There's no real standard with scuba/reef shoes. The bottom on all of them is solid rubber, but the upper varies from a close mesh to a wetsuit-type fabric. Your best bet would be to find them locally if you can.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AndreaReina View Post
                  There's no real standard with scuba/reef shoes. The bottom on all of them is solid rubber, but the upper varies from a close mesh to a wetsuit-type fabric. Your best bet would be to find them locally if you can.
                  I agree - the ones in the links you attached aren't meant to keep water out at all. as someone else posted above, when we use them for diving, we get wet - we just don't get cold. They also have very stiff bottoms of either thick felt or thick rubber, since another major reason to wear them is to keep from cutting your feet up on the coral on the way in and out of the water. Mine don't have any flexibility in the sole.

                  They do make "drysuit booties" that are basically latex socks for keeping your feet more dry (and warmer) when diving in cold water - they're a little pricey, but might work inside your normal shoes?....best to try locally - looks like there's a place called "the Dive Shop" is in Wellington....
                  ~Rhonda

                  "Do or do not do, there is no try" - Yoda

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                  • #10
                    I am eyeing these up for winter Soft Star Shoes: Phoenix Boot<br/>Chocolate *if* I can afford them. I have a pair of their RunAmocs that I love and these look like a great option for cold, wet winters. The price is a bit eye watering but I assume the are the same great quality as the RunAmocs and will last for many years.
                    I'll be interested to hear how the scuba boots work out if you go that route
                    Bee
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                    • #11
                      What about mukluks? I have the Kodiaks. They have a felt liner. They scrunch down so they aren't like big tall boots if you don't want them to be. The sole is real gum rubber- soft and flexible. In bitter cold weather, your feet have to be able to move to stay warm. If you treat them with Snow Proof, they are extremely waterproof. I have worn them while getting ready for ice diving- so walking around in slushy snow and ice. The really cool thing is now that I live in florida, I can still wear them in the winter, because they let my feet breathe, and don't get too hot. Mine are moosehide. I've had them 15 years and they are still in wonderful shape.

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                      • #12
                        This is just a thought but hubby had some sort of spray that waterproofed clothes (can't remember what it was and just dug through the closet and can't find it). Assuming it wasn't some weird strange chemical from long ago (and it actually worked) maybe you could use that on your vibrams? I talked to a friend who does lots of sewing and she thought there was something for shoes (she was thinking specificity leather) that made them waterproof. She thought a shoe store would have it by the shoe cleaner/polish section.
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                        • #13
                          They won't keep your feet dry (they are called "wetsuits" for a reason) but they will keep your feet warm-ish if they are snug enough.

                          Wetsuits work by trapping a layer of water between your skin and the suit that your body warms up so you stay warmer than you would be without them. you still get thoroughly soaked

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                          • #14
                            I think that was me that recommended them as I recall. The boots I use don't have much of a sole to them so I feel almost everything on the ground, they keep me warm and dry. Sure my feet get wet when scubadiving in them, but what people forget is any boot will get wet if you completely submerge them underwater where water can get in through the top as in scubadiving. If your still concerned a good gortex sock will work under the scuba boot, I wear the gortex sock for wet, early season mountainbike rides. Or you can AquaSeal the hell out of them. I say go for it, go check out a scuba shop and try some on. And, almost forgot, if you hunt they rock as a minimalist shoe as they allow a quiet stalk.
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                            • #15
                              Thanks, Mainer.

                              I do not "submerge" my feet in water while walking to work, but I do have to get a fair few puddles and muddy patches (slippery, not deep, squishy, submersion mud). I figured I could wear a scuba boot with a sock on colder days, and without on warmer days.

                              It is usually 50-55 degrees F on cold days, some days will get down to 45, and one day -- i was up on the ridge -- and i was in a snow flurry.

                              Any thoughts about 3 mm vs more?

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