To add weight to the diver in an effort to decrease buoyancy, dive boots used between the 1920's and the 1970's had lead soles, cast iron soles or brass soles. The upper part of the boot was made of either canvas or leather and was secured to the foot with the help of large buckles or thick laces. Often the boots added an extra 25 to 35 pounds of weight.
How Dive Boots Have Evolved
Modern dive boots often have soles made of vulcanized rubber, while the upper part of the boot is made of neoprene. Some brands have zippers that keep the boot on your foot, but some require no zipper at all thanks to stretchy neoprene that helps you pull the boot over your foot and ankle. By eliminating the brass, leather and buckles, the weight of these boots are down to just a couple of pounds.
Dive boots serve a number of purposes. According to DiveTerritory.com, dive boots not only keep your feet warm, but also protect them from chaffing that often occurs when the straps of dive fins continuously rub against exposed skin. Furthermore, if you are diving off the coast and have to walk across gravel or rocks to get back to the mainland, boots will protect your feet from cuts and scrapes.
Depending on the brand and style, dive boots can cost as little as $25. This is a worthwhile investment considering that an infected cut on your foot can be expensive when you factor in appointments with your doctor and prescription medications. Plus, if you are diving while on vacation, having a painful cut on your foot that prevents full range of motion can ruin some of your other plans.
Selecting a Dive Boot
Select dive boots that are comfortable because you will be more apt to wear them during your underwater excursions. Dive boots only come in whole sizes so round up rather than rounding down. If you find that the boot is too loose or too tight around your ankle, consider choosing another style. If you know that you will have to walk around a bit, make sure that the boots offer enough support for your arches and heels.
Article Written By Samantha Herman
Samantha Herman earned an undergraduate degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University in 2005. Her professional writing career started in 2008, when she accepted an internship at "Willamette Week," a local alternative publication. Upon completing her internship, she became employed as a copywriter for an internet media company. In addition to copywriting, she has written articles for PDX Pipeline and eHow.