Drysuit Boots - my latest experiment

kayakwriter

Administrator
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
1,106
So I've been mostly using the standard, soft-soled low-ankle height dive boots with my drysuits. But I've been finding even the oversized zips on them tend to jam with sand, and their position over the inside ankle bone makes them spontaneously unzip as I'm paddling. When diving, you could just reach down and re-zip - not so easy with snugger cockpits as in my Etain.
When I was in the dive shop getting the wrist seals on my drysuit replaced, I noticed a new (to me) generation of dive boots, a hybrid of dayhiker and underwater footwear. I'm stealing the manufacturer's image because it's better than anything I could photograph. This image doesn't show the lace pockets in use. I'll experiment to see if they provide adequate protection against hang-ups with wet-exits; if not, I'll replace the laces with cordlocked speed laces.
There are small rubber rectangular patches on the back of the ankle intended to act as fin strap retainers. I'm hoping they'll either not contact the kayak deck at all or act as abrasion protectors. If not, I'll cut them away.
The soles are stiffer than soft dive boots, but still far more flexible than dayhiking boots, so I'm hoping they'll be in the sweet spot of providing more bottom of the foot bruise protection and ankle support while still having enough bend for paddling. Likewise, the sole material is supposedly made to grip wet diveboat decks, so perhaps it will do well on "rock-snot" aprons and so on. Further updates as events and experience warrants.
AQ_EVO4-BOOT_BLK.jpg
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,267
Location
Victoria, BC
Thanks Philip- they look interesting.
A friend recommended 5.10 Tennie Water Shoes (canyoneering shoes), but it seems they have been discontinued.

Is the actual retail price on those $182 CAD + tax, per the website link?
 

kayakwriter

Administrator
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
1,106
Thanks Philip- they look interesting.A friend recommended 5.10 Tennie Water Shoes (canyoneering shoes), but it seems they have been discontinued.Is the actual retail price on those $182 CAD + tax, per the website link?
I bought mine at International Diving Centre's bricks-and-mortar store. They also do online orders. I got'em onsale for $174.95 pre-tax. With all the COVID-caused supply-chain problems, size selection may be limited, but there are other companies that make boots intended to hit the same hybrid diveboat deck boot/underwater boot market. Incidentally the sizing on them is rated to allow for the drysuit booties and undersocks, so for example, I take a size 9.5 street shoe, so I got size 10 in these boots (they only come in whole sizes.) If you were just going to wear them with a wetsuit over bare feet or wool socks, you'd want to go down sizes appropriately.

And just FYI, I've been into International Diving Centre several times now for diving/kayaking crossover products and services (PFD knive, drysuit wrist gasket replacement, repair products) and always been very pleased with their knowledge and customer service.
 

CPS

Paddler
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
243
Location
BC
Reminds me of an NRS Boundary Boot, but cut off at the ankle. I hope they work out. I've been pondering replacing my footwear for a while now but it's a balancing act, as you alluded to, of flexibility, size, and ruggedness.
 

JohnAbercrombie

Paddler
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
3,267
Location
Victoria, BC
Similar to the Astral Hiyak boot, which I have, and like. I found the (also similar, $180?) price a bit breathtaking but I'm getting used to that sort of price inflation. (Drysuit $2K, Boots $200, PFD $2-300, etc)..
Astral Hiyak.JPG
 
Last edited:

kayakwriter

Administrator
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
1,106
Similar to the Astral Hiyak boot, which I have, and like. I found the (also similar, $180?) price a bit breathtaking but I'm getting used to that sort of price inflation. (Drysuit $2K, Boots $200, PFD $2-300, etc)..
Yeah, when you remember that all diving/marine equipment costs more than the land-only equivalent, and consider that dryland dayhikers now cost $125-$200, it doesn't seem that unreasonable. (Sighs, remembering a time when comic books cost 15 cents and the idea of ever paying over a dollar for a cup of coffee would have been gobsmacking. Conveniently forgets that his "put yourself through university" grocery-store job from the same era paid $2.15 an hour...)
 
Top