If you have chosen to use open heel fins over the closed foot fins, you will then have to also prepare to invest in a pair of scuba boots.
There are several great reasons for using scuba booties and I recommend that you buy a pair even if you have decided to use the closed foot fins. Why?… Because good wetsuit boots can be used even for swimming. They offer a great protection for your feet against cuts and abrasions while entering or exiting the water especially on rocky shores where you might likely encounter sea urchins and stinging creatures.
Thickness – The right pair of scuba booties will make your dive more comfortable. You first need to decide on how thick you want your booties. Scuba boots, like a wetsuit, are constructed from neoprene and, like the wetsuit, vary in thickness ranging from 2mm to 7mm. If you are going to use them in cold water, anything below 3mm will be useless. Again determine in which type of waters you will be diving in and choose it based upon fit and comfort. I however recommend that you do get a higher thickness range. I bet you will at some point in time, conduct a scuba dive within colder waters.
Boot Size – Scuba Boots come in shoe sizes and most give you the impression that you are wearing a pair of sneakers. Again, fit and comfort are essential factors when choosing your scuba booties. It is important that, like buying a pair of shoes, scuba boots should feel comfortable without being too large or too small for your feet. Note that if they are too big, they may fill with water and your feet will end up float inside them giving you less control. On the other hand, if they are too small they will slow down your blood circulation eventually making your feet cold.
Boot Length – The length of the scuba booties also play a significant role in keeping you warm. I prefer the mid length type of scuba boots. If they are too short they may slip from under your wetsuit and leave your leg exposed. Choose scuba boots which reach high enough above your ankle to be secured under your wetsuit.
Seams – When choosing to buy your scuba boots, check that the seams are waterproof. These type of booties will keeps your feet warmer. Glued, blind stitched and liquid taped seams are the best type of scuba boots to choose.
Once you have bought the right boots be sure to check our guide on scuba boots care which includes tips on how to prolong the life of your scuba booties.