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Drysuit Selection Help and Boot Size

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by jc2, Apr 7, 2006.

  1. jc2

    jc2 Nassau Grouper

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    How important is boot size in a dry suit? I've got a 10-10.5 shoe size. I tried an Apollo suit on size L. The suit fit perfect, the boots felt a little big (the size chart for Apollo says boot size is 28/30 11-12). Shouldn't I add a size anyway for thermal socks so those would be about perfect?

    Essentially what I'm asking, is having boots that are a size or two too big that big a deal? I heard people have had boot sizes changed on stock size suits, is that usually because the boots are too small as you can't wear a boot that is too small but you can wear one that is a bit too big.

    I having trouble deciding between an Apollo drysuit ($995, rear zipper, dump valve on shoulder) versus a Diving Concepts Pinnacle that is being sold as pre-owned, but is actually unused but the boots are size 31, dump valve is on the forearm and feels awkward (not use to feeling the dumpvalve on my arm I guess), has front entry zipper, and has the DC Dry Glove system - bonus: warm hands, but added point of failuer for drysuit flood. Probably can get it for $900. It's a lot more suit for the money as I believe DC suits are pretty pricey? But I'm concerned about the boots being too big and going from a shoulder dump to a forearm dump - it really seems like the forearm dump will be uncomfortable on my small arms when I'm not wearing that thick of undergarment.

    Input appreciated.
     
  2. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
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    Having room for socks is not a bad thing. I wear heavy socks over my street socks and when I slip into the boot it feels very snug but not tight. As evertything settles in it is very comfortable. As you dive the neoprene in the boot will be prone to thinning like all neprene dive wear. This thinning will cause a loosening of the boot. If it's a close enough fit to begin with it won't be a problem. In same cases the rubber triangles help keep your heel seated.

    Pete
     
  3. dbulmer

    dbulmer DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: UK,Windsor
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    JC2,
    There are many more people qualified to answer this than me so here's my own opinion anyway.

    With a drysuit for me at least there are 2 essential qualities :- 1) Does it keep you dry 2) Does it fit well? Well, No1 I cannot answer but No2 has a few considerations.

    Personally I think you need to be careful with the boot size. If you have too much air in the boots you run the risk of a feet first ascent as air migrates to your feet depending on your orientation in the water. Some people add gaiters to reduce air migration to the feet but having the appropriate size boots would be a better solution ie prevention rather than cure. One size too big to cope with socks etc might be ok but I think 2 sizes would be overkill. Make sure the boots fit properly before forking out any cash or have a modification made to the boots.

    If the suit feels awkward don't bother ! You're forking out a lot of cash and fit/comfort has to be the No 1 priority for diving enjoyment and safety reasons. The front zip is useful for arm dexterity particularly when mother nature requires a bloke to water the earth (assuming you are male - if not apologies) - being able to get your suit on by yourself is nice but a decent buddy can be a help too!

    If your diving aims are photography I suspect you might find the cuff dump an annoyance ie it could affect buoyancy control at a critical moment but bear in mind that there are people quite happy to use the cuff dump.
    Again with dry gloves fit is important - do the gloves fit, are they relatively easy to don/doff ?

    My advice would be to take your time and get the suit that fits. I wish I'd listened to my advice there as I got a suit that was ill fitting and made my dives less comfortable than they should have been. I wish I'd used my head rather than rushing to buy the suit.

    Just a few thoughts and I think you'll get some better advice shortly.
     
  4. scubadobadoo

    scubadobadoo Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SoCal
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    I don't think better advice could be given. We have a winner! Almost every diver has made the mistake above and regretted it at some point or another with some piece of gear.
     
  5. aquaoren

    aquaoren Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives:
    Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
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    Listen to dbulmer. ;)
     
  6. Cold_H2O

    Cold_H2O Solo Diver

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    I have a custom drysuit but the boots are still too big.
    OK I will confess ~ I have small feet. I wear a ladies 5-1/2.
    I do have XS boots ~ STILL too big.

    I have learned to dive with them. I will insist on my next drysuit that the boots fit.
    Someone has got to have XXS sized boots.

    I have too much wiggle room. When I have my fins on I can move my entire foot in the boot and the fin.
    This is a waste of energy.
    foot moves ~ and then finally the boot and fin moves. I have a good 1 ~ 1-1/2" in the toes of my boots.

    I say make sure the boot fits.
    You can dive with loose boots I have been doing it since 1998. Have never had my boots fill with air and float me upside down.

    My dream is to some day.. Find dive gear that FITS.. don't care if its colorful..
    I would be thrilled with an all black everything if it would just fit.

    I hope a mfg of gear is out there and listening. Please.. make stuff for us gals that is small and functional.
     
  7. RPanick

    RPanick Divemaster

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    I saw a suggestion on this forum that you size your boots with the thermal socks you will use in the coldest water. Then always dive with those socks regardless of the temperature. That way the size is always right.

    Granted in warm water they could get a bit smelly, but you can dump heat by wearing less in other places.

    Suits using socks and Rock Boots are another option. Since you can tighten the laces you get a better, more adjustable fit.
     

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