We all have equipment that we love, but have "It would be THAT much better if it just had ______..." thoughts. What features do you think the best (separate) drysuit boots should have?
My personal feelings on the matter:
-Easy to don/doff and make all adjustments with a thickly gloved hand: Some nice points for the DUI Rockboots are the huge opening for the foot and lacing system ---just pull tight , slide toggle, wrap ankle, and fasten with the hook and loop closure. Easy!
-Vamp protection: Even thought we're wearing thermal socks and have the drysuit layer, it's good to have some rubber protection from the fin, especially if you tighten your fin strap too tight.
-Ginormous/beefy heel pull tab: Sometimes particular drysuits limit our range of motion, so any help pulling on the boots help!
-Fin tab: Some drysuit boots don't have this (cough-DUI Rockboots-cough). Why not? Most good wetsuit boots do...
-Substantial midsole thickness: Okay, boat only divers may not care, but those of us who clamber over rocks just to get to the water appreciate this. The only issue with this would be having to buy another fin solely for these boots.
-Ankle support: See previous bullet point. Lateral support can be had without sacrificing the kicking motion if done properly. Witness some good hiking boots/basketball shoes.
-A grippy outsole that doesn't let rocks lodge themselves between the sipes/lugs: Don't want to slip, and don't want annoying pebbles everywhere.
-The boot size molded into the bottom of the outsole: I love it when boots have this. When working at the shop, it's sooooo much easier to pair them up! With the Bare Trek Boots you have to dig the tongue out to find the size.
-A last shape that allows for easy entry into fins: I think the toe end of the boots should be rounded and narrow just enough to made slipping into fins super easy. If they're too wide it makes it much harder. Anyone have the Pinnacle drysuit boot? Currently, they're too narrow. So if you go up a size to fit, the boot is physically too long!
-Drain holes that work: Water should escape easily for drying. The boots that have little metal rings on the upper aren't good enough (Converse sneaks!). Ever look at the insole board of an old Rockboot? It starts coming apart after a while. Don't want water sitting in there.
-Quick(er) drying materials: The quicker the better.
-A place to put the laces (if it laces): I don't want them hanging out freely. Got to tuck them in somewhere!
-Price: Okay, I'll pay for boots that fit the above specifications. What would you pay for your ideal boots? The one's out there now hover around $100. Outdoorsey folks have excellent choices in every price range. I've seen some for close to $1000 -if you're climbing insane mountains... Athletes top models can be around $200... Is there a limit to what you would spend?
PS: I love cool shoes/equipment...