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Boots/Fins for New Dry Suit

Discussion in 'Exposure Suits' started by MADiveGirl, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. MADiveGirl

    MADiveGirl Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    44
    39
    18
    I just received my Bare Nex Gen drysuit (love it!) and unfortunately my current wetsuit boots don't fit over the neo socks of the Bare suit. I knew it was a long shot, but was hoping to get away with one less new purchase!

    I'm reading about different options here and would like to get more opinions. I would REALLY like to avoid getting another pair of fins, if at all possible, but I don't know if that's realistic...

    Here's what I think my options are:

    1) Get new wetsuit boots in a size or two larger to accommodate the neo socks and any under sock I'll likely wear. I would think my fins would accommodate this solution, which is a plus for me. If this is a viable solution, should I make sure to get a pair with a zipper? Or doesn't that matter at all? Does the added thickness of a 5mm provide any real benefit? Or is a 3mm plenty good enough as I'm diving dry?

    2) Bare Trek Boots (or similar). These look nice, and I've heard good things about them, but I think this means new fins....

    3) Chuck Taylors. Appeal here is that I could get something custom and super cute. :) But I think this also means I'm out of luck with my fins? If I go this way, how much bigger should I go up in size to accommodate the neo & under sock?

    Any and all help is appreciated!
     
  2. Mitchell Teeters

    Mitchell Teeters ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Cookeville, TN, (AKA God's Country)
    1,319
    175
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    If you are anything like me, $$ is always an issue. So far it looks like the Chuck Taylors get the nod.
     
  3. dv

    dv Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Ottawa, ON, Canada
    76
    6
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    I thought these suits came with soft boots, or is that an option?
     
  4. Zesty

    Zesty Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Farmington Hills, MI
    130
    11
    18
    DUI makes a "Rock Boot" that I use - great support and a awesome sole. I knew I was going to dive dry when I purchased my gear, so I bough my fins to fit the rock boots and then got a wet boot that fit the same fins ............
     
  5. Teller

    Teller Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Harker Heights, Texas, United States
    1,075
    208
    0
    I have the Rock Boots and I am not a big fan of them. They do work but they dont offer any support. As far as fins I use the Jet fins and love them.
     
  6. Zesty

    Zesty Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Farmington Hills, MI
    130
    11
    18
    I'm surpised by this comment - I would almost wear my to hike in if I could get a big sock! Sorry to hear that!
     
  7. MADiveGirl

    MADiveGirl Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    44
    39
    18
    TNRonin: Yes, definitely, and it seems just a waste to get something else (especially duplicate equipment, like another set of fins!) if I can avoid it. I already have fins, that may or may not accommodate CT's. That one is easy enough to just check - I do have a pair of Chuck's so I can test tonight if they would fit in my fins. If they do, I have a shot at the bigger Chucks fitting..... I don't mind spending the $100 on the Bare Trek boots, but if I can avoid that requiring new fins on top of it, I'd rather find a solution that keeps my purchases reasonably limited, if that makes sense.

    I've been reading your DrySuit purchase threads very intently TNRonin! I'm going to get the Pinnacle Merino Evolution undergarment - great price at scuba.com (which is where I got my Nex Gen). Can't wait to actually get out and try the suit, once I figure out the foot gear..... :)

    dv: No, the Nex Gen comes with Neo Socks only.
     
  8. Teller

    Teller Tech Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Harker Heights, Texas, United States
    1,075
    208
    0
    Some people love them but I would prefer something that gives theb support of a real boot such as the bare or the hollis boots. The DUI are good boots and they are a very good quality in my opinion but I think they could be improved.
     
  9. Bubbletrubble

    Bubbletrubble Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seussville
    4,811
    879
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    I've been using the Bare Trek boots with my Bare Nex-Gen drysuit for several years now. The boots have lasted a lot longer than I originally thought they would. As mentioned by another poster, there isn't much ankle support to speak of, but the sole is good enough for the moderately long walks from setup area to ocean that are a part of my routine shore diving. The Trek boots are very bulky in the forefoot. I wear a size 10 shoe. I ended up having to purchase new fins with generous footpockets (Turtlefins) to fit over the Trek boots. Whatever fins you end up with, I'd highly recommend installing springstraps which facilitate speedy donning/doffing and virtually eliminate the #1 failure point on most modern fins (finstraps, including the plastic buckles on the posts).

    Please bear in mind that my comments are regarding the Bare Trek boots which I purchased 6 or 7 years ago. It's certainly possible that the design has been improved over the years.

    Chuck Taylors are a legitimate lower cost alternative to scuba drysuit-specific rockboots. Many divers here in SoCal use CTs successfully with their drysuit. CTs are certainly less bulky in the forefoot area than my Bare Trek boots. Using CTs may allow you to use your old fins. :idk:

    With regard to sizing of the CTs or any other drysuit rockboots, you just need to try them on over your Bare drysuit neoprene socks. Bring your drysuit into the shoe store. Don't be shy! When you try on CTs or any other rockboot, make sure you are wearing the thickest socks you plan to wear inside your drysuit. Depending on the sock material, thick socks can increase the bulkiness of the foot and necessitate a larger CT/rockboot size. I employ a 2-sock system for drysuit diving, consisting of a wicking polypro or cotton blend inner sock and a Ragg wool outer sock. In addition to the neoprene drysuit sock on the Nex-Gen, this sock system keeps my toes warm down to water temps in the high 40s (°F). I recommend purchasing at least two sets of whatever you sock system you settle on. Even the best drysuits will flood a little at times, so if you're doing any sort of repetitive diving, you'll want to have an extra change of socks available. :D

    Once you figure out your footgear (CTs, Trek boots, DUI rockboots, Whites Evo 2 boots, etc.), take those boots with you to the dive shop and jam them into the foot pockets of various fins. This is very much a trial and error process. Drysuit divers tend to gravitate towards heavier, negatively buoyant fins with large foot pockets. Popular blade-style fin choices for SoCal drysuit divers include: Scubapro Jetfins, Turtlefins, and Hollis F1 fins. My Turtlefins are not as stiff and powerful as Jetfins. If I had to buy fins today, I'd probably go with the Hollis F1 fins since they come stock with excellent springstraps already installed. FYI, buying springstraps separately (for fin retrofit) can cost $40-$80, depending on the brand. Take that into consideration when pricing out the F1s.

    When I was shopping around for a drysuit, I already realized that getting a new drysuit would probably entail getting new fins, too. On account of this, I had already factored that into the "total cost of drysuit ownership." Many first-time drysuit buyers are compelled to buy new fins as well. YMMV.

    Hope this info helps...
     
    boat sju likes this.
  10. Gachnar

    Gachnar Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Oregon
    60
    8
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    If you bought your fins recently from your LDS, talk to them. Mine had told me they would gladly swap mine out if necessary even though they had been used on a handful of dives. Of course I have an amazingly awesome LDS, but it can't hurt to ask!
     

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