Booties keep your feet warm and protected while abalone diving. Every piece of gear is important when you’re in the ocean, but a good pair of shoes might be the most critical piece of neoprene on your body.
Most abalone divers hike into their dive spots, so having sturdy, reliable foot protection isn’t something you can skimp on. When you hop into the ocean the terrain is especially dangerous, with sharp shells and rocks looking to gouge and injure you at every turn.
As always, I recommend going with 7 millimeter thick neoprene if you’re going into the Pacific Ocean in Northern California. The thicker the bootie, the warmer and the more protected your feet will be.
Most booties are soft soled and won’t be able to take a lot of damage from hiking or sharp objects. They will protect you up to a reasonable point. Once you’re in the ocean and swimming your booties are usually covered by your fins and you won’t be stomping around until you get out of the water.
If the terrain you tackle is very dangerous or you are diving several times a week, you might consider a hard-soled bootie like the Seac 6mm Super-Stretch Booties. The reviews on Amazon are very positive and claim fins will fit right over the booties. Check them out if you need something more substantial.
Here are three of the top booties on Amazon:
Your feet are safe and sound, what else do you need to go abalone diving? Whatever you’re missing is probably on my dive gear checklist.