6 Best Neoprene Socks For Scuba Diving + Buying Guide

Neoprene socks are an essential part of your outfit for various underwater activities, especially scuba diving. Although they are called socks, they are more akin to a waterproof shoe that helps protect your feet when you are underwater. Buying the perfect neoprene socks can be confusing, so we took the liberty of reviewing some of the best models available for scuba divers. We hope this article will help you find your perfect pair to use on your underwater adventures.

 

What Are Neoprene Socks?

Neoprene is a fabric made of synthetic rubber that can trap air bubbles within it and is stable over a wide range of temperatures, in addition to being durable. The fabric is used to make wetsuits, scuba gloves, socks, and other applications. Neoprene socks are used by scuba divers (as well as in other underwater activities) to provide warmth, comfort, and protection from exposure to cold water temperatures and other dangers in the water.

 

The Importance Of Using Neoprene Socks When Scuba Diving

Some people forgo using neoprene socks altogether, which means it is not an absolute necessity. But their popularity is attributed to how effective they are at keeping feet warm. When underwater, the feet can be extremely sensitive, so it is important to do your best to protect them.

 

Warmth

Water is a better conductor of heat than air, so changes in temperature are more apparent when in water. This means that while you may be comfortable at 75°F walking at the beach, it would feel cold if you spent some time underwater at 75°F. Neoprene socks create a layer of air bubbles within the fabric that, in turn, provides insulation from the cold temperature. They are important because prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can cause hypothermia, which is especially dangerous when scuba diving. This is the main reason for using neoprene socks.

 

Protection

As with a wetsuit, neoprene socks provide some protection against stings from marine creatures. They also protect from abrasions if you decide to forgo the use of fins and walk on the sea bed.

 

Comfort

Most underwater activities require the use of some swim fins to increase the efficiency and power of your swimming. Scuba diving involves carrying a lot of extra equipment that creates hydrodynamic drag, so it is important to use fins. Unfortunately, they are often uncomfortable or do not fit perfectly. Neoprene socks help alleviate this discomfort by providing some padding between your foot and the fins.

 

Product Review

The following are popular models (from different brands) that we received many requests to review. We hope that our objective opinions help you make better purchasing decisions when it comes to buying neoprene socks for scuba diving.

 

#1. OMGear Neoprene Socks

Photo credit: Amazon

These come in either low (ankle height) or high cut style, which is a convenient option to have. Available in many colors and patterns, OMGear’s neoprene socks are stylish and functional. They are an affordable pair to own, with outstanding value as well. They are 3mm thick to provide decent insulation, and the ankle strap will keep them secured in place no matter what you do. The strap also seals the sock, so no water or sand will make its way in between your toes.

 

The soles are padded with rubber to give extra comfort and help with traction if you choose to wear them without fins. The blind stitching improves their durability, but we noticed some wear and tear after using these for a while. In any case, they are cheap enough, so wear and tear are expected and not such a big deal.

To sum it up, we think these are a good pair of affordable socks if you are using them for recreational scuba diving.

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#2. Skyone Wetsuit Socks

Photo credit: Amazon

Because these were advertised as wetsuit socks, we did not expect them to be waterproof. However, they weren’t warm enough because water kept seeping into and out of them – never giving the material a chance to insulate against the water’s cold temperature.

Nonetheless, they are comfortable to wear and come in a variety of sizes. We also liked that they cover the full foot, but we’re sure many people won’t like that particular feature.

Overall, we think they are great for snorkeling or any scuba diving, so long as they are worn with swim fins for comfort and a little added insulation/warmth. They aren’t suitable for cold-water deep diving, as they would let in too much water to stay warm.

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#3. RTDEP 3mm Socks

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We enjoyed this product very much, and it delivers on its promises. The 3mm socks are made of neoprene and nylon to provide optimum comfort. They are waterproof, with glued inseams to minimize water seeping into the socks. Also, they have an elastic band on the top to serve the same purpose. The outer material dries surprisingly fast, so we didn’t have to walk around in soggy socks. We felt comfortable wearing these, and they did a good job of insulating the cold water to keep our feet warm. We would have preferred more design/color options, but that’s not as important as quality (which they clearly nailed to a tee).

You can use these socks on the sand and in water because they have anti-skid and anti-slip design elements incorporated. Overall, we felt that they are an impressively heavy-duty pair of socks. We can recommend them for scuba diving, freediving, or any watersports.

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#4. InstaMarine Premium Neoprene Socks

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While they are only 2.5mm thick, these lightweight water socks offer a lot of protection and warmth. You can freely walk around at the beach or use them for scuba diving (inside your swimfins). They are designed to contour around your feet to give a tight fit that is also waterproof. The insulation is not bad (for 2.5mm socks), the material is breathable, and the bottom of these socks is padded for a cozier feel.

We were also impressed by this model, and they proved to be sandproof as well despite their ankle-length style. The soles are ribbed with rubber to prevent slipping by providing traction, which is another feature we liked. We recommend these neoprene socks for any watersports, even deep-sea scuba diving.

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#5. Skyone 3mm Neoprene Wetsuit Socks

Photo credit: Amazon

Thicker than the other model we tried, these neoprene socks were very effective at keeping our feet insulated during our dive. This is probably due to the blind stitching, which we saw were glued as well. Comfortable and versatile, these socks were warm enough to go cold water scuba diving, and they fit perfectly into a pair of flippers.

 

The textured exterior makes it hard to slip with these on, so you can use them for a variety of underwater recreational activities. To add more comfort, Skyone designed these booties with full coverage in mind. They are quite stretchy, too, so you can expect them to fit your size for the most part. In any case, they are offered in a range of varying sizes. We could only find one style/color, but it is admittedly a stylish option to don. The material seems to be sturdy and durable, and we did not find any online consumer reports or customer reviews that contradict the claim by Skyone.

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#6. Panzexim 3mm Wetsuit Diving Socks

Photo credit: Amazon

By far, the most comfortable socks we tried for this review were those from Panzexim. They are designed very well, with reinforced blind stitches and an elastic ankle strap. All its features are designed with your warmth and comfort in mind. They are thick enough to keep your feet insulated, but you can barely feel them at all. They fit well and are available in several standard sizes.

 

We also like the raised balls on the soles that allow you to get more use out of this durable pair of socks. The manufacturer is so confident of their product that they give your money back if you are unsatisfied, and that’s a mark of good quality if you ask us. If you can afford it, we recommend this pair of socks for any underwater activities. We prefer to warn you, though, that these are wetsuit socks; they will keep your feet warm but not dry.

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Tips On Choosing Neoprene Socks

We’ve already established the importance of using neoprene socks, especially when diving in cold waters for prolonged periods. We’ve compiled a basic guideline on what you should be looking for when buying neoprene socks, so even if you don’t find (or like) our recommended products, you can find a good pair to keep you warm. These are a few questions you should ask yourself before buying a pair of neoprene booties.

 

How Thick Do You Want Your Socks To Be?

Thickness is an important aspect that determines the warmth you can expect from a pair of neoprene socks. Thinner socks (2mm) are more suitable for warmer waters, and you would need to go thicker for colder waters. Keep in mind that if you are planning on wearing the socks with diving fins (which you probably will need for scuba diving), thicker socks are harder to wear with fins. Generally speaking, 3mm socks are in the goldilocks thickness – they are easy to wear with fins but provide enough warmth for most purposes.

 

Do You Want Wet Socks Or Dry Socks?

You may already know the difference between wet and dry suits, and the same applies to socks. Wet socks will keep you warm but not dry. If, for any reason, you should need your feet to remain dry during your swim, then you must opt for dry socks. It’s an important distinction to make, and many beginner divers are confused between the two types of suits/socks. The difference between the two will be in how waterproof they are, but both will be made of neoprene.

 

How Long Do You Prefer Your Neoprene Socks?

This is mainly a personal preference. While ankle socks are easier to use, they provide considerably less warmth. It would be best if you decided which is more important, the warmth of your feet or the ease of putting on and taking off your socks.

 

Are You Looking For Durability Or Affordability?

There are literally dozens and dozens of socks styles and brands currently available, and they range in both quality and price. Don’t hesitate to shop around for a bargain. However, if your budget is too low, there is only so much durability you can expect. If you are only going to use the socks occasionally (or, like many holiday scuba divers, rarely), then you shouldn’t have a problem using cheaper socks. If you are in for some serious diving, consider buying the expensive and more durable options, it will cost less in the long run.

 

Do You Feel Comfortable Wearing These Socks?

Last but not least, you should always feel comfortable with the purchase you make. If the size is not right, or if the elastic is too constricting, look for a better option. You are more likely to use your neoprene socks if you feel comfortable in them.

If you are curious to know about Atomic aquatics split fins check our article here.