Do Booties Go Over or Under the Wetsuit?

When you wear boots on land, there is an argument to be made as to whether you should tuck in your pants or not. But in the water, should the same considerations be made for wearing your dive booties over or under the wetsuit?

Do Booties Go Over or Under the Wetsuit

Booties can be worn both over or under the wetsuit, and the choice often depends on personal preference, the type of water activity, and specific conditions. However, booties are commonly worn inside the wetsuit (the leg opening goes over the dive bootie) to ensure a snug fit and prevent water from seeping into the suit.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common questions you may have about wearing dive booties.

What are the advantages of wearing booties under the wetsuit?

Wearing booties under the wetsuit creates a tight seal which prevents cold water from entering the suit, thereby providing better thermal protection. This setup is particularly advantageous in colder water conditions. Also, it can protect the ankle area from chafing caused by the wetsuit.

Does the type of wetsuit or booties affect how they should be worn together?

Aside from limiting water entry and preventing chafing, in which case wearing the dive booties under the wetsuit is more beneficial, it should not matter what type of wetsuit or booties you wear together as long as they all fit snugly.

How do I properly put on booties with a wetsuit?

Always put the wetsuit on first. Then, if you prefer wearing the booties over your wetsuit, you just pull them all the way up so that they cover the wetsuit’s leg ends. If you prefer wearing them under the wetsuit, you should first roll your wetsuit leg end up, wear the booties and pull them up as high as you can, then unroll the wetsuit leg ends so that they overlap the top of the booties.

Can I switch between wearing booties over and under the wetsuit?

Absolutely, you can switch between wearing booties over and under the wetsuit depending on the conditions. For colder waters or when you need more thermal protection, it might be better to wear the booties under the wetsuit. In contrast, for warmer waters or when ease of removal is important, you might choose to wear them over the wetsuit.

Does the thickness of the booties affect whether they should be worn over or under the wetsuit?

The thickness of the booties can influence the choice of wearing them over or under the wetsuit. Thicker booties often provide better insulation and might be more comfortably worn under the wetsuit, especially in colder water. However, they could also be more challenging to fit under a tight wetsuit. Thinner booties, on the other hand, might be easier to wear over the wetsuit and could offer sufficient insulation in milder conditions.

Do I even need to wear booties with a wetsuit?

No, but it is highly recommended that you do it for extra protection. There are often many sharp corals, rocks, and other debris by the shore that can cut your feet, or at least make it very uncomfortable to work on, and dive booties with hard soles can keep your feet protected. Furthermore, in the water, they can protect you from jellyfish stings, swimmer’s itch, chafing, and various other physical injuries, though they may not be able to protect you from stingray stings.