JIM STANDING OF FOURTH ELEMENT sent me a couple of different pairs of his new wetsuit boots to try. They are unique in that they employ a removable, ergonomically designed footbed for greater comfort.
One pair, the Amphibian, looked strong enough to suit a military application. You could kick the stuffing out of rocks while wearing them, without suffering so much as a blister.
Alas, the fin has perhaps yet to be made with a foot-pocket big enough to accept my enormous feet while wearing such boots (see fin test above). They should have called them “Terminator”.
Knowing that I was going to be doing a lot of trudging around while shore-diving and doing a regulator comparison test at Taba, in Egypt, I took instead the “lightweight” Pelagic boots, which were evidently intended for “occasional shore diving”.
Even so, I had trouble finding a pair of fins to fit. Still, that’s my problem.

Ergonomic Footbed
I often suffer discomfort while climbing the ladder of a boat, especially if it has cylindrical rungs and I’m carrying multiple tanks.
All my weight at this time is bearing down on a very small area of my foot. It doesn’t matter how big one’s foot might be at such a moment. I would therefore always be glad of the ergonomically designed foot-bed.
This feature is the main selling point of these boots, because it makes them comfortable when you’re not wearing any fins.
I felt fine making the long walks along the roughly paved path and kicking the stuffing out of all that heavyweight sand that I encountered around our dive-site outside the Hilton Hotel at Taba. I’m so tough! And so are these boots.

Soles and Uppers
Pelagic boots are constructed from 6.5mm neoprene with plenty of reinforcement to the uppers. I wouldn’t call them lightweight, but they’re certainly a bit lighter than their Amphibian brothers. The soles look grippy enough for any would-be Spiderman.
The heavy-duty zip has a stopper flap across the top to stop it undoing itself should its own built-in catch fail. There is also a fin-strap retainer that stops the strap riding up the heel, and this kept the stainless-steel spring straps of the Oceanic V16 fins I was wearing directly in line with their mounting point.
I’ll be using these boots for boat-diving too, so long as I can manage to get them to fit into whatever fins I’m using.

Comparable boots to consider:
Fourth Element Amphibian, £50
Waterproof Orion, £30
TUSA Dive Slippers, £30

CONTACT www.fourthelement.com
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