A diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) approach that is signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) efficient and can be applied to achieve sub-mm resolutions on clinical 3 T systems was developed. The sequence combined a multislab, multishot pulsed gradient spin echo diffusion scheme with spiral readouts for imaging data and navigators. Long data readouts were used to keep the number of shots, and hence total imaging time, for the three-dimensional acquisition short. Image quality was maintained by incorporating a field-inhomogeneity-corrected image reconstruction to remove distortions associated with long data readouts. Additionally, multiple shots were required for the high-resolution images, necessitating motion induced phase correction through the use of efficiently integrated navigator data. The proposed approach is compared with two-dimensional (2-D) acquisitions that use either a spiral or a typical echo-planar imaging (EPI) acquisition to demonstrate the improved SNR efficiency. The proposed technique provided 71% higher SNR efficiency than the standard 2-D EPI approach. The adaptability of the technique to achieve high spatial resolutions is demonstrated by acquiring diffusion tensor imaging data sets with isotropic resolutions of 1.25 and 0.8 mm. The proposed approach allows for SNR-efficient sub-mm acquisitions of DWI data on clinical 3 T systems.