From snorkeling to scuba diving, who wants to deal with the arduous task of constantly swimming or treading water? Snorkeling fins are designed to make you one with the fishes! The ingenuity of these fins will heavily reduce your fatigue and make your experience more enjoyable. Snorkelling fins may look like they are reserved for military fighters or professional divers, but anyone can learn to use snorkelling fins and harness the power of science for better swimming skill!
Snorkelling fins can be especially useful to people who have leg injuries that restrict them from powerful swimming strokes. There are many different models of snorkeling fins to choose from. There is also an eclectic range of experience amongst users reading this guide. Typically, buyers may be interested in simple categories for defining products such as durability, comfort, quality, and affordability, however, there are many specific details behind snorkeling fins to understand before making a purchase.
Top Snorkel Fins Comparison Chart
Snorkel Fins Buying Guide
One of the most frequent topics amongst snorkel-fin specific differences is the debate of preferred fin propulsion. For beginners, fin propulsion is what develops the forward thrust from the fin. There are many different strategies to maximize propulsion, as this will help you swim faster with less effort. Frequently, propulsion models fall into two categories: split fins and traditional paddle fins, (also known as channels). Traditional fins increase speed by offering less surface area in the water. They feature extra fin flexibility and lots of quick accelerating speed.
To maximize efficiency and control with traditional fins, the user should adopt a short, rapid kick technique. This provides good control and maneuverability, but it is not as effortless or fast over a long distance compared to the split fin. The split fin is a relatively new innovation to the snorkel fin microcosm. The split fin directs the water fore more directly behind the fin than a paddle fin, what this means if you are not an ocean engineer, is that this fin is modelled after a dolphin tale. You will not push as hard against the water with these, but they are not as good as the traditional paddle for turning, back paddling, and movements that require precise control.
Another difference between snorkeling fins to consider is the difference between snorkel fins is open vs. closed foot. These are designed to suit very different needs. If you are going to be diving into ice cold waters, it is best advised to bring along a pair of boots and some thick socks. The open foot snorkeling fins are designed for more insulation to combat this cold water. However, their functionality does not end with cold waters, the functionality of this model is also very useful for dealing with rocky beaches. Do not risk cutting your feet on sharp rocks without a pair of shoes for protection! However, the open foot snorkeling fins are not perfect, and they have been frequently criticized for being much heavier, stiffer, and bulkier than closed foot styles. Closed foot snorkeling fins weigh less and give you a smoother connection to the fin.
In addition to dominant features that make an immediate impression, there are also a myriad of additional tips and tricks to consider when buying snorkelling fins. For example, if you are going to be diving into cold water, especially really cold water, you can expect the fins to shrink a little bit in the water, a little lesson of thermodynamics. The fins may get looser in the water than when you try them on in the store. This will increase the dreaded “slippage” between the connection of your foot and fin. Another tip from the snorkel fin veterans, is to try your fins on while sitting down. This should have a more realistic feel that will translate better to the water. There are many different snorkel fin models to choose from. Some brands have become ironclad guarantees of quality and have been around for many years. There are also emerging snorkel fins that offer brand new technology to enhance performance and turn heads in the water. The snorkel fins that you need will be heavily tailored to your diving needs, for example, a snorkeler would want shorter fins versus a deep water diver going on very long swims.
Best Snorkel Fin Reviews
Cressi Pluma – Full Foot Lightweight Fins for Diving & Snorkeling
The famous italian brand, Cressi, has been making snorkelling fins since 1946. This brand is very reliable and if you are somebody who wants a brand name guarantee, this is the brand for you. The Pluma model is an exceptional snorkel fin that has been widely praised for its fit, affordability, sleek design, and technology. The Pluma is prided on offering premium sizing quality. The non-slip foot pocket can come in handy to avoid the fins slipping during swimming.
The fins also come equipped with no pressure points and some toe room in the front to prevent fatigue and increase breathability. When sizing your pair of Cressi Pluma fins, you need to keep in mind that it follows European sizing. It is also best advised to size down a size if you plan on going barefoot, as these fins are designed to be paired with socks. The Cressi Pluma features a sleek design and is very customizable with colorways in black, pink, silver, and blue. This model has a very nice medium between long and short fins which will guarantee you get some propulsion without having to work too hard in the water. In conclusion, these fins are great for fitting, style, and affordability.
Promate Wave Snorkeling Open Heel Fins
This design of this fin is pretty unique with openings near the edges of the fin blade. The colorways and models of this fin look especially appealing to children who will be excited by bright colors. It’s colors featured are yellow, black, pink, purple, green, blue, and grey. One of it’s main features is an open foot, strap adjustable fitting. This can be very advantageous because it allows for a lot of flexibility in regards to sizing. These are small fins so they probably won’t give you a massive amount of propulsion while swimming. However, they are also very lightweight and are especially designed for ease of travel. The rubber foot pocket is very soft, although some have complained about the blade. The design of this fin is very different from most traditional fins and the long part of the fin is a little stiffer than most models.
- Adjustable fitting
- Portable for traveling
- Soft foot pocket
- Stiff Blade
- Short Fins
Oceanic V-Flex Snorkeling Fins
The design of the oceanic v-flex snorkeling fins is sure to turn heads and make you wonder what new species of aliens sent these down. They are especially useful for people dealing with wide feet and bunions that have a hard time sizing footwear. The Oceanic V-Flex have a soft foot pocket and easy to adjust strap. The adjustable strap can come in very handy to ensure a tight fit, however, it can make it difficult to slip on and off. They are designed especially for warm water snorkelling. Therefore, they are not designed to fit with boots, or other bulky footwear. They are very flexible and other a unique color variation of red, raspberry, and pink. The length of these fins is pretty typical for snorkelers/casual swimmers, however, they are definitely not long enough for long swims. However, they feature a unique technology with sturdy side rails to maximize propulsion and facilitate easy swimming. In conclusion, the oceanic v-flex fins come at a great price, and these are a great model for beginners to the snorkelling fin community.
- Sizing, adjustable strap
- Sturdy side rails
- Fin Length
Aqua Lung Slingshot Heel-Strap Diving Fin
Welcome to the world of high tech, high-priced snorkelling fins! The design of these look especially made for the robotic version of aquaman. They are made of premium quality, pure silicon bands that are optimized for maximum power with every stroke. This will heavily reduce the fatigue many swimmers endure during long trips. These have a huge benefit for long distance swimmers, especially those who have to deal with the strength of mother nature, such as strong currents. They have adjustable straps to help ensure a tight fit. When sizing with these, you should probably aim for a size a little higher than your typical shoe size.
Phantom Aquatics Vode Full Foot Snorkeling Swim Fin
These boots are a little clunky looking, however they are very affordable and highly reactive with swimming strokes. They are great for lightweight fins, and they are engineered to especially facilitate swimming for people with injuries or cramping issues. They are shorter than average snorkelling fins. Thereby they are limited to snorkeling and pool use. They are definitely not long enough, or powerful enough to deal with heavy currents.
However, it has a soft foot pocket without straps. This can be great for those looking to easily slip their fins on and off. The foot pocket is also famous for its comfort. In regards to sizing, it is best to seek a smaller size and a tighter fit. These fins do not have an adjustable strap, so you may heavily regret it if you do not opt for a tighter fit. In conclusion, these fins will get the job done and will not look too over the top. They are great for those who are beginners to using snorkelling fins and are just looking to get the hang of it before upgrading to a more powerful pair of fins.
- Does not have fitting straps
- Short Fins
- Beginner Fins
Tilos Getaway Snorkeling Fins Open Heel Fins
These fins are not only one of the most affordable traditional fin models, but they also have a very sleek design. With a seamless transition from the back of the foot to the fin, this model really separates itself from other cheap models that usually give away their price tag with a clunky design. It also comes customizable in five colorways with black, yellow, blue, red, and titanium. These snorkeling fins are short length, definitely not suited for deep diving or extreme swimming. Their fitting features are pretty typical of traditional snorkeling fins. They are open foot and come with adjustable straps on the side to guarantee a nice snug fit and avoid slipping of you foot out of the fin during swimming. They are also especially designed to account for people with wide feet. Some have complained that these fins are very stiff, they are also pretty heavy for snorkeling fins. However, they are great for travel fins and especially great for people with wide feet.
- Propulsion Power
U.S. Divers Sea Lion Floating Fins
U.S. Divers is another massively famous brand in the world of snorkelling fins. They have been around years and are renowned for their quality and durability. The Sea Lion floating fins have a simple design featuring a navy blue, closed foot base and yellow fins. These fins are ultime for portability. Portability can be especially important for those headed out to international waters for their snorkelling. These are compact and lightweight, although they are short in length. One major benefit of these opposed to many models is that it is designed to allow the user to walk around in these fins. You are not likely to trip over your feet like you would with most fins.These fins also feature handy adjustable straps in the back. This model has smaller fins, which can really help people with ankle or achilles tendon issues. They are also very affordable and great value for the price.
- Brand Name
- Short in length
TUSA Sport Long Blade Snorkel Fins
These fins feature a unique open foot back end design and come customizable with 4 colorways, black, blue, green, and clear green. They are compact and great for travel. The TUSA long blade fins approach the snorkel fin game with a unique thrust channel technology. The blade is strategically engineered to add superior propulsion, the brand prides itself on a flexible, long-blade design. These fins are made of high quality silicone. The heel strap has been especially optimized to enhance comfort and durability. The foot pocket is durable and the open design alleviates complications with adjusting size. Another nice feature with these fins is that they come with a 3 Year Warranty from TUSA.
- Propulsion power
- Heel strap
Omega Amphibian Flip Fin
Another premium snorkelling fin model, the Omega brand has a very unique fin design that hinges up for increased portability. This is very advantageous as many long fln models do not offer any type of support for travelling logistics. The Omega fin is also very customizable with many color options including, yellow, blue, orange, and black. These fins are renowned for being powerful and comfortable. They are also one of the easiest fins to walk around in outside of the water. They can be a bit heavy for normal kicks and they do require completing a bit of a learning curve. It can be difficult to figure out how to put up the fins after done. It is recommended to have a store clerk demonstrate it for you before you purchase these and leave the store. The release catch is stiff and is comparable to a military latch. These fins may take a little bit to get used to using, however, they are worth the wait as they provide excellent power to help you glide through the water.
- Powerful propulsion
- Steep learning curve, difficult to figure out how to use
Twin Jet Scuba Fins
These fins are also on the pricier side. They have a great split fin design that is modelled after natural occurrences. Modelled after nature’s wing propeller technology. The drag reducing vents are very superior technology and they also feature a great design for comfortability and fit. They have adjustable fins so that the sizing can be easily adjusted if worn with a boot, an absolute necessity for cold water swimming. These provide good power with less strain on knees, however, using the split fin blades can take a little bit of learning to figure out. You have to learn how to kick from your hips with your legs straight. Once you abandon the practices of your 5th grade swimming class, you will find yourself flying through the water in these. You cannot kick like a frog while swimming with these, the design of the fins will resist it. For sizing purposes, it is recommended to size up one extra size to account for extra width on foot. They are easy to take on and off and will dramatically help you avoid dreaded rubbing on the top of the foot. They also come very customizable with black, yellow, cobalt, and solid black versions of the twin jet scuba fins.
- Split fin design
- Easy to take off
- Learning curve for split fin kicking style
IST FK31 Otter Trek Fins for Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba, Watersports
If you are looking for a cheap pair of snorkeling fins, you have probably stumbled across the IST FK31 Otter Trek Fins. One of biggest qualities that stands out with these fins is obviously its price. For that reason these are definitely a great pair of fins if you are looking to get a basic introduction to snorkeling fins and try something out before a more expensive model. These fins feature an open foot fitting system. They have accommodating straps on the side of foot with helps adjust the tightness of the fin. They do not quite follow the traditional fin model as there is a little hole dividing the middle of the fin and the end of the foot. This might reduce the surface area of the fin and prove to be problematic. However, the technology also features side ribs that are ergonomically designed to direct water backward and increase propulsion. Unfortunately, the straps are not padded. When you are sizing these fins, it is important to keep in mind that they are a little big, however, this is a perfect problem for the adjustable straps to solve. Some have complained that these fins hurt their feet, it might be best advised to invest in a pair of quality socks to wear with these fins.
- Bad Design
- Hurts Feet
Cressi Men’s Gara 3000 LD Long-Distance Long Blade Diving Fins
Another entry from the famous Cressi Brand. These fins have a very sleek look and are very long fins. This will alleviate swimming difficulty with much less muscle effort needed for kicking. These are definitely the type of fins you would want to have if you plan on swimming for hours and hours. The soft blade is also very suitable for use in cold water as it will not become to stiff. Using very long fins like these can definitely take a little bit to get used to. These will be awkward to use on the bottom of the water or in tight areas. Maneuverability can also be somewhat challenging in these long fins. In Conclusion, these are a very sleek look and a great price for long fins, (a little pricey for snorkelling fins in general). They feature a soft blade to maximize propulsion and reduce damage done by ice cold waters. It is also worth noting that they have a closed foot design.
- Great Propulsion
- Soft Blade
Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Adjustable Snorkeling Fin
The Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport model certainly has a very unique design. This fin model additionally features on of the most diverse color palettes available with aqua, blue, black, pink, red, silver, purple, and yellow. However, be advised as many have complained that the coloring is slightly off. Phantom Aquatics heavily prides themself on their technology with structurally optimized hinge points to minimize resistance from the water and maximize energy transfer. These fins are smaller than regular fins, which may mean less propulsion, but it is also preferable in the perspective of fitting these things into your suitcase. The clamps are not great for releasing and it can take a while to get in and out of these. However, once on they are comfortable and functional, these fins are also priced great for beginning snorkeling fin users.
- Portable for travel
- Color options
- Beginner Fins
- Small Fins
Cressi Palau Light Weight Travel Snorkeling Swim Fins (Made in Italy)
One of the biggest benefits of these fins is found explicitly in the name. They are perfect for fitting into your various suitcase accommodations. They are not very long fins but they are very lightweight and robust. They are highly customizable and come in many color variations such as, yellow, blue, red, pink, white, lilac white, and titanium. These are definitely one of the best snorkeling fins for novice snorkelers and users with snorkelling fins. The fitting of these fins has also been widely praised. They have a very soft and comfortable closed foot pocket. Many people who swim with these fins love them because they do not make your feet cramp during intense swimming. The foot pocket bottom may awkwardly stick out the back, once you get adjusted to it should not be a problem. Unfortunately, this fin does not feature adjustable sizing options. It is also worth noting that it has a traditional fin design. In conclusion, this fin is a great choice for those who needs a portable and lightweight fin. It is also priced great, definitely one of the best beginner to intermediate experience fins.
- Portable for travel
- Color options
- Closed foot pocket
- Does not have adjustable straps
Final Thoughts & Recommendations
In conclusion, there are many different snorkeling fins to choose from. One of the most popular influencers for snorkel fins is the length of the fin. The longer the fin, the more powerful the propulsion of the fin in the water will be. However, there are also many consequences of having long fins such as difficulty maneuvering, tight spaces, and it is very difficult to walk around on land with absurdly long fins on.
Once you have found the appropriate fin length for your snorkeling intentions, the next thing to consider is the fit and preference of the footing. If you have a closed fit setup, you are going to need to be really precise with your sizing, and it will be really difficult to supplement to your feet with socks or boots. This can be consequential for those looking to dive into extremely cold waters. An adjustable fit snorkel fin might not have quite as smooth of a design, but it can prove to be really rewarding once in the water. The closed foot fin will make it easier to slip your fins on and off.
Once you have found the appropriate fin model in terms of length and sizing, you have a plethora of technologies to enhance propulsion. There is the traditional fin that nearly everyone has seen before, and there are also some interesting split fin models emerging into the snorkel fin market. If you are a technology enthusiast who loves to have the newest stuff, then this is the route for you. These fins are split in the model, replicating a dolphin or whale tail. In addition to these more popular differences in fins, it is important to consider the coloring options, durability, and pricing as well. Goodluck choosing the right fin for you, I hope this guide helped!