Snorkelers need to propel themselves forward to maneuver around while underwater. They thrust themselves forward using the propulsion that stems from the fins on their feet, generating their ability to move around at a controlled speed.
Fins are a necessity if you want to have a satisfying snorkeling experience. The best snorkel fins will help you swim faster and comfortably in water while guarding your feet against injuries. Following are the top snorkel flippers; open-heel, full foot, and sets(mask, snorkel, and fins) plus the benefits of snorkeling with fins and what to look for when buying this water footwear.
Cressi Palau Mask Fin Snorkel Set
If you want something versatile, a set is the best option for you. Cressi offers this option. This set comes with Palau short fins, silicone two window mask, 100% dry snorkel, carry mesh bag.Check Current Price + Reviews
Basing on data from top online stores like Amazon, the adjustable palau short fins are among the top rated.
They feature a soft short blade and foot pocket able to be put on quickly and easily.The fins accommodate 3-4 consecutive sizes and can be worn over thin footwear
The strong ring strap allows reversal of strap
Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins
This pair comes with an outstanding design. Wildhorn, an outdoor gear brand, has put in substantial effort to create one of the best pair of snorkeling flippers available today.
The selling point is in a topside feature, which is a cross between a swim-boot and a paddle that provides excellent ankle support when snorkeling.Check Current Price + Reviews
Additionally, the stitch construction and heat weld on the structure adds significantly to the durability of the product, which is suitable for use by the entire family with its adjustable foot cup.
- Easy for traveling due to a small structure
- The swim-boots at the bottom will let you walk easily on land and in shallow water
- Required muscle strength to propel can cause cramps
- The short size makes propelling hard
- Only good for basic snorkeling
While the design is excellent in terms of walking and packing, and even to fulfill their primary purpose for beginners, the customers with more advanced requirements complain that they lack propelling power and muscle support.
Seavenger Aviator Snorkeling Set with Gear Bag
This the ideal all-in-one set for beginner adult snorkelers as well as kids. The Aviator Snorkel set features a food-grade hypoallergenic mouthpiece that is flexible and comfortable The snorkel has a one-way purge valve that lets you clear the tube of any residual water with one easy exhale.Check Current Price + Reviews
16-inch short fins that come with an open foot pocket. The rigid blade is great for kids and it boosts kicking power. This unique design forces water backward, helping you move through the water quickly without bulky fins that get in the way.
Convenient quick-dry gear bag that’s quick to clean and packs easily into a carry-on or backpack. Plus, the fins include a specially-designed pad to hold their shape when packed in tight spaces.
The watertight mask is designed to eliminate any leaking or seepage. When worn properly, the silicone-injected skirt forms comfortably and snugly to your face to keep any water from entering the mask.
Come with single-lens tempered glass lenses that resist scratching from grains of sand, unlike plastic. Impact-resistant and won’t shatter under pressure.
Dry snorkel features a baffle system that keeps water from entering the tube, even when underwater. The splash guard prevents water from splashing in at the surface and the tube seals completely when underwater.
It is compact travel-friendly package-fully packed set of 4 items measures 17 x 11 x 7 inches and weighs 2 pounds.
Greatever Short Adjustable Snorkel Fins
This is a budget pair of short fins perfect for beginner snorkelers and swimmers. This pair is effective for short bursts of acceleration and maneuvering in water.Check Current Price + Reviews
The GREATEVER snorkel fins are designed to minimize fatigue and prevent cramps. They are made from top silicone materials, giving you a comfortable yet lasting snorkeling experiences.
- The hard sole comes with large non-slip inserts, total protection of the foot “
- Made from TPR + PC+ PP material, sturdy, durable and maintains flexibility enough for barefoot
- Open heel with adjustable straps design makes the fins suitable for different foot types and sizes
- The open toe and mesh instep design to reduce drag and rubbing
- Includes a quick-dry mesh bag and shape holder, perfect for travel
- Variety of colors to choose from; black, yellow, orange, blue, purple and green
U.S. Divers Lux Mask Fins Snorkel Set Compatible with GoPro
Set is the perfect choice for a casual snorkeling adventure as well as an intense diving experience. It is a good pair if you want dive deep underwaterCheck Current Price + Reviews
Mask features a four-window design for 180° Panoramic View, tempered glass lens, hypoallergenic silicone double feathered edge skirt, easy equalization nose pocket with patented soft purge, and easy to adjust buckles for improved comfort.
Snorkel is a submersible dry top snorkel, designed to keep water out of the breathing tube above and below the surface of the water, with an ergonomic silicone mouthpiece for maximized comfort and reduced jaw fatigue.
With an integrated compatible with GoPro camera mount at the bottom of the snorkel to allow you to record your underwater experience hands-free and without interference from surface splashes.
The Pivot Fins feature dual composite vented blades for excellent power and energy saving efficiency, soft and comfortable foot pocket with composite heel strap and easy to adjust buckles.
This snorkel set also includes a lightweight gear bag designed with heavy-duty nylon durability ideal for travel and features an adjustable shoulder strap for easy transport, and extra storage pocket to carry your anti-fog solution, keys, cellphone and more
Cressi Agua Short Fins
Cressi is undoubtedly one of the top brands in the water sports equipment industry. With adjustable foot pockets and flexibility that allows them to fold in half, these fins not only fit any foot size but are also very travel-friendly. The soft rubber used inside also prevents feet from blistering after snorkeling.Check Current Price + Reviews
Its short, durable blades provide a powerful kick, a valued feature for serious snorkelers and are produced using materials that guarantee effective propulsion.
- Self-adjusting foot pockets
- Flexibility along with ankle support
- Hydrodynamic rails that provide quick maneuverability
- Design engages leg muscle, requires getting used to, difficult for those not used to it
- If not stored properly, blades can take the shape of the folded fin
- Foot-pockets not as adjustable as advertised
Most users agree that the design and soft rubber in the material make the product great with respect to comfort and speed underwater. However, some users claim that the self-adjustability feature is a little hyped and doesn’t work as well as advertised.
US Divers Proflex II Fins
Among the best, most popular and rated, the US Divers Proflex II fins are flexible and easy-to-wear fins that can help you swim competently and smoothly, and won’t strain your feet and leg muscles in doing so.Check Current Price + Reviews
If you have the luxury of trying them on first, US Divers are one of the most comfortable fits, featuring a soft foot pocket inside the fins.
The longer fin blade improves thrust with the help of added rails over them and aids in going faster and smoother while snorkeling.
- The rails along with the fin’s shape mentioned above help reduce resistance.
- Flex zones efficiently cup water to provide that extra kick.
- If the size is not right, it can cause damage to feet.
- Hard kicks tend to flex the fin outwards
- Not as fast as professional-grade fins.
US Divers have an average rating with most customers being satisfied with the product and its price. However, some customers found the fins to be too flexible.
Hard kicks and the size was the problem they mentioned, which ultimately ended up with the conclusion that they weren’t up for the speed they wanted.
The fins also bothered users with its extra length as they hit the ground in shallow waters. Some users didn’t find it particularly useful for diving.
Seavenger Torpedo Swim Fins
These lightweight, open heel fins come with adjustable straps that give extra support to the foot underwater and allow natural kicking movements.
Their flexible blades, additionally, make them excellent propellers without being too rigid, and their small size makes walking onshore quite easy.Check Current Price + Reviews
- Soft and open heeled foot place makes the experience easy on foot
- Lightweight and durable
- Comes with mesh bag
- The side pin is prone to coming off
- Doesn’t come in bigger foot sizes
Customers love the product for its durability, natural propulsion, and lightweight. The only two issues most people report are regarding the side clip that often comes off and the limitations in terms of size.
Phantom Aquatics Voda Full Foot Snorkeling Fin
Phantom Aquatics, living up to its reputation of producing quality in watersports equipment, has come up with the simple, yet sleekly designed Voda Full Foot Snorkeling Fin.
With light and short blades, these fins provide ultimate comfort to the foot, leg, and the body.Check Current Price + Reviews
Short and reactive, Voda’s would keep your leg muscles stress-free and prevent any cramps from building up. The lack of straps on the design makes them easy to wear and take off, and the soft foot pocket protects the feet against blisters.
- The design strengthens leg muscles, reducing chances of cramps
- The groovy and short structure provides an excellent kick
- Soft and sizable foot and toe space
- Not the best choice for walking in shallow water
- Can be an awkward fit for those with narrow feet
- Lack of straps may make them loose
While they are smaller than your average snorkeling fins, their short and stiff design works great with kicks and speed, this the customers agree on. However, there have been complaints about the fins not being the best fit in the market for certain foot sizes.
There is also a mask, fin and snorkel set option from Phantom Aquatics, the Rapido Boutique Collection snorkeling set.
This set features an Italian Made Full Foot Comfort Fins, Clareza Three Lens Tempered Glass Construction Mask, Maximum Performance Senhora Dry Snorkel, Mesh Carry Bag.
Cressi Pluma Full Foot Fins
With their wide range of quality snorkeling footwear, Cressi’s Pluma Full Foot Fins are surprisingly lightweight for their big size and provide great kicks and movement in the water.
Their non-slip foot cup also keeps your foot firmly inside and can be stretched to make things comfortable down there. All these factors make them one of the best pads not only for snorkeling but scuba diving as well.
- Great propulsion provided by reactive blades
- Fitting foot pocket that holds body firmly
- The structure can be too big for certain foot sizes
- Blades are comparatively less durable
- Lack adjustable straps
Plumas rank the highest in underwater water propulsion for customers and lowest in terms of the enormous structure and an equally small foot pocket. People also state that the fins require you to wear neoprene socks for protection against blisters.
TUSA SF-22 Solla Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins
If you are an advanced snorkeler, the Tusa fins are the best scuba fins that you can use. Their excellent propulsion technology allows for maximum power with minimal effort.
Features of Tusa SF22 include;
- Powered by ForcElast Technology
- TUSA patented 20° Angled Blade Design (A.B.D.)
- Multi-compound foot pocket increases power transfer to the fin blade
- Newly designed anatomic foot pocket enhances comfort
- Three channel blade with crescent tip maximizes propulsion
- Reinforced blade side-rails and vents fine-tune performance
- Standard with Anatomic Fin Strap (A.F.S.)
Do you need to Snorkel with Fins?
Yes, you need fins to snorkel for efficiency, comfort, and protection. However, if you’re a good swimmer you can snorkel without flippers. You can propel yourself with freestyle flutter kicks and with some sculling.
Following are the benefits of fins/flippers
- Moving faster in water-Fins facilitate quicker and more fluid kicking motion in water.
- Energy saving hence more time and comfort in water– Fins reduce the amount energy spent while swimming in water meaning that you are unlikely to get tired fast.
- Protection and Safety-Fins especially the full feet types protect your feet from stings, cuts and bruises. They keep you warm in cold waters. If you are caught in a current, fins can be very effective.
- For advanced snorkelers, fins help a lot during diving.
However, fins too come with some downsides, they can be tiring and uncomfortable for long snorkeling sessions while some brands can be costly and bulky
Open-heel vs Full-foot Fins for Snorkeling
Flippers are usually designed with two variations of the foot pocket: Open and closed heel. Open-heel fins have larger, stiffer foot pockets and are open at the back to accommodate other water footwear such as neoprene dive socks, booties and/or drysuit boots.
The name adjustable comes from the idea that the fins are held in place with an adjustable heel strap. These fins are best for areas with cold waters, rocks or any other objects that can harm your feet. You also won’t have to worry a lot about size since they are adjustable.
However, they’re more expensive. They are also bulkier meaning that they are the best option if you are seasonal traveler.
On the other hand, full-foot or closed-heel fins normally come with a soft, flexible foot pocket. The foot pocket encases your whole foot.
Full-foot fins are in most cases worn barefoot but at times they can too be worn with a thin lycra or neoprene sock for extra comfort and protection.
These fins are the best option if you are going to snorkel in sandy areas with warm water. They also cheaper light-weight (for travel)
Split Fins vs Paddle Blade Types
Generally, split and standard paddle blades are the most common. The other less common blade types are channel and hinge blades.
Paddle blades are the most basic and common in the market. They normally use material as the blade between the sidebars. They are the most affordable and the best snorkelers and beginner divers. Paddle blades require more muscle effort to propel through the water.
Split fins, as their name goes, are split. They provide maximum comfort and save the most energy. However, they cost slightly more than paddle types.
The other types of blades are the channel and hinge or pivot fins
Hinge or pivot fins are a combination of any type of blade as seen above, however what is different about them is the hinging joint found under the foot pocket that changes the angle of the blade to maximize thrust whilst also reducing the amount of stress on the ankle
As divein.com puts it, some pivot fins have special sidebars that allow the blade to bend and move to a maximum angle whilst others use a bungee and pivot system.
On the other hand, the channel blade has a design close to that of paddle blades, however uses one or more types of material for the blade to increase flexibility and to create panels.
More Features to look for in Goof Snorkel Fins
Since fins are an essential snorkeling accessory, it is important to make the right choice when investing in them. There are a couple of factors that you must keep in mind when deciding on buying snorkel fins which suit you the best. These include:
Short Snorkel Fins vs Long
Long fins provide faster propulsion in comparison to the short ones. Again, it depends on what snorkeling stage you are at. The short fins, due to being easy in propulsion suit beginners more as they help put the initial feel of the kick and the effect it creates in water.
Sizing: Large Foot vs Small Foot
Your foot size matters a lot when purchasing a fin for yourself. This is because these accessories come in different sizes along with varying options for the feet cup.
Be sure to check the size chart from the various manufacturers to determine your perfect fit.
Weight is an important factor especially if you are a regular traveler. This calls light, in terms of weight, fins that you can easily carry around. They should also be short (in terms of blade length) fins that will not require a lot of storage space. The trek and reef fins are the best options in our list.
Besides the technical aspects of the accessory, a lot of other things matter, including the shape, size, and color that suits more to your feet, body in general, and personality.
Furthermore, it depends on what amount you are willing to invest in the fins. Thankfully, though, the presence of different brands has made sure that the fins come at various prices, and one can easily choose what suits them the most.
Another factor you might want to consider is the ability of the fin to float on the water surface in case they accidentally come off or drop. Avoid those that cannot float.
Are split fins good for snorkeling?
Yes! they’re good especially if you want to conserve some energy and extend your snorkeling session.
Can I use scuba fins for snorkeling?
Yes. Both scuba and snorkel fin serve the same purpose. However, it will depend on the level of your diving and snorkeling skills. Scuba fins need some experience to use them effectively.
What is the difference between snorkeling fins and scuba fins?
The difference is the power of propulsion. Surface snorkel fins are usually short and basic while scuba fins are usually long and come with more features.
Further Reading: Snorkeling vs Scuba Diving
What size snorkel fins do I need?
The size will depend on the size of your feet. In terms of blade length, shorter blades are better for starters.
Snorkeling Footwear & Garments
- Best Snorkeling Water Shoes for Women & Men. Top Rated + Buying Guide 2020
- Best Dive Boots for Snorkeling
- Top Neoprene Socks for Snorkeling
- Best Rash Guards for Snorkeling
- Best Snorkeling Swimsuits
Snorkeling Flotation Devices & Accessories
- Best Snorkeling Vests/Jackets: Inflatable & Buying Guide
- Best Boards & Rafts for Snorkeling -Review + Buy Guide
- 11 Best Snorkeling Flotation Belts
Gadgets & Bags
Last update on 2021-11-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API