Falling in love with the underwater world typically happens after your first dive into it. One thing you do not want to worry about with scuba diving fins is sore feet caused by some cheap rented dive fins. Those who have ever snorkeled or scuba dived with scuba fins on can attest to the fact the importance of having a high quality flipper.

Not only will having the best scuba fins propel you through the water faster but it will also be a lot more comfortable on your feet. The less energy you exert to propel yourself through the water, the less oxygen you will use. This, in turn, makes your dive time even longer, something any scuba diver will be happy about.

Diving can turn into an expensive sport but the best diving fins don’t have to be. Typically ranging from about $60 to $250, finding your perfect pair should be easy. To help with your search we have come up with the top ten best brands with the highest consumer satisfaction on the market. These top rated scuba diving fins are tried and tested by fellow divers to ensure no more blisters or leg cramps.

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How To Choose The Best Diving Fins – Buying Guide

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Intended Use

Before you buy the best fins, you should decide what you are going to use them for. You may want to get them and get out into the water, but some fins are more suitable than others, depending on the water and the activity. For scuba diving, you will want a more rigid and strong fin. You are going to be propelling yourself deep into the water. A soft and flexible fin will be better suited to snorkeling.

You should also think about the water which you are going to be diving in. Colder water may require you to wear more protective clothing. If the water is especially cold. Then you may want to buy a fin which has a bigger fit and allows you to wear a dive sock under it. This will help to keep your feet warm, but will not hinder the wearing of a scuba fin. You should also look into the size of your fin if you are intending to travel with your fin. If you are going to be traveling on an airplane, then look for fins which are smaller, or fins which can be folded down.

Fit

One of the most important things to think about when you are buying your fins is the fit. Fin usually come in men’s sizes. This makes things easier for men than for women. If you are a man looking for a fin, then you should buy a fin which is the same size as your shoe size. For women, you will want to try and find a size or two below your normal size. If you are going to be wearing socks or booties under your fins, then you will also need to take that into account, and you may have to go a size or two lower to ensure that your feet fit. An open-heel will allow you to get a better fit when wearing booties or socks.

Durability

It is very important that you buy a fin which is not going to wear out or break down easily. We always recommend spending a little more money at the beginning of your adventure to save you money later on. A pair of fins made from high-quality materials will cost you a little more but will last a lot longer. Look for fins with fewer seams. Fewer seams mean less chance of the fins coming apart. Modern fins take advantage of injection molding. These one-piece fins have less chance of splitting that fins with seams. The last piece of the puzzle is the soles of your fins. Depending on where you are diving, there is a chance that you are going to be traversing rocky terrain. You want soles which are made of a thick material to withstand scratching or tearing. The thicker and better the material, the longer it is going to last.

Size

The size of your fin matters in two ways. Firstly, you want a fin which fits your foot. If your scuba fin is too big or too small, then it is not going to fit correctly. The second thing to think about once you have the fin fitted on your foot is the size of the fin itself. If you buy a large fin, then it is going to take up more space in your dive bag. It is going to take up more room in transit and when it is in long-term storage. The other thing to think about with the size of your fin is the amount of power you will generate through the water. A larger fin will give you more power but will take more energy to move through the water. Smaller fins will generate less power, but they take less energy to move.

Color

When you think about the color of your fins, you may think that it is merely a personal choice or a choice to match the colors of your wetsuit. While you should try and match the color of your wetsuit, the reason to do this is to match the color schemes in the water so that you do not scare off the life under the water. This is especially important if you are doing something like spearfishing.

If you are swimming with sharks, then black is recommended as it does not attract as much attention. If you are leading a group into the water (and there are no sharks) then brightly-colored fins will help you to be seen in the water.

Comfort

With any item of clothing, comfort is one of the top priorities. You would not wear a pair of pants which do not fit, just as you would not buy a pair of pants which did not fit properly. With a poor fit, especially on your feet, you run the risk of rubbing, chafing, and blisters. When you are under the water, you do not want to worry about being uncomfortable. In fact, we value our comfort so highly, that if we have a little discomfort, then it can ruin our experiences.

Propulsion

It is your propulsion which will send you through the water. Newer fins have better technology, and the angle of the fins combined with the material means that you can generate better propulsion that you could before. A larger fin will generate more power, but they also take more muscle to move them through the water. A split fin will give you the best propulsion with the least amount of work.

Channels

Channels are a relatively new addition to scuba fins. Instead of the water being moved around the blade of the fin, channels are added which funnel the water through the fin. Instead of the water being completely displaced by your fin, the water moves more naturally. Less displacement of the water means that the fins move faster and with less energy. If you are looking for speed in the water, then channels are the way to go.

Every set of fins will have a foot pocket. This is where your foot is secured to the fin. Some do this by a strap that goes around your heel while others have a boot that your foot slips into.

  • Side rails are the vertical pieces of material which run adjacent to the flat part of the fins. This is the part that gives you control when you kick. Without this part you wouldn’t move in a straight line and would use more energy to propel through the water.
  • Vents are slits which have been cut into the blade of the fin. They help with the kicking motion, precisely the upkick. This feature reduces the amount of resistance your foot experiences when moving to the kicking motion which can create more power through that motion.
  • Buckles are used in some types of fins. This secures the strap to the foot pocket which in turn secures your foot. Most fins that use buckles will have one on each side allowing a precise fit. A quick release feature is included on most sets which allow you escape with a touch if needed.
  • Straps are made out of a comfortable, flexible material. Since they rest on a tender spot on the foot they need to feel right to you. A poorly fitted strap could cause friction and in turn cause blisters.

Open vs closed heel

There are two main styles of heels in regards to scuba fins.

An open heel system uses a strap to secure your foot to your fin. The strap system will more than likely have a strap on either side of the food allowing for the most comfortable fit possible. These are easy to put on and remove but give up speed compared to the closed heel. They are able to be worn with dive booties that allow you to launch from rocky landings. The foot bed is also more bulky than that of the closed system.

A closed heel system offer a more streamlined fin. This type of fin is almost always worn barefoot but can also be used with thin socks for colder water dives. The foot pocket is less bulky and the boot doesn’t require straps which cause more water resistance. Since these are less bulky they will use less energy to move giving you more air to spend under the water.

Blade type

There are many different types of blades. This can affect your dive by making them more efficient which will give you more power with less effort.

  • Standard fins are ones that you instantly think of when you hear scuba fins. They have a flat piece of material that usually have ribs running down the length of the flippers.
  • Split blades have a large slit down the middle of the fin. This allows water to flow between each blade which reduces water resistance giving you more power. This is a newer type of fin that has quickly become a favorite in the diving community.

FAQs

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Q: What Are Scuba Diving Fins?

A: Scuba diving fins are basically paddles which are attached to your feet. You place your foot into them, just as you would a shoe or sock. The part on the toe is elongated, like the end of a paddle, and is referred to as the blade. They are designed to propel you faster through the water than your bare feet would be able to.

Q: Why Do I Need Special Scuba Fins?

A: The truth is that you do not need special scuba fins. You do not need them, but they make your underwater experience infinitely more enjoyable. Imagine going out on a kayak without a paddle. You could paddle with your hands and still get to where you were going, but it would take a lot longer, and you would expend more energy on the way. The same is true of scuba diving. Without fins on your feet, you can get where you are wanting to go, but infinitely slower.

Fins will allow you to explore the world underneath. They help you to conserve energy, and they propel you a lot faster than your bare feet would ever be able to. They are also helpful in keeping your feet warm when you are under the water, and they protect your feet from abrasions and impacts.

Q: How To Size My Diving Fins?

A: Getting the right size of fin is very important. You would not buy a pair of shoes which were the wrong size, just as you should not buy a pair of fins which are the wrong size. Before buying online, it would be beneficial to know your fin size. Go into your local scuba store and try some fins on. This will give you an idea of the size of fin you need. If you are going to wear booties or socks under your fins, then you should keep that in mind. If you want fins which can be worn with or without socks and booties, then you should look for open-heel fins. These fins can be adjusted.

Q: How To Care For My Scuba Fins?

A: It is important that you take care of your fins to make them lest for as long as possible. If you do not take care of your fins, then they can begin to crack and wear. They can quickly become unusable if you do not take some simple steps to look after them. Thankfully, it is easy to take care of your scuba fins.

After each dive, you should rinse your fins with some warm water. This will help to dissolve the salt which will have accumulated in any seams. It will also rinse off any sand and other debris. Make sure to rinse the fins inside and out. If your fins are particularly dirty, then you should submerge them in warm soapy water and wash them with a sponge. Rinse them after to remove any of the soap. Once you have washed your fins, you should dry them. Do not dry them in direct sunlight as the UV rays can cause the material to become brittle and crack.

Q: Do I Need Open Or Closed Heel Fins?

A: You will notice that all fins have a place for your toes to go, but not all fins have a place for your heel. Some fins are open-heeled and some are closed-heel. With a closed-heel fin, you have a place for your heel, but it is cupped like a low-sitting shoe. With an open-heel fin, the back of the fin is open but features a strap which secures at the back of your ankle to hold the fin in place.

Closed-heel fins create less drag through the water, as there is no strap hanging from the back of the fin. The design also helps to keep your feet warmer in colder waters, and you have less need for wearing anything under the fin as they fit as a sock would. The drawback of this type of fin is that they are not adjustable. An open-heel fin can be adjusted to give a more precise fit. This allows you to change the size of the fin if you want to wear any dive socks or shoes underneath.

Globo Surf Overview

Scuba diving is amazing. There is beauty under the water. Beauty which cannot be matched by anything you can find on dry land. It is an escape from the real world. A look into the wild unknown of the ocean. It is also a sport, an activity, and exercise. It does not matter why you are under the water, all we know is that after spending time under the water, your life is enhanced.

Diving can quickly become an addictive sport. Perhaps it is the escape from our real world that is appealing or perhaps it is the look into the wildly unknowns of the ocean. For whatever reason you dive you will need the best scuba gear. One of the cheapest and most useful items to buy are scuba fins.

The quality of diving flippers is forever increasing giving you more options than ever before. With the help of a scuba diving computer and modern day technology less and less effort is required to propel you further.  Scuba fin reviews agree that fins are a vital part of diving be at the of top of your list when looking at new gear.

A great pair of fins is part of that underwater adventure. The quality of flippers is always improving, giving you more options than ever before. With the help of modern day technology, less and less effort is required to propel you further and faster.

You now have all of the information you need to go out and buy the best pair of scuba fins possible. Go explore the hidden depths of the ocean.

More Scuba Reviews:

Sources

  1. Fins, Scubapro
  2. Scuba, AquaLung

Do you scuba dive? Have a set of diving fins from our list? Let us know how you like it in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Scuba Fins Review

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5 5 1
Was looking for some new scuba fins as mine are very outdated. Wanted to find out the best ones and found your article. Grabbed the Mares. Thanks

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!