How To Select the Right Pair of Fins


So you have gone out and purchased the best snorkel mask and dry snorkel you can find. You have even booked your next dream snorkel vacation. All that is left is to get your fins. This isn’t as easy as a process as you may think and it can quickly lead to you asking yourself “what size snorkel fins do I need?”

Many new snorkelers aren’t convinced about the need for snorkel fins. It is not uncommon for beginners to head to the water without fins. The truth is, you can do this but you likely won’t see as much underwater and will get tired much faster. When you swim through the water, your fins make it so that a slight kick is all you will need to propel gracefully through the water. This slight movement doesn’t make as much noise underwater and you are therefore less likely to scare away all the underwater life.

The main factor in deciding on the right pair of fins for you are water temperature, comfort, sizing, and convenience. So, how do you find the right snorkel fins for you? Let’s take a look below.

Choosing the Right Pair of Fins

Travel Design

If you are someone who travels frequently but also wants to spend time at the beach this is the style for you. It is more compact than a traditional fin which gives you the ability to pack it in your luggage.

Since these are a smaller size than regular fins they offer slightly less power for your kicks. Brands like to increase the stiffness of the fin which gives you extra pop and power. Some even make their travel fins wider which allows them to move more water with each kick.

It is worth noting since these aren’t ideal for places with strong currents. Even though companies try to increase these fin’s power they do not generate the amount of thrust needed in these conditions. If you plan on using these in the ocean do some research and be aware of the currents, tides, and surf.

Traditional Length Style

Just like the name implies, these are the fins everyone knows. They are long and allow you to swim in nearly all conditions. The blades can reach upwards of 25 – 27 inches long. The power generated from your kick is directly related to the length of your fin. Fins that are longer than 26 inches are usually made specifically for freediving.

The traditional style of fins has a reputation for being dependable. Bringing your own set of these fins assure you that you are prepared to snorkel and even scuba wherever you go in the world. The only issue is going to be transporting them. You may be able to fit them into your stored luggage, but will probably not be able to bring them as a carry-on.

Closed Foot Design

This is the style that most fin rental shops offer. They have a full boot that your foot slips into. It creates a snug fit that needs to be sized correctly. If you have a smaller size, your foot can feel cramped and get uncomfortable during your time in the water. This can lead to blisters or even cramping in your foot or leg, which is something you won’t want when you’re in the water.

Luckily these have a size marked on each fin – usually in a two size range. For example, if you wear a size 10 you should look for a size 9-10 or 10-11 fin. We suggest trying both sizes on and find the one that fits properly. Your foot should feel supported but not squeezed. At the same time, your foot should not be able to move around while it’s in the boot.

If you are a person with a pronounced arch a closed foot designed fin may not be the best for you. With this type of foot the boot can fit awkwardly which can cause friction or the fin to slide of entirely – also, something you want to avoid.

Open Heel Design

Depending on the temperature of the water, you may want to consider a water sock with this type of fin. This will work to prevent the chafing of the strap behind your heel. Coldwater swimming is originally what this open heel design was made for. These fins have been advanced to be suitable for warmer waters and barefoot use.

This fin design features an open heel with an adjustable heel strap. This is ideal for children who have growing feet or adults who have feet with a smaller or a larger end. Generally speaking, these fins are ideal as they are much more likely to fit and stay fitting over time. While these do accommodate longer feet, they are designed to fit a regular foot width.

You might also like: Split Fins vs Blade Fins: What’s the Difference?

Additional Features

There are many add-ons you can get with your fins. If you find that your straps are causing you discomfort you can look at switching them out instead of buying all new fins. This can also accommodate families who want to share fins. If you are a size different you may find that simply getting a longer strap will allow that person to use the fins.

Globo Surf Overview

When looking for your next snorkel fins, you must do some research reading reviews. These will tell you if the fins fit generally true to size, accommodate a wider foot, and speak more to the length of the fin. Being equipped with this knowledge will help to make it so that you can make an informed decision in deciding which pair of fins you should buy. Much like snorkel fins, finding the right scuba diving fins require the same knowledge and research. For both types of fins, you will be able to find them suiting virtually any foot type.

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