13 Best Scuba Fins in 2022 | Tested by Divers

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Scuba fins are one of the most important scuba investments you will make.

There are many options and it’s all down to personal preference. What is your swimming style? Do you want power or economy of effort?

Will you be mostly shore or boat diving? Will you be travelling with them often?

Let’s look at what to think about when choosing your fins.

Full Foot vs. open heel diving fins

Full foot diving fins fit like a shoe. They are great if you’re looking for something for dive travel and are not shore diving. They are lighter than pocket fins and do not require booties so the energy needed to swim is reduced.

Open heel scuba fins work with a range of foot sizes but require a bootie to be worn.

I prefer open heel diving fins for shore diving because you can walk out with your booties and put the fins on later. Personally, I find they are more comfortable if you are spending a lot of time in the water.

Blade Style of your scuba fins

Now, what about blade style? There are a lot of options, the most common of which I’ve tried to group into categories. The best one for use depends on where you want to use it, its weight, and your swimming style.

Standard paddle fin

Your basic flat surface fin, usually with some reinforcement on the sides to keep water on the fin and provide greater strength.

Channel or Jet diving fins

Channel fins have different designs, designed to contain water efficiently and releasing it as a focused ‘jet’. They are more popular with professional and technical divers than with novices. They tend to be heavy, which can help maintain balance if you are kneeling to teach but makes them less convenient to travel with.

They work well with various swimming styles, but I find they are the best for power when using frog kicks.

Split Fins

Split fins are inspired by fish fins, split up the middle to reduce drag. They provide better propulsion than a single blade fin with less effort. Some people find them too floppy, but it all depends on how you swim with them.

I get the most speed when using long vertical kicks. When I am guiding I can also use an unconventional horizontal side-to-side style to move slowly while not disturbing sand or silt.

Force Fins

Look a bit like a whale tail, and are supposed to provide the best power. They are light and efficient and cost an arm and a leg. Swim with a short flutter stroke for the best effect.

Hinged Diving Fins

Hinged fins have a pivot point where the foot meets the blade allowing the angle to be adjusted according to your needs. They are also useful for shore diving as the fin can be worn with the blade lifted out of the way allowing you to walk more easily.

Find a good pair of scuba fins that suites your needs

I believe that good, comfortable scuba fins are second only to a comfortable mask when diving. They are one of the most important equipment purchases you will make.

Below you’ll find our recommendations on Scuba Fins 

The Top 7 Scuba Fins in 2022

All the Scuba Fins We've tested

Sort by your needs:

Oceanic Viper 2
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Excellent for both divers and snorkelers, the Oceanic Viper 2 Open Heel fins are lightweight and flexible. These fins are great for travellers too, their shorter length and flexibility mean they can fit in smaller bags.

Divers and snorkelers looking for a relaxed and elegant stroking experience will be interested in these fins.

The Oceanic Viper 2s come in both an open heel and a full foot design. The blade is vented, allowing good movement in the water as well as a good grip. These fins are designed to be energy efficient, ideal for beginners or those who want to spend longer in the water.

The unique shape paired with durable materials gives the Oceanic Viper 2 open heel fins excellent propulsion under the water, making swimming easier and faster.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Thermal plastic rubber (TPR) and polypropylene
  • Open heel of Full foot: Open heel
  • Blade type: Vented
  • Maximum length: 21 inches
  • Sizes: XS- XL (US: 4.5-13) (EU: 35-47)

Our Overall Review

4.8

Reasons to buy:

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    This is a great pair of fins for beginners.
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    It comes in both full-footed and open-footed depending on your preferences.
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    Great for traveling scuba divers.
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    Efficient and extremely lightweight.
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    Easy to get on and keep on

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markStill looking
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Oceanic Viper 2 Open

Very flexible

Cressi Frog One
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Our Overall Review

4.6

Reasons to buy:

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    These blades are made up of 3 different materials to make them more efficient.
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    Provide an easy and effortless kick.
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    Easy to put on and take off.
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    Comes in a range of sizes and colours.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe blades are very flexible
Read full review

Where to buy:

cressi-frog-plus.jpg

Cressi Frog Plus

Mares Avanti Quattro Plus
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Our Overall Review

4.8

Reasons to buy:

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    This fin has 4 channels, which increases the thrusting power.
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    This foot pocket adds thrust with less exertion and therefore fatigue.
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    Made of 2 types of material for durability and efficiency.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThese fins are quite bulky, which is not ideal for travelling.
  • check-markOften used for rentals, so can easy be mixed up
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Mares Avanti Quattro Plus

Best for Travel

Oceanic Accel
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Lightweight and comfortable, the Oceanic Accel Open Heel Fins (dive boots needed) are a simplified take on scuba fins for recreational divers. Additionally, these are also ideal for snorkelers, beachgoers and travelers due to their portability.

Weighing less than 3lbs and with a maximum length of 21 inches, these fins can fit into backpacks and smaller bags. Although they are lightweight, the Oceanic Accel Open Heel Fins are designed to provide quite a bit of thrust, and their large, soft silicone straps are supposed to offer comfort and ease of use.

We had the neon yellow and aqua blue fins to test out.

Specs & Features

  • Material: Monoprene synthetic rubber with Silicon strap
  • Open heel
  • Blade type: Vented
  • Maximum length: 21 inches
  • Sizes: XS- XXL (US: 5-12+) (EU: 36-46+)

Our Overall Review

4.6

Reasons to buy:

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    Lightweight yet rigid
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    Many color options
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    Comfortable, flexible and durable
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    Easy to put on and take off with soft silicon strap

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markShorter length
  • check-markSilicon straps can be lost easily when taking them off.

Good Kick Power

scubapro-sewing-one
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Our Overall Review

4.8

Reasons to buy:

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    Extremely comfortable foot pocket.
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    This fin has an upward directed wing tips for extra stability.
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    Has an articulated midpoint for optimum thrust.
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    Uses a bungee heel strap for a secure fit.
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    These fins have variable blade geometry. The harder you kick, the more the wing tips arc upwards streamlining the blade and increasing speed, stability and decreasing drag.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThey are not the best for scuba divers looking for precision movements under the water.
  • check-markThese fins are at the higher end when it comes to cost.
  • check-markThey do look very different from any fin you may have seen before.
Read full review

Where to buy:

scubapro-seawing-nova.jpg

Scubapro Seawing Nova

Aqua Lung Express
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The Aqua Lung Express fins are one of the bigger models and some of the most popular snorkeling fins on the market. This is because they provide snorkelers with a good balance between power and speed making them suitable for all levels.

The Aqua Lung Express provides superior performance by combining a custom-made techno-polymer alloy blade and Armadillo membrane for excellent responsiveness. The rubber side ribs channel water down the length of the fin for enhanced agility and control.

The Aqua Lung Express features a midfoot Flex Joint that creates more rigidity, increasing the power of each fin stroke. All fins are designed with anti-slip rubber pads on the bottom of the foot pocket for maximum traction against slippery surfaces making it an excellent choice for spearfishing as well as open water snorkeling/diving.

These are quite big though, and might be too much fin for leisure.

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Beginners, Speed, Power
  • Material: Techno-polymer alloy
  • Style: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Not vented
  • Sizes: XS-XL

Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    Great for warm water
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    Allows for efficient snorkeling
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    Less leg strain thanks to the ergonomic design
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    Impressive construction makes it robust and rigid

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markQuite large for taking on a plane
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Aqua Lung Express

Soft Food Pockets

Go Travel One
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Our Overall Review

4.5

Reasons to buy:

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    Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel.
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    They are tough and durable made of 100% Monoprene®
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    They have a hook and hole at the tip for easy storage, great to tie up on the back of your backpack when going on a beach trip.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markDue to their tough nature, they can sometimes be a little hard on the foot when swimming. Meaning that they may require a shoe or boot underneath to prevent rubbing on your skin.
  • check-markTheir range of sizes usually runs quite small, if you’re planning on wearing a shoe or boot underneath, you may wish to buy a couple of sizes larger than you are.
Read full review

Where to buy:

scubapro-go-travel-fins.jpg

ScubaPro Go Travel

Manta Ray One
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Our Overall Review

4.6

Reasons to buy:

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    Excellent maneuverability
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    The strap system is durable and easy to use, even with gloves on
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    Deep channels should reduce drag
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    Won’t take up too much of your luggage allowance
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    Very easy to take off and put on

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe lightweight design may not suit some female divers looking to avoid the floaty feet phenomenon.
Read full review

Where to buy:

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Oceanic Manta Ray

Cressi Reaction Pro Featured Image
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The Cressi Reaction Pro Fins are efficient thanks to their fins thickness design. The blade is thicker at the front end of the foot and becomes progressively thinner towards the end, helping to propel you through the water.

Rich in features, the Cressi Reaction Pro Snorkeling Fins are an ideal choice for both snorkelers and scuba divers.

They are made of durable high-quality rubber with a special inlay design that enhances water flow, thus increasing your speed underwater, while at the same time minimizing water displacement.

Easy to use for extended periods of time, because of the well designed and soft footing.

Specs & Features

  • Best Suited For: Recreational, Efficiency, Snorkeling
  • Material: Techno-polymer alloy
  • Style: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Not vented
  • Sizes: XS-XL

Our Overall Review

4.7

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight
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    Comfortable
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    Provides powerful kicks

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markWill keep looking
Read full review

Where to buy:

cressi-reaction-pro-fins.jpg

Cressi Reaction Pro

For Snorkelers & Divers

Mares Avanti Super Channel
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Our Overall Review

4.6

Reasons to buy:

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    This new blade design has 1 large central super channel and 2 traditional channels.
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    Provides maximum thrust, whilst maintaining efficiency.
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    Reduces leg fatigue.
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    Foot pockets have been specially designed to mould to any foot type.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markThe size of these fins can come up too big; so go for a smaller size
Read full review

Where to buy:

mares-avanti-super-channel-full-foot.jpg

Mares Avanti Super Channel

Mares Volvo Race Featured Image
Read full review

Our Overall Review

4.7

Reasons to buy:

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    High performance, minimal exertion ratio.
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    Has good support for the ankle to prevent tiredness when out in the water for long periods.
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    Durable construction.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markNot as comfortable as other fins on the market.
  • check-markNot as responsive as other full foot fins.
Read full review

Where to buy:

mares-volvo-race.jpg

Mares Volvo Race

Oceanic Vortex V16 Featured Image
Read full review

Our Overall Review

4

Reasons to buy:

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    These fins use a patented Nature’s Wing Propeller Fin Technology, for speed and agility.
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    Require little effort to move through the water.
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    Built for speed comfort and manoeuvrability.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markQuite heavy and bulky.
  • check-markFor some, there is a plastic ridge that sits directly on the toes; this can cause rubbing and discomfort, if the fin is not fitted properly.
Read full review

Where to buy:

Oceanic Vortex V16 Featured Image

Oceanic Vortex V16

Tusa Solla Featured Image
Read full review

Our Overall Review

4.6

Reasons to buy:

  • check-mark
    Durable.
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    Efficient blade placement.
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    The side rails of this fin are reinforced for extra stability.

Reasons NOT to buy:

  • check-markSome struggle with swimming on the surface, however once you’re under the water, they are perfect.
Read full review

Where to buy:

tusa-solla-full-foot-fins.jpg

Tusa Solla

Related Reviews

This article is part of our Dive Gear Guides.

Full Face Dive Mask – Dive Computer – Dive watch – Dive Masks

Learn how to choose the right Scuba Fins for you

Choosing a fin is like choosing a new car. There are so many things to take into consideration, however choosing the prettiest most expensive fins are not necessarily the most beneficial when it comes to fins for scuba diving.

Let’s look at what to think about when choosing your diving fins.

Foot vs. open heel

Full foot fins fit like a shoe. They are great if you’re looking for something for dive travel and are not shore diving. They are lighter than pocket fins and do not require booties so the energy needed to swim is reduced.

Open heel fins work with a range of foot sizes but require a bootie to be worn.

I prefer open heel fins for shore diving because you can walk out with your booties and put the fins on later. Personally I find they are more comfortable if you are spending a lot of time in the water.

Full foot scuba fins
Full foot scuba fins
Photo by: Emi Delli Zuani

Buckles vs. straps

There are a few different ways open heel diving fins can be attached to your feet. A basic buckle lets you adjust fin tension once your foot is inside. I am not a fan of these as I find they can start to loosen after a while.

Some types of buckles have a quick release so you can adjust the fit once and then never have to change it. These are easier to put on while in the water than most full foot or basic strap diving fins.

Here’s more on Finning Techniques – How To Get The Most Propulsion From Your Kick.

I Love my spring kit system which entirely replaces the buckle and straps originally supplied with my fins. Spring tension cannot be adjusted, so I took my fins and booties into the shop and tried several sets before I found the right size.

Now I can put my diving fins on in seconds and they remain comfortable and secure for my entire dive.

Fin straps closed
Fin straps closed
Photo by: Torben Lonne

Blade Style

Now what about blade style? There are a lot of options, the most common of which I’ve tried to group into categories. The best one for use depends on where you want to use it, its weight, and your swimming style.

Standard paddle fin

Your basic flat surface fin, usually with some reinforcement on the sides to keep water on the fin and provide greater strength.

Channel or Jet fins

Channel fins have different designs designed to contain water efficiently and releasing it as a focused ‘jet’. They are more popular with professional and technical divers than with novices. They tend to be heavy, which can help maintain balance if you are kneeling to teach, but makes them less convenient to travel with.

Here’s an Equipment Review on Turtle Fins.

They work well with various swimming styles, but I find they are the best for power when using frog kicks.

Split Scuba Fins

Split fins are inspired by fish fins, split up the middle to reduce drag. They provide better propulsion than a single blade fin with less effort. Some people find them too floppy, but it all depends on how you swim with them.

I get the most speed when using long vertical kicks. When I am guiding I can also use an unconventional horizontal side-to-side style to move slowly while not disturbing sand or silt.

In case you disturb sand and silt, Here’s How To Survive A Silt-Out.

Split type scuba fins inspired by fish fins
Split type scuba fins inspired by fish fins
Photo by: Torben Lonne

Force Scuba Fins

Look a bit like a whale tail, and are supposed to provide the best power. They are light and efficient and cost an arm and a leg. Swim with a short flutter stroke for best effect.

Hinged Diving Fins

Hinged fins have a pivot point where the foot meets the blade allowing the angle to be adjusted according to your needs. They are also useful for shore diving as the fin can be worn with the blade lifted out of the way allowing you to walk more easily.

Final Thoughts

I believe that good, comfortable fins are second only to a comfortable mask when diving. They are one of the most important equipment purchases you will make.

Rented scuba fins are best for trying out
Rented scuba fins are best for trying out
Photo by: Oculo

I always recommend renting or borrowing several different kinds of dive equipment and trying it out before purchase.

Finally, always try new fins on before getting into the water and kick your foot a bit to make sure it stays on!

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