13 Best Scuba Fins in 2023 | Tested by Divers

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 2023

All the Scuba Fins We've tested

Sort by your needs:

For divers who are looking for fins that are versatile enough to dive in both calm waters and strong currents, Scubapro has you covered with their Seawing Supernova fins.

The Seawing Supernova fins’ Red Dot award winning design features an auto-adjusting central panel and twin-tip winglets that allows for more efficient kicking when it comes to switching between frog kicks to alternate kicks, and when kicking at different strengths.

The novel two-piece design will have you flipping out over these fins! The blade and foot pocket of these fins easily separate, making them easy to pack during travel.

Dive into our in-depth review to find out more about these Scubapro high-performance fins.

Specs & Features

  • Fin type: Open Heel
  • Blade Type: Vented Articulated Mid-Point Joint
  • Material: Elastomer Monoprene
  • Weight: 3.69 lb (1.672 kg)
  • Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.8

Things we like:

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    Easy to take on and off
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    Flexible enough for efficient maneuvering & stiff enough to give power in strong currents
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    Travel friendly
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    Good for warm and cold water
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    Fits a wide range of boot sizes and styles

Things we don't like:

  • check-markPricey
  • check-markOnly available in black and white
  • check-markFlexible blade takes some getting used to while kicking
Read full review

Where to buy:

scubapro-seawing-supernova-fins-product

Scubapro Seawing Supernova Fins

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

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    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

Things we don't like:

  • check-markStill looking, so far nothing we don't like
Read full review

Where to buy:

viper-2-fins-open-heel.jpg

Oceanic Viper 2 Open

Very flexible

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

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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.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markThe blades are very flexible
Read full review

Where to buy:

cressi-frog-plus.jpg

Cressi Frog Plus

Our Overall Review

4.8

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    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.

Things we don't like:

  • 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:

mares-avanti-quattro-plus.jpg

Mares Avanti Quattro Plus

Best for Travel

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

Things we like:

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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

Things we don't like:

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

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

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    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

Things we don't like:

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

Where to buy:

aqua-lung-express-fins-2.jpg

Aqua Lung Express

Soft Foot Pockets

Our Overall Review

4.5

Things we like:

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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.

Things we don't like:

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4.8

Things we like:

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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.

Things we don't like:

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    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

Things we don't like:

  • 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

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

Things we like:

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    Lightweight
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    Comfortable
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    Provides powerful kicks

Things we don't like:

  • check-markWill keep looking
Read full review

Where to buy:

cressi-reaction-pro-fins.jpg

Cressi Reaction Pro

For Snorkelers & Divers

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4.7

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    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.

Things we don't like:

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    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.

Things we don't like:

  • 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

Our Overall Review

4.6

Things we like:

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

Things we don't like:

  • 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!

FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What are the best fins for scuba diving?

The best fins for scuba diving depends on a number of factors, such as your level of experience and personal preference, your kick style, where you’re diving, as well as the type of diving you’re doing. If you’re shore diving, you might want to invest in open heel diving fins. That said, if you’re doing more travel diving than shore diving and want something lighter with more power transfer, you might want to invest in a pair of full foot fins, such as the Cressi Reaction Pro fins. As mentioned in this guide, scuba fins also come in different blade styles, each of which have their pros and cons. Before committing on buying a pair, it’s vital to do your own research and determine which type of scuba fins is best suits you; pricier does not necessarily mean better.

What color fins are best for diving?

While most of the time, the color of your diving fins doesn’t really matter, brightly colored fins can be useful when you’re diving in a low visibility dive spot. It’d be much easier for your dive buddy to spot you from afar if you’re wearing yellow or white fins.

Are shorter or longer fins better?

Again, this boils down to preference. While longer fins offer more forward propulsion in open water, they generally require more force with each kick, and can be a bit challenging to use if you’re not used to them. Conversely, while shorter fins may not give you the same propulsion, they’re easier to pack and offer better maneuverability, since they’re a lot less stiff. That said, if you’ve mastered using longer fins, they can be just as maneuverable as shorter fins!

Are sharks attracted to brightly colored fins?

Sharks are unable to distinguish colors, and while it’s long been theorized that sharks are attracted to bright colors, there is yet to be conclusive evidence to prove that sharks are indeed attracted to bright colors. However, a recent study suggests that shark attacks on humans may be a result of sharks mistaking humans for seals.

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Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

To sleep with them: No, it’s not harmful 🙂 You might dream about diving, but that’ll just make everything better.

Dynaroo
Dynaroo
Reply to 

My fins are Beuchat Contact Spirit.
They are so comfortable that I sleep with them !
But is it harmful to the feet ?

Rosie Skelton
Rosie Skelton
Reply to 

Hi. We recently qualified as rescue divers and now looking for new fins. I prefer full foot, lightweight and small for packing. We tried the mares volo race fins (love these) but way too long for my suitcase. Can you advise on a suitable alternative?
Ps : we only dive once a yr in tropical waters
Many thanks
Rosie

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

The Scubapro Seawing Nova is a great fin, but not the best for frog kicks. Really good for your knees and great for swimming, also in current.

The Scubapro Jet Sport would fit better if you’re serious about checking out that frog kick 🙂

Ela Gregorova
Ela Gregorova
Reply to 

Hi, I have an oppurtunity to get Scubapro Jet Sport OR Scubapro Seawing Nova both for very friendly price. What do you think would be better for woman? In the past with my old fins (no idea about brand) I had problem and needed help from my buddy to swim against currents. I am more like beginner diver, not really strong legs and mostly use slutter kick – but want to teach/try the frog kick this year too. Thank you for advice!

Hosie Owens
Hosie Owens
Reply to 

I have an artificial leg. I discovered a dive shop in Key Largo several years ago that had a bin full of Scubapro jet fins. I bought one. Now I’m looking for someone else like me or looking for a seller of fins that will sell me a single fin. Anyone got ideas?

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Greg,

It’s a good choice. Similar to the Mares Quattro+, the Scuba Pro Go Sport is a simple but good fin. Not a lot of fuss, but it works as a great all-around fin.

Greg Takata
Greg Takata
Reply to 

I’m considering the Scuba Pro Go Sport but am concerned about power in currents. Am also lookin at Mares Quattro+. I wear a size 7 men + 3 mm boot. Am advanced diver, recreational, warm water. Any advice.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Ilke,

That’s a hard one. I’d say the most important part is protecting your feet, so keep the boots/socks as “fit” as possible. Otherwise, you’ll end up with sore feet and also risk making small wounds on your feet.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Booth will do great in propelling you forward. I’ve used the ScubaPro Twin Jet for many years, and I can strongly recommend them.

Hope it helps.

John Williams
John Williams
Reply to 

I’m looking for a set of fins that will provide the best speed, I was considering the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus or the ScubaPro Twin Jet Max. Any thoughts?

Ilke Sentürk
Ilke Sentürk
Reply to 

Hello,
I have bought Cressi Frog Plus Fins, in XS size(the smallest size possible) with a pair of Cressi Isle boats, 5mm. However, the fit of the boats was a bit loose so I found a different pair of diving boats to use with my Cressi Fins. Now, the boats that I have fits perfectly to my feet but the fins are really loose.
Should I return to Cressi boats and try to wear them with extra socks, or try to fill them with extra neoprene, or should I try to use my current boats and try to fill the extra space between the fin and the boats?
Unfortunately, returning the fin is no longer an option.

Torben Lonne
Member
Torben Lonne
Reply to 

Hi Caroline,

Which fins does he use now? And what kind of fin-kick is most common for him?

Caroline Rhodes
Caroline Rhodes
Reply to 

My husband always ends up with a sore on the top of his foot even with his boots on. Any suggestions on the best type of fin for him?

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