Reviewed with love and passion for snorkeling:
The best Snorkel Fins in 2020
Our experts at work
We gave our two Snorkel Fins geeks one job:
Test 20 different Snorkel Fins
and write reviews of the best.
The result is 10 of the best Snorkel Fins on the marked today.
Snorkel Fins geek and editor
Torben is a dive nut, with a passion for dive gear and especially Snorkel Fins.
Snorkel & dive gear geek
Jennifer is a snorkel and scuba expert, and the main person behind this guide
Fins not only aid your swimming, they also help to propel you through the water as a fast speed.
Without fins, scuba divers, snorkelers, freedivers and skindivers are pretty much stagnant in the water.
Moving around too much in the water can not only cause the snorkeler or diver to get out of breath easily, it can also cause them to expel their energy quickly, which is never a good thing. Fins are the perfect solution to this issue when it comes to these sports.
Some individuals new to these sports refer to fins and flippers, however flipper was a dolphin and some members of the dive community are not impressed when fins are called flippers.
Whatever you call them, fins are an essential part of your equipment when spending time in the water, so here is a guide to help you pick the best fins to suit your desired sport and foot type.
Best Beginners Snorkelling Fins
If you’re a beginner snorkeler, then the likelihood is that you’re booked to go away to a warm country where the waters are warm, with little to no current. As a beginner, you can usually opt for the slightly less expensive fins and still get great usage out of them.
Here are our recommendations for beginner’s fins…
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Aqua Lung Express Full Foot Fins:
- The blade of this fin is made up of 2 different materials that work perfectly to increase efficiency and flexibility.
- Provides excellent power for scuba divers.
- They have anti-slip pads on the base of the foot pockets, which prevents you from sliding around.
- This is not a great fin for any other underwater sports other than scuba diving or snorkelling.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Cressi Reaction Pro Full Foot Fins:
- Ultra visible, brightly coloured fins.
- Super lightweight, so easy to pack in a suitcase.
- Worth their price.
- Can come up quite small
- Not great if you are swimming in smaller spaces.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Tusa Solla Full Foot Fins:
- Efficient blade placement.
- The side rails of this fin are reinforced for extra stability.
- Some struggle with swimming on the surface, however once you’re under the water, they are perfect.
Experienced Snorkeler’s fins
Experienced or Advanced snorkelers should be looking for fins that have slightly more advanced technical features. They are slightly different in shape and construction compared to beginners fins. Advanced fins often have splits, channels, holes etc… These features change the hydrodynamic capability of the fins and can offer extra thrust.
Here are our recommendations for experienced snorkeler fins…
Advantages and Disadvantages of the ScubaPro Go Travel Fins:
- Compact and lightweight, perfect for travel.
- They are tough and durable made of 100% Monoprene®
- 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.
- Due 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.
- Their 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.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Mares Avanti Super Channel Full Foot:
- This new blade design has 1 large central super channel and 2 traditional channels.
- Provides maximum thrust, whilst maintaining efficiency.
- Reduces leg fatigue.
- Foot pockets have been specially designed to mould to any foot type.
- The size of these fins can come up too big; so go for a smaller size
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Oceanic Vortex V16:
- These fins use a patented Nature’s Wing Propeller Fin Technology, for speed and agility.
- Require little effort to move through the water.
- Built for speed comfort and manoeuvrability.
- Quite heavy and bulky.
- For 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.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the TUSA Hyflex Switch:
- Efficient and compact.
- You can take the fin off of the boot part and fold away. This is the perfect option for snorkelers, divers, freediver and skindivers who like to travel.
- They also come in a range of bright colours to help you be seen under the water.
- These fins are at the higher end of the price scale..
- The bottom of the fins are hard and rigid which is ideal for walking on a boat however, they tend to slip when on the boat ladder, so be aware of this.
Skindiving And Freediving Fins
Skindiving and freediving fins are a little different from scuba and snorkelling fins. They are amazing and unusual at the same time. Some freedivers and skindivers can get a little lost when choosing fins. These fins have been designed to have an automatic, multi phase kick cycle, meaning that when you kick, the flex and snap of the fin creates a second burst of power at the end, without you having to add any more energy or effort. The snappier the fin, the better it is for a freediver or skindiver.
Here are our recommendations for skindiving and freediving fins…
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Mares Pure Instinct Razor:
- This is a new fin on the market and has interchangeable blades.
- The foot pocket has been designed by an Italian foot clinic and is built for support and comfort.
- The position of the blade makes this fin an extension of your leg reducing the need for excessive finning.
- These fins come up extremely small in size so make sure to choose a slightly larger fin, or try them on before you buy them.
- The material can sometimes rub on your skin, so make sure to pick the best size for you.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Omer Stingray:
- High abrasion resistant, so no problems if you’re planning to throw them in the boot of your car or smack them against rocks.
- Extremely comfortable foot pockets.
- These fins are extremely expensive.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Beuchat Mundial One Fins:
- Great price.
- Perfect for freedivers and skindivers.
- Highly versatile, long fin with fixed blade.
- These fins have a comfortable and reactive foot pocket.
- The fins have fishtail shaped blades to help move more efficiently in the water.
- This fin can loose its rigidity over time and therefore bend.
- The fit can come up quite wide.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Cressi Gara 3000LD:
- This fin uses an excellent combination of materials for flexibility, snappiness and durability.
- Cressi has a patented 3 material moulding process that makes this fin have the most comfortable foot pocket yet.
- Unlike other fins, you can wear these fins with or without dive socks.
- This fin is more for the smaller freedivers and skindivers out there, if you’re a runner with leg muscles, then these are not the fins for you.
- They tend to work better with smaller steady stride kicks, not strong, powerful kicks.
- The blades can be a little too flexible for some freedivers and skindivers.
There are quite a few things to remember when buying a pair of fins….
Foot Pocket or Strap?
One of the very first decisions you’ll have to make when choosing a pair of fins is what kind of foot pocket you’re looking for, a full-footed pocket or a sling-back heel strapped pocket.
If you’re planning on diving or snorkelling in warm water, then you won’t need thermal protection to keep your feet warm whilst you’re in the water. If this is the case, a full-footed fin is the ideal solution for you. There is one exception to this rule, if you are planning to walk across rocky or rough terrain before entering the water, then you may choose to wear footwear underneath your fins. In this case, you won’t be able to wear the full foot; you’ll have to wear an adjustable strap on top of the boot or sock.
If you’re planning on diving, snorkelling, freediving or skindiving in colder water, then you will need thermal protection and therefore have to wear foot wear underneath your fins and will then require a fin with an adjustable strap to go over the heel.
If you’re planning to buy your fins before travelling, then it is a good idea to keep in mind the weight of your fins. If you’re a snorkeler, you might want to invest in a pair of Reef Fins, which are half the length of normal diving/freediving/skindiving fins. Not only are these lighter in weight, they also sit nicely in a suitcase. Reef fins are smaller, lighter and much easier to control when you’re gliding around on the surface. However, it is important to remember that as the size of the blade is smaller, you do not get as much propulsion from them, making them ideal for snorkelling.
The price of fins can be extremely high and I know, ‘how can you justify spending that amount of money on plastic?’ Well, it is important to be aware that one of the most expensive fins available ‘Atomic smoke on water’ is actually one of the fastest selling fins on the market. Don’t forget that even though they may look like a piece of flimsy plastic to you and me, a huge amount of time, research and experiments have gone into perfecting these fins. So, if you’re looking to increase your speed under the water and reduce your air consumption whilst scuba diving, then investing in a proper pair of fins is the way to go.
Once you get to the point of choosing what blade suits you, you suddenly realise just how much variety there is available. From a simple paddle style fin to a hinging design that has an angled blade for maximum thrust, the choices are endless.
However, there are a couple of standardised parts of the blade to know about. The sidebars (sometimes known as rails) run the length of the fin and are what gives it its strength and rigidity, preventing it from slumping over. These rails give the blade its calculated bending profile.
Another feature to be aware of are winglets. Winglets help to reduce drag as the water is pushed over and along the blade.
Standard Paddle Blade
This is by far the most common and simplest blade there is. It uses only one material as the blade between the sidebars. This is the most cost effective blade type there is. It is usually a great fin type for snorkelers and beginner scuba divers.
Split fins are on the slightly more expensive spectrum, however they are known for maximum comfort and to be the most energy conserving fin type. They use the laws of nature and mimic the principles found in the wings of birds.
The theory is that high pressure is created on one side of the fin and low pressure on the other, which helps to push the diver through the water. The best thing about these fins is that they only require a small kick, to propel you through the water.
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. This hinging point changes the angle of the blade to maximise thrust whilst also reducing the amount of stress on the ankle. Some of these fins have special sidebars that allow the blade to bend and move to a maximum angle whilst others use a bungee and pivot system.
The channel blade is similar to the paddle blade, however uses one or more types of material for the blade to increase flexibility and to create panels. These channels, allow the blade to change into a ‘U’ shape whilst you are kicking, therefore pushing the water down the blade. The panels are rigid and help the blade to keep its shape.
Other Features To Know About When Choosing Fins…
Blade vents are quite a common feature. They are found just below the foot pocket. The Vent allows water to pass through the blade, reducing drag on the fin. Without it, you’ll just end up pushing water around without any real propulsion.
Vented Foot Pockets
Whilst diving/snorkelling/skindiving/freediving, the foot pockets of your fins tends to create a vacuum around your foot, which is absolutely great whilst you’re in the water, however when you need to remove the fins, this can be quite a tricky feat. If your find have perforated or vented foot pocks, this allows air and water to pass around the foot to prevent a vacuum from occurring.