Whether you’ve gone snorkeling many times in the past or you’ve never gone before and want to learn, you’re going to need the right equipment. Of course, there may be many things you need, but you can’t do much in the water without a sturdy, reliable pair of snorkeling fins.
It’s essential that you choose the right pair of fins because there are seemingly endless options out there. If you pick the wrong ones, you’re likely to have issues with them staying on and doing what you require.
Snorkeling Fins Buying Advice
As you know, fins are one of the most important pieces of equipment if you’re going to snorkel frequently. Your feet are one of the most active parts of the body while snorkeling because they provide the propelling force you need through kicking cycles, which allows you to move. It also gives you the functionality and efficiency you need to explore the underwater world in one go.
A poorly-designed set of fins can lead to you having a miserable underwater experience. You may also have sore legs and not get all the rewards of exploring the sea.
The best fins for snorkeling are those that focus on reliability, sturdiness, a bit of flexibility, and comfort. While the price is a factor, we choose not to focus on price when deciding on a product.
We don’t think it’s fair not to pick a product as a winner just because the price is a bit steep. We also don’t believe that an inexpensive product should automatically not make the winner list.
Best Snorkeling Fins: Our Top Picks
When making our decision about the best snorkeling fins to include in this list, we focused primarily on safety and comfort. The snorkeling fins we included are those that are suitable for the task at hand.
True enough, some may fare slightly better than others, but they are all quality-made products. Therefore, if you choose any of the five on this list, we feel that you’ll be satisfied with your choice if you’ve read through the information carefully.
1. Deep Blue Gear Current Fins
Deep Blue Gear has a variety of durable, comfortable, and functional snorkeling and diving equipment for the seasoned and novice snorkeler or diver. The company also offers a wide range of products including snorkels and masks. It provides its products to cruise lines, tour operators, and resorts throughout the Caribbean and has done so since 2001.
The Deep Blue Gear Current Fins is suitable for snorkeling, swimming, and diving. It is designed for adults, and you get one pair of fins that is durable and lightweight.
- Closure and Blade
It features an adjustable strap-style closure and includes a medium length blade. The length of the blade is approximately 22 inches (which varies depending on the size). The fins are also thin, allowing them to fit in almost any suitcase.
The rubberized blade center is designed to "cup" the water while you’re kicking. This provides for maximum propulsion and efficiency without significant fatigue.
- Foot Pocket
The soft rubber foot pocket includes an adjustable heel strap, which is designed to improve your comfort and make it easy to choose the right size or adjust them for your foot length. It should be noted that the foot pocket is an open space.
Your toes should not extend past the opening, but they can do so slightly, such as when you wear sandals. It’s a common design for snorkeling fins, and it is supposed to be that way.
- Durability and Comfort
The construction is durable, which helps to withstand cracking and breaking. They’re also slightly flexible. That will allow you to snorkel for hours and remain comfortable.
While children are going to love these fins, it should be noted that they are made of plastic and can bend slightly. If kids want to play with the fins and try to stand on tip-toe, it’s likely the fins will bend.
Of course, the fins are designed for snorkeling and swimming, but children are likely to test the limits. They won’t damage the fins, but they might tumble forward.
On another note, the goal of these fins is to snorkel barefoot. You won’t need diving boots or snorkeling socks with this product; they are that comfortable.
The rubber heel strap is designed to be oversized, which reduces chafing and makes it easy to adjust to your particular foot size. There are swivel buckles on the sides, making it more convenient to adjust.
- Sizes and Colors
You’ll find a variety of sizes available. Children’s sizes are available in size 11 to three Jr. It also comes in men’s sizes (four to 12), and women’s sizes (five to 13). The adult version is only available in black, but you can choose between yellow, black, and blue for children’s sizes.
- Other Considerations
We noticed many complaints about these fins not being appropriate for scuba diving. We feel that if you’d like to snorkel and scuba dive, you may want to consider these fins; if you decide you enjoy scuba diving and want to pursue it further, you may want to invest in the appropriate scuba fins.
We did notice that some issues were noted with the buckles falling off after hitting the side of the swimming pool or being knocked about in the suitcase. While the seller or manufacturer is likely to stand by the provided warranty and send replacement buckles at no cost to you, it’s important that you try these fins out in a safe pool first.
That is to ensure that they will not break. It is also important that you inspect the buckle before each snorkeling adventure to ensure safety.
- Durable blades
- Thin fin
- Fits into suitcases
- Blade center designed to cup water
- Reduces fatigue
- Adjustable heel strap
- Scuba issues with booties; consider not wearing booties
- Tricky sizing; consider traditional footwear sizes and choose similarly
- Buckles are challenging to secure at times
2. Promate Full Foot Snorkeling Fins
Promate is a brand offering a variety of top-quality snorkeling and swimming gear that’s affordable for everyone. Its goal is to give you a safe experience under the water that’s sure to be satisfying as well. The company offers many products, including fins, masks, regulators, instruments, knives, gloves, and boots.
The Promate Full Foot Snorkeling Fins is designed for men, women, and children. It can be used for swimming and snorkeling but not recommended for scuba diving.
- Design and Weight
Since the fins weigh less than three pounds, they are perfect for reducing fatigue in the legs and feet when snorkeling for long periods. They also have a full-foot design, which means your entire foot goes into the fin and the fin aspect doesn’t start its effect until the end of the foot. Therefore, the fin feels like an extension of your feet.
- Durability and Comfort
The fin blade is made of ethylene vinyl acetate, which is highly durable. It is considered a plastic material, but it is designed to be strong while not adding much weight to the feet. The foot pocket is made of soft thermoplastic rubber, making the product comfortable enough to wear without booties or socks.
The foot pocket is open-toed, which allows for more comfort. You’ll find that your toes are free to grip or relax, allowing you to be more comfortable for longer sessions. Along with such, you don’t have to worry about scrunching your toes, which can cause leg and foot cramps.
These fins are designed with a balance between rigidity and flex, making them extremely comfortable. They’re suitable for novices because they are streamlined and easy to slip on while still allowing you to enjoy yourself.
- No Heel Straps
The one caveat we found was that this product didn’t have adjustable heel straps. You cannot adjust the heel size at all, which can make it challenging to size appropriately. Many users have recommended that you choose a size smaller than your normal size or consider using booties or socks.
They’re suitable to take with you on vacation or use at a local spot for snorkeling. You can easily pack them into your suitcase, which makes it easy to take with you wherever you go.
- Sizes and Colors
The Promate Full Foot Snorkeling Fins is available in a variety of sizes and colors. For men, they’re available in XXS through XL in black, yellow, green, and blue. They’re also available in XXS through large in the color pink. For women, you can choose from black, yellow, blue, to green for XXS through XL, and pink in XXS through large size.
- Ideal Users
As mentioned, beginners will enjoy wearing these fins, but some have claimed that these fins float when most do not. The goal of the fins is to get you underwater quickly and keep you down there for as long as you’d like to be. If you plan to hold your breath, you may need some practice, as there is no oxygen tanks used for snorkeling.
Thus, novices can find it tough to push down enough to go into the dive. However, you can learn how to do this with ease, and it can take practice to do so.
On the other hand, these fins are also perfect for advanced snorkelers. While they may not work well for free diving because they’re not quite long enough, they do offer maneuverability when you’re in tight spaces, such as caves. Plus, they’re light so they won’t cause leg fatigue if you’re doing long diving and snorkeling adventures.
- Flexible, yet sturdy
- Full-foot, open-toed
- Comfortable foot pocket
- Variety of colors and sizes
- Tricky sizing
- No adjustable heel strap
- Large flipper, might not be suitable for reef snorkeling
3. Cressi Pluma Full Foot Pocket Fins
The Cressi Pluma Full Foot Pocket Fins is designed primarily for snorkeling. The Pluma fins have been around for many years, but they have recently been improved upon to build on much of the technology primarily used on the high-tech models of the Cressi brand. The technology was limited to the scuba diving products, but those same mechanisms are not used in these fins. With the new patented construction system, you’ll find that the fins outperform others while still being comfortable and light.
- Construction and Design
It also uses molding and materials that are prevalent in many high-end scuba diving and free-diving fins to improve performance and provide you with a lighter, smaller fin. It’s a challenge to mold together three different materials, but when you do, it creates something that is lighter, comfortable and gives better performance.
The primary section of the blade uses reactive PPE, sometimes called polypropylene. This material stores the elastic energy that you create during the kicking phase and uses it to propel you through the water.
Of course, the reactive, light material also produces a sharp snapping motion, which adds more power. You’ll also find tough grooves on either side, which control the blade’s flex and the angle of attack to provide you with a more efficient kick.
It also has a thermo-rubber foot pocket, which is designed to be soft on the feet and more flexible than the other components of the fins, making it easy to put on and take off. It’s also more comfortable to be worn for long snorkeling sessions.
The foot pocket is also non-slip, which helps your foot stay inside without slipping or falling out. We also liked the design feature of the fins; the foot pocket looks like an actual shoe, such as swimming shoes.
- Length and Size
The Cressi Pluma fins are longer than others, which makes them suitable for diving and snorkeling, even if you plan to do so for an extended period.
The fins are designed to extend from the top of your foot to cover about 20 percent more of the surface area. Therefore, your kick can take you farther than ever.
With the foot pocket going all the way to the blade’s bottom, you’ll note better protection in all water-related activities. It works near rocks and in deep or shallow water.
Sizing is slightly confusing, as with most fins. It’s hard to determine the right size because you wonder if you will wear the same shoe size or a different one. The size is supposed to be similar to that of your foot, but most people that want to snorkel barefoot should consider a size down than what they normally wear. You can also choose to purchase socks or booties to wear with the fin. If the fins do not fit snugly, they could fall off when kicking.
- Durability and Portability
The sole of the fin is durable and tough. It’s accompanied by non-slip foot inserts that offer the best protection and performance.
As noted, these fins are longer than most, which means they may not fit into your carry-on bag. However, they’re lightweight enough that you can put them in your suitcase and won’t have to pay extra for more weight or bulk.
The fins come in four colors namely black, yellow, blue, and pink. The tabs can be used to put the fin on, but they are stiff and not as flexible as we’d have liked for that particular purpose. However, it wasn’t such a caveat as to be a con.
- Non-slip foot pocket
- Blade attached to the top of the foot
- Triple material design
- Sizes run larger than conversion charts
- Won’t fit in carry-on luggage
- Can take more energy to use them
4. Head Mares Volo One Snorkeling Fins
You’ve probably heard of the brand because it’s highly popular. This brand is actually two brands. Both Head and Mares offer a variety of sports gear, and it’s trusted by thousands. Therefore, it’s just one of the many reasons that the Volo One fins earned a place in our list.
Also, the brand is well-known in the snorkeling and fin world for offering not too expensive products. Of course, price is dependent on the size and color you choose.
The Head Mares Volo One Snorkeling Fins is designed for snorkelers, but it can also be used for scuba diving. The fins can also work well for anyone who enjoys watersports.
The Head Volo One fins use Mares technology, making it about 30 percent more efficient than other fins. They’re a medium length pair of fins that use the OPB (Optimized Pivoting Blade System) by Mares.
The technology allows the fin blades to stay at the right angle to help you achieve maximum thrust without causing significant fatigue, which tends to happen with kicking. The OPB technology also makes the fins more flexible, which also makes it easier to move fluidly under the water.
- Heel Straps and Foot Pockets
The heel straps are large, but they’re also easily adjustable. You will find a quick-release buckling system, allowing the fins to be taken off and put on quickly.
The foot pockets have internal ribbing to improve the fit and keep the feet from sliding. However, the ribbing doesn’t hurt your feet, and you won’t have any foot suction problems.
The foot pocket itself is an open-toed variety. The toes shouldn’t protrude out from the pocket, but you may see them slightly.
The goal is to give your feet plenty of room while providing a barrier of sorts to ensure that the feet don’t slide all the way through the pocket. This could be damaging to the fins and could hurt your feet.
- Split Fin or Holes
These fins have a split-fin style, though they are not split entirely through. There is, in a sense, an indent between the halves that allows for more water resistance. However, many complaints have been noted about the fins breaking at about the spot where the "split" happens.
Along with such, there are holes to each side of the fin, right past the foot pocket and right around where the split occurs on the fins. We’re not sure if this design flaw could cause all the problems, but it is indicative of that theory.
Those who use the fins infrequently or don’t go for long expeditions may find that they last longer. You can also purchase an extended warranty or protection plan if you desire.
While this wasn’t a deciding factor, we do love when we get something "for free." These fins come with a mesh bag for storage. The bag itself has a drawstring closure, which makes it easy to open and close.
If you plan to take these on vacation, they’re sure to fit in your luggage and might fit in a carry-on bag. However, you may still like the mesh bag addition because you automatically have a place to store your fins when you’re on the way to the snorkeling location.
- Sizes and Colors
The Head Mares Volo One Fins comes in a variety of sizes, from small to XL. Color-wise, it is available in yellow, black, blue, white, and pink. The mesh bag is black, regardless of the color fins you choose.
- Open-toe foot pocket
- Super Channel Technology
- Mesh bag for transport
- Terylene or thermoplastic rubber
- Quality lacks in chlorinated settings
- Not enough power generated in currents
- Design flaw can cause permanent changes to fins over time
5. U.S. Divers Proflex II Snorkeling Fins
U.S. Divers has been in the industry for over 50 years. It has perfected the many products it offers by researching technology, developing new technology, and dedicating itself to providing the best products possible.
We researched a total of five snorkeling fins for this review, and during our exploration of the various options, we came across the U.S. Divers Proflex II Snorkeling Fins. They stood out from the crowd for many reasons.
- Dual Composite Blades
The diving or snorkeling fin is a bit lengthier than other options, but the length is considered slim. The flipper blade is thinner and slimmer than other options, which allows you to take longer strides.
The dual composite vents on either side also allow for longer strides. This allows you to reach deeper depths in a shorter amount of time while giving you plenty of time to get back to the surface. Plus, the dual-composite rails offer more maneuverability and power, allowing you to push water effectively.
- Foot Pocket
The foot pocket goes beyond the length of the foot and is made of soft rubber-like material. Your feet are sure to feel comfortable throughout your journey to the depths. Plus, the open-toe style allows for breathable comfort.
- Sized Appropriately
Many fin brands have had numerous complaints about sizing, but the Proflex flippers are designed to fit snugly and be comfortable. As long as you choose a size relating to your current shoe size, you won’t have a problem. Plus, the fit is satisfactory, even though it is snug.
- Design and Functionality
While most fin manufacturers don’t focus on aesthetics, this brand does. Of course, you don’t sacrifice ability and efficiency to have something on your feet that looks good. You still get the power you need in the water.
Whether this is your first pair of snorkel fins and your first outing or you’re a seasoned pro, these fins are highly functional. While we have many good things to say about these fins and the flexibility of them can prevent tiredness, you may notice that you don’t get as much speed. This happens because of the design and the holes on either side (in the middle).
- Enclosed Heel
While many brands use an open-heel feature or choose to have a stiff enclosed heel, this brand uses ultra-soft materials to make the heel. It’s designed to reduce soreness and blistering, though we still recommend that you wear a snorkeling or diving booty if you’re going to be out for an extended period or use them often. Calluses can develop over time with the use of any fins for long periods.
- Colors and Sizes
While the colors are more laid-back than others (think bright yellow or pink), it isn’t boring. The electric blue-and-gray goes with most wet suits and can match your other snorkeling gear easily, making the fins part of your routine snorkeling set.
Although we talked earlier about the sizing accurateness, it’s essential to talk about the actual sizes available. You’ll find four sizes (though all of them might not be available currently).
The medium is designed to fit a 6.5 to eight foot while the medium-large fits people with shoe size between eight and 9.5. The large fits people with shoe sizes up to 11.5 while the XL fits people with shoe sizes up to 13.
- Dual-composite blades
- Variety of sizes
- Soft foot pocket
- Appropriately sized
- Best for snorkeling, not scuba diving
- Choose a size larger than shoe size if planning to wear booties
While it’s easy to see that you’ve got a variety of snorkeling fins available to you, we thought these five all had the best of what we desired and not as many drawbacks. However, some didn’t fare as well as others.
For example, most of these fins had multiple sizing issues. It doesn’t do you any good to buy snorkeling fins that you can’t use because they slide off. While some combat the problem by having adjustable straps, we felt that adjustable straps could also have their downfalls, such as the straps or buckles breaking.
In the end, we believe that the U.S. Divers Proflex II Snorkel Fins is the best snorkeling fins, both in terms of features and price. We liked the fact that the design was modern and sleek.
We feel that most manufacturers either don’t care about the design and make them similar to all the others or focus too much on design and not enough on advanced technology. We felt that the Proflex fins had a balance of both.
We also liked the fact that the heel was fully enclosed and had a "tab" at the back to help you pull them on. While we do like the aspect of the buckling system, we felt that, in snorkeling, you wanted the feeling of the fin being part of your foot.
It’s hard to do that with an adjustable strap at the back, similar to that of a sandal. You want the flipper to feel like your foot or like a comfortable, snug shoe, and these did the job.
Definitely, we also liked the price. While all products were quite similar in price, except for the Cressi brand, we didn’t focus primarily on it.
We just chose the best snorkeling fins based on the technology and features that we liked. It didn’t hurt that they were comparable, and in some cases, lower priced than others.
What About the Other Four?
Of course, that’s not to say that the other four brands aren’t excellent products. We did like the fact that the Deep Blue Gear fins had a sleek design and came in multiple colors. We are just worried about the adjustable strap.
Along with such, we felt that having a smooth flipper and the added rigidity of the rails made the fins easier to use. We don’t think you’ll mind sacrificing a bit of speed for the ease of use.
For most people, the act of snorkeling isn’t about speed; it’s more about what you see while you’re underwater. You can take breaks and enjoy your surroundings without worrying about getting to the bottom.
It’s about the journey, and you’re still going to see plenty of exciting things, even if you can’t get to the bottom. In fact, it may challenge you to develop your "sea legs" and work hard to strengthen your body so that you can last longer and get to the lower depths.
While many people complained about the fins not getting you deep enough in the water, none of these fins are diving fins. The primary goal of the fins is to snorkel. While some manufacturers do claim that you can dive and perform other watersports, the fins aren’t designed for those things, so you can’t expect them to work perfectly.