A good pair of scuba fins barely gets the credit it deserves for all the support and efficiency it brings to your diving experience.
Fins may get overlooked for masks and dive computers, but it’s their courtesy, both pro and amateur divers can glide across the water with relative ease today.
It’s possible to dive without this super helpful piece of scuba gear that makes you look like an underwater penguin- but it’s neither comfortable nor enjoyable that way. You’re constantly struggling against a strong current and moving in any direction takes way too much muscle strength.
That said, diving with a pair that doesn’t suit your needs can be just as bad as diving with no fins at all.
If you’ve ever felt a certain buoyancy or trim issue or even found yourself restricted in movement, that could very well be the wrong fin’s fault.
The right ones make you feel at home underwater – like you can spin, move and kick around with an efficiency that’s almost unnatural for humans in the depths of water. They supercharge your diving with fluid motion and make the dive a lot more fun.
How do you find the right set of scuba fins in a market filled to the brim with products? Let’s quickly break down some important parameters before we dive into (pun intended) our carefully compiled list of best scuba fins out there. The first and most crucial thing you need to look out for is the scuba fin’s style. The heel of your fin affects almost every aspect of your dive.
Closed Heel Scuba Fins
Closed heel is a shoe with fins attached to it. They have flexible foot pockets you step into barefoot or with 3 to 5 mm neoprene socks and are mostly much lighter than open-heel fins. Although more convenient and easy-to-wear, they limit your activity underwater because the short and soft fins can only power so much thrust.
They’re usually popular with recreational snorkelers and are ideal for warmer or temperate waters.
Because of the lack of sufficient thermal protection, they can cause blisters when you step out onto a hot rocky surface barefoot. Make sure you get foot pockets that are just the right size while shopping for closed-heel fins to avoid irritation or just slipping out of it.
Open Heel Scuba Fins
Open heel scuba fins are built to be worn with diving booties and have adjustable rubber straps that cling to your heel. Most veteran scuba divers prefer these over closed-heel because of the added benefit of greater comfort in certain depth where water pressure can be high. They’re mostly worn to venture colder waters, like that of British Columbia or the Great Lakes.
Since their blades are larger and stiffer, it’s also clear that open-heel fins provide more underwater propulsion. So if you’re someone who prefers power and speed while diving, open-heel might be the way to go.
They’re built to wear with neoprene booties that provide comfort and higher thermal protection.
Also, they’re a better deal on your investment because if the strap breaks, you can just replace it at little cost and the fin will be as good as new.
Now, you can use a sturdy open-heel scuba fin to snorkel or scuba dive, but you can’t use a smaller closed-heel fin for both. Those are usually reserved just for snorkeling.
Flexible or Stiff Scuba Fin?
Here’s another important thing to consider while shopping for a scuba fin- do you want them stiffer or more on the softer side?
Stiff fins can be exhausting for divers with little leg strength but provide great support for frog kicks and even advanced movements- like dolphin kicks and helicopter turns. They can open up a whole new range of possibilities if you don’t tire easily. Though flexibility adds comfort and facilitates better movement through water.
The best scuba fins strike the right balance between stiffness and flexibility and bring both power and comfort to the table.
We analyzed some of the best scuba fins in the market and came up with a 3-piece roundup that will make your decision easier:
ScubaPro Seawing Nova Scuba Fin
“I love these fins! I bought them just before a big dive trip. I work them over and over and over, and they are amazing. They are light enough that my legs didn’t tire, but sturdy enough to give a solid kick when diving. Now my husband wants a pair too.”
The Seawing Nova is solidly constructed for all kinds of diving and environments. It features a pivot control technology that powers your kicks to generate maximum propulsion with the least muscle strain. Simply put, your flutter and frog kicks will take little to no toll on your legs. The tough, positively buoyant blades make sure you sieve across the strongest of currents and don’t struggle with too much drag.
|Weight||2.51 – 3.43 lbs (Depends on size)|
What we like about Seawing Nova Scuba Fin:
- Lightweight yet sufficiently stiff fin, suitable for travelers
- Comes with a hook on its tip that makes it easy to store and carry around strapped to your backpack.
- Available in 7 vibrant colors and 5 sizes to go with your preference.
- Comfortable foot pocket design
- Highly durable Monoprene construction
- Incredibly fast and built for least user strain
They offer great range of motion and get the most out of each kick for you. No matter what kind of diving conditions you’re in, be it powerful surge, high current and pressure, or enclosed spaces- Seawing Pro gives solid agility everywhere.
Lightweight, stiff fin. Super easy to store and travel with.Buy Now on Amazon
Sherwood Triton Pro Scuba Fin
“Fantastic fins. They have the perfect amount of snap and are capable of excellent power without fatigue. They are lighter weight than you would expect and appear to be extremely durable. Easily the best fins I’ve ever dove with.”
Compact, lightweight and acutely powerful, these fins are great for travelers who are a fan of wider blades and stability underwater. It’s positively buoyant and features three vents across the blade, which gives you great propulsion when kicking down and minimal drag when kicking up. You’ll love these scuba fins while doing some frog kicks underwater!
What we like about the Sherwood Triton Scuba Fin:
Speedy with almost no muscle strain that won’t leave you fatigued even after hours in the water
Stiffer blades that provide great thrust for all kinds of kicks
Durable and travel friendly- they’ll survive tough diving conditions and high water pressure
Great maneuverability, lets you get around tight spots and reverse direction easily
Naturally buoyant, they’ll float back to the surface in no time if you lose them
Sherwood’s Triton line has bagged awards for its power and acceleration and was carefully designed to fit a regular diver’s locomotion needs. If you’re looking for a solid, speedy pair that will last you years, this one’s perfect for the price.
Speedy, stiff blades and durable fins that will work well in a variety of diving situations.Buy Now on Amazon
Mares Avanti Quattro Scuba Fin
“I’ve been diving for a while and have had other fins. These fins are terrific. Moderate flexibility, comfortable and easy on/off.”
You’ll find a lot of diving instructors and pros in this pair of fins because it simply beats the lot in terms of speed and thrust. Mares Avanti Quattro is one of the best-selling scuba fins of all time, easily taking the cake for versatility of movement while diving.
The dual-material build makes it last for years through the most intense diving environments. They’re a bit on the bulkier side and comparatively more taxing on your legs, but the range of motion and propulsion they offer is unseen in any other brand of scuba fins out there. If you’re willing to make that trade, you wouldn’t have to give Mares a second thought.
|Weight||3.3-4.4lbs (depending on size)|
|Material||Thermoplastic Rubber & Tecralene|
What we like about Mares Avanti Quattro Scuba Fin:
- In-built carrying loops that make it super easy to move around
- Convenient buckled ankle straps that stay in place when you switch directions or kick around, easy to put on and off between dives
- Unbeatable speed, agility and thrust
- Comfortable foot pocket that adds thrust and reduce effort on your part
- Available in multiple colors and 3 sizes
Keep an eye out if you get it though, it may get mixed up with rentals where it’s used a lot. Mares Avanti Quattro is the most practical pair of the bunch that brings all the necessary features without the bells and whistles. It delivers ample power and thrust, is convenient to carry around and trusted by pros.
Comfortable foot pocket, buckled ankle straps and easy on and off system.Buy Now on Amazon