Serious divers know that their fins are as vital a piece of equipment as anything else they’re likely to purchase. Furthermore, not all fins are created equal. The sheer number of scuba fins on the market can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re after the best options you can get. Here’s a list of some recommended models, divided into three fin categories: open heel, full-foot and barefoot.
Top Overall Open-Heel Pick
Tusa Hyflex Switch
This fin is very comfortable in the water. It’s fairly short, at 23.5 inches long, and that length can be further reduced by unbolting the blade from the foot pocket, making it very easy to pack and travel with. A set of ripples along the bottom reduce the fin’s drag in the water, providing plenty of power while taking a minimal toll on the legs. The foot pocket itself is one of the most comfortable you’ll ever wear and the heel cord has five adjustment positions.
Top Budget Open-Heel Pick
At first glance, the Dacor Mariner turns some divers away because of the antiquated heel strap. It isn’t the bungee or spring style that most modern fins use. However, once you get past that fact, this fin still performs. The long, vented blade makes it easy to move through the water with little effort and the foot pocket is incredibly comfortable.
Top Overall Full-Foot Pick
The Cressi Agua is possibly the best pick on the market for snorkelers. That’s mainly due to the low-stress design, comfortable foot pocket, and very low weight. Plus, at only$40 it’s a very affordable option. The light weight means divers won’t fatigue as quickly, and once they get the right size, the full foot pocket is just as comfortable as any of the open-heel options.
Top Barefoot Pick
This fin is not only the best pick for barefoot divers, it’s also the best pick for travelers, thanks to its light weight and short length. It also features a clip on the blade so they can be bungeed together. In the water, the Scubapro Go has a wide blade so that it performs similarly to longer fins. It’s pretty comfortable, too, though many feel it runs a little small in terms of sizes so you may want to go up a size.