Every scuba diver will tell you that the difference between wearing the best scuba fins and the worst scuba fins during your dive is the difference between having the best dive and the worst dive.

Scuba fins are an integral part of your scuba kit, and even though you could theoretically dive without them, no one would choose to nowadays, because there are so many comfortable, efficient, and affordable scuba fins on the market. The problem is that there are also some poor-quality scuba fins around too. And if you choose the wrong pair, then their inefficiency will completely ruin your scuba dive.

If you read this list of the best scuba fins and also the buyer’s guide and breakdown, then you’ll be able to recognize the difference between the very best scuba fins, and the scuba fins that you want to avoid.

Related: Snorkels.

View The Best Scuba Fins Below

1. Cressi Lightweight Well-Balanced Open Heel

Cressi Lightweight Well-Balanced Open Heel

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Cressi is an Italian manufacturer of aquatics equipment that is respected for its premium quality, which combines comfort and style. The polypropylene blade on these open heel scuba fins has a foot pocket underneath it, which promises more power and efficiency when you’re kicking underwater.

The open heel is perfect for scuba diving in cold or tepid waters because you can wear neoprene socks, rather than having to be barefoot. They have been designed to offer increased thrust power and efficiency, as the foot pocket allows for an extra 20% of usable surface area compared to standard scuba fins.

Pros:
+ Open heel means you can wear neoprene socks
+ Generous surface area
+ Comfortable kicking thanks to the double-material blade
+ Suitable for all divers, from novice to expert
+ Easy to put on and take off

Why We Liked It – These are premium quality scuba fins made by one of the leaders in aquatic equipment manufacturing, and they are efficient, comfortable, and suited to cold or tepid waters.


2. CAPAS Snorkel Fins, Swim Fins Travel Size

CAPAS Snorkel Fins, Swim Fins Travel Size

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These affordable scuba and snorkel fins are made from high-grade silicone. They have an open heel with an adjustable strap, so they will fit all foot sizes, and this means that you shouldn’t get any nasty blisters too. They are very flexible, but they are also neither too soft nor too hard, so wearing them barefoot isn’t a problem.

If you do prefer to wear fin socks or diving booties, then that isn’t a problem either. They have a short fin, so if you’re looking for a portable pair of scuba fins to take on holiday, then these should fit in your suitcase just fine.

Pros:
+ Portable
+ Perfect flexibility
+ Open heel and adjustable strap
+ Will fit all foot sizes
+ Sturdy sole has non-slip inserts

Why We Liked It – The shortfin makes them one of the best scuba fins to store and stow, so ideal if you’re planning a scuba trip, and want to have your scuba fins sorted before you go.


3. Cressi Adult Snorkeling Fins

Cressi Adult Snorkeling Fins

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Cressi is an Italian manufacturer of aquatics equipment that is respected for its premium quality, which combines comfort and style. The polypropylene blade on these open heel scuba fins has a foot pocket underneath it, which promises more power and efficiency when you’re kicking underwater.

The open heel is perfect for scuba diving in cold or tepid waters because you can wear neoprene socks, rather than having to be barefoot. They have been designed to offer increased thrust power and efficiency, as the foot pocket allows for an extra 20% of usable surface area compared to standard scuba fins.

Pros:
+ Open heel means you can wear neoprene socks
+ Generous surface area
+ Comfortable kicking thanks to the double-material blade
+ Suitable for all divers, from novice to expert
+ Easy to put on and take off

Why We Liked It – These are premium quality scuba fins made by one of the leaders in aquatic equipment manufacturing, and they are efficient, comfortable, and suited to cold or tepid waters.


4. Scubapro Jet Sport Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins

Scubapro Jet Sport Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins

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The Jet Sport scuba fins by Scubapro have an ergonomically designed foot pocket that assures scuba divers a comfortable fit. They feature a very large blade, which is made from three materials, and it has been made to enhance flexibility, which will increase your kicking performance.

Between the blade and the rubber foot pocket, you’ll find vents that should help with reducing any drag issues. Wearing them on land won’t be a problem, as they have a non-skid pattern underneath to stop any slippage. They’re simple to don and doff because of the buckle and strap system.

Pros:
+ Ergonomic foot pocket
+ Tri-material blade construction gives excellent response and power
+ Drag-reducing vents
+ Non-skid patters
+ Stylish, good-looking fins

Why We Liked It – They are high-level scuba fins that give offer you just the right amount of flex thanks to the blade’s tri-material construction.


5. Mares Superchannel Full Foot Scuba Fins

Mares Superchannel Full Foot Scuba Fins

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These full foot scuba fins by Mares are a compact size, which makes them the perfect pair of scuba fins for taking on holiday, as they will easily fit inside your carry on. A shortfin is also better in warmer waters too. They are extremely durable scuba fins due to the Tecralene and thermoplastic rubbers that they are constructed from.

To optimize thrust and maximize kicking efficiency they use ‘Channel Thrust’ technology, which basically offers a better water channeling. The foot pocket has been designed to be orthopedic so that comfort is guaranteed.

Pros:
+ Portable size
+ Channel Thrust technology
+ Supreme comfort from the soft, rubber foot pocket
+ More flexible than average scuba fins
+ Negative buoyancy

Why We Liked It – It’s rare to find scuba fins that are both compact and portable, while also giving you top-quality performance, but the Mares Superchannel Full Foot Scuba Fins are some of the best scuba fins around for those reasons.


6. Atomic Aquatics Lightweight High energy

Atomic Aquatics Lightweight High energy

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Regular scuba divers will have noticed that split fins have become increasingly fashionable in the scuba community over the last few years. These scuba fins by Atomic Aquatics are an example of a great split-fin scuba fin. The two separate blades that you have in a split fin resembles the motion of a dolphin’s tail.

In short, you get enhanced power and propulsion. The split fins have been constructed out of composite plastic polymer materials, which makes them lightweight. The increased surface area of the split fins will increase your kicking efficiency too.

Pros:
+ Split Fins
+ Cutting edge composite plastic polymer materials
+ Open toe foot pocket
+ Extremely lightweight
+ Suited to tropical climates

Why We Liked It – The split fin technology makes these some of the best scuba fins around. When you’re wearing them, you notice the increased power and propulsion the split fins offer.


7. Cressi Snorkeling Adjustable Fins

Cressi Snorkeling Adjustable Fins

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These Cressi scuba fins have elongated, polypropylene blades that are highly responsive, as well as being very light. They have been designed to offer an easier kick, and their pliability means that they suit all kicking styles too.

The foot pocket is open-heeled, and it is made from elastomer so that you get improved comfort. And it is possible to wear these scuba fins with diving socks but wearing them barefoot is fine too. They can be donned and doffed without trouble because of the buckle system. They come in a range of colors.

Pros:
+ Very responsive blades
+ Make kicking easy
+ Comfy, elastomer foot pocket
+ Suitable for barefoot or neoprene socks
+ Long blades

Why We Liked It – These are some of the best scuba fins for the simple reason that they make kicking easy, while they also offer great thrust and propulsion.


8. TUSA SF-22 Solla Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins

TUSA SF-22 Solla Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins

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These scuba fins have been designed to include a number of state-of-the-art scuba fin technologies. Firstly, the blade features ‘Angled Blade Design’. Therefore, the fin is more suited to the human body, and it means that you get enhanced efficiency through the complete kicking cycle.

The ‘Anatomic Fin Strap’ has also been created with the intention of being more adjusted and shaped to the human anatomy. Again, this means improved efficiency, but also better comfort and it reduces the chance of slippage. The ‘EZ Strap and Buckle’ system makes adjusting the fins simple, and doffing and donning them is just as easy too.

Pros:
+ Angled blades
+ Easily adjustable
+ ForceElast technology increases propulsion
+ Vents reduce drag
+ Reinforced side-rails

Why We Liked It – These are innovative, groundbreaking fins that are truly unique and nothing like the other scuba fins on the market. Well worth the money.


9. Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins- Compact Travel

Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins- Compact Travel

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These topside scuba fins have an integrated neoprene boot that fits exactly like a sneaker or shoe. The benefit of this is that you reduce the chance of getting a blister, you get a more secure fit, and your feet will remain warm in cool waters.

They have an ‘ultra-grip’ sole, which makes these scuba fins perfect for divers who want to be able to both walk and dive comfortably without having to constantly doff and don the fins. They have short blades, which will really boost the down motion on your kick and will improve your swimming speed too.

Pros:
+ Fit as comfortably and as snugly as a shoe
+ No chance of blisters
+ Can be worn in and out of the water
+ Short fins make them portable
+ Pull tab makes them easy to don and doff

Why We Liked It – They have been designed for both swimming and walking, so that makes them perfect for shallow waters, or for divers who don’t want to constantly remove and put on their scuba fins.


10. IST Deep Sea Scuba Diving Military Fins

IST Deep sea scuba diving military fins

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These scuba fins firmly put substance above style. That’s one of the reasons why Special Ops and Navy Seals choose them as their favorite scuba fins. They are made from a hard-wearing, completely black rubber. The rubber is long-lasting, and it won’t lose its firmness in a hurry.

It has an open heel foot pocket, that allows for the diver to wear diving booties or to wear them barefoot. They have deep, dynamic grooves to give you a truly powerful kick. The blades are a substantial length, so your legs don’t need to overwork, which means less chance of fatigue.

Pros:
+ Military grade
+ Very durable, sturdy, and hard-wearing
+ Long, high-power blades
+ Available in large sizes
+ Long lasting

Why We Liked It – If you’re looking for a rugged, no-nonsense scuba fin that gives excellent power, as well as durability, then these are the best scuba fins for you.


Scuba Fins Buyers Guide

To choose the best scuba fins, then you need to know about the key features that you’ll either find or won’t find on scuba fins on the market. There are several elements that will make your scuba fins more comfortable, more efficient, and more practical to both own and wear. Not all scuba fins are the same.

They are all designed for different waters, different levels of divers, and also different needs. If you read this scuba fins buyers guide and breakdown, then you’ll be in a much better position to choose the best scuba fins for you.

Blades

The blades on scuba fins are extremely important. Good blades will increase your thrust power, as well as make your kicking more efficient. There have been so many advances in technology over the last few decades that almost every pair of scuba fins will have its own unique design, which will promise different advantages, but usually coming at a cost somewhere else.

The biggest choice that you have with blades is whether you want them to be a classic, paddle blade fin without channels, or if you want them to include channels, and the third choice is whether you want a split fin.

A classic, paddle blade can be more flexible, because it doesn’t have the stiff channels, but it might not give you the right amount of power. Lower-end scuba fins will usually have a traditional blade. But more expensive blades might be designed in this way too. If lightness is important to you, then this type of blade might be what you’re after.

If the blades include rubber channels, then the biggest benefit you will get is increased speed. All high-quality scuba fins will include channels these days. In fact, if the channels have been designed properly and are made from the right materials, then instead of harming flexibility, they will actually enhance your flexibility. They also provide the scuba fins with a structure that makes them keep their rigid shape during all stages of the kicking cycle.

Split fins have become very popular in recent years. They are designed to mimic the motion that a dolphin or whale’s tail uses when swimming underwater. One of the split fins will create high pressure, while the other split fin creates a low pressure, this leads to more efficiency.

Nature tends to create the most efficient ways of movement, so the fact that the motion resembles that of a dolphin or whale means that you can be confident that your thrust and power will come at a lower physical cost.

The main choice that you have is between channel fins or split fins, as paddle fins usually won’t give you enough efficiency and power.

Foot Pocket and Heel Type

The foot pocket is an extremely important part of your scuba fins. It is where your foot will be while you are scuba diving, and the wrong type of foot pocket will lead to discomfort and blisters.

There are two choices when it comes to the foot pocket.

An open-heel foot pocket won’t have any back to it. Your foot will slip into it and will then be secured by an adjustable strap at the back. This allows for different sized feet to use the same scuba fins and can create a much snugger fit.

The lack of confinement will also mean that you can either wear diving booties or neoprene socks with the scuba fins, or you can wear them barefoot. These types of scuba fins will also allow you to wear diving boots too.

Full-foot scuba fins work like shoes. Your whole foot goes inside the foot pocket, which should be made from a pliable soft material like rubber or silicone. If you don’t intend to wear any other type of footwear besides the scuba fins then this type of scuba fin might be the best for you.

There is a risk that you might get blisters or irritation if you don’t choose the right size. A variation on closed full-foot scuba fins will have a neoprene boot instead of a rubber foot pocket.

Portability

If you plan to travel with your scuba fins, then you need to consider the portability of the scuba fins. Shorter blades and scuba fins made from lighter materials will make them easy to fit in your carry on or suitcase. Check the length of scuba fin before you buy, as you don’t want to order the best scuba fins, but then realize you have to leave them at home.

Vents

Not all scuba fins have vents in the blades or between the blades and the foot pockets, but this is an excellent feature that some of the best scuba fins include. Vents really help with drag, allowing you to kick and thrust much more easily, which enhances your efficiency.

How do I know what size fins to buy?

It will depend on the type of scuba fins. If they are open heeled, then you will find that you might be limited to either one size, or simply small, medium, and large. The reason for this is because open-heeled scuba fins can be easily adjusted, so take a guess based on your foot size, and most likely you’ll get a comfortable fit.

With closed full-foot scuba fins, then they fit like shoes, and you should have the option to choose a pair that are your foot size. But remember, if you plan to wear neoprene socks or diving booties, then you will probably want to choose scuba fins that are slightly bigger, so you have room for your socks.

Are there scuba fins that I can wear while walking on land too?

Yes. If you want your scuba fins to work on the land, so you don’t need to keep on doffing them and donning them, you should choose scuba fins that have a sole that offers good grip, preferably with anti-slip or anti-skid technology.

What are neoprene socks and who should wear them with their scuba fins?

A neoprene sock is made from the same material as a wetsuit. The reason for wearing them is to keep your feet warm in cold or tepid waters.

Expert Tip

There are two things that you need to focus on when choosing scuba fins. The first is the efficiency that the scuba fins offer. As a poor-quality pair of scuba fins will make your kicking and thrusting more difficult, making you tire quickly. And the second thing you must think of is a comfort. You won’t want to scuba dive for very long if your feet are irritated and blistered.

Did you know?

When Benjamin Franklin was a small boy, he tried to create some fins of his own. They didn’t look much like a split-fin, open-heel scuba fin made from high-grade polymers, though. They were instead made from lightweight wood. And the shape resembled an artist’s palette.

Conclusion

Finding the best scuba fins will enhance your ability to dive with power and speed. The best scuba fins will either have channels on the blades, or they will be a modern, split-fin design. Choosing a foot pocket that is comfortable and suited to your needs is an absolute priority. If you intend to go scuba diving in waters of a variety of temperatures, then choosing open-heel scuba fins is the best option.

If you’re looking for something for your holiday in warmer waters, then closed, full-foot scuba fins might be the best for you. The best scuba fins will make your kicking motion more efficient, which will allow you to conserve your energy, and enhance your enjoyment of scuba diving.

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