4 Best Snorkeling Fins (Updated 2023)

Written and Reviewed By

topsidefins-min-1

Snorkel fins are essential equipment for snorkelers, providing propulsion, maneuverability, and comfort while exploring the underwater world.

The right pair of snorkel fins enhances your swimming efficiency, allowing you to glide effortlessly through the water and discover the hidden treasures beneath the surface.

With a wide range of snorkel brands and fin models available, finding the perfect pair can be a challenging task.

I work in South Floridas dive tourism industry, and am often tasked with taking snorkelers out to Florida’s reefs. Before leaving on the boats, I pair customers with the right fins for them.

Based on my experience, I’ve curated a selection of top-quality snorkel fins, narrowing down the options based on:

  • Fin blade design and material for optimal propulsion
  • Comfortable foot pocket and secure fit
  • Flexibility and responsiveness for easy maneuvering
  • Adjustable straps for a customized fit
  • Size options for different foot sizes
  • Brand reputation and customer feedback
  • And much more!

In the following sections, we will dive straight into our expert recommendations and comprehensive reviews of the finest snorkel fins available. Additionally, I will provide you with a detailed buying guide and address frequently asked questions to assist you in making an informed decision.

So, let’s dive into the depths together as we explore the world of snorkel fins, uncovering the perfect pair to enhance your snorkeling adventures and make the most of your underwater explorations!

We get it.

Scuba diving isn’t for everyone.

But we respect that you’re going snorkeling, and want to help you get the best fins for the job.

With a seemingly endless number of snorkel fins available, it can be difficult to pick a set.

And that’s why we’ve created this guide.

Below, we’ve narrowed down the buying process to three of our favorite snorkel fin options, with distinct options for who each is best for, followed by individual in-depth reviews of each.

Sound good?

Lastly, if you need snorkel fins, you may also be in the market for other snorkeling gear such as a snorkeling mask, or snorkel set which we also have a guide on.

Let’s dive right into it.

Table of Contents

Best Snorkeling Fins

Our Top Pick

Seaview 180 Topside Travel Fins

4.5
$69.99
Pros:
  • Adjustable velcro strap
  • Easy to use & versatile
  • Can be worn on land & sea
  • No rubbing or chaffing
  • Lightweight & compact for travel
  • Neoprene provides some warmth & buoyancy
Cons:
  • Minimal propulsion
  • Not suitable for scuba diving or freediving
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/18/2024 10:02 am GMT

These might look a little strange, but these hybrid snorkeling fins are ideal if you have to walk on rocky shores or hot sand to enter the water.

They are made so that you will not get blisters when you are swimming, snorkeling, or doing any other water activity. Combining a short fin with a neoprene bootie, they’re incredibly comfortable both on land and in the water.

Although with short blades, these snorkeling fins aren’t the best for power or speed. The thrust is good and will make a big difference, but will take some getting used to. You can choose a blade length and if you are going to be out there for a while a longer blade length will be better. They fit in a bookbag or carry-on as well to make packing for your trips easier. 

Since it is made from neoprene they fit almost all different size feet and the rubber will protect you from hitting rocks or other objects. The closed toe and heel will help to stop you from cramping during longer snorkeling sessions. We really love the fact that they never slip off due to the velcro adjustable strap and that also gives you good support. They’re great options for all levels and will make your snorkeling sessions easy and comfortable.

Product Specs:

  • Type: Full Foot
  • Blade Shape: Straight
  • Comfort level: High
  • Material: Neoprene/Polyurethane
  • Heel Strap: None
  • Blade Length: 16″
  • Drain Holes: None
Close Second

Tilos Getaway

5.0
$47.95
Pros:
  • Great for travel
  • Lightweight
  • Multi-use
Cons:
  • Only 1 color
  • Not very powerful
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/18/2024 08:36 am GMT

The Tilos Getaway Snorkeling Fins are open-heel fins designed for use during snorkeling activities. The fins feature an extra wide foot pocket that allows for a comfortable fit and accommodates a range of foot sizes. The open-heel design also makes the fins adjustable and easy to put on and take off.

The fins come with a mesh bag that can be used to store and transport the fins, making them easy to pack for your next snorkeling adventure. The bag also helps to keep the fins dry and free from damage.

When selecting snorkeling fins, it’s important to consider the size and fit of the fins, as well as the type of activities you’ll be doing. Open-heel fins like the Tilos Getaway Snorkeling Fins are ideal for snorkeling as they allow for a comfortable fit and easy adjustment, and the extra wide foot pocket ensures that the fins stay securely in place.

Product Specs:

  • Type: Open Heel
  • Blade Shape: Straight
  • Comfort level: Middle
  • Material: Multiple
  • Heel Strap: Yes
  • Blade Length: Medium
  • Drain Holes: None
Budget Option

Cressi Clio, Blue

5.0
$31.55
Pros:
  • Long-lasting & durable
  • Very lightweight – ideal for traveling
  • Easy to slip on & off
  • Super soft foot computer-designed foot pocket
  • Cheap
  • Wide variety of sizes available
  • Responsive blades for quick maneuvering
Cons:
  • Not suitable for scuba diving or freediving
  • Not the most powerful blades
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/18/2024 08:29 am GMT

A classic snorkeling fin from one of the most trusted diving and snorkeling brands. The Cressi Clio Everlasting fins have been on the market for over 20 years, yet they’re still one of the best snorkeling fins on the market. The blade is a great composite material that will make these fins last for a very long time while still making sure that you get a good kick. 

Despite their simple appearance, these fins feature responsive composite blades and special, computer-designed foot pockets that make them both comfortable and powerful. These fins are designed to be very light and perfect for traveling, they will even fit in your carry-on. 

If that’s not enough, they’re quite affordable for a pair of fins. They also come in  a variety of sizes from x-small to x-extra large. The rubber material allows you to slip them off and on with ease as well. As the name suggests, they last forever.

Product Specs:

  • Type: Full foot
  • Blade Shape: Angled
  • Comfort level: Middle
  • Material: Multiple
  • Heel Strap: Yes
  • Blade Length: Medium
  • Drain Holes: None
Best Freediving Fins

Cressi Gara

4.5
$149.95
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/18/2024 12:32 pm GMT

These fins are not optimal for normal snorkeling unless you are good at kicking.

They are a huge favorite for freedivers, spearfishers, or those that just want some more power. So if you plan on doing that type of snorkeling, go for these.

These fins have a stiffer plastic blade that will take some getting used to. The fins blade is able to be interchangeable so when you are ready for an upgrade you can slip in some carbon blades with ease. The plastics also make the very durable so you will not have to worry about them getting damaged. 

The pocket is slightly wider on these fins, which is good for those in cooler waters and we suggest wearing neoprene socks to fill them out a little.

I would make sure you try them on before you buy them as these do fit snugly. They will also loosen up after a handful of dives and may rub a bit at first. Overall these are really good fins and well worth the money.

Product Specs:

  • Type: Full Foot
  • Blade Shape: Straight
  • Comfort level: Middle
  • Material: High-modulus propylene
  • Heel Strap: Yes
  • Blade Length: 30″
  • Drain Holes: No
Best Travel Fins

Scubapro GO Travel Fins

$110.00
Buy on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/18/2024 01:14 pm GMT

GO Travel fins are a wonderful find that combines and open heel fins with the comfort and durability of a full foot fin. This lightweight fin come in at around 2.2 pounds (1 kilo) and are perfect to toss in your suitcase and carry on your next snorkel or diving trip and extremely well built so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged.

The blades angle is 25º to give you  longitudinal rigidity while still making that channeling effect to get the most out of each kick. They also have patented Power Bars on the bottom side of the fins so when you have to fin hard you will have the power you need with out the overexertion or cramps. 

Your foot is secured by a replaceable self-adjusting bungee heel strap that is perfect for all size feet. If you need a little extra protection or your feet get cold a pair of neoprene socks work well with these. 

Since it is made for travel the have been designed to fit in your carry-on and was certified by the IATA. 

Product Specs:

  • Type: Open Heel
  • Blade Shape: Straight
  • Comfort level: Middle
  • Material: Monoprene
  • Heel Strap: Yes
  • Blade Length: 24″
  • Drain Holes: Yes

How To Choose The Best Snorkeling Fins

When you’re choosing the best fins for snorkeling there are a few things you want to consider before purchasing

Full Foot Or Open Heel Snorkeling Fins

Wildhorm Topside full foot snorkeling fins
Apeks RK3 HD, example of open heel fins

The first choice you’ll need to make is what kind of foot pocket you want, a full foot pocket or an open heel pocket with a strap.

What’s best for you will depend mostly on personal preference and the temperature of the water you’re snorkeling in.

Full foot, or closed heel, fins are easy to slip on and off, less bulky, and more streamlined in the water. Plus you won’t need to buy additional boots. They tend to be more comfortable and are significantly more responsive to your movements than open-heel fins.

If you’re snorkeling in warmer water then full-foot snorkeling fins are a perfect choice. You can also pair them with lycra or neoprene socks for added warmth and comfort.

Open-heel fins have an adjustable strap around the heel and are usually worn with neoprene boots. They’re heavier and bulkier than full-foot fins which makes them less effective for swimming at the surface and less ideal for traveling.

However, wearing booties will keep your feet warm if you’re snorkeling in cold water. Plus they provide much more flexibility when it comes to size. So they’re great if you’ll be sharing the fins or for kids who are still growing. They can also be worn barefoot or with neoprene socks, although it’s usually less comfortable than with boots.

For snorkeling, we prefer full-foot fins as they’re lighter to travel with and significantly more responsive to your movement and finning power than open-heel fins.

Snorkeling Fin Blades

Once you start comparing snorkeling fins it seems as though there’s an endless array of different blades to choose from.

The main things you want to worry about are the fin shape and the fin size. Shorter fins are easier to travel and with poor technique will offer less propulsion.

Longer fins take more energy to use but will give way more thrust per kick depending on the stiffness and your tech quite. The issues may arise though that you will have an issue fitting them in your suitcase. If they are carbon fiber I would carry them on if you do not have a special case for them. If they are plastic pack them at the last minute and they will be fine. 

The shape and design of the blade are important too. A curved or vented fin will be easier to kick, but you guessed it, offer less power.

Flexibility And Stiffness Of Snorkeling Fins

The flexibility and stiffness of the blade will depend on your leg strength and experience level.

If you’re relatively new to snorkeling, it’s best to choose a more flexible blade as this will make it easier to kick at the surface.

A stiffer blade requires more power but is better if you want to explore underwater as well as on the surface. These are usually the shorter fins as well and will take some time to get used to if you are used to a longer fin. 

Weight And Size

As with all equipment from the BCD to your fins, you’re planning on traveling/ flying with your snorkeling fins then it’s important to consider the weight and size. 

You’ll want to make sure that they’re light and small enough to easily pack into your luggage. But remember, the smaller the blade the less propulsion you’ll get out of them.

It’s also useful to have positively buoyant fins for snorkeling. So if you accidentally drop one it’ll float and you lose it to the bottom of the ocean.

Frequently Asked Questions

While there is no best snorkel fin for everyone, depending on how you’re planning to use the fins certain products will work better than others.

For most use cases, the Wildhorn Topside Fins are going to be a great option, combining quality with functionality.

You want your snorkeling fins to fit snug, but not too tight. Remember as you spend time in the water your feet will cool and shrink a little. So your fins will loosen slightly.

It’s better for snorkeling fins to fit a little tight rather than loose. With loose fins, you’ll lose power from your kick and there’s nothing more frustrating than fins that fall off every time you try to kick hard.

However, if the fins are so tight that they dig in or pinch your foot then it’ll only get worse when you’re in the water. So go up a size or try a different style to find the best fit.

Alternatively, if you can’t quite find the right fit or you find snorkeling fins always rub your feet then we recommend wearing neoprene socks underneath.

Not only will these keep your toes warmer, but they also make your fins way more comfortable. Especially if you want to stay in the water for as long as possible!

Overall short to medium fins are better for snorkeling. They’re much easier to use and travel with than long fins. Plus you’re less likely to accidentally kick coral, wildlife, or even other snorkelers!

Although long fins generate more thrust, and therefore more speed, they also require more power and proper kicking technique to use effectively. Long fins are better for freediving and spearfishing where speed and correct form is more of a priority.

Short fins require much less power so they’re easier on your leg muscles. This means you won’t get as tired when snorkeling. Plus they’re easier to maneuver in so you can quickly change direction if necessary.

What’s more, if your kick is weak or your technique isn’t correct, then you won’t receive any of the benefits of long fins.

However, if your snorkeling fins are too short then you won’t get much propulsion either. This means if you want to pick up speed you’ll have to kick quite furiously and you’ll generate a ton of excess noise and whitewash which will scare off most wildlife.

Because of their length, freediving fins aren’t the best for precise movements and are a little trickier to maneuver in. As such, they’re not ideal for shallow water or navigating around coral reefs, especially for beginners.

That being said, if you’re confident using freediving fins and have a little experience with them, then freediving fins can be good for snorkeling. Just be mindful of the long blades if you’re swimming over very shallow reefs.

Technically yes, you can use scuba fins for snorkeling. But not all scuba diving fins are suitable for snorkeling. And here’s why

Snorkeling fins are uniquely designed specifically for swimming at the surface, whereas scuba fins are made specifically for swimming efficiently at depth whilst wearing a full set of dive gear.

This means that scuba fins tend to be heavier, longer, and stiffer to give each kick more power underwater. However, when on the surface this design can make snorkeling very tiring. And with some scuba fins being negatively buoyant, they can even be unsafe to snorkel in.

Snorkeling fins are usually lighter, shorter, and more flexible than scuba fins, making it much easier for you to swim and maneuver on the surface.

That being said, there are plenty of fins that are suitable for both scuba diving and snorkeling.

If you’re looking for a pair of fins that you can use for both, we recommend either the Mares Avanti Quattro Power Fins or the ScubaPro SeaWing Nova Fins. Both these durable fins offer the perfect balance between flexibility and power for both snorkeling and scuba diving.

The short answer is yes. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from snorkeling without fins. But if you want to be safe, comfortable, and efficient when snorkeling then you need to wear fins.

Because a fin provides a larger surface area, you are able to exert more force on the water with each kick. Which means you can swim for an extended period of time without overexerting yourself.

You’ll also be able to swim against currents and waves with far less effort.

Plus they’ll help you to safely maneuver over and around rocks, coral formations, and marine life.

What’s more, most snorkeling fins provide you with some flotation. This helps you stay horizontal and allows you to rest easily at the surface.

And lastly, when you’re snorkeling with fins you don’t need to use your arms for swimming. This means your hands will be free to capture all the action on your underwater camera!

We didn’t include any split fins on the list, as we don’t see them as a good option. They are pretty gimmicky and only really work when kicking incorrectly.

Ultimately, we recommend going for the snorkeling fins you feel most comfortable in. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t kick effectively and you definitely won’t enjoy the experience.

Of course, size, durability, and price also play a factor. But at the end of the day, enjoying your time in the water is the most important thing!

Do you have a favorite pair of snorkeling fins?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *