Best Snorkeling Fins in 2018 – A Definitive Guide & Comparison

Snorkeling is one of the favorite parts of many vacations, trips or local weekend adventures for people around the globe. To make sure it’s as memorable and fun as it can be, it’s important to have the right equipment. So, whether it’s for the first time, or for seasoned snorkeling experts, having modern fins can make time underwater more enjoyable.

We’ve looked at several of the best snorkeling fins in 2018 to help make choosing those new fins easier. 

Best Snorkeling Fins - Comparisons 

10 Best Snorkeling Fins - Reviews 

1. Cressi Palau Short Snorkeling Swim Fins

Cressi has been a player in the scuba and snorkeling industry since the 1946 when the Cressi brothers began handcrafting underwater masks and spearfishing guns. The Italian brothers expanded to offer much more as time has gone on, and the Cressi name has become one of the most famous when it comes to underwater adventure.

These fins maintain that historical quality, while being updated for the modern snorkeler. They are a short blade fin that makes packing and traveling with them a breeze. The smaller size allows them to be placed in almost any suitcase or travel bag without taking up much room.

Short blade fins are also easier to wear while out of the water. Compared to standard size, or long blade fins, walking across a beach while wearing these is as simple as walking in shoes. Larger blade fins are make walking difficult as they have to be lifted in an unusual way, so these are much more comfortable while making your way to the water.

They are also great for areas where swimmers must be careful not to disturb the floor underwater. When snorkeling in shallow areas or near coral, these fins are much easier to move about in naturally, where longer fins require much more careful strokes to not disturb the environment.

Unfortunately the smaller the fin, the less power and speed you’ll have underwater. For most recreational snorkeler’s, this isn’t an issue as you’re likely not in need of that much speed, but if you do want to go fast then you might want to pass on these fins.

What we liked

  • Easy to pack
  • Walking is easier on shore
  • Prevents disturbing sensitive areas better than long fins

What we didn't like

  • Reduced speed and power
  • Foot pocket is not one-size-fits-all

2. Seavenger Snorkeling Swim Fins

These short blade, trek fins can be used for more than just snorkeling. Their flexibility is great for being used while bodyboarding as well. Made from strong, long lasting, lightweight material, these open heel fins are ready to be used on all the adventures you have planned. With only three foot pocket sizes to choose from, picking the right size is simple. The foot pocket is also comfortable enough to be worn barefoot as well, which is a major advantage over having to bring along underwater booties as well.

The blade design of the Seavenger Snorkeling Swim Fins has been shaped to maximize agility under water. They are comfortable and manage great control for any kicking style. The fins’ blades have also been vented to assist with adding power and speed. By propelling water backwards with every downstroke, the vents greatly improve performance.

Taking the fins off is also a breeze thanks to the adjustable straps with large thumb loops. They are made with a quick release, which the thumb loops truly make easier to use. After they’ve been taken off your feet, they have a quick drying mesh gear bag that is included to help store and carry your fins.

While the fin blades and foot pockets are made from great material, the adjustable strap may not be as durable as the rest of the fin. This is primarily because the plastic buckles are a bit weaker in quality than the materials used in the other parts of the fin.

What we liked

  • Great for multiple purposes (snorkeling, bodyboarding, diving, underwater workouts, etc.)
  • Easy to remove
  • Comfortable material for foot pocket
  • Includes fast drying mesh storage/carrying bag
  • Vented fin blades

What we didn't like

  • Weak buckles

3. Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Adjustable Snorkeling Fin

Made from high quality polypropylene, these short fins are a bit stiffer than some of their brother entries. Even though the material is a less flexible, they still remain very comfortable on the feet due to the contouring of the foot pocket. The open heel design is also boosted with an extended sole plate, which helps reduce ankle and foot stress.

Even though the foot pocket is contoured for barefoot comfort, these fins also work great if you prefer wearing booties with them. The adjustable ankle strap is easy to change and set for most foot sizes. The included mesh carrying bag can be shoulder slung, like a backpack, for easy carrying.

These fins are also designed with a structurally optimized hinge point, making sure they bend at the right point and timing throughout the kick cycle. While not being as powerful as long fins, these short blades are very maneuverable and help prevent cramping.

One thing to be wary of while using these fins is areas with swift currents. The power loss from the stiffer blades, and their length, means fighting a heavy current will be difficult. Otherwise these fins are a great all around set to travel with for relaxing underwater sightseeing.

What we liked

  • Extended sole plate for foot and ankle support
  • Optimized hinge point
  • Durable polypropylene construction
  • Contoured foot pocket for better comfort

What we didn't like

  • Weak in stronger currents

4. Short Adjustable Fins - Snorkeling Versatile

Another entry from Cressi, these adjustable open heel fins are a fin that is well adapted to multiple uses. From snorkeling and long swims to body surfing and boogie boarding, these fins are designed for use by the whole family in whatever underwater activity they love most. Along with the variability offered for the use, and by who uses them, these fins also offer a foot pocket made from an extremely comfortable elastomer.

The blade of these fins begins at the top of the foot pocket giving the short blade the most area possible for better propulsion. The fin blade makes these one of the most powerful entry for a short blade fin on the market today.

The blades are made from dual materials, a thermoplastic rubber and techno polymers, that provide stiffness where you need it and flexibility to propel water during your down stroke as well. Combined with the maximized length of the fin blade, this generates more power than each feature on its own.

The adjustable straps provide a cupped back to the open heel, which provides better fit at the end of the sole plate. This ensures the fins stay in place tightly against your foot no matter how much pressure you put on the blades as you kick.

The biggest issue we encountered with theses fins is that the foot cup is rather narrow and the material is too stiff for it to be stretched. Adults with wider feet may not be able to comfortably get their feet inside, so if you have wide feet, then you’ll likely want to avoid these specific fins.

What we liked

  • Dual material fin for better propulsion
  • Adjustable strap provides heel support
  • Maximized blade length starts at top of foot pocket
  • Comfortable elastomer foot pocket

What we didn't like

  • Narrow foot pocket construction

5. US Divers Trek Travel Fin

One of the most compact sets of fins on the market, these short blade trek fins are very lightweight and ready to go anywhere. Made with a dual composite fin blade, they provide good balance for any kick style.

Made to be wider than most fins, these also work well for body boarding, but because of their short length they do take more energy than other short blade fins. While they work great for snorkeling and body boarding, long swims or heavy currents should likely be avoided while using these fins.

The space saving design is geared towards snorkelers that enjoy traveling a lot, as they are one of the easiest pairs of fins to store in a carry on bag or suitcase as you set off to your next destination.

These are easily the easiest fins we’ve seen to walk in, as the short blade makes trekking across the ground simple. The comfort of the foot pocket is very high as well, making them nice to wear both in the water and out.

The biggest issue that we encountered was with the adjustable straps. While the straps fit comfortably, they had a tendency to slip over time. The slipping required regular readjustment to keep the fins in place.

What we liked

  • Compact and lightweight, best for frequent travellers
  • Wide short fins are easy to walk in
  • Dual composite fin blade construction

What we didn't like

  • Adjustable strap often slipped out of position
  • Require more forceful kicking than others due to compact size

6. U.S. Divers Proflex II Diving Fins

The first long blade fins we reviewed, these closed heel fins were very powerful underwater. Just as you’d expect with a longer fin, just a simple flick of the legs provides swift acceleration and propulsion.

While these fins aren’t equipped with an adjustable strap, they are made in plenty of sizes to suit anyone’s needs. The fins fit as expected, so as long as you know your shoe size, you can easily find the pair that fits snuggly without any slipping. As with their travel fins, these diving fins are also made with a dual composite construction to provide a better underwater kick.

One of the nice design aspects are the open water channels on each side of the fin. These large openings allow for more water to pass through, providing a boost to propulsion through the down stroke.

While the fins can be worn with diving boots, we found the foot pocket to be a bit tight, and comfortable barefoot. If you intend to wear diving boots, you may want to go up a size to ensure they will fit, but in our opinion it’s best to wear these without.

What we liked

  • Durable construction, dual composite fin blade
  • Propulsion assisted by open water channels
  • Flexible and fit properly while barefoot
  • Provide enhanced snap and thrust

What we didn't like

  • Snug fit, may be difficult to wear with diving boots

7. Atomic Aquatics High Performance Full

The first thing people notice about these fins is that they are a split fin design. If you’ve never tried a split fin, they are much lighter than solid fins, but they provide more efficient movement. The split acts similar to a propeller as you move through the water, creating less drag and more thrust. This will save your body energy and effort, and often reduces muscle fatigue or cramping that can occur while using solid fins.

Along with the underwater benefit, these split fins are also lighter than other types of long fins as well. In fact, they weigh nearly the same as many of the adjustable open heel short fin options available on the market.

The foot pocket on these fins is as comfortable as any flipper can be. The high level of comfort as you wear them allows you to stay focused on what you want to see underwater rather than focusing on the discomfort of poorly designed or outdated fins.

The only issue we had with these fins was that they don’t come cheap. Be prepared to spend more than you would for other fins if you want to own a pair of these.

What we liked

  • Very efficient kick to propulsion ratio
  • High level of comfort
  • Lightweight material
  • Dual composite construction
  • Reduce discomfort, cramping and muscle fatigue

What we didn't like

  • High price

8. Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins

Fins that fit like a shoe. These fins are made with a neoprene boot that slides on much like any regular slip on footwear. Along with the boot style foot pocket, these fins have added traction on the bottom so that the wearer can walk through rougher terrain. These are especially beneficial to have when used in rocky areas or coral waters.

Getting back to a short blade fin, these are the best fins we examined for walking in. Whether you need to traverse areas out of the water regularly, or if you just find yourself needing to stand in shallower waters while out and about, these are the best option for that need.

While they may be the easiest to walk in, they provide the most resistance for your down stroke while swimming. Because of the way the design affects the top of the fin, it requires more strength underwater to swim, but the trade off is that it makes these an excellent resource for strengthening your feet.

The benefits of being short blade fins are all here as well. They fit well in most travel bags, they are good for body boarding and swimming. Unlike the other reviewed short blade fins though, these are not adjustable, but they come in many sizes so finding the right fit isn’t difficult.

What we liked

  • Great fitting and comfortable
  • Provide traction for walking in rough or rocky terrain
  • Best fins for walking
  • Perfect size for travel

What we didn't like

  • Require more leg strength than other short blade trek fins

9. Cressi AGUA SHORT, Adult Short Fins for Swimming & Snorkeling

As the name implies, these are a short blade fin from Cressi. Featuring much of the great benefits of owning Cressi fins, there are some major differences between these and the other models we reviewed.

While the other options featured adjustable straps, these fins are self adjusting to your feet. The foot pocket may be slightly larger than expected, but that allows for the wearing of diving booties to fill in any extra space. However with the way these fins self adjust under the water, it’s unlikely you’ll need anything to help secure them to your feet even if they do feel a bit large while on land or in a boat.

The fin blade on these is one of the most compact that we reviewed as well, which makes these ideal for packing for a trip and for storage. However, as with other compact fins, that means it takes more effort underwater to get around.

While these fins can certainly be used in open water, it’s best to avoid heavy currents. Using these in the pool for training purposes worked wonderfully, being in the calm water was a great work out, without any stress.

Made from a buoyant material, these fins helped elevate the legs to a better body position for fitness training under the water. The fins are also extremely flexible, which make moving through the water smooth and easy.

What we liked

  • Self adjusting
  • Compact and lightweight, great for travel
  • Designed to be great for fitness and training
  • Very flexible for easy movement through the water

What we didn't like

  • Not powerful, use caution near heavy currents

10. CAPAS Snorkel Fins, Snorkeling Fins Swim Fin

Lastly, we have these short blade fins from CAPAS to check out. These easy to adjust open heel fins feature a reasonably comfortable foot pocket and a duck foot style fin blade. Easily shared with friends or family, the compact fins travel well as they can fit in most travel bags without any struggle.

While the sole is a bit short on the pairs we tried, they were still comfortable and the adjustable straps held them firmly in place. The foot pocket was fitted with non-slip inserts, adding to a secure feeling as they gripped at our feet.

These fins worked well with diving boots as well as water socks, so if you feel more comfortable with having your feet covered while wearing them, the fins were perfectly set up to allow for it. While wearing these fins into a heavy current is not advisable, they were very efficient at maneuvering through the water. The agility and speed were both good, providing for a fun experience.

While being made from average quality materials, they are still quite flexible and feel reasonably durable. The silicone material of the foot pocket and adjustable straps felt snug without any rubbing, which was a plus as they should be great at protecting whoever they are shared with from getting blisters while being worn.

What we liked

  • Non-slip inserts in foot pocket provided extra security against slipping
  • Silicone material of foot pocket and straps prevents blisters
  • Adjustable foot straps

What we didn't like

  • Average quality material may not be as durable as other fins
  • Short sole left bottom of heel exposed

Final Verdict 

While every pair of fins had their high points, what matters most is how you intend to use them. Whether you’re in the market for a bargain pair of quality fins, top of the line modern fins, or just want something that is easy to travel with then the perfect option for you can be found in these choices. For us, we came to the conclusion that Cressi Snorkeling Versatile fins were the most all around useful, however I personally enjoyed the Wildhorn Topside fins the best. 

Take a good look at each set to see what best suits your needs, and wherever your fins take you, have a great adventure.

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

>