My favorite part about snorkeling is moving through the water like a fish.
What helps me achieve this feeling is my fins.
Snorkel fins can be the most intimate piece of gear you purchase for your snorkel kit.
The way they maneuver and propel you through the water is unique to each person.
So if your like me you'll want the perfect fin for a fun aquatic outing.
So take a peek at what we've found for the best snorkeling fins and see which works for you!
The Top 8
#1 Best Overall Snorkel Fins: Wildhorn Topside Compact
These groovy fins are one of a kind! As they aren't only made for snorkeling and swimming, but walking around the beach too! The Wildhorn Topside fin incorporates a shoe design with a short flipper molded around the front of the foot. They are oh so comfortable as the closed toe heel helps with cramping and hypertension for added foot support. Another cozy feature would be the velcro strap along with the neoprene bootie you slip your foot into. The velcro secures your foot in, and the neoprene is stretchy and flexible. Since it is more fitted due to its shoe design, you won't have to worry about wearing booties to prevent blistering.
Along with being comfortable, the Topside fin is also versatile. If you've ever snorkeled before and have had trouble wading in and out of the water during a shore entry, well worry no more! Since the fin is also a shoe you are able to walk around without tripping over yourself. Yet they are still sturdy enough to pump you through the water. They are also versatile enough to try with other water sports. Such as paddle boarding, body boarding and swimming.
The fin is compact size which is suited for travel. During your travels if the Wildhorn Topside fin falls off the boat into the water while on a snorkeling excursion, there is no need to fret! That's because the fin floats! Since they are buoyant they produce less drag while snorkeling. The features and duality of the Wildhorn Topside fin puts it at the top of our list when it comes to best snorkel fins.
#1 Best Snorkel Fins For Travel: Seavenger Torpedo Swim Fins
Some of the best places to snorkel are all around the world. So for those of you who are looking to explore these alluring destinations you may want to bring the Seavenger Torpedo swim fins with you. Reason being, they are made for travel! These fins are only 16in. and are compact enough to toss in your suitcase or even back pack and they won't take up to much space. The plus to that is that they are still a sturdy fin that will get you moving from one snorkel site to the next. Another asset to help with travel is the mesh bag the fins come with. This perk will help keep your fins together as you travel around.
The Torpedo fin also has easy adjustable straps that make donning and doffing a breeze. The foot pocket is nice and soft too so no need for booties, yet they are roomie enough if you prefer to wear some neoprene socks. Also if your favorite color is either black, royal blue, baby blue, red, orange or yellow then you have to get a pair of these fins! As they have all of those colors to choose from. So if you like to travel with a comfortable fin that is easy to take off and on, and that comes in your favorite color, then The Seavenger Torpedo fins are for you.
#1 Best Snorkel Fins For Beginners: Cressi Palau Short Fins
One of the best brands out there for snorkeling is Cressi. That's why one should consider buying the Cressi Palau short fins if they are a beginner or even avid snorkeler. These particular fins are not only from a reputable company but come at an unbeatable price! Starting at $19.95 on Amazon. There are also six different colors to choose from. Including pink and lilac for the ladies. Cressi also keeps colors consistent throughout their merchandise and you can purchase matching snorkels and masks along with your fins too.
When suggesting products to beginners it's essential that the gear is easy to work with. The Palau short fins have a buckle design that are easy to clip on and off. This can be done at the shoreline or in the water when wading out for a stress free entry. You can't beat the Cressi Palau short fin since they come at a good price. Also with an array of colors to choose from and easy clip in buckle design. So if you’re a new snorkeler or are suggesting fins to a beginner, make sure to consider the Palau short fin.
#2 CAPAS Adjustable Open Heel Fins
The CAPAS adjustable fin is perfect for family fun. The open heel and adjustable strap on the back makes it easy to share with friends and family. As you can fit it to whomever is wearing the flipper. So if you have a pool in the backyard or live close to the beach, be sure to snag a pair of these fins! They also come with filters inside the fins that you can use while storing your gear. That way they don't get morphed when stored away. The soft foot pocket makes for a good comfortable fin. If you purchase the fins and want to wear booties with them for even more added comfort, make sure to compensate by going a size up.
These flippers are made with durable materials so you can be hard on your gear. Which is good for kids and travelers alike. These fins are rad for travel as they are compact and they also come in kids sizes. Which is yet another reason why they are suited for family fun. If you are hard on your gear and something breaks on the fins don't worry, they come with a one year warranty as stated by the seller. The CAPAS Open heel fin is for the family with kids who travel, so if you fit the profile then snag a pair!
#3 Cressi AGUA Short Fins
These swim fins are made for the athletes! No need to worry about cramping when training in the swim lanes, the Cressi AGUA short fins have an adjusting foot pocket system. Fancy way of saying the toes are left open to ensure a perfect fit for the wearer. It is a closed foot pocket fin so it doesn’t slip off while swimming. You don’t have to be in special training to wear them. Just grab a pair and get going.
You’ll notice the fin is shorter than a standard snorkel fin. That is because it’s designed for training purposes. Even open water swimmers enjoy using these fins since they are agile, lightweight and comfortable. You can choose your favorite style in four different colors! So if you need a compact swim fin for training or just having fun swimming around, don’t wait on snagging a pair of Cressi Agua short fins.
#4 US Divers Trek Fin Compact Fins
The US Divers Trek Fin is a very poplar fin out on the market. Reason being is once again like some of the fins mentioned above, they are small and great for travel. But along with being compact, they are built with a quad flex rail system. This means they are flexible on the sides of the fin which make good for maneuvering in the water. But sturdy too which thrusts you in your ocean element. They come in a wide size range and Amazon has made it a top choice for women's snorkeling fins too.
They come in blue, yellow and black. Select your favorite, but I do suggest grabbing a yellow pair as they are easy to spot while swimming. The foot pocket soft with an open heel, but I is recommended that no booties are worn with the fin. The fins aren't just restricted to snorkeling, take them out for a swim or a boogie boarding session. It's no wonder the US Divers Trek is a popular buy when looking for a compact fin for snorkeling and swimming.
#5 Easy Snorkel Short Blade Snorkeling Fins
Alright snorkel buddies, here's yet another fantastic fin on the market. The Easy Snorkel Short Blade fin is designed for comfort and speed. The dual composite dive tech design is a lightweight technology that snaps the blade back and forth with the need for speed. They don't have to be long to thrust you through the water, they are small and perfect for packing in your suitcase. It is a closed heel flipper that claims to prevent hyperflexion to ensure comfort for your outings.
Another awesome feature is the slip grip added to the bottom of the flipper. That way if your walking around the pool ready to hit the swim lanes, then you won't slip. There is a patented sole thread that also makes good for maneuvering around a boat deck. So there's no need to keep renting snorkel gear, grab a pair of Easy Snorkel Short Blade Fins pack them in your suit case, book a vacation and go snorkeling!
#6 Cressi Pluma Diving Fin
The Cressi Pluma Diving fin is our top fin when it comes to technical advancements for our best snorkel fin guide. We will start with the foot pocket. The closed foot pocket uses a patented molding technology specifically designed for snorkeling and is also made with a soft thermo-rubber. So you can count on comfy feet. The fin itself is lightweight and made with a reactive polypropylene, which gives the fin a propelling snap when it responds to the kicking motion in the water. These fins are fast, fun and comfortable!
They aren’t as compact as some of our fins previously mentioned, but that means you move faster in the water. Since they are made for comfort with such impressive technology you should move through the water with ease and agility.
Snorkeling Fins Vs. Swim Fins
Alright you may be thinking, what is the difference between snorkel and swim fins? To be honest they are similar in that they both are compact in size but don't skip out on functionality. Swim fins are very small when it comes to length of the actual fin. They are meant to move you in open ocean swim lanes or swimming pools. They can also be used for snorkeling but most snorkelers find they want a little more added length than the swim fin offers as they may be covering more ground and dealing with factors like current or distance.
Things To Consider When Buying Snorkeling Fins
Long Fins vs. Short Fins
There is not a subtle difference between a long and short fin. Long fins look how they sound, and are designed for conserving energy as you move through the water. Mostly free divers and spear fisherman are who you see wearing these fins. They commit to long breath holds and need to save any energy they can while performing in the sport. I personally own a pair as I find the long fin to be fun since you move so fast in the water. Also it can be hard to travel with long fins and they can also get pretty pricey. As for short fins, they are perfect for those who want to putt around at the surface. They range at affordable prices and are entry level fins. If you start to pursue snorkeling, upgrading to long fins is usually the route most take.
Open Heel Vs. Closed Heel Fins
Open heel fins are typically designed for people who are invested in wearing booties during their ocean outings. But they are also designed for ease. As the clip in buckles and adjustable straps made for open heel fins make it easier on some when putting them on at the shoreline or when wading into the water. As for closed heel fins these are said to be a tropical flipper. The closed foot pocket doesn't call for booties that provide snorkelers and divers with warmth. A closed foot pocket is also are more fitted for the user, so getting the right size is important. When you get the correct size for the closed pocket you are setting yourself up for success as it's also preventive to hyperflexion.
Split Fins Vs. Paddle Fins
The purpose of the split fin is to reduce strain on the knees while engaging in the activity. The other intention of the split fin is to give you maneuverability with ease while diving around. Yet the split fin is not designed for speed. Now as for the paddle fin, the more effort you put in the faster you will go. The paddle fin is not forgiving to the knees but is designed to get you moving in the water. I personally prefer the paddle fin over the split fin only because my knees have not yet given me troubles. Yet I will say when using paddle fins my ankles do get soar after, as I have too much fun speeding through the water with the fish.
Comfort is crucial in a sport like this. The more attention you can give to being present in the sport, the more fun you will have. The way to be comfortable is to try the fins on before getting to the beach and slipping into the sea. Try them on at the dive shop or after they've been shipped to you and make sure there is no slipping or sliding at the heel. Especially with closed foot pockets.
For a better look at our favorite fins, as well as masks and snorkels, click here to view our best snorkel gear page.
How Should My Snorkel Fins Fit?
Fins should fit just right. With closed foot pockets you don't want them to tight or lose. Tight causes cramping and loose causes blistering. To check if they are tight or lose, have a friend stand on the tip of the fin while you try to slip your heel out. If it moves around to much then it is to big and if the fin is squeezing your heel it is too tight. For an open heel fin see how your foot feels with out a bootie when trying it on. If it is too spacious, consider getting booties or aqua socks for a better fir.
How Do I Clean (Care for?) My Snorkel Fins?
It's important to always rinse your snorkel fins with fresh water after use. Salt water will deteriorate materials and it is very hard on your gear. When your fins are clean be sure to store them in a place where they aren't being crushed or bent. You can also get fin filters to stash in the foot pockets to help with storing your fins. If they get bent it deforms the fin and sometimes won't work the same as before. Also try not to leave your fins outside in the sun. Some fins are made with materials that can warp if left out in powerful UV rays.
How Do I Swim With Snorkel Fins?
There are a couple of ways to swim with snorkel fins. The most popular for snorkeling would be the scissor kick. Just strutting your legs gently up and down at the top of the water column gets you from point a to b. Keep your legs nice and straight to propel yourself efficiently though the water. Now you can also do the frog kick. This is typically seen more while scuba diving but can be used for snorkelers too. Your torso will be at a 60 degree angle beneath the surface with your knees bent up. Your knees will spread out and in as your feet turn into paddles. Now the next way to swim with fins is more for playing versus efficiency, it's the mermaid kick. Keep your legs and flippers together, envision yourself as a sea goddess or sea god and swim away!
Final Thoughts - Which Should You Get?
Now I hope our top 8 guide of the best snorkel fins helps you purchase what's best for you. There are fantastic products mentioned above, and if I had to choose one for myself I'd probably get the Wildhorn Topside Compact fin. Since it's so unique and versatile it's a great buy. I can't get over that one is able to walk on the beach and swim in the water with this funky fin. Also not worrying about it sinking or giving me blisters makes it a top buy. So if your struggling with which to get, then give it a shot! But don't worry if you still have a hard time deciding, just know that any of these flippers would make a good fit for snorkeling fun under the sun.