Snorkeling gear is about a lot more than just the mask and breathing tube. You want to be able to glide through the water as effortlessly as possible. That means finding the right wetsuit, considering using a flotation device, and naturally using the best snorkeling fins for the job.
If you are a strong swimmer, and the water is fairly warm, you could skip the wetsuit and the flotation device. But for a long snorkel, you will find that a great pair of snorkeling flippers is indispensable.
The right pair of swim flippers can ensure that your kicks are a lot more powerful and that you make more progress with each one. But how do you know what kind of snorkeling shoes you should wear? Are a pair of cheap swim fins really the very best option?
In this post, we will go through the basics regarding choosing the right set of diving flippers or short swim fins. We have scoured through hundreds of swimming fins for sale online and have narrowed the list down to the three top scuba diving flippers.
Read through our post to find out what you should be looking for in a set of full foot fins. We finish off with our scuba fin reviews to help you find a great set of adult swim fins for yourself, or as the perfect gift.
Snorkeling Fin Buyers Guide (Features To look For)
It used to be simple to find the right pair of adult flippers, but that was because you didn’t have that much choice. Now, there are a lot of different models on offer, and you need to be more selective in the ones that you choose. Let’s have a look, shall we?
It’s one thing to pack your gear in your car and go off to the beach. It’s quite another to have to cram fins into your luggage to get onto a plane, though. That’s why travel design flippers first came about. These are a lot shorter in length and weigh less as well.
Unfortunately, this will impact your ability to power through the water and so are not a good idea where heavy surf or strong currents are an issue. To help deal with this issue, the blades are usually more rigid.
Traditional Length Style
This is what most divers will have with their gear. The length of these is fairly long – normally at least 24 inches. These do require more of an effort when you are in the water so they might not be the best choice for a weaker swimmer.
With these blades, flexibility is extremely important to counteract the extra effort needed to get them moving. These will work in a wider range of conditions and so are a lot more flexible.Anything longer is not good to use for snorkeling.
Full Foot or Closed Heel
This is the more closed design that you find. You slip it on much like you would a pair of sneakers. These are meant to be worn straight against the skin, so they won’t be suitable if you are going to swim in cooler water.
It is extremely important to check the sizing guide as these could run big. This style may not be ideal if you have feet that are wider or narrower than normal. There’s no way of adjusting these.
Strap or Open Heel
These are traditionally made to allow you to wear neoprene socks with them. Normally, this would be necessary for colder water. It also means that these can be more rigid and so uncomfortable if you are not wearing the socks.
The big advantage with this style is that you can customize the fit more thanks to the adjustable strap.
Do I Go Cheap or Invest More?
This is one area where paying a little more is a worthwhile investment. The cheap options tend to be more rigid, may chaff and won’t last very long. That’s okay if you are going on a once-off trip, but not ideal if you are going to be swimming more often.
If you get a quality pair and look after it properly, it will last for many years.
Fit and Comfort
Flippers should be an extension of your feet. If you feel uncomfortable wearing them, or if the fit is off, you won’t enjoy your swim and could end up hurting yourself. When looking for the right pair, always consult the sizing chart before ordering.
Best Snorkeling Fin Reviews (Product Reviews)
Cressi Long Free Diving
Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins
Mares Razor Pro
These are made in the traditional style and have a closed heel. Cressi is an established brand, so you know you are getting quality.
These are made in the travel design and so will work perfectly if you are flying to your destination.
These are a traditional design, full-foot model. They are in the upper price range so consider them more of an investment purchase.
Best Snorkeling Fins For The Money
The Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins are our choice for the best value for money option. These are ideally suited to snorkeling and will protect your feet in and out of the water. We love these to take on holiday with us, and the price is reasonable enough to add some variety to your home flipper collection.
Overall, the price is right, and these work well for that price.
This was something of a toss-up. We like that the Wildhorn Fins are so easy to pack up and carry. This can be an advantage when traveling by car as well. In the end, though, the Cressi’s took the pole position in this competition.
Why? Because they are more versatile, they come in at a reasonable price, and they make it easier to power through the water during longer dives. Overall, we deemed these factors more important than whether or not they would fit into our luggage.
All of the options that we looked at are good ones. To get the best possible results in all conditions, it would be worthwhile to consider getting a pair of the Wildhorn’s and one of the of the other pairs. If that’s not practical for your budget, you would have to decide what you need more.
Are you off on vacation to some faraway beach paradise? Then packing light certainly does become a factor. If, on the other hand, you are looking for more power, and you probably aren’t going far, the longer models make more sense.
In terms of comfort, the Wildhorn’s are probably the most comfortable and certainly the easiest to walk around in.
At the end of the day, you need to choose the right option for you. We hope that this post has made the decision-making process a little easier for you. Have a great time in the water!