Best Scuba Fins For Diving in 2023 (All Types)

If you scuba dive, snorkel, or freedive, you’ll know that fins are a deeply personal choice and one of the first pieces of gear you’d buy, potentially right after the mask or at the same time. 

While some dive operators have decent fins for rent, the majority of outfits only provide flimsy, short rental gear that simply doesn’t give you the propulsion to get anywhere, especially when the currents get dicey! 

👣 1. Why Are Scuba Fins One Of The Most Important Investments You Will Make

Without them, you aren’t going anywhere! 

Enhanced Mobility and Efficiency – They directly affect your efficiency underwater and your air consumption. The less energy you spend finning, the less air you consume and the longer you get to dive! 

Safety: You’ll need to get yourself and potentially your buddy out of trouble when the currents pick up. 

Control: Good fins let you adjust your position with pinpoint accuracy, which is especially important if you’re doing underwater photography or wreck diving. 

Comfort: You don’t want to be fighting muscle cramps on your dive. Well-fitting, comfortable fins reduces fatigue and lessens the risk of cramping. 

Speed and Versatility: Some fins offer more control while others are speedier, allowing you to adapt to different dive types. 

Improved Diving Skills: Using well-designed fins enables you to fine-tune your diving skills, such as hovering, maneuvering through tight spaces, and maintaining your buoyancy effortlessly.

Longevity and Reliability: Quality fins can last for decades, reducing the need to constantly replace them. 

Personal Style: Of course, your fins should reflect your own personality and diving style. Some popular fins come in all kinds of colors to set you apart like white and pink instead of the default black! 

🌊 2. The Best Fins for Diving in 2023

Mares Avanti Quattro + Open Heel Bungee Strap Fins

Ratings: 4.8 stars

Brand: Mares

Materials: Technopolymer

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS-XL

Fin Type: Channel, Open Heel

Dimension: 17 x 5 x 3 inches

Weight: 3.6 pounds

Price: $189.95

Our Overall Review:

The Avanti Quattro is one of the best all-rounder fins for diving. One of its strengths is the comfortable fit that suits almost anyone, accommodating for booties and socks in colder waters. The added stabilizing drifts and anatomical foot pocket make these fins a reliable go-to pair for scuba divers everywhere. 

Oceanic Viper 2 Open Heel

Ratings: 4.2 stars

Brand: Oceanic

Materials: Thermal Plastic Rubber (TPR)

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS-XL

Fin Type: Channel, Open Heel

Dimension: 3.7 x 10.2 x 24.6 inches

Weight: 3.1 pounds

Price: $ 94.95

Our Overall Review:

This pair is ideal for both beginner and advanced scuba divers. The Viper 2 has a Flexible Power Thrust Channel that enhances direct water flow off the tips of the fin and gives you efficiency underwater. It’s also relatively lightweight and great for travelers.

Scubapro Seawing Supernova Fins

Ratings: 4.1 stars

Brand: Scubapro

Materials: Monprene 

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS-XL

Fin Type: Channel, Open Heel 

Dimension: 18 x 8 x 5 inches

Weight: 3.69 pounds

Price: $299

Our Overall Review:

The Scubapro Seawing Supernova Fins is an award-winning design that features an auto-adjusting panel and twin-tip winglets. The two-piece design that makes it easier for you to dismantle and bring along inside a smaller luggage. However, beginners will need some time to get used to the flexible blades. 

Aqua Lung Express

Ratings: 4.5 stars

Brand: Aqua Lung

Materials: Techno-polymer alloy

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS-XL

Fin Type: Channel, Full Foot

Dimension: 24 x 8 x 8 inches

Weight: 3.6 pounds

Price: $ 99

Our Overall Review:

Aqua Lung Express is also another pair that’s suitable for both beginners and advanced divers. The fins feature an Armadillo membrane at the base of the blade that can absorb more energy and boost your kicks. The price is relatively affordable compared to other open-heels. 

Scubapro Go Travel

Ratings: 4.6 stars

Brand: Scubapro

Materials: Monprene

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: 3XS – XXL

Fin Type: Blade, Open Heel 

Dimension: 24 x 8 x 4 inches

Weight: 2.2 pounds (together with bungee straps)

Price: $ 110

Our Overall Review:

This lightweight pair is designed to specifically fit the IATA specifications for carry-on luggage, so it’s the ideal fit for travelers. The 100% Monprene® material makes this product very durable, so you’ll be able to wear it for years to come. 

Scubapro Seawing Nova

Ratings: 4.8 stars

Brand: Scubapro

Materials: Monprene

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS-XL

Fin Type: Blade, Open Heel

Dimension: 27 x 12 x 9 inches 

Weight: 4 pounds

Price: $ 259

Our Overall Review

Made with a foot pocket, the Seawing Nova is a comfortable pair for both recreational and technical diving. It has Scubapro’s Pivot Control Technology that ensures an efficient 45-degree angle kick. Some downsides are its higher cost and may need some adjustments for beginners as the unique 2-piece design is different from other fins.

Oceanic Manta Ray

Ratings: 4.6 stars

Brand: Oceanic

Materials: Techno-polymer

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS-XL

Fin Type: Channel, Open Heel 

Dimension: 29 x 10 x 5 inches 

Price: $ 189.95

Our Overall Review:

Made out of Techno-polymer, the fins have added strength to maximize power and speed. The design also features a Power-X System that acts as a tendon and joint for great propulsion underwater. The lightweight material and its small size make it easier for travelers to bring the pair along. 

TUSA SF-0104 Hyflex Switch

Ratings: 4.6 stars

Brand: TUSA

Materials: Polyurethane

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: XS – L

Fin Type: Blade, Open Heel

Dimension: 22 x 8 x 5 inches

Weight: 4 pounds

Price: $ 229

Our Overall Review:

One of the best fins on the market with PuRiMaX or Polyurethane Blade System gives you a quick and snappy response. The brand’s Vortex Generator also gives this pair a reduced water resistance, allowing you to take on much more speed. The lightweight innovation means less fatigue and a more enjoyable diving experience. 

Atomic Aquatics Open Heel Scuba Diving Split Fins

Ratings: 4.4 stars

Brand: Atomic

Materials: Polymer 

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: S – XL

Fin Type: Split, Open Heel

Dimension: 18 x 5 x 3 inches 

Weight: 4.6 pounds

Price: $ 249.95

Our Overall Review

The Atomic Split Fins has an Internal Power Plate sole that creates a rigid platform for more efficient power transfer from foot to blade. The convenient buckle system allows you to release and re-attach the fins easily, and the split design means that it requires less energy to fin but doesn’t give you as much propulsion. 

The price is higher than other fins, but it’s an investment that can last you a long time thanks to its durable material.  

IST Rubber Rocket Scuba Diver Fins

Ratings: 4.5 stars

Brand: IST

Materials: Rubber

Fit Type: Regular

Sizes: M – 3XL

Fin Type: Blade, Open Heel

Dimension: 20.5 x 9.5 x 4.4 inches

Weight: 7.14 pounds

Price: $ 108.80

Our Overall Review:

These durable fins are the top choice for military personnel, from Special Ops to the US Navy SEAL program. The heavy rubber material used causes the fin to be extremely rigid and powerful but it will also take more energy.

The wide blade’s curve and structural ribs give you maneuverability while maintaining optimal power.  

🤔 3. Finding A Fin

Depending on where you dive and what kind of conditions lurk under the water, each situation needs a different type of fin. Open-heeled fins work well in cold water as they can accommodate thick booties for more insulation, but they tend to be bulkier and heavier.

Full-footed fins are lighter and more suitable to travel with, but they might not provide enough propulsion in stronger currents. 

Paddle fins like jet fins are wide, heavy, and extremely powerful, but they require more energy and might not suit those with weaker legs. They also offer more control and precision which is what makes them the favorite for technical divers.

Split fins take way less energy but are not efficient in strong currents. 

👣 4. Open Heeled Fins Vs. Full Foot Fins

Open-heeled fins require booties to be used. They would suit cold water diving since booties protect you from the cold, and shore diving since you can keep your booties on for the entry and exit. However, they tend to be heavier. Open-heels also tend to be more rigid and sturdy, making them better for more challenging conditions. 

Full-foot fins simply slip onto your feet and will suit the traveling diver that needs to pack light. They tend to be way lighter than full-foots and do not require booties. However, they also tend to be more flexible and will not be efficient in strong currents. They’ll suit calmer, warm waters. 

🌴 5. From Cold Water To The Tropics

For cold water diving, you’ll need open heeled fins unless you want very cold ankles! As mentioned earlier, open heeled fins allow you to wear thick booties to help insulate against the cold. 

Full foot fins can be used in the tropics where the water is warmer. They will take less energy to fin but will not fare as well in strong currents. 

💭 6. Final Thoughts

Finding scuba fins can be tricky, as they are a deeply personal choice. Do your research and if possible, test them out. You can borrow a fellow diver’s pair just for a few minutes to try them out and see how they feel underwater. Good luck in your hunt for the perfect pair! 

❓ 7. Frequently Asked Questions

What went into our selection process for the best scuba fins? 

Our team has tried and tested many fins and evaluated them based on durability, performance, affordability, precision, control, and power. 

Snorkeling vs scuba fins: Why the distinction?

The difference is their design and purpose. Snorkeling fins are usually shorter and lighter, designed for swimming on the surface. Scuba fins are longer, heavier, and more rigid, designed for more control and greater propulsion. 

What you get with typical “snorkeling fins”

Snorkeling fins tend to be short, lightweight, and full foot. They do not require booties and are more suitable for travel. 

Short or long blade diving fins?

Short blade fins offer you more maneuverability, are easier to fin with, and lighter, which makes them more suitable for travel. However, they will not perform too well in strong currents. 

Long blade fins give you more power and propulsion but are bulkier and heavier. They suit free divers and those that dive in challenging conditions. 

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