11 Best Scuba Diving Fins Guide – Tried & Tested Picks

What’s better than exploring the deep blue sea in its magnificence and diversity? Wait, I’ll answer that – nothing!

Well, that’s true, at least for me, and I’m sure there are hundreds of water enthusiasts out there who’d agree. But who is a scuba diver without their proper gear in place? You need to take care of such nitty-gritty before actually diving into the endless blue world.

Since mother nature didn’t bless mankind with fins, they need to be bought from money-hogging brands. But don’t you worry because your diving expert friend Marty is here. I’ve got a collection of the current best scuba diving fins to help you choose the most suitable one without getting scammed.

So, let’s dive in! (absolutely pun-intended)

Best Fins for Diving – Top 11 Picks

1. Mares Avanti Quattro Plus

Right on the top of my list, I have the Avanti Quattro Plus fins from a well-established brand called Mares. This one has a good name in the water sports industry, so my expectations from the product were high from the start. Did they get served? Read on to find out.

What I like about it

Yes, the fins indeed met my expectations for multiple reasons. To begin with, the pair is a new and restyled version of the already popular and trusted Avanti Quattro.

But its hi-flex material build along with four channels make it more efficient than the previous version. These channels give it four times the average thrusting power to its bungee heel straps.

Furthermore, these open-heel fins have greater responsiveness owing to the new composite thermoplastic material. If the fins aren’t constructed well, they run greater risks of slipping off while diving. But these diving fins hugged my feet really well while ensuring superior comfort.

What could be better?

I have absolutely no complaints with this fin except for one small thing – its size. I felt that the flipper was a little too big for my liking. It allowed me to perform a fantastic frog kick, flutter kick, and the standard scissor kick, but helicopter turns aren’t that easy to do with this pair.

PROS
  • Available in six colors
  • Made of thermal plastic rubber
  • Pronounced thrusting power
  • Anatomical foot pocket powers the blade
CONS
  • Flippers are huge in size
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2. Cressi Frog Plus

Next up is the Cressi Frog Plus, a brand that my dad recommended to me. He used to praise it so much that I wanted to check out what all the buzz was about. And I am glad about that decision because these open-heel fins are now an important part of my collection.

What I like about it

For starters, the scuba fins are made using a patented three-injection molding process. This adds unparalleled durability to them; I can tell because I’ve owned a pair for a few years now. Frog Plus is superior to others on the market because it features all the essential characteristics of traditional paddle fins and introduces a novel blade fin material.

Most good-quality scuba fins have foot pockets these days, but there’s something unique when it comes to this pair. Its pockets have rubber extensions that go all the way up to the side rails of the blade. This feature makes movement in water effortless and smooth, ensuring a wonderful diving experience.

What could be better?

There’s nothing amiss with this excellent product, but I’d like to tell you that these fins are strictly meant for diving. So, you can’t use them for snorkeling. If you want to do that, then you should buy a pair that is compatible with both activities instead of going for separate pairs of scuba and snorkeling fins.

PROS
  • 3-material molding
  • Made with new dual-density technopolymer
  • 20% more working surface
  • Ideal advanced diver and beginner scuba fins
CONS
  • Not meant for snorkeling
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3. Mares Volo Race

Moving ahead, I’ve got another product from Mares for you. Two products from the brand already? Now that gives a clear idea of the competence of Mares as a brand. That said, the Mares Volo Race are full-foot fins available in a range of vibrant colors. I’ll give you more details in the subsequent sections.

What I like about it

My mantra is if you’re doing something, you gotta do it in style. And these scuba fins stand true to my motto with their eye-catching color options to choose from.

Just like the previous ones from the brand, these are also made of composite thermoplastic. Those who especially want to work on their diving efficiency will benefit from Volo Race fins for two reasons.

First, they are designed with channel thrust technology, which is perfect for navigating the water flow. Second, this technology is combined with OPB for optimizing and controlling the angle of the thrust.

Above everything, these full foot dive fins come at a budget-friendly price and are one of the most affordable on the market. Plus, you can use them for both snorkeling and diving.

What could be better?

I think it’s a Mares “thing” to make huge fins because I found this pair to be larger than expected as well. To make them fit me better, I wore neo socks and used thin dive boots to fill out the remaining space between my foot and the binding. So, I’d suggest buying a size smaller than your normal shoe size.

PROS
  • Amazing finish
  • Super easy to maneuver
  • Channel thrust technology
CONS
  • Size may be bigger than expected
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4. TUSA Solla SF-22

Founded in 1952, TUSA is a Japan-based sports manufacturing company that specializes in making scuba gears. This international brand manufactures all its products using the finest quality materials and pays equal weight to innovation and performance. Solla SF-22XS-BK is another addition to the brand’s prestigious collection that is worth knowing about.

What I like about it

Well, I’m a little picky when it comes to choosing scuba gear. That’s why a lot of store owners get frustrated from the moment I enter the store. But that cannot happen online, and I get all the time in the world to assess the product closely. As per my detailed assessment, TUSA Solla has a lot of unique features to offer.

First and foremost, it is lightweight and built with the latest hydrodynamic innovations along with advanced materials. Not to mention the extremely comfortable foot pocket, which is designed from an anatomical point of view.

I could go on and on, but I will stop by saying that these three-channel blade-style beauties with crescent tips and paddle fin are totally worth trying.

What could be better?

There isn’t much room for improvement as these lightweight fins are already pretty good and practical. But if I had to nitpick, I’d say that even after being one of the more expensive fins, they did not include a carry bag in the package. That’s something the brand could have given importance as carry on dive bags are basic necessities.

PROS
  • Have an anatomic fin strip
  • Maximum efficiency ensured by an angled-blade style
  • Superior propulsion by ForcElast
  • EZ fin straps and buckle system
CONS
  • Doesn’t come with a carry bag
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5. Apeks RK3 – best tech diving fins

Did I tell you guys that my dad was in the military? Being a kid raised in such a household, I was always fascinated with all things related to the military. And that fascination came running back when I discovered that the Apeks RK3 fin was designed in collaboration with the US military. So, I naturally had to geek out about it in my list.

What I like about it

Apeks RK3 is a pair of rugged thermal plastic rubber fins used by advanced divers who go cold-water diving very frequently. Since it is the standard design for special ops, public safety divers, military, and coast guards and has been for decades, the scuba diving fin has unmatched durability.

Next, the material used for their making can hold up against the toughest of temperatures, environments, and rough handling. And they have a short and wide blade style responsible for fantastic maneuverability and maximum forward thrust.

Furthermore, the USP of this foot fin is its spring heel strap that is made out of stainless steel. These adjustable straps make it quite comfortable to wear and control.

What could be better?

I found this scuba fin to be quite flawless, so I don’t have any complaints on that front. However, the price tag is indeed hefty as compared to other scuba gear on the market. Still, I’d say it is worth its cost and will last for years in your collection.

PROS
  • Extremely durable
  • Available in six attractive colors
  • Reliability of the US military
  • Adjustable spring strap
CONS
  • Pretty expensive
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6. Atomic Aquatics – best budget fins

Made for both snorkeling and scuba diving, these full-foot fins are the lightest ones I tried. Consequently, doing a frog kick is a pleasurable experience whenever I put these on. Also, they make me feel like a real fish with their split fin design. Want to know more? Keep reading then.

What I like about it

It’s a given fact that traditional paddle-style blades take a lot of effort to maneuver and, as a result, cause leg fatigue. That’s because they have a full-fledged paddle moving through the water. But if you’ve ever paid close attention to a fish’s body, you must know that they have a streamlined body and peculiarly shaped fins.

Atomic Aquatics split fins were designed mimicking that particular shape of the fish fins. The design allows divers to cut through the water effortlessly, with less drag and kicking effort. Additionally, the fins have open-toe pockets that allow a comfy diving experience.

What’s more, they weigh half as much as the open-heel dive fins and hence, are perfect for carrying in a travel bag. So, if you are going backpacking to some remote sea, you know exactly which dive fins you need to take.

What could be better?

No matter how good a product is, I believe there is always some scope for improvement. For these foot fins, it is the material that could have been better. It is somewhat durable, no doubt; still, I’ve seen better. But if price is taken into consideration, I would call this deal profitable on the whole.

PROS
CONS
  • Quality could have been a little better
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7. Mares Superchannel

Diving deeper into the list, I’ve got the Mares Superchannel full foot fin for you water babies. Yes, it’s the third product from the same brand, all thanks to its innovative designs and reliability. It was just a chance factor that I came across this pair, but more on that later. Let’s focus on the essential features first.

What I like about it

The brand makes all its fins using the terylene and thermoplastic combination, which has been working out quite well because of its wear & tear resistance and low maintenance.

On top of that, the material doesn’t stick to feet unnecessarily, maintaining a firm grip at the same time. This unique fit is nothing but a result of scientific and effective manufacturing techniques, so kudos to the makers for that.

The fins are equipped with orthopedic pockets that make the diving experience really comfortable without causing any pain or fatigue. The “super-channel” blade style vouches for effortless motion through the water.

Lastly, the large and flexible central channel directs all the water down the fin blade rather than spilling over the sides. This is the main reason behind the efficiency and minimal diver effort of this fin.

What could be better?

Despite being one the best full-foot fins, this product takes a hit when it comes to size. Since it is 23 inches long, it is difficult to fit in a small traveling bag or suitcase. So, I won’t recommend buying this pair if you’re a traveler.

PROS
  • Great quality material
  • Scientifically-designed
  • Orthopedic foot pockets
  • Efficient “super-channel” blades
CONS
  • Difficult to fit in travel bags
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8. SCUBAPRO Seawing Nova

Are you a fan of vibrant colors like me? If you are, then you’re going to like the next one that I’ve got for you. The Seawing Nova is available in seven different color options, including pink, purple, and yellow. These colors are quite rare in dive gear and, therefore, require special mention.

What I like about it

SCUBAPRO fins are known for their innovative designs and staying true to those standards, Seawing Nova just shows its classic fin technology with the latest advancements in hydrodynamics. Needless to say, this creates a unique and balanced combination of perfect fitting and fun in the aquatic world.

Moreover, this one is great if you’re planning to do some hardcore diving in tight water spots because of its wing-shaped fin blades. These blades pivot and thrust the water forward, enabling you to rocket through the water at high speeds.

Coming to the build of the fins, they are made using a space-age Monprene elastomer. Hence, you can rest assured that they are going to stick around for years, no matter how frequent the usage is.

What could be better?

Being such a high-quality product, this open-heel dive fin lies on the pricier side. It is that one-time investment that seems a little heavy but allows you to reap benefits for years on end. Therefore, I suggest to check it out despite the steep price tag; after all, it’s durable, reliable, and efficient.

PROS
  • Adjustable pivot control ribs
  • Robust Monprene build
  • Optimized for being stable at high speeds
  • Custom bungee heel strap for maximum convenience
CONS
  • Very expensive
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9. SCUBAPRO Go Travel Fins – best for boots

Moving ahead, I’ve another product by SCUBAPRO exclusively designed for divers who like to travel to new places and explore underwater habitats. The GO travel fins are compactly designed yet have the endurance and performance of any hardcore diving design.

What I like about it

Ideal for both snorkelers and globe-trekking scuba divers, the SCUBAPRO GO is a durable, comfortable, and fast open-heel fin. People usually prefer a full-foot fin because of its barefoot freedom, but this design combines that freedom with the ease of an open-heel dive fin, giving you the best of both worlds.

Furthermore, you can bid farewell to annoying issues like torn pockets, delamination, and broken blades once you decide on getting these open-heel fins. That’s because they are constructed of moldable and ultra-strong Monprene to stand for heavy duty long-term use.

Another important aspect that makes this fin desirable is the self-adjusting bungee heel strap. Apart from making the fin easy in donning and doffing, it also provides the freedom and barefoot comfort of full-foot fins.

What could be better?

I liked them on the whole but couldn’t help noticing one small downside. After using it for a good one hour, I realized that the thrust is prominent only on downward strokes and not the upward ones. Still, I could get good thrust in both directions on scissor-kicking, so that’s one hack to go about it.

PROS
  • Durability of Monprene
  • Compact size, easy to store or pack
  • Adjustable bungee straps
  • Both scuba and snorkeling fins
CONS
  • Provide less upward thrust
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10. TUSA SF-0104

I’m happy to tell you that the penultimate fins on my list are again from TUSA, the Japanese brand that I discussed earlier. With sky-high ratings, the Hyflex Switch is a popular choice among divers and snorkelers alike. Want to know more? Keep on reading then; we’re almost done with the list.

What I like about it

Powered by PuRiMaX “polyurethane blade system,” these fins give a snappy response to each of their user’s movements. The efficiency of these blades is increased even further by the unique “vortex generator” that decreases water resistance with each fin stroke.

In addition to that, the company didn’t cut corners in terms of comfort either. The fins have the new universal bungee heel strap to take the snugness to the next level. Not to forget the multi-compound pockets meant to transfer more power to the fin blades and comfort foot pockets for added support.

What’s more, the angled-blade design allows smooth and effortless foot movement, meaning you’ll be able to do a flutter kick with ease. It also ensures reduced heel slippage and increased flexibility.

What could be better?

For starters, I found that the footbed of the fins is really wide, so you’ll have to adjust the strap properly to keep them from slipping off. Next, they are constructed with really specialized screws. Hence, if you misplace the ones that come in the package, the chances of finding them elsewhere are slim.

PROS
  • Polyurethane blade system for maximum efficacy
  • “Vortex Generator” to reduce water resistance
  • Performance-enhancing pockets
  • Universal heel strap
  • Angled-blade design for increased stability and flexibility
CONS
  • Wide footbed
  • Specialized screws
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11. Cressi Reaction Pro

Now for the product without which my list would have been incomplete – the Cressi BG195046. This innovation-rich company was founded in 1946 and has been designing, developing, and manufacturing top-quality dive equipment ever since. Even after more than 70 years, the brand produces aquatic sports gear that is neck and neck with the latest advancements in the field.

What I like about it

I liked this fin because it offers multi-purpose functionality and can be used for scuba diving, freediving, and snorkeling. Also known as Reaction Pro, it features a full-foot design, molded using an exclusive Cressi system with three different materials.

These materials combine to create a channeling effect that provides high-level energy for both upward and downward strokes.

Furthermore, it’s a given fact that a fin having a larger surface area allows smoother diving strokes. That’s why the makers of Cressi designed the blades to emerge from the upper pockets. This increases the surface area by 20%, thereby ensuring a better diving experience.

What could be better?

In my honest opinion, the fins were stiffer than I had expected, so this was definitely a turn-off for me. But, on the upside, they softened and got a bit better after three or four dives. So, if you can be a little patient, then this one is a competent option.

PROS
  • Versatile full-foot design
  • Large surface area
  • Molded with 3 types of material
  • High-energy channeling effect
CONS
  • Little stiff initially
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What to Look For in a Scuba Fin

Having talked about so many options, you must be in a dilemma of picking the best dive fins out of these. No worries, because I have got you covered with a brief buyer’s guide. I will tell you exactly the features you should be looking for to get the best scuba fins for yourself. These key parameters are:

1. Type Of Fin

Broadly there are seven types of scuba fins, but let’s not go there and discuss only the ones that are useful. You can count on me for that. So, these are the ones that are best for diving in my opinion:

  • Full-foot fins
  • Open-heel fins
  • Split fins
  • Paddle fins
  • Blade fins

All these types have their own pros and cons. For example, full-foot fins are easy to deal with because of the fewer pieces of gear, but they are less adjustable and do not protect the feet well.

Moving on, open-heeled fins provide great control in the water. Still, you’ll have to spend extra and purchase dive booties with them.

From my personal experience, I find split fins to be the best. They are most efficient while diving and have a comfortable fit too.

2. Material

Another important aspect is the material because that determines the durability of the fins. Some are made of thermoplastic rubber, while the others are made of elastomers. I’d say Monprene elastomer is the best when it comes to ruggedness and durability, and thermoplastic wins in terms of comfort. So, decide accordingly.

3. Size

The next parameter is the size, and folks, this could be the dealmaker or breaker because the whole comfort level of your scuba diving experience depends on it. I don’t mean to intimidate you, but I emphasize on being extremely careful of the fit while choosing.

Check the reviews and descriptions of the products and find out whether a fin runs bigger or smaller than expected. It should be neither too loose nor too tight if you want to dive without any discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Choose The Right Size Scuba Fins?

It could seem a little overwhelming initially but choosing the right size of fins is not half as difficult as it seems. In fact, it is pretty similar to picking your size in normal shoes. Men can go for exactly the same size as their regular footwear. Women, on the other hand, will be better off choosing one size smaller than their everyday shoes.

Since open-heel fins are usually worn with dive booties, wear them while trying on the fins to get the perfect fit. In this case, you might need to go for a size larger as booties make the fins tighter than usual.

Recommended Read: Can you Wear Water Shoes With Fins?

Moreover, for full-foot dive fins, there shouldn’t be much room left once you put them on. And don’t forget to do the shake test. This gives the exact idea of how easily you can move about in your brand-new fins. In short, just make sure you aren’t having any trouble in donning and doffing the dive boots, and you’ll be fine.

Are Short Fins Better Than Long Fins?

Generally speaking, most short fins are below 25 inches in length, while long ones are above this range. The shorter ones are ideal for swim-training and snorkeling owing to the similarity between natural swimming and kick patterns.

Long fins that are longer than 25 inches but shorter than 40 are specially designed for scuba diving. So, I guess that answers your question of which one is better. Furthermore, those exceeding the length of 40 inches are well-suited for spearfishers and freedivers.

Which Fins Should I Buy?

As far as I have experienced, open-heel scuba fins with adjustable bungee straps are very efficient and convenient. So, Mares Avanti Quattro Plus and Cressi Frog Plus are both great options.

Can You Freedive With Scuba Fins?

You must have seen freedivers wearing really long fins; that’s because freediving is best done with fins that are longer than 40 inches. Therefore, I do not recommend doing it with shorter fins as they do not generate enough thrust.

Can You Use Snorkel Fins For Scuba Diving?

It’s important to stick to specifications when it comes to water activities as there are a lot of technicalities involved that should not be overlooked. You may use snorkeling fins for swimming generally, but they are not good for diving. There are few differences and reasons why, but the main one is that they aren’t well equipped to sustain deepwater depths and strong currents.

Conclusion

That’s about it for my guide guys; I hope you got all the information you were looking for. Buying scuba fins is a tricky task as there are so many parameters to consider. But reading them all in one place might have given you some clarity.

Before signing off, I’ll let you in on my favorite picks. Mares Avanti Quattro Plus is my top choice because of its durable hi-flex material build and snug fit. But the Cressi Frog Plus is a close second as I really liked its three-injection molded construction and rubber pocket extensions.

On that note, I will be signing off. Take care and keep diving!