Can You Wear Water Shoes With Fins?

Last Updated: March 8, 2022

If you’re a diving or snorkeling enthusiast, you know you must prepare for every dive not only with the right attitude but also correct gear. From a wetsuit, diving mask to gloves, you can never go wrong with a pair of water shoes and fins.

Having the right gear is the best way to prepare for the good and adventurous time ahead.

In this article I explore the commonly asked questions in regards to what to wear under your fins. Read on.

Can You Wear Water Shoes With Fins?

Yes you can, but it entirely depends on the type of fins you choose for a particular dive. For example, if you plan on wearing open heel fins, you can always pair them with water shoes, snorkel socks, or dive boots.

However, if you will be wearing full foot or closed heel fins, you will not need water shoes. Why? They’re primarily designed to be worn barefoot. But if you must pair them with something, then thin water socks will come in handy. Full foot fins are generally perfect when diving in warm water.

If you’re a scuba beginner, you need to equip yourself with the best fins and other accessories. Being well-informed will help you make the right choice as you shop around. And proper gear will give you the confidence you need in the water.

Below I examine the basic types of fins, and the best way to wear them for a great experience.

Which Fins Can You Wear with Water Shoes?

There are generally two main types of fins to choose from when it comes to diving or snorkeling. And they’re the open-heel fins and the full-foot fins. However, there is much more to these fins than their cute names. To pick your perfect match, you’ve got to consider their design for optimum protection.

Open-Heel Fins

Open heel fins are just that – open. They do not cover your entire heel, and therefore cannot be worn on their own. Because of this, it’s advisable to wear them with either your favorite pair of diving boots or water shoes. To ensure they offer you extra protection, most manufacturers ensure that:

  • They have adjustable straps – to ensure you remain comfortable throughout. Also, the straps give a firm hold to your foot, meaning you can adjust them to your size. Besides, wearing open heel fins and a pair of diving boots is the best way to beat the boat decks wetness, and the rocky shores.
  • They come in different sizes and thickness – since open heel fins come with adjustable straps, you can get them in any thickness, and adjust them to fit you. So, if you love diving in cold water, you can choose a pair of open heel fins thickness that can offer you extra warmth. These, when paired with water shoes or diving boots, will ensure you remain comfortable and well protected underwater.

wear water shoes with flippers

Types of Fins That You Cannot Wear with Water Shoes

Full-Foot Fins

Full foot fins are meant to cover your entire foot. So, they’re ideal for bare feet wearing. They’re light and don’t have adjustable straps, therefore ensure you get the perfect fit. Also, these type is simple, and thin, making them ideal for warm water diving. Plus, because of their light weight, the full foot fins are travel friendly, and they’re easy to put on and remove.

However, because of their ill-fitting tendencies, they might cause blisters and cuts, therefore it’s advisable to wear them with a pair of thin water socks.

Let’s recap the main differences between open heel and full foot fins:

Open Heel FinsFull Foot Fins
worn with dive boots, water shoes or socksworn barefoot
thermal protectionno thermal protection
adjustable, offering custom fitnot adjustable, right fit is a must
suitable for both warm and cold watersuitable for warm water
harder to put on and offeasy to put on and off
more expensive, when you also consider the additional cost of boots or shoesaffordable, since you don't need to have dive boots or water shoes

Should You Wear Socks with Water Shoes?

Although it isn’t always necessary, you can wear dive socks with water shoes. However, if your water shoes aren’t fitting, it’s best to wear socks to help protect your feet from cuts and blisters. Also, if you’re wearing open heel fins, it’s advisable to consider wearing 3mm diving or snorkeling socks.

Can You Wear Socks with Flippers?

Yes, diving or snorkeling socks should give you optimum comfort and protection. They can work with either full-foot or open-heel fins to protect you from constant rubbing as you move in the water. Therefore, pairing your flippers with a pair of some good quality diving socks isn’t a bad idea.

Final Thoughts

So you can definitely wear dive boots or water shoes with open heel fins. Also, you can add a pair of socks to protect your feet from blisters and cold water. And although full-foot fins can be worn alone, wearing them with thin water socks will give you comfort and protection against constant rubbing.

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