Have you ever gone snorkeling without fins?
While it’s possible, it’s not nearly as much fun. Fins can help with your efficiency and speed. If you’ve ever been completely exhausted after snorkeling, there’s a chance your lack of or poor choice of fins were the cause.
Keep reading to learn all there is to know about snorkeling fins and decide which type is best for you and your snorkeling needs.
1. Cressi Light Swim Fins for Men, Women, & Kids
These fins are a bit shorter than others on the market and ideal for training. Their design ensures muscle training without putting too much strain on your legs or feet. The fins are very light but still durable.
I found these fins to be incredibly easy to take on and off, which is great for kids and those who struggle to bend. But keep in mind that they’re training fins. They’re meant to teach your body how to swim with fins and build up the muscles you need to do so.
They’re not really made for leisurely swims. These fins are great for those who want to get the most out of their snorkeling experience.
Be warned that the sizes run small, so order at least one size smaller. You’ll soon realize that these are the best lightweight snorkel fins for the entire family.
2. U.S. Divers Proflex II Diving Fins
These diving fins have an enclosed heel, soft foot pocket, and fit snugly and comfortably. The metallic blue adds a bit more style, which isn’t often found in snorkel fins.
If you’re new to snorkeling, these fins or the US Divers Trek Travel Fin are a great option. They’re long enough to add speed, but they aren’t too difficult to maneuver. Their price is perfect and they’re solid yet flexible.
I found that my feet were pretty sore at first, but once I broke the fins in, I didn’t have to worry about this anymore. These aren’t the most powerful fins you’ll find out there, but for the price, they’re perfect.
3. Cressi Palau Light Weight Travel Snorkeling Swim Fins
Here’s a short-blade fin design that’s perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and plenty of water sports. The foot pockets are soft and comfortable and the buckle is easy to adjust.
If you’re looking for snorkel fins for the entire family, these are designed to be shared. You can save a bit of money by snorkeling in shifts. These diving fins are also designed for bare feet, so make sure that you’ll be using them in warmer waters.
If you’re looking for comfortable and well-made travel fins that can be used nearly daily, these are the perfect option to consider.
4. Cressi Palau Short Snorkeling Swim Fins with Mesh Bag
I brought these fins on a mini-vacation. They were small enough to fit on my carryon, which was great. The weather wasn’t ideal when I arrived though, so I used them for the first time in the pool at the hotel, just to get a feel for them.
They were very comfortable, even though I hadn’t used them before. The heel strap never came loose and I felt like they were perfect for my height and strength. I didn’t struggle to kick and I noticed a huge improvement in my speed.
Once I finally got to take them into the ocean, I knew it wasn’t a fluke in the pool. These have quickly become one of my favorite sets of fins because of how easy they are to travel with and the easy speed they give me.
If you’re looking for the best travel fins, these are it.
5. Cressi Palau Open Heel Long Fins for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
If you’re not a fan of boots, these fins are perfect. They’re designed to be used with bare feet and feature an adjustable strap that will allow you to easily switch from warm to cold water.
Because of their compact size, I wasn’t expecting a huge increase in my speed, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would recommend these fins for someone who’s used fins in the past but wants to find something adjustable and more comfortable.
Do Fins Help When Snorkeling?
Yes. Fins are much more beneficial than you might realize. While you can still snorkel without them, you’ll be wasting valuable energy and taking away from the fun and relaxing atmosphere that you should be experiencing.
Fins help with your speed, which is crucial if you happen to be in a strong current. Fins also help to protect your feet if you’re in shallow water, and they help you tread water more easily. This in turn will help you save energy, especially if you’re snorkeling for hours at a time.
What Are the Benefits of Using Snorkeling Fins?
Snorkeling fins can make a huge difference when exploring coral reefs and schools of fish. Here are some of the top benefits associated with these swimming accessories.
Protect Your Feet
Fins can help to keep your feet warm in colder water, which will make swimming a lot easier. They also help protect your feet from rocks or sharp coral that might be right beneath you.
It can be hard to judge just how far away obstacles are when snorkeling, and fins can save you from some nasty cuts and bruises.
Using fins can help keep your leg muscles moving properly during your swim. This can prevent injury, but can also sculpt your muscles in a flattering manner.
There are actually training fins available that will help you teach your body how to properly move through the water and make your fun outing double as a workout.
Your legs do the most work when snorkeling. You either use them to propel you in a certain direction or to keep the water from moving you too far off track.
There’s no way to snorkel without kicking, and when you wear fins, the added material makes each kick that much more powerful. You can kick half as much and half as strong when wearing proper diving fins.
Cover More Water
Not only will fins help you conserve energy, they’ll also increase your speed. If you have a limited amount of time in the water, speeding up will help you cover a bigger area. You’ll be able to see twice as much without swimming like a maniac.
How to Use Snorkeling Fins
Just like so many other things in life, practice makes perfect when using snorkel fins.
The first few times you use your fins, expect to move a little awkwardly and struggle controlling your direction. This is normal.
Make sure that you’re putting your fins on correctly and that they’re adjusted to stay on without being too tight. Enter the water and take a moment to get a feel for how they move in the water. Depending on the type of fin you chose, the way you move in the water will be a bit different.
For example, if you have paddle fins, you should be making slow and exaggerated movements. If you have split fins, you won't need as big of a kick. If you have split fins, the kick is quick but small.
When you kick, you want your larger leg muscles to do most of the work. You should feel the kick in your thighs and bottom. Your lower legs and feet should feel more relaxed than tense.
Give yourself a little time to get used to the motions. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert. In fact, eventually you’ll find it awkward to swim without fins!
Closed Foot or Open Foot?
Open foot snorkeling fins will allow you to wear a boot, which can be necessary in colder water. Boots also protect your feet when entering rocky areas.
You’ll find open foot fins to be stiffer, heavier, and bulkier than closed foot options. That’s the first thing you’ll notice when trying a closed foot on. They’re incredibly light compared to open foot, which means you won’t need to kick as hard to move through the water. They’re also more efficient.
When it comes to snorkeling, a closed fin is usually recommended, while open foot fins are better for scuba diving.
Split Fins vs Paddle Fins
A paddle fin is made of one piece of material. It’s seamless and stays together. A split fin has a split down the middle, just like the name suggests.
There are benefits to each, but it usually just comes down to personal preference. Paddle fins will help you speed up quickly and give you good control and maneuverability. But split fins are usually considered to be more efficient and faster when it comes to longer swims.
It can be hard to try out both because they require very different kicking techniques. Go with the one that feels more natural to you.
Is There a Difference Between Snorkeling Fins & Travel Fins?
Just as the name suggests, travel fins are made for travel. They're shorter, wider, and generally found in the open foot style. They’ll save space in your luggage and can be great for those who travel the world looking for the best snorkeling destinations.
But they aren’t as powerful as snorkeling fins and your swimming speed can suffer, especially if you find yourself in a strong current. If you do chose to go with a travel fin, make sure they have excellent reviews and are known for more than just their compact size.
How to Choose the Right Fit
Your fins won’t do you any good if they don’t fit just right. They should feel snug but not overly tight. If they’re digging into your skin or cutting off circulation, they’re way too tight.
At the same time, they shouldn’t be too loose. You don’t want to lose a fin once you get out in the water.
Keep in mind that your feet will shrink a little in cooler water. So if you know you’ll be swimming in colder water most of the time, go for a tighter fit rather than a looser one.
Make sure that when you flex your foot, the fin stays soft. Hard spots will dig into your foot, leaving you with a raw spot once your adventure is over.
It can take some time to find the right fit, but it’s definitely worth the effort once you have a pair of fins that fit like a glove.
How Do Fins Help in Snorkeling?
Fins help in many ways, even if you’re debating snorkeling fins vs diving fins.
First, they make snorkeling safer. They also help you move faster and cover more area while conserving your energy. Should you find yourself in a dangerous situation, having fins can literally save your life.
They’ll also help you get more out of your snorkeling experience by letting you focus on what you’re seeing rather than what your body needs to do.
How Important Is the Fin Length?
Fin length is important, but it’s also important to consider your height when choosing a pair. Longer fins will give you more power but keep in mind that they require more energy to move through the water.
If you’re taller, longer fins could be the added boost in power that you need. But if you’re shorter, they could be too difficult to manage, and the added strength needed to kick might wash out the advantages fins are supposed to give you in the first place.
Like so many other factors, you’ll need to try a few different lengths to see which is the best for your height and strength.
To get the most out of your snorkeling adventure, pick yourself up a pair of snorkeling fins sooner than later. They’re one of the easier decisions you have to make when it comes to snorkeling.
Once you have your full face snorkel mask and other accessories, choosing fins is a fun way to wrap up your shopping spree and get ready for an awesome time exploring the open water. With each kick of your fins, you’ll be making a memory.