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10 Best Snorkeling Fins: The Ultimate Guide in 2019

To find the best snorkeling fins you’re going to have to go snorkeling more than just a few times. You’ll learn about what you personally value in a snorkeling fin and what brands suit your needs.

If you’ve never snorkeled before or only plan on doing so a few times then you probably don’t need to own fins yet -- renting will do just fine if you only want to get your feet wet (literally and figuratively).

But there are definitely some good reasons to own your own snorkeling fins.

For one, rented fins are a gamble. Some are good and some are bad but you won’t know until you put them on, at which point you’re stuck with whatever you get.

I would recommend owning snorkeling fins if you:

  • Snorkel enough to get sufficient use out of them OR
  • You have the sort of strange feet that don’t simply adapt to whatever you put them in

I happen to fall into both categories and thus have tried quite a few snorkeling fins.

Before I get into the bulk of this article about the 10 best snorkeling fins out there I’d like to mention a few exceptional picks for those of you that would like to make a quick decision.

editor's choice

Atomic Aquatics Splitfin

Atomic Aquatics Full Foot Split Fins (High Performance) 7.5-8.5 Yellow
  • Incredibly high performing split fin design
  • Comfortable full foot pocket
  • Lightweight

best value

Deep Blue Aqualine

Deep Blue Gear Aqualine Short Fins for Snorkeling, Swimming, and Diving
  • Compact design
  • Fits true to size
  • Great value

How to Find the Best Snorkeling Fins

In my opinion, there are 3 things that make a great snorkeling fin.

The best snorkeling fins should be:

  1. Specific to your needs
  2. Lightweight
  3. Good fit

Specific to your needs

How much distance do you need to cover in what amount of time? Will you need to traverse land intermittently during the snorkel? Is limited packing space an issue for you? To add to all of those questions, snorkeling fins are going to be a little different than scuba diving fins but one can substitute for the other in a pinch.

Lightweight

This is one of the bigger differences between snorkeling fins and scuba fins -- snorkeling fins should be lightweight. This is because when you snorkel you want it to be easy to stay on top of the water. It’s actually not a bad idea to get a snorkeling fin with a little buoyancy. Scuba fins, on the other hand, need to be much beefier, both to give you more propulsion power and so that your feet aren’t constantly floating toward the surface.

Good Fit

This is the biggest detractor for renting snorkeling fins. Some of the times that I’ve rented it’s been fine but a few times the fins gave me blisters and combined with the saltwater the experiences were rather unpleasant.

As far as fit goes, most reputable brands make fins with a good quality fit. For snorkeling fins I suggest going with a closed heel design or, if you want the open heel design, to get some neoprene socks (AKA booties) to go with them to prevent chafing. I’d start with a half size smaller than shoes you wear for comfort.

10 Best Snorkeling Fins

Whether you’re a serious snorkeler or someone that wants to try out a few different watersports you are sure to find a snorkeling fin that fits your needs in this list.

Without further ado, here are the 10 best snorkeling fins in 2019.

1. U.S. Divers Trek Fin

U.S Divers Trek Fin - Compact Snorkel Fins for Travel

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Open Heel
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $

Like I said, with open-heeled fins you’ll want to get some neoprene socks to go with them. They just fit so much better with booties on and you’ll have fewer strap issues than if you went sockless.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

At first glance this is a somewhat funny looking snorkeling fin. But let me tell you, it performs just as well as any of the others and is the most compact snorkeling fin out there.


2. Wildhorn Topside

Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins- Compact Travel, Swim, and Snorkeling Flippers for Men and Women. Revolutionary Comfort on Land and Sea.

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $$

This snorkeling fin is one of a kind. It’s really a hybrid between a shoe and a snorkeling fin because the folks over at Wildhorn started with a standard neoprene booty, slapped an ultra grippy sole on the bottom and then attached a short fin to the front. The result is a comfortable snorkeling fin that performs well in a lot of different situations.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

For snorkeling adventures that require a lot of switching between kicking in the water and walking over land or rocks there isn’t a better snorkeling fin than the Wildhorn Topside.


3. Cressi Palau

Cressi Palau Light Weight Travel Snorkeling Swim Fins, Lilac White, Medium/Large

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Open Heel
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $

Cressi, an Italian watersports company, makes excellent snorkeling fins that are lightweight, fit great, and perform well. A true sports fin, the Palau Short Adjustable Fin is ideal for active watersports enthusiasts.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

Short and easy to pack, it’s the ultimate travel companion and is suitable for snorkeling, swimming, body surfing, boogie boarding and much more.


4. U.S. Divers Sea Lion Junior

U.S. Divers Sea Lion Junior Floating Fins, With Bag, Junior Large (childs 1-3), Yellow

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $

Want to snorkel with the whole family? These U.S. Divers Sea Lion Junior snorkeling fins are a great option for the youngsters. They’re lightweight so they don’t require much kicking effort and they float too. They’re also soft for comfort and they fit easily into your luggage.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

The Sea Lion Junior is one of the most popular kids snorkeling fins. Parents love them, kids love them -- you can’t go wrong with the Sea Lion Junior from U.S. Divers.


5. Cressi Light

Cressi Light, blue, 39/40

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $$

These snorkeling fins are designed to teach proper swimming technique which is why a lot of swim coaches use them in the pool with their clients. Although they are designed to develop the leg muscles required for kicking, they won’t tire you out or cause cramps.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

For those of you interested in developing the flawless streamlined kick stroke of an elite Italian swimmer, the Cressi Lights are your fin for sure.


6. U.S. Divers Proflex

U.S. Divers Proflex FX Fin (Silver, Men (Large) 10-13 Lady (Large) 11.5-14.5)

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Long Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Open Heel
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $

U.S. Divers offers a variety of fin styles to meet the needs of watersports enthusiasts. Whether you're diving, snorkeling, tube fishing, body surfing or having fun in the pool, the Proflex is among the best. It’s also got dual open water channels, which optimize the water flow and enhance the snap and thrust.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

This fin is a little bit longer than the U.S. Divers Trek so it will require more effort to propel yourself but you will reach a faster top speed (think gears on a bike -- higher gear = more effort = faster). These are high quality fins that are comfortable and still compact enough to fit in your luggage.


7. Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport

Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport Adjustable Snorkeling Fin, Yellow, Small/Medium (Size 4.5 to 8.5)

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Open Heel
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $

These snorkeling fins have extended sole plate that add thrust and relieve strain on your feet. They have a simple and reliable strap adjustment system that makes it easy to take them on and off.

The contoured foot pocket offers maximum comfort with or without booties (although I still recommend them). Performance wise, the Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport comes with a directional channel that increases propulsion efficiency.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

To intelligent marine mammals like dolphins and orcas, humans probably look rather silly kicking around in the water with our relatively tiny feet. But don the Phantom Aquatics Speed Sport and you’ll get a taste of what it feels like to move in the water as though you were born to do it.


8. Cressi Pluma

Cressi Pluma, black/silver, 45/46

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Long Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $$

These high performance snorkeling fins from Cressi are super energetic and offer an exceptionally snappy rebound from each kick. They appear to run a size large for women so you might want to air on the smaller side when ordering. However, this is mostly true for all snorkeling fins as they are made of rubber and having a foot pocket that is too small will perform better than one that is too large.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

The Cressi Pluma is a high performance snorkeling fin that will have you swimming circles around everyone. Just make sure you are accustomed to a long fin design as they take more effort than short fins.


9. Atomic Aquatics Splitfin 12

Atomic Aquatics Full Foot Split Fins (High Performance) 7.5-8.5 Yellow

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Long Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Split
  • Price: $$$

A split fin performs more like the combination of a whale's tail and a propeller. When you kick the two separate blades twist which will increase your propulsion and lift. They offer less drag, more thrust and most important less strength is used.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

These are the fastest and most efficient fins that we could find. Tons of people are making the switch to split fins and these are some of the best performing split fins on the market.


10. Deep Blue Aqualine

Deep Blue Gear Aqualine Short Fins for Snorkeling, Swimming, and Diving

Model and Accessory Specs:

  • Fin size: Short Fin
  • Foot Pocket: Full Foot
  • Blade Type: Paddle
  • Price: $

The Deep Blue Aqualine is a great snorkeling fin. The short blade design is compact and flexible which makes them easy to fit in your suitcase. This also makes them less tiresome to use in the water.

Why Choose This Snorkeling Fin?

This snorkeling fin offers great performance, comfortable fit, and they’re easy to travel with -- all for an awesome price. They even come in a few different colors.


Get the Most Out of Each Kick

There are a bunch of good reasons to get into snorkeling:

  • Discover a new aquatic world
  • Learn about fish and coral
  • Get a good workout

Snorkeling is like a walk in the woods, only the woods is the ocean -- a totally new way to experience nature that will ignite your imagination and fill your heart with wonder at all of the undiscovered paradises you have yet to find.

10 Best Snorkeling Fins: The Ultimate Guide in 2019

Do you ever wonder what if feels like to cruise through the water with the effortless grace of a porpoise?

I sure have.

Although we may never truly know what that feels like, the closest we can get is with a pair of great snorkeling fins that fit just right.

Picture yourself cruising around colorful coral.

You see a particularly interesting group of corals with tons of exotic fish swimming in and out of it. With your own feet it would take minutes to get there but with your new snorkeling fins on your feet you’re there in just a few strokes.

Here’s to cruising around in your new snorkeling fins!

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