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You don’t always need to go diving to explore the underwater world, but you do need a good pair of snorkeling fins.

With the right snorkeling fins, you’ll be able to glide through the water almost effortlessly.

Without them, you’ll end up exhausted and probably frustrated.

But with a seemingly endless number of different options available, it can be difficult to find the best fins for snorkeling.

Luckily for you, we’ve done all the hard work.

If you’re looking for a quick answer, the best snorkeling fins in 2020 are:

Want to learn more about these options?

Keep reading…

How to Choose The Best Snorkeling FinsIn this article, we’ll be reviewing the best fins for snorkeling.

Plus we’ll be sharing our top tips to help you choose the best snorkeling fins for you.

Were you hoping to find the best flippers for snorkeling?

Although we know what you mean, you’ll almost certainly be mocked by divers if you call them flippers.

So remember Flipper is a dolphin. Those things we wear on our feet, they’re called fins.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s get started.

Best Snorkeling Fins

Mares Avanti Best Snorkeling FinsWe’re kicking off our list with our favorite fins for snorkeling, the Mares Avanti Super Channel Full Foot Fins.

In our humble opinion, these are the very best snorkeling fins you can buy. They’re incredibly comfortable, light enough to travel with, and if you take reasonable care of them, they’ll easily last you a lifetime.

The patented 3 channel flexible blade generates strong propulsion with minimal effort. Which means you’ll easily power through the water without getting tired. Plus they’re versatile enough to be used for scuba diving.

When it comes to performance, quality, and value for money, the Mares Avanti Super Channel snorkeling fins simply cannot be beaten.

 

Pros
  • Super soft foot pockets that mold to most foot shapes
  • Easy to kick yet powerful when needed
  • Very responsive to movement
  • Suitable for scuba diving & snorkeling
  • Extremely rugged & long-lasting
  • Fantastic value for money
Cons
  • Sizes come up a little big
  • Not ideal for very wide feet

 

 

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Cressi Clio Best Budget snorkeling finsA classic snorkeling fin from one of the most trusted diving and snorkeling brands. The Cressi Clio Everlasting fins have been on the market for over 20 years, yet they’re still one of the best snorkeling fins on the market.

Despite their simple appearance, these fins feature responsive composite blades and special, computer-designed foot pockets that make them both comfortable and powerful.

And if that’s not enough, they’re also cheap and, as the name suggests, they last forever!

 

Pros
  • Long-lasting & durable
  • Very lightweight – ideal for traveling
  • Easy to slip on & off
  • Super soft foot computer-designed foot pocket
  • Cheap
  • Wide variety of sizes available
  • Responsive blades for quick maneuvering
Cons
  • Not suitable for scuba diving or freediving
  • Not the most powerful blades

 

 

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ScubaPro Go Best Snorkeling Fins For TravelMade from 100% Monoprene, the ScubaPro Go Travel snorkeling fins are super lightweight and incredibly tough. They’ll easily fit into your luggage and have a handy hole at the tip for easy transport to the beach.

The open heel design with bungee strap means that a wide variety of sizes and foot shapes are easily accommodated. However, the tough nature of their construction means they are prone to rub a little. Although this is easily avoided by wearing booties or neoprene socks.

 

Pros
  • Lightweight & compact for travel
  • Open heel design fits a variety of feet sizes
  • Made from high quality, durable materials
  • Hook & hole at the tip for easy storage & transport
Cons
  • Sizes run small
  • A little expensive for just snorkeling
  • Tough material can rub a little

 

 

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Mares Full Wave Best Snorkeling Fins for BeginnersThese soft, flexible fins are the perfect choice for beginners who are happy to stay at the surface. They’re super easy to kick so they won’t tire out your leg muscles.

However, if you want to speed up you’ll have to kick A LOT. These snorkeling fins are too flimsy for swimming against currents and you’ll probably struggle to keep up with any speedy marine life.

 

Pros
  • Soft & flexible
  • Very easy to kick
  • Reduced leg fatigue
  • Longlasting & durable
  • Lightweight & compact for travel
Cons
  • Not great for power or speed
  • Too flimsy for currents
  • Not suitable for scuba diving

 

 

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Best High End Snorkeling FinsThe ScubaPro Seawing Nova snorkeling fins are expensive, but if you have the budget they’re well worth it.

Made from Monprene elastomer, they’re more durable, lightweight, and comfortable than traditional plastic fins. Although sizing can be a little tricky.

Their unique hinge design ensures the fin hits the water at the perfect angle, giving you the most efficient propulsion.

 

Pros
  • Excellent & efficient propulsion
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Float at the surface
  • Available in open heel
  • Suitable for scuba diving
Cons
  • Not great for wide feet
  • Expensive

 

 

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Mares Avanti Quattro Power Full Foot Best Snorkeling FinsIf you’re a reasonably strong swimmer and you’re looking for powerful snorkeling fins, then the Mares Avanti Quattro is your best choice.

The channeled blades make it easy to snorkel at the surface and offer fantastic propulsion for swimming against currents or keeping up with those mantas.

To achieve such power the fin is slightly longer and stiffer than the others on our list, which means prolonged sessions may get tiring, especially if you’ve got slightly weaker leg muscles.

 

Pros
  • Very powerful propulsion
  • Great for speed & currents
  • Rugged & long-lasting
  • Available in open heel
  • Suitable for scuba diving & freediving
Cons
  • Can rub a little when wearing without socks
  • Tiring on weaker leg muscles
  • Bulky for travel

 

 

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Best Long FIns for SnorkelingLong fins are better suited for freediving as they tend to lose efficiency when kicking on the surface. However, the Beuchat Mundial One fins are versatile enough for both snorkeling and freediving, with the stiff fishtail blades offering efficient and powerful propulsion both on and below the surface.

For experienced snorkelers who like to duck dive, these are the best fins for snorkeling. Although the blades can lose some rigidity over time which means these fins become less powerful with heavy use.

 

Pros
  • Great propulsion & maneuverability
  • Highly efficient blades
  • Comfortable & reactive foot pocket
  • Rugged & durable material
  • Great value for long fins
  • Suitable for freediving
Cons
  • Foot pocket is quite wide so better with socks
  • Not ideal for beginners – requires proper kicking technique
  • Not great for travel

 

 

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Best Snorkeling Fin For Wide FeetIf you have wide feet, bunions, or just an uncommon foot shape, you’ll be very familiar with the frustrations and pain of wearing standard snorkeling fins.

So you’re going to love the Tilos Getaway Open Heel Snorkeling Fins. They’ve been specifically designed to accommodate wider feet without chafing or pinching.

 

Pros
  • Comfortable for wide feet, bunions, high arches, etc
  • Open heel with adjustable strap fits many sizes
  • Very little chaffing or pinching
Cons
  • Short blades don’t offer much power
  • Little flimsy for currents
  • Not suitable for scuba diving or freediving

 

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Atomic Split Fins Best snorkeling fins for speedIf ease of use is your priority then we recommend the Atomic Split Fins.

Built for speed and agility, these snorkeling fins require very little effort to move through the water, even at speed.

 

 

Pros
  • Soft, comfortable foot pocket
  • Generate speed with little effort
  • Rugged materials
  • Lightweight for travel
  • Very responsive blades
  • Suitable for scuba diving
  • Available in open heel 
Cons
  • Foot pocket can feel loose
  • Little pricey

 

 

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Wildhorn Topside Best Multi-function Snorkeling Fins These might look a little strange, but these hybrid snorkeling fins are ideal if you have to walk on rocky shores or hot sand to enter the water. Combining a short fin with a neoprene bootie, they’re incredibly comfortable both on land and in the water.

Although with short blades, these snorkeling fins aren’t the best for power or speed.

 

Pros
  • Adjustable velcro strap
  • Easy to use & versatile
  • Can be worn on land & sea
  • No rubbing or chaffing
  • Lightweight & compact for travel
  • Neoprene provides some warmth & buoyancy
Cons
  • Minimal propulsion
  • Not suitable for scuba diving or freediving

 

 

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How To Choose The Best Snorkeling Fins

When you’re choosing the best fins for snorkeling there are a few things you want to consider before purchasing…

Full Foot or Open Heel Snorkeling Fins

The first choice you’ll need to make is what kind of foot pocket you want; a full foot pocket or an open heel pocket with a strap.

What’s best for you will depend mostly on personal preference and the temperature of the water you’re snorkeling in.

Full Foot Snorkeling FinsFull foot, or closed heel, fins are easy to slip on and off, less bulky and more streamlined in the water. Plus you won’t need to buy additional boots. They tend to be more comfortable and are significantly more responsive to your movements than open heel fins.

If you’re snorkeling in warmer water then full foot snorkeling fins are a perfect choice. You can also pair them with lycra or neoprene socks for added warmth and comfort.

Open Heel Snorkeling FinsOpen heel fins have an adjustable strap around the heel and are usually worn with neoprene boots. They’re heavier and bulkier than full foot fins which makes them less effective for swimming at the surface and less ideal for traveling.

However, wearing booties will keep your feet warm if you’re snorkeling in cold water. Plus they provide much more flexibility when it comes to size. So they’re great if you’ll be sharing the fins or for kids who are still growing. They can also be worn barefoot or with neoprene socks, although it’s usually less comfortable than with boots.

For snorkeling, we prefer full foot fins as they’re lighter to travel with and significantly more responsive to your movement and finning power than open heel fins.

Snorkeling Fin Blades

Once you start comparing snorkeling fins it seems as though there’s an endless array of different blades to choose from. But most snorkeling fin blades will fall into one of the main categories below.

 

Standard Paddle Blade

Paddle Blade Snorkeling FinsA paddle blade is the most common snorkeling fin blade. Made from one piece of material that sits between the sidebars, or rails, it’s also the cheapest. Despite its simplicity, a paddle blade is considered the best for snorkeling as it provides a good balance between flexibility and power.

 

Split Fins

SPlit Blade Snorkeling FinSplit fins tend to be a bit more expensive but are known for maximum comfort and conserving energy. Split fins are ideal if you have weak leg muscles or joint problems as they’re much easier to kick with. But, as a result, they provide less power and speed. So split fins are not recommended for snorkeling where there are strong currents.

 

Channel Blades

Channel Blades Best Snorkeling FinsA channel blade is very similar to a paddle blade, but it uses additional materials to create channels that increase the blade’s flexibility. This allows the blade to bend into a ‘U’ shape as you kick to create stronger propulsion without any added effort.

Each of the above blades may also feature vents. These are usually positioned just below the foot pocket to allow water to pass through and prevent unnecessary drag.

Flexibility and Stiffness of Snorkeling Fins

The flexibility and stiffness of the blade will depend on your leg strength and experience level.

If you’re relatively new to snorkeling, it’s best to choose a more flexible blade as this will make it easier to kick at the surface.

A stiffer blade requires more power but is better if you want to explore underwater as well as on the surface.

Weight and Size

Lastly, if you’re planning on traveling with your snorkeling fins then it’s important to consider the weight and size.

You’ll want to make sure that they’re light and small enough to easily pack into your luggage. But remember, the smaller the blade the less propulsion you’ll get out of them.

It’s also useful to have positively buoyant fins for snorkeling. So if you accidentally drop one it’ll float and you lose it to the bottom of the ocean.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you really need fins for snorkeling?

The short answer is yes. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from snorkeling without fins. But if you want to be safe, comfortable, and efficient when snorkeling then you need to wear fins.

Because a fin provides a larger surface area, you are able to exert more force on the water with each kick. Which means you can swim for an extended period of time without overexerting yourself.

Man SnorkelingYou’ll also be able to swim against currents and waves with far less effort.

Plus they’ll help you to safely maneuver over and around rocks, coral formations, and marine life.

What’s more, most snorkeling fins provide you with some flotation. This helps you stay horizontal and allows you to rest easily at the surface.

And lastly, when you’re snorkeling with fins you don’t need to use your arms for swimming. This means your hands will be free to capture all the action on your underwater camera!

How should snorkeling fins fit?

You want your snorkeling fins to fit snug, but not too tight. Remember as you spend time in the water your feet will cool and shrink a little. So your fins will loosen slightly.

It’s better for snorkeling fins to fit a little tight rather than loose. With loose fins, you’ll lose power from your kick and there’s nothing more frustrating than fins that fall off every time you try to kick hard.

However, if the fins are so tight that they dig in or pinch your foot then it’ll only get worse when you’re in the water. So go up a size or try a different style to find the best fit.

Neoprene socks for snorkelingAlternatively, if you can’t quite find the right fit or you find snorkeling fins always rub your feet then we recommend wearing neoprene socks underneath.

Not only will these keep your toes warmer, but they also make your fins way more comfortable. Especially if you want to stay in the water for as long as possible!

Are short fins or long fins better for snorkeling?

Best Snorkeling Fins Overall short to medium fins are better for snorkeling. They’re much easier to use and travel with than long fins. Plus you’re less likely to accidentally kick coral, wildlife, or even other snorkelers!

Although long fins generate more thrust, and therefore more speed, they also require more power and proper kicking technique to use effectively. Long fins are better for freediving and spearfishing where speed and correct form is more of a priority.

Short fins require much less power so they’re easier on your leg muscles. Which means you won’t get as tired when snorkeling. Plus they’re easier to maneuver in so you can quickly change direction if necessary.

What’s more, if your kick is weak or your technique isn’t correct, then you won’t receive any of the benefits of long fins.

However, if your snorkeling fins are too short then you won’t get much propulsion either. This means if you want to pick up speed you’ll have to kick quite furiously and you’ll generate a ton of excess noise and whitewash which will scare off most wildlife.

Can you use scuba fins for snorkeling?

Best Fins For Snorkeling Technically yes, you can use scuba fins for snorkeling. But not all scuba diving fins are suitable for snorkeling. And here’s why…

Snorkeling fins are uniquely designed specifically for swimming at the surface, whereas scuba fins are made specifically for swimming efficiently at depth whilst wearing a full set of dive gear.

This means that scuba fins tend to be heavier, longer, and stiffer to give each kick more power underwater. However, when on the surface this design can make snorkeling very tiring. And with some scuba fins being negatively buoyant, they can even be unsafe to snorkel in.

Snorkeling fins are usually lighter, shorter, and more flexible than scuba fins, making it much easier for you to swim and maneuver on the surface.

That being said, there are plenty of fins that are suitable for both scuba diving and snorkeling.

If you’re looking for a pair of fins that you can use for both, we recommend either the Mares Avanti Quattro Power Fins or the ScubaPro SeaWing Nova Fins. Both these durable fins offer the perfect balance between flexibility and power for both snorkeling and scuba diving.

Still can’t decide?

Ultimately, we recommend going for the snorkeling fins you feel most comfortable in. If you’re not comfortable, you won’t kick effectively and you definitely won’t enjoy the experience.

Of course, size, durability, and price also play a factor. But at the end of the day, enjoying your time in the water is the most important thing!

Do you have a favorite pair of snorkeling fins?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Alexa Worswick Administrator

Alexa Worswick is a PADI and SSI scuba diving Instructor, recreational freediver and freelance copywriter. She first learnt to scuba dive in the UK aged 15 and has since travelled and dived in multiple locations across 3 different continents. After quitting her marketing job in London in 2016, Alexa is now based in Indonesia where she can pursue her passion for the ocean fulltime. 

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