Best Scuba Fins - 2019 Reviews and Buyer's Guide
Based on extensive tests & research, our top choices for best diving fins on the market in 2019 are:
- Cressi Reaction Pro Full Foot Fins >> soft and comfortable material in the foot pocket and side reinforcement
- SCUBAPRO Seawing Nova Fins >> clean water blade geometry for optimum propulsion, ergonomic foot pocket
- Scubapro Jet Sport Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins >> three material blade construction and quick release buckles
- Aqua Lung HotShot Comb-Strap Scuba Diving Fins >> anti-slip rubber pads on the bottom of fin
- TUSA SF-22 Solla Open Heel Diving Fins >> three channel blade with crescent tip, patented blade design
- Atomic Aquatics Split Fins >> split fin design, high energy polymer fin material, easy release buckles
- Mares X-Stream Open Heel Fins >> blade construction for less turbulence and no parachute effect
- Cressi Frog Plus Open Heel Scuba Fins >> dual density techno polymer creates channeling effect
- Aqua Lung Stratos 3 Full Foot Scuba Fins >> 4 channel structure gives improved water canalization along blades
- Sherwood Triton Fins > 3-vents between foot pocket and blade
Our Top Picks for Best Scuba Diving Fins
Fin length: from 22.6 inches (57.4 cm) to 27 inches (68.6 cm)
Weighing only 2.7 kilograms (5.95 pounds), the Cressi Lightweight Scuba Diving Fins is one of the lightest scuba diving fins in the market where they are highly preferred by frequent travellers (for those of you looking for a favorite diving spot, we have recently updated our guide to scuba diving in Kauai). But despite being lightweight, this scuba diving fins is one of the most efficient when it comes to converting distance to every kick cycle you make.
Made from a highly durable polypropylene material, it is molded and designed in such a way that it gives you the greatest distance for each kick without putting too much leg power.
It has a foot pocket that is architecturally designed and placed underneath the fin blades which increases your leg power and maximizes finning efficiency.
Considered as basic full-blade diving fins, the Cressi Fins has a minimalist design. This scuba diving fins does not have the windows and holes or the spring straps. Instead, it is engineered for simple fin efficiency where the fins adjusts in every kick cycle and leg angle.
The sides have a rounded edge which prevents water from losing in contact with the fins thereby maximizing speed and energy conversion. The tips of the blades are equipped with little tabs which directs the water in a linear direction, which in effect, increases your streamline profile.
The actual fin blade, including the foot pocket, is composed of a mixture of hard propylene and soft rubber that will give you a soft and comfortable feel. There’s a reason behind why the fin blade and the foot pocket has the same material: the fin blades will be relatively soft to kick while the foot pockets are designed to be used with high-cut diving booties.
If the materials are different, then you will feel as if there is a boundary between the fin blade and the foot pocket, while having the same material will give you a feel as if the fins are just an extension of your feet.
When it comes to diving booties compatibility, this set of fins is compatible to any design and thickness including diving socks. But if you will be exploring a site that has a rocky shore or areas that are known with strong prevalent water current, then we highly suggest you skip the low-cut booties and choose a high-cut booties that has a thick sole.
For a good fit in using the Cressi Lightweight Scuba Diving Fins, please follow this size classification:
UK Foot Size
US Men’s Foot Size
US Women’s Foot Size
7 / 8
5 / 6 / 7
6 / 7 / 8
8 / 9
8 / 9
9 / 10
10 / 11
10 / 11
11 / 12
12 / 13
12 / 13
13 / 14
14 / 15
Reminder for fin sizing: if you intend to use the Cressi Scuba Diving Fins without booties (as some scuba divers are doing it in the tropics), then we highly recommend you choose the next lower size to compensate for the absence of diving booties.
Fin length: from 24 inches (60.9 cm)
The Scubapro Jet Sport Scuba Diving fins is considered both a powerful and a high-performance scuba diving fins that is suited for use for all scuba divers regardless of certification level.
Newbies and experienced divers will enjoy the smooth performance of this scuba diving fins that is designed for maximum leg power and energy to distance conversion. It has a distinct design where the foot pocket and the fin blades are separated through a 3-division window called as the drag-reducing vents that allows the natural flow of water as you kick the up and down or left and right.
This feature alone significantly reduces water drag and conserves your leg power.
The foot pocket of the Scubapro Diving fins is ergonomically designed to naturally fit the contours of your feet. The use of a diving booties is highly recommended where it is secured through an adjustable fin strap that is equipped with a quick release buckle for easy donning and doffing.
Even if you are using a diving gloves, you can easily manage the fin strap and adjust it accordingly courtesy from the splitting handle grip that is located at the center. The fin blades are made from 3 highly rigid yet flexible materials that is constructed in a durable frame which gives optimal flexibility.
The fin blades are visually large which aides you in achieving maximum fin power and it naturally bends as you kick the fins in the water. The blades are further equipped with a rubber ribbing at the side which acts to prevent water from slipping thereby maximizing the energy to distance conversion in every kick.
If you try to make a closer look, you will see that the rubber ribs starts at the tip of the blades and goes all the way up to the foot pocket. This guarantees you that all your leg power is transferred all the way to the tip of the fins.
When it comes to flexibility, the fin blades naturally bends as you make a kick. On top of this, the Scubapro Jet Scuba Diving fins has a unique feature where its fin blades forms a small u-shape in every upward and downward motion which acts like a fan thereby maximizing the water it comes in contact with.
This simply means that you are guaranteed the maximum distance in each fin kick. But how is this possible? This is brought to you by its 3-composite material that is intermixed to naturally bend.
The hard polyethylene material (usually this is the part where it is colored) is joined by a softer rubber material allowing the fin blades to change its shape in every stroke. When not in motion, the fin blades are flat. However, as you make a kick cycle, the fin blades bends into a u-shape directing and propelling water towards the tip.
In terms of color design, aside from being predominantly colored black, there is a wide selection of fin blade colors where you can choose from flat gray, blue, pink and yellow.
Fin length: 23 inches (58.4 cm)
If you want a short, heavy and powerful scuba diving fins, then the IST Deep Sea Scuba Diving Military Fins is the one for you.
Weighing 3.2 kilograms (7 pounds), this pair of fins is made from a thick and a high quality durable rubber that is expected to withstand to roughest conditions over an extended amount of time. But despite being tough, using the fins will give you a soft and comfortable feel.
The IST Deep Military Fins are not recommended for newbies. The fins are heavy and requires leg power. This is the reason why they are preferred by experienced divers, professional technical divers and also for military use.
If you have the leg power, this scuba diving fins will come in handy where you will appreciate its features that maximizes your glide and underwater distance in every kick you make.
Its old school traditional design has been proven from years of usage that it will give you power and motion while being underwater. The fin blades are slightly curved and will natural bend at different angles which creates overall flexibility and positive thrust.
While it is heavy, this scuba diving fins creates less drag as you make a stride. This is brought to you by its windows or drag-reducing vents that has an angular orientation which further lessens water drag.
One thing that is well pronounced in the IST Deep Sea Scuba Fins are the rubber ribbings. You can see that it is highly elevated up to an inch high and is further supported by 2 inner rubber ribs at the middle.
This means that in every kick you make, it channels a maximum amount of water towards the tip, which in turn is converted in to thrust or underwater motion.
Although the foot pocket of this scuba diving fins is softly contoured, it is recommended that you use a diving booties and make sure that you have the proper size compatibility between your feet, booties and fins. Otherwise, if it is not compatible, you will be struggling underwater where the possibility of experiencing cramps while underwater is imminent.
You also have to take note that this scuba diving fins has a fin strap that has no quick release buckle. Although the fin straps are adjustable, you need to pre-adjust before using it since it will lock in place once it is locked in. The only way to put on and take off these scuba diving fins is either by pulling or pushing down the straps.
Just in case you want to add a bit of flexibility and suspension in the fin strap, you can pre-order a coil spring fin strap. This upgraded fin strap accessory is equipped with the universal IST clamp with coil springs that are made from high performance stainless steel.
Just a reminder: the coil spring fin strap is sold separately.
Fin length: 26 inches (66 cm)
If there is one scuba diving fins that has exceeded the established performance of traditional scuba diving fins, then nothing beats the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Scuba Diving Fins.
This non-vented fins is a redesign and restyle version of the legendary Mares Avanti Quattro Fin. Made from a new composite and lightweight material that only weighs 1.95 kilograms (4.3 pounds), this scuba diving fins gives you an optimal leg power.
It has an increased fin blade efficiency courtesy from its new hi-flex composite material. Each pair of this fin has four water channels that directs water towards the tip as you make a kick. This mean that the conversion from leg power to distance is 4 times higher when compared to other scuba diving fins.
Taking a closer look at this scuba diving fins will give you an idea that of the 4 water channels, 2 are depressed on the front while the remaining 2 water channels are depressed at the back portion. This, in effect, guarantees you that water is channeled whether you are doing an upward or downward kicking.
When it comes to fin efficiency, the Mares Avanti Quattro Fins has greater responsiveness regardless of the type of diving environment you are exploring.
Its improve stabilizers guarantees fin stability at all times which eliminates the possibility of an ankle twist especially in swimming against the current or in exploring areas with strong tidal fluctuation.
The foot pocket has a new anatomical design which conveys more power from your legs up to the fin blades. One thing that is noted and new to this scuba diving fins is its patented bungee fin strap. This easy to use elastic cord that is encased in a high performance rubber guarantees that you will always have the right fit, especially when using a pair of diving booties. In short, not too tight and not too loose.
You have to remember that the bungee heel straps does not need any adjustment. All you have to do is pull the thumb loop, insert your booties and set back the bungee straps in place. It naturally adjust to expansion and compression which is great for deep diving where you don’t feel a loose fin when you go deep. The bungee heel strap also acts as a suspension where it releases foot tension when you are doing hard kicks.
On top of all its engineering and anatomical features, the Mares Avanti has an overall improved look that is highly attractive and with more colors to choose from.
Aside from the standard colors from its old version, it now offers the lime version (green), flamingo (red) and white. The various choices of colors are designed to be highly visible in the water even if it is turbid or deep. One of its users who choose the flamingo color was expecting that the red color of the fin would dissipate as it goes deep. But surprisingly, it did not fade away and stayed as bright red even at 30 meters (100 feet) deep.
Fin length: 22 inches (55.9 cm)
The Tusa SF-22 Solla Scuba diving Fins is a triple combination of high tech fin design derived from Tusa’s years of experience, manufactured using advanced materials and designed with hydrodynamic innovation.
It has several unique features that gives you maximum propulsion and ease of maneuvering. It is primarily made from a proprietary thermoplastic elastomer compound called ForcElast that is strategically positioned in the fin blade and foot pocket which converts your leg power into maximum propulsion even with just the use of a mild kick.
The actual fin blades are equipped with the TUSA’s patented 20° Angled Blade Design (ABD) with a reinforced side rails and vents that significantly reduces drag. The fin blades from each of the pair of this scuba diving fins is further embedded with three crescent-shaped water channels that ensures maximum water displacement enabling you to move forward while underwater as you make a single kick.
Since the Tusa SF-22 Solla Scuba diving Fins is classified as an open heel fin type, it has a large foot pocket that is designed with the use of a diving booties.
The good thing with the foot pockets of this scuba diving fins is that it is made from a dual material that naturally fits the contours of your feet. This feature alone is greatly appreciated by its users since it eliminates the possibility of foot discomfort and fatigue that may end up in muscle cramps.
The securing mechanism of the foot pocket is brought to you by its patented TUSA Anatomic Fin Strap (AFS) with an EZ buckle system. To adjust the heel straps that will give you the right fit, all you need to do is press the buckle and pull from the middle using the thumb loop to loosen or pull it on the protruding end to tighten.
Once you have the right fit in the strap, donning the fins with a diving boots is just as easy as pressing the EZ buckle to release and attach it back to secure it again. Further, the heel strap is molded in such a way that it gives you balance, flexibility and ease of use which generally increases foot power and comfort while reducing heel slippage during actual usage.
While the Tusa SF-22 Solla Scuba diving Fins does not really need any maintenance, there are a few tips that we can share so that this pair of scuba diving fins will last long.
First, do not forget to rinse the entire fins with freshwater and much better if you completely soak it for minutes.
Second, do not place it under the direct heat of the sun, otherwise, the integrity and toughness of the material will be compromised.
And lastly, if you are a frequent traveller and may pack this pair of fins with other scuba equipment such as your scuba regulator or your diving lights that has greater weight, then it is highly recommended that you insert back the provided plastic retainers in the foot pocket. This will avoid deformity (especially for split fin models) when accidentally pressed down by other scuba gear during your dive travel.
If you are looking for casual snorkeling fins or paddle fins, as opposed to more advanced equipment as outlined in this article, please make sure to check our recent review of Wildhorn Topside full foot fins here. And for those looking to up their game a notch higher, we updated our article on Oceanic dive computers here and put together an in depth piece about lightweight titanium dive knives here.