The 10 Best Dive Fins

Updated March 09, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Dive Fins
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 35 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Sure, you can rent gear during your next scuba or snorkeling trip, but having your own setup can save you money in the long run and, considering the wide variety of high quality options out there, greatly enhance your underwater experience. These dive fins come in several different styles and can be extremely comfortable, as they adjust or come made to fit any size of feet. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best dive fin on Amazon.

10. Finis Long Floating

If you're new to snorkeling, the Finis Long Floating are a good low-tech choice for getting accustomed to the activity. Their high buoyancy helps lift your legs to the surface while swimming, reducing drag from the rest of your body and making viewing sea life easier.
  • also suitable for pool training
  • perfect for all ages
  • not for serious diving
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Oceanic Viper

Ideal for snorkelers of almost all skill levels, these Oceanic Viper have flexible power thrust channels that direct water off the tip of their blades for delivering superior power, control, and efficiency. They don't sacrifice on style, either, coming in several colors.
  • good for warm water snorkeling
  • power vents reduce stress on legs
  • not the most comfortable foot pocket
Brand Oceanic
Model pending
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

8. Mares Razor Pro

The technopolymer Mares Razor Pro are one of the lightest pairs of free-diving fins available and, though they seem expensive, they are actually cheaper than some carbon and fiberglass models out there yet perform comparably, with a sleek design that increases stability.
  • side ribs help channel water flow
  • comfortable foot pockets
  • sizes run a little big
Brand Mares
Model 420401-041
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. Seavenger Trek

If you're traveling light but still want to take a pair of quality blades with you, the Seavenger Trek are worth considering. These short-style fins won't take up much room in backpacks and carry-ons, nor will they add much weight to your load.
  • responsive design
  • quick-dry mesh bag
  • straps aren't very durable
Brand Seavenger
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Tusa X-Pert Zoom Z3

The split-fin Tusa X-Pert Zoom Z3 feature enhanced propeller technology that optimizes efficiency, so you can cover more distance with less effort. Their reinforced side rails decrease blade separation and increase both stability and kick-style versatility.
  • handle currents well
  • 27-degree angled blades
  • best when worn with boots
Brand Tusa
Model pending
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. Scubapro Seawing Nova

The Scubapro Seawing Nova may look funny, but their unique design is grounded in function. The articulated joints allow the blades to pivot no matter how hard or soft you kick, ultimately helping to maintain thrust, prevent drag, and preserve energy.
  • durable monprene construction
  • thick marine-grade bungee straps
  • are a little expensive
Brand Scubapro
Model pending
Weight 5.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. U.S. Divers Proflex II

The U.S. Divers Proflex II are a great all-around option for anyone who does as much snorkeling and diving as they do body surfing or tube fishing. The enclosed heel and soft foot pocket provide a snug fit, while the open water channels help to increase flow and thrust.
  • ideal for novices
  • reasonably priced
  • not as flexible as other pairs
Brand U.S. Divers
Model pending
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Aqua Lung Stratos 3

Offering the power and performance of a scuba fin and the sleek lines of a snorkeling blade, the Aqua Lung Stratos 3 combine the best of both worlds. They're perfect for the experienced diver looking for an affordable and versatile option for use in all conditions.
  • made of elastic technopolymers
  • high shock and stress resistance
  • come in four colors
Brand Aqua Lung
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Mares Avanti Quattro Plus

A restyled version of the brand's leading model, the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus achieve the perfect balance of stiffness and flexibility. They're a good upgrade for novice divers interested in advancing their technique, or anyone in the market for a quality pair.
  • very easy to adjust
  • come with lanyard and coil
  • perform well in strong currents
Brand Mares
Model 410003-SAS RBL
Weight pending
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Cressi Pluma

The popular Cressi Pluma are made using a unique molding process that incorporates three separate materials, creating blades that are highly responsive in the water, but still sturdy. Plus, they extend from the tops of the feet, which increases their surface area.
  • raised anti-slip rubber grips
  • lightweight and flexible
  • manufactured in italy
Brand Cressi
Model CA175043
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

How Do I Choose a Proper Pair of Dive Fins For ME?

The most important aspect of any pair of dive fins is comfort. This may comes as a surprise given so much priority is focused on a dive fin's performance. And yet the reality is that if a pair of dive fins doesn't fit comfortably, that pair of fins is of little value, long-term. One-size-fits-all dive fins tend to cause blisters, or pinch the heel, or cram the toes, or, worse yet, slip right off. The point being that approximate sizing is important, and any dive fins that are fastened with a strap should include some extra padding along the back.

Once you've squared away comfort, the next area you'll want to focus on is aqua-dynamics. Ideally, you'll want a pair of dive fins to weigh somewhere between 6-10 lbs. Top dive fins are designed with built-in rivets, or channels, along the top half of the flipper. These rivets work in conjunction with side rails to propel a diver forward. Kicking with a well-built pair of dive fins creates the same type of thrust as pulling inward with a pair of oars. An oar's blades are actually shaped like a pair of dive fins. Certain oars even feature rivets for redirecting water.

As a precaution, you'll want to get a sense of how durable a pair of dive fins might be. This is a tricky business, in that the majority of dive fins have been designed by using a similar combination of rubber and plastic. Seeing phrases like "multi-layered," "reinforced," and "structural integrity" in a dive fin's description is a promising start. But you'll probably also want to read some professional reviews - and some customer reviews - before you make your final choice.

How To Swim Efficiently With a Pair of Dive Fins

The goal of dive fins is to allow a swimmer to move quicker, and more efficiently, while underwater. This is especially important for ocean divers who are using a great deal of energy to reach - and return from - considerable depths within an abbreviated period of time.

Swimming with dive fins is easy, and it will lighten the burden on your body. The most basic dive-fin motion is what is known as a flutter-kick. Flutter-kicking requires the same one-two motion that a person uses whenever kicking in a swimming pool, with the difference being that both arms should remain static, and positioned at your sides.

Flutter-kicking involves constant movement, and it is for this reason that a lot of divers prefer to frog-kick instead. Frog-kicking requires a swimmer to begin with both legs resting straight, and parallel. The swimmer then brings both legs up toward the body before cycling them outward and around (this is the same lower-body motion that is used during a breaststroke).

The key to an effective frog-kick is making sure that both heels face each other whenever you bring them back into what is known as the resting position. Doing so will maximize the amount of propulsion, thereby allowing you more time to relax in between kicks. In addition, you should hold both hands clasped in front of your stomach during a frog-kick. Using your hands to skim water will actually impede some of your progress.

It is recommended that you practice both of the above kicks before attempting any type of deep-sea excursion. You can hone your technique by completing 2-minute drills in dive fins while swimming laps, or holding onto the ledge of a pool.

A Brief History of The 'Swim Fin' (By Way of Its Inventor)

Flexible swim fins were invented by a Lieutenant Commander in the French Navy named Louis de Corlieu. De Corlieu spent roughly two decades refining his propulsion device before he registered for a patent in early April of 1933.

De Corlieu was far from the first person to tinker with the idea of using foot extensions to push through open water. Some of the greatest innovators of the 19th Century - including Benjamin Franklin - had experimented with the idea before. What separated de Corlieu was his insistence that a pair of flippers needed to be constructed out of rubber or plastic. Ben Franklin's flippers had been constructed out of wood, which is incapable of channeling water in a weightless, fluid motion.

In 1940, de Corlieu coined the term "swim fin" when licensing his propulsion device to an American sailor named Owen Churchill. Churchill helped de Corlieu market his new invention to the American Navy, which used the fins for a number of purposes. Perhaps most notably, US frogmen wore de Corlieu's flippers while disabling underwater mines just off of Normandy Beach. This became a precursor to what we now know as the D-Day Invasion.

Throughout the 1950s, major manufacturers (including Dunlop) began cutting in on de Corlieu's profits. These manufacturers developed their own lines of highly-specialized fins, including diving fins, which were built longer for gaining additional propulsion with each thrust. De Corlieu stepped away from the business entirely during the early 1960s. He died in Paris in 1967. He was inducted posthumously into the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

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Last updated on March 09, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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