Best Snorkel Fins 2020 Reviews & Guide

This page may contain compensated links. For more information read our disclaimer here.

by Kristin Young | Updated On: August 3, 2020 | Gear

A GUIDE TO THE BEST SNORKELING FINS

If you’re looking to find the best fins for snorkeling you’ve come to the right place! This is a complete guide to the best snorkelling fins, whether you’ll be heading on your first snorkel trip or you’re a snorkel pro and are looking to invest in your own snorkeling flippers. 

When it comes to looking for the best fins, there are many different factors to be aware of. I’ve taken my time to review some of the best selling and most popular snorkel fins out there, as well as some of my own tried and tested ones from many snorkel trips. In this guide, I’ll walk you through my favorite swim fin reviews as well as everything you need to know about what to look out for before you buy snorkel fins. 

woman on beach carrying snorkeling fins with text overlay of complete guide to the best snorkel fins
Pin it!

There are many different features that the best snorkeling fins can have, but the basics are the most important – that is make sure your snorkel fins are going to fit you well. After all – they’re not going to be of much help if they slip off your feet and make their way to the ocean floor! You also don’t want a pair of snorkeling fins that are too tight and are going to give you blisters and make your time under water less fun. 

Some people wonder if they really need flippers or can you snorkel without fins, or what is the difference between snorkel vs scuba fins. One of the best things about having your own snorkeling fin set is that you can take them with you on vacation, meaning no more shared, second hand and beat-up snorkel fins – so make sure you look at the weight and size of the fins if you’re really looking for the best travel snorkel fins. 

Let’s get started with my top snorkel fins reviews! 


MY TOP PICKS FOR THE BEST SNORKELING FINS

If you’re in a hurry, don’t have time to read my complete snorkeling fins review guide, and just want my top recommendations for the best flippers for snorkeling, here are my top 3 picks for different needs:

Best Travel Fins for Snorkeling : US Divers Trek Travel Fin

These lightweight snorkel fins are short, have great snap and are just perfect for travel! They even come with their own mesh bag to make packing easy and protect your flippers. These US Divers swim fins come in a range of colours and sizes, and get great reviews. Perfect for jetting off on your next snorkel trip. 

Read my full review below or click here to check prices on Amazon now


Best Fins Multi-Diving Use: Oceanic Viper Adjustable Fins

If you’re looking for fins that you can use for snorkeling as well as scuba diving, or wondering about snorkeling fins vs diving fins, I love this versatile pair of fins by Oceanic Viper. They’re ideal for all diving and snorkeling levels and are super flexible! 

Read my full review below or click here to check prices on Amazon now


Best Kids Snorkel Fins: Cressi Kids Snorkel Fins

If you’re looking for fins that your kids won’t grow out of in a heartbeat, these Cressi snorkel fins for kids may just be the answer. The vented fins come with straps that can be adjusted as your kid grows. Ideal for little ones aged between 4 – 12. 

Read my full review below or click here to check prices on Amazon now


BEST FINS FOR SNORKELING
2020 COMPARISON CHART

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:


DO I NEED FINS TO SNORKEL?

One of the commonly asked questions about snorkeling is do I really need fins, or can I snorkel without fins? I would say definitely, yes – fins will make your snorkel experience so much better! 

Fins will help you move with a lot less effort in the water, and a snorkel and fins set will totally change your diving experience! The right snorkeling fins will enable you to move with more power and control, and allow you to move further as well. Snorkeling fins can triple or even quadruple your swimming range!

So the main advantage of using the best flippers for snorkelling is that swimming will take a lot less energy – leaving you free to enjoy the underwater flora and fauna without getting tired! 

Snorkel fins – especially those with closed toes – also play an essential role in protecting your feet from sharp rocks or barnacles as well. 


FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN LOOKING TO BUY SNORKELING FINS

Now you already know some of the reasons why I strongly recommend investing in a good pair of snorkeling fins, but what are some of the other factors you should look out for when looking for snorkel fins for sale? 

Read on to find out more about what to look for in my best fins for snorkeling review! 

Strap Back or Full Heel? 

One of the first things to consider when comparing top rated snorkel fins is whether the fins have a fully enclosed heel and fit like booties (called a ‘full foot’ in my chart above) or if they have an adjustable strap at the back that leaves the heel area open. 

The main advantage of a strap at the back is you can adjust it to be different sizes or for comfort – it’s also handy if your feet swell in warm weather. The downside of having an adjustable strap is they are sometimes known to slip off if the fit is not tight, meaning you have to re-adjust the strap, or, worst case, the flippers could fall off. On the plus side, strap back fins are slightly lighter and fold down easier to pack. 

strap back

full heel

Strap back fins are also ideal for warm waters. 

If you’re really not sure whether to get open heel vs full foot fins for snorkeling, I recommend going with a strap back to start with for more flexibility. 


Short Fins or Long Fins?

Another question you may have on your mind is short fins or long fins and which is best for snorkeling. Short snorkeling fins are definitely travel friendly, and usually the most lightweight fins, but there are some other things to keep in mind, too. 

man snorkeling with short fins
short fins- Photo by Miles Hardacre from Pexels

Short snorkel fins are easier to get used to than long fins if you’re new to snorkeling, and they also require less exertion to use too – they need less ‘kick power’ to get things started. So if you’re not planning on swimming far and it’s important to you to keep your fins lightweight and compact, then grabbing some short swim fins for snorkeling may be the best way to go. Short fins also give you more precision and control over your movements. 

woman snorkeling with long fins
Long Fins- Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

Although long fins require a bit more kick to get them started, they give you more power and allow you to swim further with less effort once you’ve got them going. For that reason, some people suggest that long fins are the best swimming fins for beginners. 

Another factor to consider is where are you going to be entering the water from? I never suggest walking into the water with flippers on, but that job is even harder with long fins. If you’ll be jumping straight from a boat, then either short or long fins are ok. If you’re not sure what option to choose and are a beginner, short travel fins are a great place to start. 


Weight

If you’re looking for snorkel travel fins, or carrying your fins around a fair bit, then a key consideration is going to be how much they weigh as well as how easy they are to pack.

Some of the lightest fins are made from super lightweight material and weigh less than 1.6 pounds (0.7kg), while other models can weigh more than double that. Shorter fins tend to weigh less and can make for the best travel fins, but there are also lightweight long snorkel fins available. Having fins that are built out of a lightweight material can make all the difference when traveling. 

Having a mesh bag to carry your fins in is also helpful as it means you’re far likely to take your fins out with you, and these bags also protect your fins and allow them to dry naturally which is essential to preserve the material. 


Vents

Some short and long snorkeling fins come with vents, which are small holes or slits within the fin that allow some water to pass through your snorkel fins. 

see vents along sides at near the toe

The main benefit to this is that it can make the flipper blades easier to kick, especially when swimming against strong currents. If you’re looking for the best swim fins, then having vents in them is something I recommend for faster and lighter movement. 


Split Blades

If you’re looking to buy long fins, then consider if a pair with split blades might be right for you. Split blades are fins with long blades that have the blade divided into two, with a split running down the centre, similar to a fish’s tail.

split fins

regular fins

This enables easier manoeuvering within the water, and is ideal for beginner snorkelers and divers. The split fins enable easier kicks that require less energy and can propel you forward with more speed. That said, split blades will not enable you to swim faster over longer distances, and if you’re already an experienced diver, they may provide you with less power than you are used to. 

I’ve included some of the best split fins for snorkeling in my flipper reviews below! 


Snap

Snap refers to the flexibility or hardness of the fin and its ability to scoop water to propel you forward in the water more effectively. It’s something to be aware of if you’re likely to be exploring larger areas of water while snorkeling, and also if you plan on using your fins for scuba diving as well. 

Each pair of fins needs to find the balance between flexibility and strength to find the perfect snap. Snap is not restricted to long blades, and can be found in plenty of short travel snorkel fins too. 

Having a good snap will help you move with ease and less effort while snorkeling, so keep in eye out for fins that have been designed with snap in mind while reading my best swim fins for snorkeling reviews. 


Price

Unsurprisingly, fins come at all different price points, ranging from cheap snorkel fins and cheap flippers made of rubber to top of the range versatile dive fins that can be used for snorkeling, scuba or even freediving. 

Snorkel fins that are made from lightweight material will cost a little more, and generally you can expect to pay more for long fins than for short ones – something to consider in the short fins vs long fins debate. 

You’ll pay more again for top name brands and extra features such as vents and splits – but with fins it’s worth knowing that you generally get what you pay for. So it’s worth investing in reasonable quality from a reputable brand if you’re intending to use them more than a few times. 


Neoprene Swim Socks

Neoprene socks for snorkeling serve two purposes. The first is to keep your feet warm and insulated (neoprene swim socks can be bought at different thicknesses, depending on the temperature of the water you’ll be in). 

The second purpose of the socks is to keep your feet more comfortable within your fins. 

If you are in the market for neoprene swim socks, these are our favorite!

So, although you’re unlikely to need neoprene socks to stay warm in the tropical waters of the Caribbean, socks or booties are worth considering if you’re worried about blisters or plan to use your snorkeling flippers in colder waters too. 

If you do plan on buying neoprene socks to wear with your flippers, make sure you take that into consideration (along with how thick the socks are) when choosing the size of your flippers. You could either choose fins with an adjustable strap that will be able to make extra space for the sock, or consider going a size up in fins. 


BEST SNORKEL FINS REVIEWS

Below are some of the best snorkel brands and reviews of my favourite dive fins for sale in 2020. 

Cressi Short Light Swim Fins

These Cressi swim fins come with an adjustable full foot pocket and are a great option if you’re looking for small snorkel fins. 

Italian brand Cressi makes some of the best reviewed and highly regarded diving fins on the market – Cressi flippers have been designed in Italy since 1946! These short dive fins are made from lightweight material, and are the shorter version of the Agua long blade fin, especially designed for snorkeler travelers. 

One of my favorite features with these fins is the self-adjusting foot pocket system which makes them super comfy and they stay on your feet easily. 

These fins also get great feedback for being easy to use and well suited for snorkeling trips. They won’t provide as much thrust or propulsion as some of the larger fins listed in this guide, but if you’re looking for the best snorkel fins for beginners, I highly suggest giving these Cressi short fins a go. 

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews 


Cressi Snorkeling Full Foot Pocket Fins

These Cressi Pluma full foot fins are perfect if you’re looking for a long fin that’s going to give good propulsion and performance. They can be used for either snorkeling or scuba diving. 

The fins use a state of the art molding process for superior performance, meaning you can swim and dive further with less effort, even through currents. The full foot is designed from soft thermo-rubber, providing more comfort, protection, and a better fit. 

Other features include rubber veins on the fin to ensure a good thrust and flexibility in the water. The fin blades are made from polypropylene, making them light and a great option if you’re looking for long, lightweight flippers. 

These fins are designed and made in Italy, and I love the pretty pink style option if you’re looking for women’s snorkel fins. If you’re not planning on wearing a neoprene sock, it’s recommended you go a size down for these fins to get a good fit. 

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Mares Head X-One Snorkel Fins

If you’re comparing travel snorkeling fins, best chance is that shorter fins will be easier for you to carry around. These Mares Head X short and packable travel fins get wonderful reviews and I love their design. 

Available in 3 different colors, these fins feature an innovative open heel design that’s bucklefree and features a bungee strap, the foot pocket has a mesh style that’s perfect for diving in warm waters, and is open at the toe for extra comfort. The fin blade is highly responsive and offers plenty of snap, giving you lots of propulsion, even with a short fin. 

These Mares snorkel fins have everything you need for a lightweight, travel friendly pair of fins that delivers good performance at a great price. If you’re wondering which are the best snorkel fins for travel, these are definitely one of my top recommendations. 

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


US Divers Trek Travel Fin

The US Divers trek travel fin is one of the most popular options for travel fins. There’s a dual-composite blade that delivers great snap and propulsion in the water while snorkeling, which is great value given these fins’ compact length. 

These US Divers flippers come with a mesh bag which is perfect for travel, and are designed with an open-heel style soft foot pocket that also features an open toe. The back of the foot pocket features an adjustable strap, for flexible sizing. 

The fins are versatile and apart from snorkeling can be used for bodyboarding, swimming and other water sports. So if you’re looking for a cheap, multi-use and travel friendly pair of snorkeling fins – you may just love these ones!

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Tusa Sport Long Blade Snorkel Fins

If you’re searching for the best snorkel fins for wide feet, you may like these Tusa Sport Long fins. Featuring an open strap back foot pocket, the strap has been designed to accommodate wider feet. 

The soft foot pocket provides a firm yet comfortable fit, and the longer length blades provide plenty of propulsion and power for swimming while snorkeling. There’s special thrust channel technology with these fins that directs water down and away for extra kicking power. 

The Tusa open heel fins for snorkeling are one of my favourite open heel options thanks to the silicone strap which retains its stretch and comfort. These fins are perfect for tropical water diving thanks to their open design which makes them super easy to slip on and off, too – so if you’re looking for a pair of fins for the Caribbean, definitely check these ones out. 

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Oceanic Viper Adjustable Fins

If you’re looking for a great quality multi-tasking pair of fins at an affordable price, you’ll definitely want to check out the Oceanic Viper adjustable strap fins. 

These long fins are flexible and suitable for all snorkeling and diving levels, and features a flexible power thrust channel that pushes water off the top of the blade for improved power. There’s a twin vent system that helps accelerate water over the blade, and an open heeled / strap back foot pocket that can fit barefoot or with neoprene socks. 

These flippers are some of the best fins for snorkeling and diving and pack some great features in for the price. There’s a wide range of sizes available so make sure to check your appropriate size carefully considering feedback from reviews, too.

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Split Snorkel Fins

If you’re looking for the best dive fins, you could also consider these split fins which will – supposedly – allow you to cut through the water with the agility of a shark(!). Sharks aside, these split fins do come with an impressive number of features and are an option to consider if you’re looking for long fins that deliver superior performance.

The fins come with a full back foot pocket for comfort, feature anti-slip bottoms and can be worn with or without booties or socks. The split fins result in less surface resistance and a reduction in drag, making paddling easier on your feet and ankles! These dive fins are also designed with vertical stablizers, to reduce resistance and increase efficiency. 

These split fins are definitely some of the best full foot fins in this price range, so if you’re looking for something which will help you move easily while snorkeling, definitely check these ones out. 

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Cressi Kids The Rocks Snorkel Fins

When you’re looking for snorkel fins, kids have fewer options than adults, but I love these ones by award winning Cressi. 

The design features an open strap back with adjustable straps and a large thumb loop on the straps that make them super easy to pull off and put on your kids. The fins are super compact and perfect for travel, and have been designed with good quality for a great price in mind. 

These Cressi travel fins for kids are super sturdy and feature twin vents, short blade fins and vented open heels making them ideal for hours of happy exploration in warm waters for your little ones. 

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Cressi Palau Long Fins

Last on my list but certainly not least, these Cressi Palau fins are some of the most popular on the market, and with good reason. Coming in at a great value price, the Cressi Palau long adjustable fins are lightweight, responsive, and get consistently good reviews. 

These Cressi snorkel fins come with an open heel and strap back with pull on/off thumb ring, and the foot pocket is made from a soft elastomer material for comfort. The fin blade extends from the top of the foot pocket for extra surface area. The Cressi Palau has been designed to be super comfortable and adaptable to any foot shape, and is well suited to snorkeling, watersports and swimming. 

These are some of the best Cressi fins if you’re looking for good value and something that can be used for occasional scuba diving as well.

Click here to check the current price and read more reviews


Looking for More Snorkel Gear Guides?

Read Next: Guide to the Best Underwater Camera for Snorkeling

Read More: Best Snorkel Mask Review and Guide

Hi!  We’re Kristin & Andrew, lovers of everything tropical.  We spend as much time as possible searching for the best beaches, snorkeling, hiking, and fun in the sun!