Best Scuba Fins of 2024

Last Updated:

September 27, 2023

21 Best Scuba Fins of 2024 - Reviews by the Diving Squad


Buying your own pair of scuba fins is one of the smartest things you can do to get the most out of your dives.

Choosing your own pair of fins means you can get the perfect size for your foot; eliminating the ankle cramp so often experienced when using rental fins.

Also, you can buy a design of fin that suits you best. Some fins are super powerful yet heavy. Others are lightweight and compact; perfect for travel!

On this page, we’ve reviewed the best scuba fins of 2024. Dive down to the QUICK ANSWER for a brief synopsis of each fin or descend deeper for our Detailed Reviews

How did we create these reviews?

By being huge scuba-nerds! We’ve given detailed feedback of the fins we’ve owned and tried whilst also interviewing other divers about theirs.

You’ll find real-life user-stories of trying out these fins, original photos and even get to see which parts of the world we’ve used them in.

Whilst creating these reviews; we’ve taken into account key factors such as the cost of a pair of fins, how heavy, durable and compact they are and any special aspects of their design.

For example some fins are designed to be extra manoeuvrable whereas others are created to fit super small or large feet!

My favourite dive fins are the Apeks RK3 – they are short and wide making them powerful and perfect for frog-kicking as well as great in enclosed spaces.

Virtually all the fins we’ve reviewed are open-heel, which are easier to take on and off and adjust compared to closed-heel fins making them perfect for scuba diving.

So, let’s dive in and take a closer look…

fins together on boat awesome
tusa sola fins water aweosme again


1) TOP PICK: Apeks RK3

Price: > $$$
Tec Fins = Short, Wide & Durable
Perfect for Frog-Kicks
Awesome Power
Spring Heel Strap

2) Best Hybrid Fins: ScubaPro Seawing Nova

Price: > $$$
Hybrid Design
Extra Manoeuvrable
Great Agility
Spring Heel Strap

3) Best "Classic" Fins: Tusa SF-22 Solla

Price: > $$
Classic Paddle Fin Design
Powerful yet Lightweight
Channels & Side Rails

4) Best Fins for Travel: ScubaPro Go Travel

Price: > $$
Light & Compact
Slot together for Easy Packing

5) Cheapest Fins: Tusa Liberator X-Ten

Price: > $
Reliable & Easy to Use
Decent Power

6) Best Range of Colours & Patterns: ScubaPro Jet

Price: > $$$
Tec Fins - Short, Wide & Powerful
Huge Range of Designs
Spring Heel Strap

7) Best Split Fins: Atomic Smoke on the Water

Price: > $$$
Split Fin Design
More agility and manoeuvrability
Light and Easy to Use
Spring Heel Stap

8) Best Rental Fins: Mares Avanti Qauttro+

Price: > $$
Paddle Fins
Channels for Extra Power
Easy to Use with Good Thrust

9) Manta Inspired: Oceanic Manta Ray

Price: > $$$
Design Based off Manta Ray Body
Techno-Polymer Construction
Winglets alongside for extra power

10) Extra Secure Fit: Mares X-Stream

Price: > $$$
Hybrid Design
Great Manoeuvrability & Agility
Super Comfortable & Secure Fit

REVIEWS: Best Scuba Fins

  1. Our TOP PICK: Apeks RK3

  2. Best Hybrid Fins: ScubaPro Seawing Nova

  3. Best “Classic” Fins: Tusa SF-22 Solla

  4. Best Fins for Travel: ScubaPro Go Travel

  5. Cheapest Scuba Fins: Tusa Liberator X-Ten

  6. Best Range of Colours & Patterns: ScubaPro Go Jet

  7. Best Split Fins: Atomic Smoke on the Water

  8. Best Rental Fins: Mares Avanti Quattro+ 

  9. Best Manta Inspired Fins: Oceanic Manta Ray

  10. Best Fins for Extra Secure Fit: Mares X-Stream

1) TOP PICK: Apeks RK3 Fins

apeks fins 4
  • Price: > $$$

  • Tec Fin Design: Short & Wide

  • Awesome Power & Thrust
  • Great for Frog-Kicking

  • Vents for Extra Power

  • Spring Heel Strap

My favourite dive fins of all time, the Apeks RK3 fins are insanely powerful! They have tec blades meaning they’re shorter and wider than standard paddle fins; this combined with channels (open-gaps) across these blades means you get a huge amount of thrust combined with less resistance when kicking.

Being made of a durable thermoplastic rubber material that can withstand extreme abuse, they’re phenomenally durable. 

Because they’re shorter, the Apeks RK3 fins are also superb for frog-kicking as well as great within confined spaces such as wrecks and caves. They have been the standard gear issued to US military and coast guard divers for decades. 

One con I will point out is that because the Apeks RK3 fins are so bulky and heavy, they take up more packing space; however, in my opinion the awesome performance that they provide is well worth it.

They’re also extremely comfortable to wear thanks to the ergonomic foot-pocket and the spring heel straps which compress and contract with changing pressure caused by depth to ensure a consistent fit on all stages of the dive. 

  • Super Powerful

  • Insanely Durable

  • Comfortable

  • Spring heel strap for consistent fit

  • Great for frog-kicks and in confined spaces
  • Bulky and heavy – take up a fair bit of packing space

  • No small size

2) Best Hybrid Fins: Scubapro Seawing Nova

  • Price: > $$$

  • Hybrid Design – Extra Manoeuvrability & Agility

  • Light and Easy to Use
  • Comfortable Foot Pocket Design

  • Spring Heel Strap

Followin a unique design, Scubapro Seawing Nova Fins were created to combine the power, ease of use and manoeuvrability of paddle fins with the comfort, efficiency and lift of split fins. 

To achieve this, they feature articulated joints which allow them to effortlessly propel the wearer through the water with speed and agility

Think of how a dolphin’s tail moves as it swims: the tail’s natural structure makes it bend and this provides the animal with a lot of power. By having articulated joints, the seawing novas work in much the same way!

Pivot control ensures the most efficient angle of attack is maintained so that no matter how hard or soft you kick, these fins generate thrust with minimal effort and without drag. 

Once more like the dolphins tails by which they’re inspired, the blades feature a varied geometry so that as the foot moves downward, the fin flattens out to provide extra thrust and power. 

Ridges and winglets on the inner blade assist with channeling water in the right direction for optimum balance. 

The spring straps automatically adjust to changes in pressure and have a large finger tab for easy pulling back to make donning and doffing a breeze.

Quirky in design and exceptional in performance, the Scubapro Seawing Nova Fins are another example of the exciting technology being incorporated into modern dive fins. 

  • Strong yet flexible.

  • Spring heel strap.

  • Wide trailing edge adds extra propulsion.

  • Grommet hole on end of each blade for easy carrying. 

  • Available in a variety of colours. 

  • Articulated joints provide a lot of power and agility.
  • A little awkward to pack. 

3) Best "Classic" Fins: TUSA SF-22 Solla

tusa sola fins water aweosme again
  • Price: > $$

  • “Classic” Paddle Fin Design

  • Good Balance of Power and Lightness
  • Don’t require much strength to use

  • Compact

TUSA are a hugely respected scuba gear manufacturer, having been established since the 50’s. They’re well known for producing high quality dive equipment that performs well without relying on fancy designs. 

Enter the Tusa SF-22 Solla fins! These fins incorporate the classic “paddle” style blade that has served as the baseline fin design for decades and enjoyed immense success.

Paddle blade fins provide awesome versatility; they’re more powerful than fancy fin designs like split fins yet aren’t as heavy as tec fins and therefore require less effort to kick with.

Still, to keep with the times, Tusa have modified the paddle blades slightly: they’ve added a 20 degree angle to the blade with channels as well as side-rails to provide maximum power and manoeuvrability.

The finished product is a pair of fins that are very much still classic paddle blade fins but now have a few modern modifications for improved performance. 

Highly popular among beginner-intermediate scuba divers and as rental gear among dive centres, the Tusa SF-22 Solla offer superb value for money and are a great option for beginners. 

  • Lots of colour options.

  • Easy donning and doffing. 

  • Adjustment is easy.

  • Extremely comfortable. 

  • Deliver superior propulsion with only moderate output.
  • No spring-heel strap as seen in more expensive options.

  • Not the all-time cheapest (they are mid-priced). 

4) Best Fins for Travel: ScubaPro Go Travel

  • Price: > $$

  • Super Lightweight and Compact
  • Slot into eachother for Easy Packing

  • Durable

Scubapro Go fins have been designed especially for travel – they’re the most lightweight scuba diving fins out there, with a pair weighing just 2.6 lbs / 1.2 kg (size M-L) – including the bungee straps!

These compact fins also feature an innovative stacking system: an interlocking tooth on one fin blade hooks into the second fin and then the bungee strap from the second fin hooks the heel of the first into place. 

Just like that, the ScubaPro Go fins are stacked together and it’s like only having to pack one fin!

Despite the Go Travel fins lightness they’re still incredibly durable due to being made from 100% monoprene.

It’s actually quite surprising how strong these ultra light fins can be – they are able to deliver a good amount of thrust with minimal effort. 

The blades have a 25 degree to accommodate for diver leg bend and also feature power bars on the underside of the rail to deliver excellent speed, stability and manoeuvrability.

A self-adjusting bungee heel strap allowing for a versatile fit. The open toe foot pocket is comfortable against a bare heel, which is just as well as the foot pocket won’t accommodate dive boots; however it can fit neo socks. 

  • Extremely lightweight and compact.

  • Stacking system for easy packing. 

  • Highly durable. 

  • Decent amount of power.

  • Good stability and manoeuvrability. 
  • Can’t fit dive boots in the foot pocket. 

  • Only available in black or white. 

5) Cheapest Scuba Fins: Tusa Liberator X-Ten

  • Price: > $

  • Paddle Fin Design

  • Light and Easy to Use
  • Decent Power and Manoeuvrability

  • Comfortable

If you’re on a low budget, the Liberator X-Ten series are far more affordable than most other fins yet still offer very decent quality.

They’re reliable, easy to get on and they also provide ample thrust and power. 

On top of this, they incorporate a hydrodynamic design, made from a specially compliant material to provide extra stability and flexibility

The comfortable open heel pocket is lightweight and fits most foot types, although it’s worth mentioning that these fins do only come in two sizes: small and regular (see more info on fin sizing here). 

TUSA’s EZ strap and buckle system with squeeze side style release buckles allows the fins to be quickly and easily adjusted with minimal effort, even as they’re being worn. 

Low cost yet high quality and easy to get the best out of, the Tusa Liberator X-Ten fins are the best option for any diver looking to save money. 

  • Cheapest scuba diving fins.

  • Still offer high performance and durability.

  • Compact, light and easy to pack. 
  • Not quite as durable as more expensive fins

  • No special features (e.g. rails, vents, etc) on blades. 

6) Best Range of Colours & Patterns: ScubaPro Jet

  • Price: > $$$

  • Huge Range of Designs

  • Tec Fins: Short & Wide
  • Perfect for Frog Kicking

  • Awesome Power

  • Vents for Extra Thrust

Since the 60’s, ScubaPro have the dive gear manufacturer of choice for those who like high quality equipment that looks awesome.

Enter the ScubaPro Jet fins – you wont find any other pair of fins available in such a wide range of colours and patterns as these!

But there’s more to these fins then just looking cool. With a classic tec design; they’re powerful and sturdy; this power is further enhanced by vents through the blades.

Water flows through the vents on the down stroke which reduces pressure on the leg. When fining on the up stroke, the vent’s angle means the fin acts as a solid blade for maximum thrust.

They also come equipped with corrosion resistant spring heel straps which are easy to adjust as well as ditch and don.

Spring heel straps are depth compensating –  when you go deep and your dive boots compress due to increased water pressure, they contract. They re-expand upon ascent, ensuring a consistent fit during the whole dive. 

Do note, these fins foot pockets are pretty small, so if you want to wear a dive boot with them, you might want to consider getting an extra size up than you normally would (more info on fin sizing here!). 

  • Vented design offers unparalleled power and thrust.

  • Grommet hole one each blade for carabiner attachment makes fins easy to carry. 

  • Spring heel strap adjusts to changes in pressure at different depths.

  • Comfortable foot pocket.

  • Easy to adjust, ditch and don.

  • Extremely durable.
  • Most expensive scuba diving fins for beginners. 

  • Bulky and a little heavy. 

7) Best Split Fins: Atomic Aquatics Split Fins

  • Price: > $$$

  • Split Fin Design

  • Next-level Agility and Manoeuvrability
  • Require very little strength to use

  • Spring Heel Strap

Splitfins require some practice but when used correctly they have a lot of potential.

When you kick using splitfins, the two separate blades of each fin twist and in doing so create a propeller surface that significantly and easily increases lift.

Atomic Aquatics have persisted with the split fin design since the early 2000’s – their newest model: the “smoke on the water” series of split fins take the best elements of the split concept and makes it easier to use. 

Created using the latest plastic polymer technology to give a lightweight fin that’s excellent for travel, these surprisingly durable fins have the capacity to provide huge amounts of kicking power.

The semi rigged flex battens set in the soft blades control the precise wing shape to optimize thrust and reduce drag whilst a highly flexible hinge point between the battens causes the blade to react quickly to the slightest kick. 

Also, the large surface area of each blade improves pivoting, turning and alternate kick cycles and there are power rails on either side perform to act as the backbone of each fin, storing and releasing energy with every kick. 

These fins are exceptionally comfortable thanks to the anatomically contoured foot pocket which is specially moulded to fit the foot without any stress points and features a semi open toe.

They are equipped with a spring heel strap that automatically compensates for changes in boot compensation and adjust with changes in depth. 

  • Easier to use than other split fins.

  • High kicking power for minimal effort. 

  • Excellent pivoting and turning. 

  • Can use alternate kick cycles. 

  • Spring heel strap = consistent fit. 

  • Comfortable foot pocket. 

  • Reduced drag and improved thrust. 
  • Expensive.

  • Only available in one colour.

  • A split fin take some getting used to. 

8) Best Rental Fins: Mares Avanti Quattro+

Mares avanti fins red background gear
  • Price: > $$

  • Most Commonly Used Rental Fins by Dive Centres

  • Reliable and Easy to Use
  • Paddle Fin Design

  • Good Combo of Power and Lightness

  • Channels for Extra Thrust

The Mares Avanti are a long running and well known line of scuba diving fins. Because of their comfort and ease of use, they’re extremely popular with dive shops as rental equipment, which lends testimony to their reliability. 

The newest model of Mares Avanti fins: the Quattro Plus have four channel grooves to optimise thrust angle.  They also have stabilising trim tabs to enhance strength for improved kicking motion. 

As well as this, the blades are lighter and softer compared to previous models, meaning less strain is put on the calf muscles. 

These features, combined with an ergonomic and comfortable foot pocket means the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus fins provide an excellent job of transferring energy from the foot pocket to the fin blade. 

The end result is that these comfortable and attractive fins provide more power with less effort. 

The simple bungee spring strap makes for easy donning and doffing– it also features a large finger loop to make pulling it back effortless. Because it’s a spring strap, it automatically adjusts to changes in pressure!

Available in a range of colours, the main offset of the Quattro Plus fins is that they’re pricier than other fins, but as far as simplicity and comfort are concerned, they’re some of the highest quality scuba diving fins on the market.

  • Available in several subtle colour options. 

  • Highly durable.

  • Easy to get on and off.

  • Soft = less effort from the calf muscles. 

  • Provide a lot of thrust and power. 

  • Comfortable. 
  • More expensive than most other beginner’s scuba diving fins.

  • A little bulky. 

9) Manta Ray Inspired: Oceanic Manta Ray

  • Price: > $$$

  • Inspired by Manta Ray Body Shape

  • Awesome Propulsion
  • Extra Durable

  • Winglets along sides for extra thrust and agility

These scuba diving fins do indeed resemble manta rays somewhat and the reason for that is because their design has actually been inspired by the shapes and mechanics of powerful marine animals such as these!

The blades are made from techno-polymer materials to mimic the combined properties of bone’s strength, toughness and lightness. The result is powerful, easily manoeuvrable dive fins with plenty of thrusting power.

Meanwhile, the Power-X system acts as tendon and joint, improving propulsion by flexing during the down stroke and releasing stored energy prior to the upstroke. 

The blades also have power channels made from flexible material to stimulate elasticity of skin by directing water flow off the back of the blade to provide superior thrust. 

Winglets along the length of each blade act much like power rails by increasing kick power efficiency and keeping the fins tracking in the right direction for optimum balance. 

The scuba diving fins come equipped with soft-pad heel spring straps that adjust to changes in pressure and have an ergonomic finger-loop for easy fitting.

The unique easy buckle adjustment (EBA) system allows for more than 2″ (5cm) of precise adjustments for a custom fit. 

We love how the highly effective Manta Fins have drawn full inspiration from nature – having been improving aquatic designs for millennia, it knows exactly what it’s doing and can definitely teach us a thing or two!

  • Excellent thrust. 

  • Minimal strain on feet or ankles. 

  • Comfortable foot pocket moulded specifically for women’s feet. 

  • Durable and lightweight. 

  • Range of fin stiffness options. 

  • Excellent kicking power with minimal effort. 
  • No channels or vents. 

  • A little long = slightly less ideal in tight spaces. 

10) Extra Secure Fit: Mares X-Stream Fin

  • Price: > $$$

  • Hybrid Design

  • Awesome Comfort
  • Extra Secure Fit

  • Light to Use

  • Awesome Agility

Mares X-Stream fins have forever redefined how we imagine scuba fins can look but their futuristic appearance does more than just make them look cool

These extremely high quality dive fins took two years and four patents for Mares to develop; they’re inspired by marine mammals and are immensely popular among experienced divers.

The uniquely designed foot pocket, which is very soft and flexible, is riddled with perforations on the outside to reduce drag. 

On the inside, internal ribbing offers an exceptionally comfortable fit by eliminating foot suction and distributing pressure over the foot evenly. 

As for the blades, they feature an optimised pivoting system which allows them to maintain an optimal angle throughout the kicking cycle, resulting in a continuous thrust with minimal effort and great stability. 

The blades also feature a large central super channel in addition to two traditional lateral channels for added thrust. These channels are surrounded by vents to reduce turbulence during each fin stroke. 

The adjustable straps and buckles are of the Mares patented ABS design come equipped with large pull tabs for easy donning and doffing and can easily be adjusted whilst being worn. 

  • 4 Mares patents

  • Extremely comfortable foot pocket. 

  • High performing blades with plenty of kick power. 

  • Durable. 

  • Light. 

  • Super channel and vents for extra thrust. 

  • Optimized pivoting angle = more kicking power with less effort. 
  • No spring heel strap.

  • Expensive. 

  • A little awkward to pack. 

11) Short Elasticated Fins: AquaLung Express ADJ

aqua lung express adj net backround 2 gear
  • Price: > $$

  • Easy Donning & Doffing
  • Compact and easy to pack

  • Elasticated Membrane for Extra Thrust

Lightweight, simple and comfortable, AquaLung Stratos ADJ fins shorter than most dive fins which makes them great for frog-kicking and use in tight spaces such as shipwrecks and caves. 

An elasticated membrane stretches over the blades which stores and releases power allowing excellent thrust – that said you need to have some leg strength already to get the most out of them. 

The bungee strap adjusts to pressure changes whilst the quick releases makes for easy donning and doffing. Rubber anti-slip pads on the foot pocket provide a comfortable fit that suits most foot shapes. 

These are stylish and attractive fins available in several vibrant acrylic colours that makes the wearer easy to identify underwater, even in poor visibility conditions. 

Overall if you’re looking for a fairly affordable pair of short fins that are durable, comfortable and powerful – provided you use them right, they’re a pretty decent option.  

  • Budget Friendly. 

  • Reliable. 

  • Soft and flexible. 

  • Powerful with lots of thrust. 
  • Provide good comfort. . 
  • No channels, vertical stabilizers or other special features.

  • Limited selection of colours. 

12) Stylish Design: Atomic Blade

Atomic blade
  • Price: > $$

  • Acrylic Colours

  • Quirky Visual Appeal
  • Paddle Blade Design

  • Feels as if fins are “bolted to foot” 

Inspired by the structural frames used within race cars, the Atomic Bladefin’s unique design means that the top part of the foot pocket is actually part of a single structure that includes the frame rails.

The lower half of the pocket; which is connected underneath, gives the wearer a feeling as if the fin is bolted to the foot, which creates an extra secure fit as well as providing maximum sensitivity between feet and fins. 

Ultimately this means that the Atomic blade fin’s quirky design provides two benefits – it results in a pair of extremely slick and streamlined looking fins and it enhances their performance!  

Atomic Bladefins are available in a variety of bright colours and with their unique design and “wicked fin and buckle styling” system, make for a trendy and obvious compliment to the Atomic series scuba masks and snorkels. 

Vertical stabilisers on each fin capture water and channel the flow down each blade and off the stabilizer tips – this keeps the blades tracking in the right direction for enhanced user stability and balance. 

Power is controlled with two frame structures (monocoque and framerail) to fully optimise the paddle design for maximum kicking effort. 

The EZ lock buckle system lets you effortlessly snap the buckle on and off, with zero risk of it accidentally coming undone. 

These are the most expensive beginner’s fins going but if you can afford them they offer fantastic comfort and sensitivity, whilst also looking insanely cool!

  • Unique design.

  • Extra sensitivity between feet and fins.

  • Comfortable and secure fit.

  • Stylish and attractive appearance.

  • Vertical stabilizers improve balance. 

  • Lightweight and easy to pack. 

  • Tough. 
  • More expensive than other beginner’s fins. 

13) Extra Stiff Fins: Seac Propulsion S

Seac Propulsion S
  • Price: > $$

  • Extra Stiff for More Power
  • But Require a lot of strength to use

  • Channels and Rails for Extra Thrust and Power

These sleek scuba fins are designed by the Italian manufacturer Seac. They’re built for power with long running channels, narrow side rails and an extra stiff structure for providing superb thrust and acceleration. 

It’s worth noting that the extra stiffness of the Propulsion S fins does mean they take more effort to use, so they’re really suited for a diver who is physically very fit and won’t tire from having to use more energy for each kick cycle. 

Donning and doffing is easy thanks to the simple bungee strap which comes with a large, easy to grasp finger loop. The foot pocket has been designed for comfort as well as to reduce ankle twisting and fatigue that might come with using stiffer fins. 

Sea Propulsion S fins are made from an insanely durable rubber. It holds up well at low temperatures and is also uv and crack resistant, meaning a pair of these fins should last a long time. 

Do bear in mind, that these fins are longer than most other options we’ve reviewed and subsequently they can take up more packing space!

If you’re physically fit and an experienced swimmer, you can get a decent amount of power from these simple to use fins, however if you’re swimming technique is less developed check out the Tusa Solla instead!

  • Extra stiff = extra power. 

  • Super thrust and acceleration. 

  • Easy to take on and off. 

  • Easy to adjust, even whilst wearing. 

  • Exceptionally durable. 
  • Weaker swimmers will tire when using these. 

  • Heavy.

  • Takes up a lot of packing space compared to other scuba diving fins. 

14) Super Adjustable: Dive Rite XT Fins

Jordan fins in water
  • Price: > $$

  • Super Adjustable

  • Extra Secure and Comfortable Fit
  • Paddle Fin Design

  • Spring Heel Strap

Compared to longer running dive gear manufacturers like Mares, Scubapro and Tusa, Dive Rite are fairly new; only being founded in 1984. 

However, over the past few decades, they’ve gained a strong reputation for producing reliable, no-fuss dive gear and the XT Fins are arguably their nicest piece of kit yet. 

Updated in 2020, these fins now have a POM swivel buckle that secures the marine grade stainless steel spring-strap to the blade and which can swivel out of the way for easier donning and doffing. 

(Do note, currently, it’s only the red and black versions of these fins that feature the POM swivel buckle!).

To ensure a constant fit, the spring heel strap automatically adjusts for the changes in dive boot compensation that come with pressure differences caused by changing depth.

Divers can further customize their strap fit by moving the buckle locking screw between two positions – a feature not usually seen in dive fins and one that ensures you can get a 100% perfect fit!

Dive Rite XT Fins are moulded from a monoprene blend to strike the perfect balance of power to work ratio, providing efficient finning whether in high flow or stiff currents. 

The blade is shaped for a variety of kicks including modified flutter, frog kicks and power kicks providing stellar manoeuvrability and balance throughout

  • Durable and lightweight.

  • POM swivel buckle.

  • Spring heel strap.

  • Customize strap with 2 lock screw positions.

  • Excellent power and thrust.

  • Comfortable, secure fit. 

  • Minimal effort to use. 
  • A little long = slightly less ideal for tight spaces than shorter fins such as tech fins. 

  • Bulky to pack. 

15) Mid-Priced Split Fins: ScubaPro Twin Jet

  • Price: > $$

  • Split Fin Design

  • Extra Agility and Manoeuvrability
  • Require Little Strength to use

  • Spring Heel Strap

Split fins are able to provide a lot of power with minimal kicking effort but achieving this does require a knowledge of how to use them properly. 

Although we’ve reviewed the Atomic Aquatics Smoke on the Water as the best quality split fins overall, one thing the Smoke on the Water fins don’t have is any colour choice – they’re only available in silver. 

Enter the Scubapro Twin Jet fins which come in many vibrant colours and are also more affordable.

Manufactured from a bi-material for the ultimate blending of flexibility and performance; whilst producing a slightly stiffer blade, they’re ideal for divers who prefer a little more feedback / sensitivity. 

The distinctive hydrofoil shape allows water to flow between and around each of the twin blades for enhanced propulsion

An extended soleplate provides additional leverage to improve power transfer from foot to fin, whilst side rails enhance blade stability throughout each kick. 

To give even more kicking powervents between the foot pocket and the blade helps water move around the fins with each kick cycle, greatly reducing drag. 

The soft, open heel foot pocket offers a comfortable fit whilst the spring heel straps make ditching and donning a breeze as well as adjusting to changes in pressure caused by altering depths.

  • Split fin design can be highly effective.

  • Exerts minimal strain on ankle or leg.

  • Flexible yet stiff.

  • Vents and side rails + spring heel straps!

  • Easy to don and doff.

  • Comfortable.

  • Rugged. 
  • Split fins take a little getting used to!

16) Designed for Women's Feet: Aqua Shot FX

  • Price: > $$$

  • Foot Pocket Specially Moulded for Women’s Feet

  • Provides Extra Comfort
  • Paddle Fin Design

  • Spring Heel Strap

The Aqua Shot FX has taken successful features from unisex fins and incorporated them into a design with a foot pocket that’s been moulded especially for women’s foot proportions. 

It is narrower and more slight than traditional unisex fin’s foot pockets and also features a customised inner sole to provide a grip effect.

In addition to providing a comfortable and specialist fit, these dive fins offer next level performance, thanks to the many awesome features they’ve borrowed from popular unisex models. 

For maximum energy transmission, the foot pocket features a “power transmission zone” which anchors the foot to prevent unnecessary stretching of the pocket on the power stroke.

The power zone also sports integrated “V Boosters” to provide optimal power with each kick, whilst also providing the diver with a mid-foot pivot point on the fin, to eliminate foot and toe fatigue.

Side rails improve stability and balance underwater whilst adding to overall power by reducing drag. 

Spring straps automatically compensate for pressure depth changes and make donning and doffing a breeze. 

The Shot FX’ blade is shorter and softer than that of classic fins which makes them easier to kick, however stiffness increases with size, so divers can choose the optimum stiffness for their preferred diving style. 

Available in a range of colours and with a sleek, modern design these high quality fins are ideal for women who find unisex fins don’t provide a comfortable or secure enough fit. 

  • Excellent thrust. 

  • Minimal strain on feet or ankles. 

  • Comfortable foot pocket moulded specifically for women’s feet. 

  • Durable and lightweight. 

  • Range of fin stiffness options. 

  • Excellent kicking power with minimal effort. 
  • No channels or vents. 

  • A little long = slightly less ideal in tight spaces. 

17) Cheapest Split Fins: TUSA X-Pert Zoom Z3

  • Price: > $$

  • Split Fin Design (Cheapest Available)
  • Great Agility with Little Strength Required

As we’ve seen, split fins generate more thrust with less effort when used correctly. However, the downside of split fins is that due to their highly specialised design, they tend to be quite expensive; especially when they’re also open-heeled, which scuba divers will want them to be.

That said, the X-Pert Zoom Z3 fins are considerably cheaper than other open heel split fins!

It’s not too surprising that these durable and stylish fins are designed by TUSA; considering their snazzy colour design, which is available in several bright colours.

These fins feature reinforced blade rails to keeps the split blades close together for optimum stability as well as optimized blade scoops for directing water behind them for increased thrust. 

They also sport TUSA’s patented 27 degree angle blade design, which compensates for the leg’s natural bend and in doing so, keeps the fin in perfect position throughout the kick cycle resulting in more efficient kick cycles.

The EZ buckle system with squeeze-style side releases allows for quick and easy adjustments. It’d be great if it featured spring heel straps as well, but for the extremely reasonable price point, it’s not too surprising that it doesn’t.

  • Affordable. 

  • Decent quality. 

  • Light and sturdy.
  • Blade rails and scoops for improved thrust. 

  • TUSA are a highly respected brand renowned for good scuba gear. 
  • 27 degree angle means it is harder to pack. 

  • No spring heel straps. 

18) Tec Fins with Channels: Hollis F1 Bat Fins

  • Price: > $$$

  • Tec Fins = Short and Wide

  • Awesome in Enclosed Spaces like Wrecks and Tunnels
  • Great for Frog Kicking

  • Great Power and Thrust

  • Spring Heel Strap

Hollis F1 Bat fins are built for power, manoeuvrability and toughness, being similar to the vented Apeks RK3 fins in this regard. However instead of vents, F1 Bat fins feature blade tip channels for enhanced acceleration.

To be honest, we prefer vents over channels – they offer more power which is why the Apeks RK3 fins are our favourite tech diving fins. That said, channels may be preferred by some depending on their diving style!

The F1 Bat tech fins are relatively short and wide fins, which makes them ideal for enclosed spaces and the frog kick although they’ll work with any kick cycle. 

They feature an extremely comfortable steel spring heel strap, which in addition to changing in response to depth, is angled for improved comfort

Also, the spring heel fin straps have unusually large tab loops – besides making it effortless to get the fins on and off, these are large enough that you can hang the fins by them for quick and easy drying.

Being constructed from high-grade, heavy-duty rubber, the Hollis F1 bat fins offer superb strength and durability – they’re virtually indestructible and can handle practically any temperature or rough handling. 

As a scuba gear manufacturer, Hollis like to keep things simple, yet efficient and the popular Hollis F1 bat fins are exactly that. 

  • Powerful and strong. 

  • Extremely durable. 

  • Compact.

  • Channels for improved acceleration.

  • Good for tight spaces. 

  • Can hang up to dry. 
  • No vents. 

  • A little stiff. 

19) Best Full Foot Fins: Mares Volvo Race Full Foot Fins

  • Price: > $$

  • Full Foot Design
  • Extra Light and Compact

  • Don’t Require Dive Boots

Unlike an open heel fin (which all the other fins reviewed in this article are), full foot fins are non-adjustable, challenging to take on and off and can’t accommodate dive boots. 

For this reason, scuba divers almost universally prefer open heel fins, with full foot fins generally being reserved for snorkeling. 

That said, scuba diving is a very particular sport with different diving styles and custom kit outfits and for this reason a small minority of scuba divers do prefer full foot fins. 

An advantage of full foot fins is that they do not need to be worn with dive boots and are often cheaper than their open heel fin counterparts. 

If you’re unsure which kind of fins to go for, we recommend open heel fins – but if you know you like diving with full foot fins, than the Mares Volvo Race are the most popular choice of full foot fins for scuba diving with. 

Sleek, stylish and available in several colours and sizes, they combine lateral channels with a super channel in the centre to provide decent thrust with minimal effort, which is further enhanced by rubber stabilizers

They also feature an optimised pivoting blade system which results in their providing fluid movement and agility through the water. 

The foot pocket is spacious and comfortable and provides a snug fit, whilst the fins themselves are extremely tough and durable.

  • Do not need to be worn with dive boots.

  • Affordable. 

  • Super channel for extra thrust. 

  • Optimised blading system = good balance. 

  • Good range of sleek colours. 
  • Can’t be worn with dive boots (dive boots keep your feet warm!).

  • Difficult to take on and off.

  • Can’t be adjusted. 

20) For HUGE Feet: XS Scuba Turtle Fins

  • Price: > $$$

  • Specially designed for Massive Feet

  • Awesome Power but Require Decent Strength to use
  • Tec Fin Design

  • Wide and Short

  • Spring Heel Strap

XS Scuba Turtle Fins keep things simple with a wide paddle design featuring vents for extra thrust power.

Water flows through the vents of each blade during the down stroke to reduce pressure and provide less strain on the leg. 

Then, during the up stroke, the vent’s angle ensures that the fin reacts as a solid blade resulting in maximum power and propulsion through the water.

These immensely durable, highly efficient tech fins are a popular choice among many combat and tactical units worldwide. 

Similar to the Apeks RK3 fins in many ways, the Turtle fins are also quite short which makes them great for confined spaces such as shipwrecks and caves.

The unique rubber compound provides wearers with greater kicking efficiency by reducing the overall weight, whilst also adding a snap back quality for additional acceleration power. 

Because they’re only available in the sizes: X-Large, XX-Large and 3X-Large, these fins are ideal for anyone who wants a huge foot pocket, although divers with smaller feet may find the XS Scuba Turtle Fins too big.

They come equipped with adjustable rubber straps, with large pull tabs and eyelets to hang fins on for drying. Unfortunately, these straps are not spring heel, so won’t adjust to changes in pressure!

Ultimately these are high quality, nice tech fins, but we prefer the Apeks RK3 Fins!

  • Extremely large size options. 

  • Good in confined spaces. 

  • Highly durable. 

  • Compact. 

  • Produce a lot of power with minimal effort. 

  • Vented design for extra propulsion. 
  • Only come in large sizes.

  • No grommet holes, unlike the Apkes RK3 fins.

  • No spring heel straps.

21) For Tiny Feet: ScubaPro Go Sport

  • Price: > $$$

  • Specially Designed for Tiny Feet
  • Super Light and Compact

  • Also great for Travel

The ScubaPro Go Sport fins are one of the very few fins to come in an extra small size for adults.

But besides this extra size option, they’re also great dive fins; being exceptionally light and compact – yet also durable due to a monomer construction, which makes them awesome for travel.

They feature an adjustable bungee strap for max comfort and a pre-angled blade with power bars which provide moderate power.

You can get these fins in a range of colours and they’re also available in small, medium, large and extra large!


CLICK HERE TO ASCEND BACK UP TO THE REVIEWS…or dive deeper below to find out all there is to know about scuba fins!

3 divers hand fins on donny
Wave yo' fins in the air like ya just don't care!

First of, let’s quickly talk about Scuba Diving Fins vs Snorkeling Fins

Diving fins tend to be stiffer than snorkel fins, which means they generate more thrust but require a bit extra effort to use.  

That said, there are many highly efficient makes of dive fin which require minimal physical exertion and yet still generate a lot of power, making them perfect for weaker swimmers. 

Whereas snorkeling fins tend to be quite basic, scuba fins often have features such as channels and vents to improve their efficiency. 

Dive fins may also come in special designs such as split fins and tech fins.

Generally, dive fins tend to be open heel which makes them easier to don and doff as well as able to accommodate dive boots, which provide insulation; useful for when you’re diving down deep. 

Snorkel fins on the other hand, are usually full foot design. 

Take our word for it; if you’re planning to use fins for scuba diving, then go for a pair of open heel fins made especially for scuba divers!

This is a Diving Squad article, so you can rest assured that all of the fins reviewed on this page have been designed especially for scuba divers!


Open Heel vs Full Foot Fins

Open Heel Fins:

Study the two images above. The fin on the left is an open heel design – it is open at the back. Because of this, the foot pocket is larger and can accommodate dive boots, which provide insulation. This is extremely handy for diving, because water temperature quickly drops as you dive down deeper. 

Open heel fins are held in place by an adjustable strap or a bungee heel strap- or in the case of the very highest quality makes, a spring heel strap, which adjusts to pressure changes with depth, by compressing and relaxing with the boots neoprene, to ensure a consistent fit throughout all parts of the dive. 

Open heel fins are a lot easier to take on and off than full foot fins, which comes in seriously handy when already wearing heavy scuba diving gear and maybe being in the water. 

For these reasons, the vast majority of scuba divers prefer fins that are of open heel design. Because of this and the fact that we review the most popular gear with scuba divers, all but one of the fins reviewed on this page are of open heel design. 

Take our word for it – open heel fins are the way to go for scuba divers!

Full Foot Fins:

The fin on the right is a full foot fin because the foot pocket encompasses the entire foot. Full foot fins are generally used for snorkeling as they don’t need to be so powerful if only being used at the surface.

That said, some makes of scuba diving fins come in a full foot option, which is preferred by a very small minority of divers as it’s cheaper and a bit lighter.

However, full foot fins are much more tricky to get on and off and they can’t accommodate dive boots. So, unless you know for a certain fact that you love diving with full foot fins, we strongly suggest you opt for a pair of open heel dive fins instead!

Fin Features, Parts & Terminology

Fins: 3 Main Parts:

1) Foot Pocket:

Located at the back of the fin, this is the area you slip your foot into. Most fins are available in a selection of foot pockets sizes – we’ve provided a detailed guide on how to choose the right size fins. 

Perhaps the scuba fins with the most unique foot pocket design are the Mares X-Stream which used a revolutionary design with internal ribbing for maximum comfort. There’s also the Aqua Shot FX which features a foot pocket moulded especially for the proportions of a women’s foot (all other scuba fins foot pockets are unisex!).  

aqualung express adj foot pocket net best gear

2) Heel Strap - Traditional VS Spring Heel:

Traditionally, fin straps have been made of rubber or silicone and have required manual adjustment using buckles.

In recent times however, the majority of high quality scuba fins have switched to using spring heel straps, which are superior because they ensure a constant fit on all parts of the dive by compensating for depth compression. 

Even on dives of only ten or so meters, dive boots experience some compression as water pressure increases, which both decreases the thickness of the boot’s neoprene as well as encourages one’s feet to slide deeper into their fin’s foot pockets. 

Spring straps are more tensile than traditional straps and because of this they naturally compensate for the compression and re-expansion of your dive boot over the course of a deep dive, ensuring a consistent fit. 

Spring heel straps are also easier to take on and off as you don’t have to fiddle with any buckles – instead simply pull back on the finger tab of the spring strap to remove it from your heel! More affordable scuba fins tend to have bungee spring straps whereas the pricier options use marine grade stainless steel spring straps.

We strongly recommend opting for scuba fins that come with this incredibly useful modern feature which is why just about every pair of scuba fins we’ve reviewed on this page have spring heel straps – but you can rest assured that if they don’t, we’ve pointed it out in the review!

Mares avanti foot strap 2 gear
Spring heel strap

3) Blades

The stars of the show, the blades are the main part of the fin and are used to create the power and thrust to propel you through the water when you kick. 

As we’ll discuss a little further below, there’s a few different types of blades – e.g. split blades, tech blades and paddle blades. But first, let’s look at the many performance enhancing features that blades may or may not have:

Blade Features:


Thin, long in-grooves that run the length of each blade, channels collect water and align it for an efficient kick cycle. Generally blades with channels sport one or two symmetrical pairs, but sometimes they may also have a central “super channel” for even more added efficiency. 

Mares Avanti fins maldives backround close front


  • Vertical stabilizers on fin tips keep the fin tracking straight up and down with every kick for improved balance. 

  • Dynamic stabilizers on the blade surfaces and rails facilitate water flow to generate optimum propulsion. 

Power Rail

Narrow ridges that run the length of each blade on either side. The frame rail design on each side of the fin mimics a backbone and in doing so adds more kicking power by storing and releasing energy with every stroke. 

Grommet Holes

Some fins have grommet holes at one or both ends for attachment of clips and carabiners, to make transporting them easy. 


Fin vents are a very efficient means of maximising propulsion and power. They’re instantly recognisable as the grids of slits crossing horizontally over the length of a blade. 

So, how do they work? Water flows through the vents on the down stroke of fining, which reduces pressure on the leg. When fining on the up stroke, the vent’s angle means the fin acts as a solid blade for maximum thrust. 

What this means is that you get maximum propulsion with minimal physical exertion or leg ache. Nice! Many consider vents to increase scuba fin efficiency more greatly than channels and power rails combined. 

apeks fins look down 3

Different Types of Blade Design

Paddle Blades

The standard blade design is that of a paddle blade aka blade fin. This is the classic, instantly recognisable style of fin, where each fin looks a little like a frog foot or flipper. 

This is a broad term that encompasses most fins, including different designs.

For example tech fins and articulated joint fins are different designs, but they’re both paddle fins. 

Paddle fins work well especially well with the flutter kick, but shorter models can also work with the frog kick. 

Our Top Pick Fin’s for Beginners are Paddle fins!


Split Blades

Split fins are instantly recognisable thanks to the large split running between each blade, splitting it into two independent blades.

In the early 2000’s, split fins became popular for a short while, before being dismissed as gimmicks that didn’t perform well in currents.

However, this was largely due to misunderstanding as back then hardly anyone knew how to use them properly.

Wielded correctly, split fins can provide awesome manoeuvrability and power, whilst reducing resistance on joints, making them an excellent choice for those with sore hips or knees.

Split fins to take a little getting used to, which is why they’re most suited for experienced scuba divers. Generally they work better with narrow flutter kicks and not so well with frog kicking.
After you’ve bought your first pair of split fins, try them out in a pool or shallow water and get used to them that way before you take them diving.

Our favourite Split Fins are the Atomic Smoke on Waters!

Split fins best

Tech Blades

Tech fins (which are blade / paddle fin in design), tend to be short and wide, with large foot pockets. 

Highly durable, simple in design and particularly good for enclosed spaces like wrecks (due to their relative shortness) they are favoured among technical divers and other diving professionals.

However, tech fin’s simplicity, power and ease of use also makes them a great option for recreational divers.  

They work especially well with frog kicks, but can also be used with standard flutter kick cycles. 

Although they’re a little heavy, tech fins often feature vents which gives them exceptional power as well as spring heel straps meaning they adjust to changing pressure depth.

Our favourite tech fins and also number one fins for advanced divers are the Apeks RK3 Fins.

diver scuba fins focus

Misc Blades

You may have noticed that a few fins we’ve reviewed, such as the Mares X-Stream and SeaWing Nova whilst technically paddle fins, look totally different to most other fins.

That’s because in today’s tech driven world, new technologies and styles have led to some revolutionary and entirely unique design concepts for diving fins.

Such models offer exceptional comfort as well as awesome performance although their whacky appearance may not appeal to everyone.

They’re also a little bulkier, which makes packing them a tad bit more difficult, though by no means impossible.

If you dig cutting edge technology and consider yourself a diver of the future, they’re worth checking out.


Fins Sizing

Scuba fins are not usually sized by shoe size, but instead by bands – e.g. XS (extra small), S (small), M (medium), L (large) and XL (extra large).  

What does make things a little complicated is that the actual shoe size that each band correlates to varies between different scuba gear brands. For example, the medium size band of Tusa fins may not correlate to the exact same shoe size that the medium size band for Scubapro fins does. 

Fortunately, once you’ve decided on which scuba diving fins you want to purchase, you can easily go onto the manufacturer’s website and check out which size bands correlate to which shoe size.

Also, a general rule of thumb when buying adjustable open heel fins is that if you’re planning to wear them with dive booties, to add one size up to leave room for said wee’ dive boots. 


Diving Squad Debriefing

Squad! At ease. You’ve just completed this mega article on the very best scuba diving fins with reviews of the 20 top quality dive fins on the market as well as handy info on fin parts, types, features and sizing. 

Being colossal scuba nerds, we’re constantly on the hunt for the latest information regarding scuba diving gear updates and new releases so you can rest easy knowing that what you’ve read here today reflects the very latest and up to date information re the exciting world of scuba fins. 

All that remains now is for you to choose and buy your dream pair of dive fins. Good luck…you’ve got this – we believe in you! 

Diving Squad signing off.

Salute peace and finger

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Written by:

Picture of Alex
Scuba fanatic, travel ecstatic and loveable rogue. A rootless divemaster and perpetual adrenaline-junky, Alex holds the esteemed rank of Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad; a title he most nobly awarded to himself. A scuba-junky since 2014, he's dived much of the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Maldives, Red Sea, Ireland, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. It's hard to say where he'll pop up next for he never settles; forever a leaf on the wind... or perhaps a lone bubble blasted along on the current.