Scuba Fins – The Best Open Heel and Full-Foot Varieties for Divers

Cressi PRO LIGHT Fins

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As a scuba diver, you know the importance of choosing a quality mask, tank, and breathing apparatus. The right scuba fins are just as crucial to your underwater safety and enjoyment. When scuba diving, having the right fins allows you to travel faster, further, and to deeper depths easily.

Scuba fins come in many varieties. However, many scuba divers overlook the importance of choosing the right pair. As a diver, you want something lightweight, durable, and easy to propel yourself with underwater and under pressure. You also need fins that make it easy for you to dive deeper and explore new depths during diving excursions. Strap on your tank, grab your mask and your fins and get ready for the underwater diving adventure awaiting you.

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Choosing the Best Scuba Fins

When buying a pair of scuba fins, there are several great products available. For some divers, it’s as easy as finding an affordable product by a leading manufacturer. Others want the best quality, material, and fit possible when choosing scuba fins. The following are some factors divers must consider when comparing the best scuba fins available for diving.

Open heel vs. full foot

Scuba fins are available in an open heel and full-foot styles. The entire foot variety is lighter and costs less. But, many divers find that unless it’s a 100 percent fit, the fins move. In such cases, they must wear thermal socks when diving. Doing this will help minimize slipping or movement while diving with the scuba fins. The open heel design is stronger, more durable, and performs better underwater for most divers. This style also provides greater propulsion, so divers aren’t exerting as much energy. They also offer greater insulation in colder waters. The open heel design is a little more expensive, but also a superior option if divers can afford it.

Split fin vs. paddle blade scuba fins

Split fin and paddle fins are two options available for divers choosing new scuba fins. The split scuba fins are more efficient than paddle blades. Divers don’t exert as much energy because the fins increase propulsion by pushing water efficiently. Split fin scuba fins are also a good option for snorkeling. Divers minimize air consumption and preserve power at deeper depths.

Paddle blades, on the other hand, produce more power. Professional divers tend to choose this option as they provide higher power at deeper depths. Depending on experience level, the fin style you choose will differ.

Buckles vs. straps

Another consideration when buying scuba fins is buckle vs. strap varieties. Buckles allow owners to adjust tension. Many have a tension system, making it easy to do so. A strap, on the other hand, helps keep the scuba fins in place a bit easier. However, this variety can also restrict blood flow and feel tight for some divers. It also minimizes the ability to move the feet and heels while diving.

​Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Scuba Fins

When choosing scuba fins, divers also have to consider factors including the weight, size, maintenance, and flexibility. For example, the weight might not seem significant until packing for a trip. For divers dealing with limits on weight restrictions or minimal space to store the scuba fins, this is important. Maintenaning scuba fins is another crucial aspect. Divers need to know where to take them for repair, or where to buy replacement straps or buckles.Scuba fins should be flexible, and easy to put on and take off after dives. Divers should look for a pair of fins that fit their diving needs. Additionally, considering the price and manufacturer of the scuba fins will help in the decision-making process.

​How We Reviewed the Top Scuba Fins

When reviewing scuba fins, we considered several aspects to help consumers find the best pair. We compared the styles of scuba fins, fit, and comfort levels. We also discussed the top brands available, and prices. Additionally, we looked at where divers were diving with the scuba fins and included reviews of the fins to get a sense of customer satisfaction with various products.

​Where to Buy Scuba Fins and Average Pricing

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​The Best Scuba Fins Available for Diving

​There are many excellent products to consider when choosing scuba fins. For divers who want the best available, these are a few of the best options in 2018.

Cressi Lightweight Open Heel Fin

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The lightweight fin is great for beginners and professional divers alike. It features a polypropylene material finish and features a foot pocket beneath the blade. This feature helps to maximize efficiency while diving. The design also allows divers to exert less energy than with other blade styles.

The fin design adjusts during the kicking pattern. This feature helps the fin conform to varying water depths and pressures. It also allows owners to exert less energy, maximize their kicking strokes, and dive deeper. Full-length side rails also help keep the foot in place without causing discomfort.

Some owners complain that the fins are a little stiff for shallow water snorkeling. They are a better option for those who are going to dive at deeper depths.

ScubaPro Jet Sport

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This fin is also an open heel design. It has adjustment knobs to allow divers to adjust the fit on the sides. It features an extra long blade, helping maximize efficiency. The model also will enable divers to produce less force when kicking.

There is a drag reducing vent throughout the fins also. This design helps to minimize drag on up and down kicking strokes. The three-material blade is powerful and efficient. It features an ergonomic foot pocket, and there is also a quick release latch on the side.

One reviewer notes the straps can break if they are overly tight. Another flaw the reviewer notes is that the blade begins to bow downward over time. This defect minimizes the impact for divers over time.

Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Open Heel Fins

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This fin features an open heel design. It has a non-vented style with composite materials. It is lighter because of this and maximizes diving efficiency. The lightweight design allows divers to reach deeper depths while exerting less energy.

The fins also allow for great thrusting and response with each kick. They also feature a longer length, so divers can take fewer kicking strokes, helping preserve energy levels. These fins are great for deep or shallow water diving excursions.

One reviewer indicates the fins aren’t for people with smaller feet. The fin is exceptionally long, so it might require divers with smaller feet to wear booties while diving.

​The Best Full Foot Scuba Fins

In addition to open heel scuba fins, there are also full foot fins. These are a few of the best options available for those who prefer this variety of scuba fins.

Cressi Full Foot Pluma

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This scuba fin features a three material finish to conform to the diver’s feet perfectly. They feature an elastomer foot pocket to help maximize comfort and reduce chaffing and movement. The blade extends from the top of the foot, giving divers more propulsion strength when kicking.

A non-slip foot pocket also helps keep the feet in place when kicking at faster speeds or more profound depths. The foot pocket extends the entire length of the fins’ blade also. This design helps ensure comfort and more protection for divers in underwater conditions.

Complaints about the quality of the material finish are common amongst reviewers. One person wrote that the fins mold, break, and bend easily. These flaws minimize usage and productivity underwater.

Cressi Full Foot Pluma

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The new blade design by Mares features a more extensive and more extended fin design than before. This feature also offers two traditional lateral channels, helping increase strength at deeper diving depths. Divers achieve excellent thrust levels and efficiency. They don’t exert as much energy as they do with shorter edge fins, especially in deeper water.

The foot pocket features a molded design. This design conforms to the owner’s foot, to help keep the fins in place and reduce pain and discomfort levels. The channel thrust technology is great for channel diving or open water diving.

One reviewer complains of discomfort levels. They indicate that the scuba fins are narrow so this causes pain along the sides of the feet.

ScubaPro Twin Jet

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The scuba fins feature a Monopreme material finish and durable sole plate throughout the length of the footbed. This design feature helps stabilize the feet in place while divers are kicking in full force. The split fin design is perfect to help reduce kick exertion levels while propelling divers forward underwater.

The fins also feature a drag reduction vent system running over the top of the fins. The soleplate along the footbed also helps maximize energy levels, so divers aren’t overexerting themselves with each fin kick.

The only complaint that one reviewer indicates is that the fins are a little too large for the diver. This sizing concern, however, is easy to fix with a bootie or interior sock liner.

Aqua Lung Stratos 3 Full Foot Fin

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This fin features a four-channel structure. The design helps canalization along the blade, so divers aren’t exerting as much energy when deep sea diving. They feature an ergonomic foot pocket, so wearers feel comfortable, with minimal restrictions while diving.

The fins passed an extreme stress test and an anti-shock lab test. So, divers can feel confident in knowing the fins will produce well in rough diving conditions. This fin also has an anti-slip rubber pad. This feature helps increase stability when divers are wearing the fins on slippery floors while walking.

One diver notes that the scuba fins are true to size. However, they indicate that they feature a sharp upper design that causes chafing and discomfort through the length of the fins.

​Our Verdict: The Best Open Heel and Full-Foot Scuba Fins

With so many products to choose from, the purchase decision may seem overwhelming at first. But, divers must always look for fit, quality, and the best materials when selecting scuba fins. Additionally, they should consider where they’re diving, helping them find the perfect pair.

For those who prefer open heel scuba fins, the best option is the Mares Avante Quattro. The long fins are perfect to help reduce exertion levels while diving. Divers can take fewer kicks to reach deeper depths and maximize efficiency. The composite material is also light, meaning the diver won’t feel as tired when diving at challenging depths. Mares is a reputable manufacturer, producing quality diving products. Although the scuba fins are expensive, they are going to last and withstand the harshest diving conditions.

For divers who like full foot scuba fins, the best pair is the ScubaPro Jet Twin Fin. They feature a dual monopreme material finish and split fin design. This feature helps increase thrust levels, decrease exertion, and propel divers further with each kick. There are vents throughout the fins, helping to reduce drag. This design feature helps minimize fatigue as divers get deeper underwater while diving. The foot pocket also features a sole plate, which keeps the foot in place and reduces chafing.

Do you own any of these or a different pair of scuba fins? Let us know about your experience!

Jack Thompson

Jack Thompson, a scuba diving enthusiast from San Diego, has spent over a decade exploring the underwater world across the globe. Sharing his passion through captivating stories and informative articles, Jack aims to inspire others to embark on their own scuba diving adventures and uncover the ocean's hidden treasures. Follow Jack on Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, and Facebook or email him at

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