For most diving situations adjustable heel fins that require you to wear boots of some description are best. However if you are doing a lot of warm water boat diving full foot versions may be more suitable. Fins with splits down the middle of them are becoming more popular as they offer more efficiency in the water, but are generally more expensive than traditional fins.
For a large range of Fins for all conditions visit the Fins section in the Dive Shop.
Left: Open Heel Fins, Right: Full Foot Fins
There are two types of fins, full foot and adjustable heel. Full foot fins are designed to be worn with bare feet (or thin fin socks) and are ideal for warm water snorkelling and diving (especially diving from boats where footwear is often not allowed). Adjustable heel fins are worn with boots and are ideal for diving in colder waters where thermal protection is needed or when entry and exit from the water is over sharp ground and would cause discomfort if walked across in bare feet.
Full foot fins are sized according to your normal shoe size. Your feet should fit the fins snugly, not too tight or too loose. On some models where sizing of the fin is across several sizes (38.5-39.5 for example), your toes may or may not stick out from the end of the foot pocket.
Adjustable heel fins are sized in bands, but not all manufacturers use the same bands or descriptions. For example one manufacturer may call a fin size regular and another may call it medium, although both refer to the same actual size. See our size chart for details. When you try these style of fins on, you should do so with your boots. Your ankle should be approximately in line with the very back of the bottom of fin foot pocket.
Split Fins can be up to 40% more efficient than traditional bladed fins. This is achieved by reducing water resistance and thus finning effort. They allow the fin to act like a planes wing, generating more thrust.
The blades of split fins tend to be made of much softer material than traditional fins giving the fins a floppy feel on land but when under the surface this causes the water to spin in a vortex action on the downward stroke of the finning action propelling the diver or snorkeller forward.
Channels along the length of the fin blade prevent water spilling off the sides of the blade, displacing more water and therefore improving efficiency.
There are several types of buckle assembly for adjustable heel fins, which make them easy to put on and take off, even when wearing a drysuit.
Spring straps offer a more secure means of attachment for your fins than traditional straps and buckles.
Fins are available in a variety of colours. Its a good idea to go for bright ones so that you can be seen easily underwater. Of course you can match your fins with the rest of your gear if required. Contrary to popular myths, there are no colours that are guaranteed to attract sealife species!
Most technical and DIR divers tend to favour a short, broad blade fin with spring straps. A popular form of these fins is often refered to as 'jet fins'. Many technical divers regard long thin blades, split blade fins, and complicated buckles as problematic.
For a large range of Fins for all diving conditions visit the Fins section in the The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop.