best scuba fins

Diver World's Best Scuba Fins Buyers Guide 2016 Edition

Most serious scuba divers who invest in their own set of scuba gear know the importance of having the best scuba fins their budget can stretch to. Having the right scuba fins for your preferred style of diving can greatly reduce the risk of becoming fatigued during a dive, or being stuck with cheap, uncomfortable dive shop rental fins. Opting for full foot or open heel style dive fins usually comes down to the type of environment you will be exploring. Full foot fins work great in warm waters, while those who dive in cold water situations should definitely be using open heel style scuba fins along with neoprene scuba booties to keep their feet warm during their dive. Most open heel fins are also designed to be quickly adjustable and quick release, which is a nice added benefit, while full foot fins tend to be a bit more lightweight and flexible. Both are great, as long as you pair them with your favorite dive environments! Below is our list of what we consider to be the best scuba fins of 2016, and some of the top rated models as voted by divers around the world!


The Top 10 Best Scuba Fins of 2016

Mares X-Stream Open Heel Scuba Fins

The Mares X-Stream are some of the best scuba fins on the market at the momet. They are extremely comfortable and provide great propulsion through the water, with minimal kicking effort. The unique mid joint means the fin is flexible, while the wide blades provide a good level of power with each kick. The material on the foot pocket is also extremely soft when compared to other open heel dive fins, making them feel very simialr to rubber full foot fins should you decide to go barefoot in tropical conditions. The X-Stream are made of high quality materials and we found them to be extremely durable and versatile, these are also some of the best scuba fins for swimming in current.

Build Quality:  4.5/5         Comfort Rating: 5/5          Effort vs Propulsion:  5/5       Price VS Value: 4.5/5

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Tusa Solla Open Heel Dive Fins

Another great pair of open heel fins, the Tusa Solla has one of the more comfortable heel straps out of all the fins we have had a chance to try on. The strap features an additional curve that fits the ankle better, and the quick release clasps are awesome. The fin itself has a mid size blade that is made from hard composite colored plastic mixed with softer rubber grooves to help with hydrodynamics. This makes it great for divers looking for scuba fins that are easier on the knees thanks to a bit of extra flex in the design. The Tusa Solla Scuba fins are are extremely affordable, and good for any diver on a budget who still wants high quality scuba gear. A rock solid dive fin option.

Build Quality: 5/5         Comfort Rating: 4.5/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4.5/5       Price VS Value: 5/5

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Aqualung Stratos 3 Full Foot Fins

Hands down, the Aqualung Stratos 3 are the best full foot scuba fins we have tried in a long time. They are an extremely comfortable set of dive fins with an extra soft rubber foot pocket that stretches nicely to fit feet of any shape, male or female. The blades are medium-long size and thanks to the great design almost the entire blade is used with every kick, while the rubber grooves channel water to add extra thrust. Warm water divers should definitely look into these awesome full foot fins, they are priced exceptionally well for the value you recieve.

Build Quality: 4.5/5         Comfort Rating: 5/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4.5/5       Price VS Value: 5/5

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ScubaPro Seawing Nova Open Heel Fins

If you are the type of diver who has to have the best of the best when it comes to scuba gear, or a dive master/instructor who dives every day, then the Scubapro Seawing Nova are probably the best scuba fins out there. As always, the ScubaPro name means exceptional quality and the Seawings are built with an amazing design. The fins flex point at the tip of the foot pocket means the entire wide blade is displacing huge amounts of water with each kick, while still remaining flexible and easy to maneuver. Many of the high vis colors such as white or neon yellow really help other divers keep track of you even in low visibility situations, great for those leading groups. Extremely high quality construction means these diving fins will last you a long time thanks to their durability. The only downside is the high price range due to being a premium level scuba fin, but for those looking to invest in their gear, there really is no better option.

Build Quality: 5/5         Comfort Rating: 5/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 5/5       Price VS Value: 4/5

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Mares Avanti Quatro Open Heel Scuba Fins

The Mares Avanti Quatro scuba fins have an awesome bungee style heel strap that makes them extremely easy to slip on and off. Just grab the large handle loop, stretch and they are soon snugly in place. Not having to mess around with buckles and releases means these dive fins are easy to put on in and out of the water, whatever your preference! These are a good option for divers who like a slightly stiffer fin, this makes kicking slightly more tiring than some of the other fins like the Seawing or X-Stream, but the extra stiffness will give you extra propulsion with every kick, allowing you to cruise easily through the water or against current. The Avanti Quatros are a great scuba fin for intermediate level divers.

Build Quality: 4.5/5         Comfort Rating: 4.5/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4/5       Price VS Value: 4.5/5

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Dive Rite XT Open Heel Scuba Fins

For divers who like a stiffer fin that will really power them through the water, Dive Rite XT scuba fins are a good option. The blades are quite stiff and are great for experienced divers who know how to get the most out of their kick. The Dive Rite XT has one of the best heel straps on the market, they are extremely durable and have a high quality construction with all metal buckles and a nice strong spring strap system that makes them easy to pull on and off. The price point makes them ideal for intermediate to advanced divers who invest in high quality equipment.

Build Quality: 5/5         Comfort Rating: 4.5/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4.5/5       Price VS Value: 4/5

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Atomic Aquatics Split Full Foot Dive Fins

Split fins have certainly become popular with a larger audience over the last several years, and one of the best pairs of them we have tried is the Atomic Aquatics Split full foot scuba fins. Atomic Aquatics tends to make high end scuba gear, and these are definitely in line with their design principals. Constructed from high quality materials they are extremely comfy and stretch well. These are great dive fins for those who stick to warmer waters, and even though they are from a high end scuba gear company, the price is surprisingly affordable. We found the split fin design makes kicking slightly easier and more hydrodynamic, easing stress on your joints. Two thumbs up from us!

Build Quality: 4.5/5         Comfort Rating: 4.5/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4/5       Price VS Value: 5/5

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Cressi Frog Plus Open Heel Scuba Fins

The Cressi Frog Plus are some of the best scuba fins for those on a budget but looking for a high quality set of fins. Medium flexibility means they are reasonably easy on the knees and still give you some decent power with each kick. These fins are made of high quality plastic and rubber, with a quick adjust buckle system that allows you to release the heel strap pretty easily both on the dive boat or on the surface after a dive. While not the most high end scuba fins on this list, they are one of the best in terms of price vs value. We highly recommend the white color choice, it really helps you remain visible even in bad dive conditions.

Build Quality: 4.5/5         Comfort Rating: 4/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4/5       Price VS Value: 5/5

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Aqualung Slingshot Open Heel Scuba Fins

The Aqualung Slingshot scuba fins are another interesting design with a pivot point built in, just after the foot pocket. This gives them some easy flex action when kicking. The built in silicone band hinge adds some extra power when it helps the blades swing back into position, giving some more thrust with each kick. The only downside to this is these fins are a bit heavier than some of the others on this list, which makes them super sturdy, but some divers do not like the added weight from the joint system. Overall the entire construction is high quality with high density plastic and rubber. 

Build Quality: 4/5         Comfort Rating: 4/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4.5/5       Price VS Value: 4/5

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Cressi Pro Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins

Rounding out our list of the top 10 best scuba fins is the workhorse of the pack. The Cressi Pro are probably the best scuba fins for divers looking to build their personal gear collection on a budget. The price range is super affoardable and the overall construction is high quality, and still far more comfortable than most rental fins we have gotten stuck with in the past. The blade is pretty stiff, and the cool thing about the design is it begins 3/4 of the way up the foot pocket which adds strength to the blades. Comfortable, basic and a great bargain in terms of price!

Build Quality: 4/5         Comfort Rating: 4/5          Effort vs Propulsion: 4/5       Price VS Value: 5/5

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