How to Choose Good Snorkeling Swim Fins

by Sari Hardyal

About Sari Hardyal

Based in Dayton, Ohio, Sari Hardyal has been writing fitness, sports, entertainment and health-related articles for more than five years. Hardyal holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Miami University and is pursuing her master's degree in occupational therapy and her doctorate in physical therapy. She is a certified personal trainer with the National Federation of Professional Trainers.


Snorkeling is a hobby that allows you to explore the world under the surface of the ocean. Swim fins are not a necessity for snorkeling, but they help you glide through the water more quickly and easily. Fins help focus the propulsion in your legs, so your arms are free to help you steer or hold a camera. Some people will use any swim fins they find, but you will find your snorkeling experience to be much more enjoyable if you take the time to find good fins that fit properly.

Step 1

Decide which type of swim fin you want to purchase. There are two main types of swim fins on the market, open-heel and full foot. The full foot offers more protection of the foot, and is more often used in warmer waters. The open-heel is usually worn with a neoprene bootie, and can be worn in warm or cold waters.

Step 2

Try on the swim fin to ensure a good fit. The full foot fins should fit securely to the foot. If you have excess room in the fin, it may chafe your foot or fall off while swimming. If you choose fins that are too loose, you risk getting blisters or losing circulation in your feet.

Step 3

Select the correct size of swim fin for your foot. The open-heel fins usually run in small, medium and large sizes. The full foot fins usually run according to shoe size. Check with a store associate if you need assistance in choosing the correct size of fin. You should be able to move your foot side to side with minimal movement, and the fin should fit snugly to your fit.

Step 4

Stand up and walk a little in the fins. They will be awkward, but you'll be able to feel if the fins are pinching your foot at any point. Make sure you can freely wiggle your toes in the fins.


  • Wear a neoprene boot when trying on adjustable heel fins. This will affect how snug the fins fit.
  • Make sure the fins are comfortable across your entire foot. There should not be any spots where the fin is tight or pinches your foot.
  • Full foot fins don't come in half sizes, so round up when choosing your size.
  • Open-heel fins come in the following sizes: small, which fits size 7-8, medium, which fits 9-10, and large or extra large, which fits size 11 and above.


  • Don't purchase fins that have too much side-to-side movement when you wiggle your foot. This may lead to leg cramps while snorkeling.

Photo Credits:

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or