It is common by all sports – You need to have the right equipment
By snorkeling you are lucky, you do not need to have a lot stuff. Your fins will help you to get speed in the water and swim effectively ( it is important in current ) and also protect your feet from contact with corals or rocks.
If you choose a fin, you should feel yourself 100 % comfortable in it. To buy the right size is the first step. The general practice is you should buy one size smaller if you will wear them without socks. If you use socks buy your normal shoe size. Before you order or buy your fin always check the size table.
Why do I suggest to wear neoprene socks?: if your skin is sensitive and you would like to avoid rubbing, use 2-3mm thin neoprene socks with your closed foot fins. The thin sock will not effect your efficiency, but it can protect your skin.
We think the most important factor is by choosing a fin is how fit are you, how strong are your legs.
There are hard and soft fins. The soft fins are very flexible, it is very easy to swim with but their efficiency is lower. With a hard one you could swim faster, but you need more power, so you could be soon tired if you are not enough fit.
You could test how flexible is a fin as you see on this picture :
There are closed foot fins and open foot fins.
Open foot fin
It has an adjustable strap and you need to wear a boot. Mostly divers use open foot fins with boots, but if you snorkel often on rocky places or in colder water, you could prefer wearing boots. Notice, that boots are also extra stuff in your package and open foot fins are heavier ! Open foot fins with boots are for “strong leg people” because the booties are made from thicker neoprene and this material will hold up your feet on the water. You will need to have extra power to push your feet in the water and swim, so your efficiency could be worse.
Closed foot fin
If you snorkel usually in warm water , a closed foot fin will be perfect for you ! We have closed foot fins and we like them 🙂 They are lightweight, spare space in the luggage and it is very easy to use them.
Closed foot fin
Open foot fin
From both categories you could find paddle and split fins. The paddle fins are the traditional fins, the spilts are divided in the middle. The tests show the paddle fins are working good by most people. The split fins are working good by people who have weaker legs or joint problems. With a split fin it is easier to swim but your efficiency will be worse.The split fins are not suggested in strong currents!
You can buy snorkeling fins “in travel size” as well. These fins are shorter and wider. It sounds good that they need less space but they are not so effective in the water. With a normal snorkeling fin you could swim very comfortable, with a short travel fin you will have to make more movements and you willl use more energy.
The freediving fins are long, slim but hard ones. Originally the freedivers used these type og fins, but you will see some snorkelers with these fins. Practiced snorkelers who need power underwater and swim deep use freediving fins.