When you’re a newbie snorkeler, you will likely need to start small to build up your technique. We’ve all seen the larger fins that adults use, being longer and thicker, but on the feet of a newbie, these can be a burden since the beginner doesn’t have enough leg power or motion efficiency. This will be a liability, so many beginners opt for short fins to ease them into snorkeling.
Shorter fins are easier to kick with when in water, something that inexperienced swimmers will be slow and inefficient at doing with regular fins, not to mention they require less energy to kick so your leg muscles won’t get tired so quickly.
We’ve gathered five examples of these short fins that you can get your hands on by clicking the links below. They’re all suitable for both swimming and snorkeling and have a short writeup so you can see their properties before you buy.
In a hurry?
If you can’t wait to dip your toe, and everything else, into the water, then you can take a look at our number one pick and get along with your day. We chose the Cressi Adult Short Fins with Full Foot Pocket, a shortened version of Cressi’s best-selling Cressi Agua long fins.
See why we preferred these below:
- Constructed from 100% technical polymers that are very lightweight at just three pounds. This doesn’t change how they swim for the worse, however, with them also being flexible for faster kicking motions that are easier to execute.
- Uses Cressi’s Self Adjusting Foot Pocket System to comfortably fit onto most people’s feet. You should have no problem finding the best fit, eliminating one of the more common, pesky considerations when buying footwear.
- They’re made to be buoyant, so they’ll float to the top if they slip off. This means you won’t lose your fin, and the cash you spent on that fin, when they come off underwater. This added buoyancy also helps to lift your legs up when underwater, aligning your body in a more optimal snorkeling position.
Best Short Fins for Swimming and Snorkeling
OUR TOP PICK
The Cressi brand has a vast catalog of great long swimming fins but you can rest assured that this quality can be found in their shorter fins, too. This is because they design their shorter fins by making them small and economical versions of their popular, longer fins.
The Cressi Adult Short Fins in particular weigh in at only three pounds thanks to their lightweight construction. This is because they’re made with 100% technical polymers that, whilst making the fins light, doesn’t interfere with how well they swim. If anything, the fins are made to be very flexible for faster and more sustained kicking motions that make them an even more attractive option.
These fins have Cressi’s Self Adjusting Foot Pocket System, comfort tech that ensures a tight fit no matter the shape of your foot. This means you shouldn’t have a problem finding the perfect fit since the fins are geared towards bringing that perfect fit to many different people.
Should your fins slip off when you’re underwater, which often happens when you’re learning, you’ll find that they’re made to be buoyant. This means that they’ll float to the surface of the water instead of floating to the bottom, where they’d be lost forever. As you can imagine, this is handy in supporting a learning snorkeler’s continued development without punishing this common mistake.
The fact they’re buoyant also promotes a good snorkeling posture since they minimize drag, elevating your legs so that your body is straight and aligned, which is optimal for slicing through the water when swimming in it.
The second fins on our list are actually the number one bestseller for the generous search term “diving fins,” so you can feel safe in the knowledge that many have purchased this product before and have had a positive experience with them.
The fact so many have bought them can probably be connected to how the CAPAS Travel Size Short Snorkel Fins are designed to fit a wider range of foot sizes. They do this with an easily adjustable fin strap that can tighten or loosen the fit, allowing small, medium, and larger feet to find some use out of these. The open-heel classification of these fins is where they become compatible with booties of all sizes, expanding how many foot types the fins support.
They also have a soft foot pocket that’s comfortable when the fin is both dry and wet, something you don’t always find in these fins. It also makes them wearable with fin socks, dive booties, or with just your bare feet if that’s what you desire.
If the foot pocket is soft and intended to morph into your foot shape, then what’s stopping it from losing that shape? The folks at CAPAS have thought ahead and added filter pads which, when placed into the heel pouches of these fins, will keep their shape even when these fins are compressed by heavy objects being laid on top of them. With this feature, you can feel safer when transporting them, which they’re easy to do because of how compact and light short fins are, by definition.
Next up we have the Seavengers Torpedo Snorkeling Fins. A cursory look at the buzz around these will show you how they’re often regarded as the best short blade snorkeling fins where watersports are concerned. Where you can rest assured that they’ll afford you great performance because of this background, they placed firmly at the midpoint of our list since we’re sure many snorkelers will be using them for hobbyist purposes.
To achieve this high performance, they’re made to be lightweight yet durable, lasting for years whilst not weighing your feet down underwater. These reliable fins are open-heel with a very flexible heel pouch that allows it to accommodate more foot sizes. Adjustable fin straps also ensure that, whatever the size of your feet, they’ll be securely fixed into the short fins.
They can also be used with whatever accompanying footwear you desire, whether that’s reef socks, booties, or again, your bare feet. What makes this an especially viable option is that the heel pouch is designed to keep your feet warmer, protecting against the very cold temperatures that underwater swimming can subject you to.
As an added plus, they’re easy to put on and take off because of thumb loops built into them. Also, as far as short fins go, they’re just about the shortest fins you can find at just fifteen inches. They also come with their own quick-dry mesh bag so you can safely store them whenever they’re not on your feet.
Here we have another entry from Cressi, the Cressi Palau Short Fins, to be exact. As with our number one option, they benefit from the patented manufacturing technology that’s been honed by a Mediterranean brand that has ample experience in snorkeling and water exploration.
The Cressi Palau’s short fins are highly flexible and feature a soft foot pocket that has a contoured design that makes them easy to put on, whether you’re still on the boat or you’re already in the water. The foot pouch is not designed for all foot sizes, so that’s something you must be aware of, but it can still fit three or four consecutive sizes. We’d recommend utilizing the size chart on the product page for help with sizing your order appropriately.
When putting them on, you’ll use a ringed fin strap that allows you to reverse it in all directions, left, right, up, or down, which helps to tightly secure them around your feet. Once they’re on, you should notice that the fins make kicking underwater easier and more comfortable.
Lastly, we have the Wildhorn Outfitters Topside Snorkeling Fins. These are an interesting choice because they have booties integrated into the fins, meaning you won’t have to stress over whether you’re going barefoot or need to buy diving socks to accompany them. This also protects against scratches and blisters, as well as getting literally cold feet when you’re down there.
This integration also enables you to walk on land with these fins, because of those booties but also just because of how short the fins are. This is something that would be impossible with longer fins, so it’s a nice convenience feature to have for those who need more amphibian capabilities. It should be said, however, that the fins are bigger and bulkier than some of the options above. Despite this, they’re still easy to carry and keep around because they also come with their own mesh carry bag, and they also float in the water.
We’d go as far as to say that wearing these is like wearing any other pair of shoes, and the closed-toe and heel design only reinforces that feeling. It also keeps away nasty muscle cramps and hypertension issues, which are a distinct possibility for beginners when first exposed to harsher underwater temperatures.
Adjustable Velcro straps keep your ankle supported when you’re wearing them, both on water and on land, making these great for a beginner snorkeler looking for some stability, or a casual snorkeler who likes this supportive fit.