Full foot vs Open heel Fins
Closed foot (full foot) scuba diving fins are designed like a shoe, providing a snug fit and are often used in warm water environments. They are lightweight and efficient but can be uncomfortable if the fit isn’t perfect. Open heel fins, on the other hand, have an adjustable strap around the heel, allowing for a customizable fit.
They are typically used with diving boots, making them suitable for cold water and rugged environments, but they tend to be heavier and less streamlined than closed foot fins.
Which Type of Fin is Most Suitable for Different Water Environments and Conditions?
- Closed Foot Fins: Best suited for warm water environments, such as tropical seas, due to the absence of insulating diving boots. They’re also ideal for calm conditions and when you don’t need to walk over rough terrain to reach the dive site.
- Open Heel Fins: Ideal for colder water environments, as they can be worn with insulating diving boots. They’re also suited for rocky or rough terrains because the boots provide protection when entering and exiting the water. Additionally, they are a good choice for challenging conditions where greater propulsion power might be needed.
The choice between full foot and open heel fins depends on your diving preferences, conditions, and personal comfort. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages:
Full Foot Fins:
- Lighter and more streamlined, which can provide better efficiency.
- Usually more affordable than open heel fins.
- Ideal for warm water diving and snorkeling, as they don’t require dive booties.
- Provide a snug fit, reducing the chances of losing a fin during a dive.
- Limited size adjustability, meaning you need to find the perfect fit.
- Not suitable for cold water diving, as they don’t accommodate thick dive boots for thermal protection.
- Can cause blisters or chafing if not properly fitted.
Cressi Reactive Full Foot Pocket Scuba Diving Fins
Mares Avanti Superchannel Full Foot Fins
Scubapro Jet Sport Full Foot Fin
Open Heel Fins:
- Greater adjustability due to the adjustable heel strap, accommodating a wider range of foot sizes and dive boot thicknesses.
- Suitable for cold water diving, as they can be worn with thick dive boots for thermal protection.
- Can be more comfortable, as the dive boots provide cushioning.
- Usually heavier and bulkier than full foot fins, which can affect efficiency and maneuverability.
- Typically more expensive than full foot fins.
- Require dive booties, which can be an additional cost if not already owned.
Cressi Open Heel Scuba Diving Fins | Frog Plus
Mares avanti Quattro Plus Bungee Strap Fin
ScubaPro Jet Sport Open Heel Scuba Dive Fins
In general, the choice between open heel and full foot fins doesn’t necessarily impact performance, as both types can offer efficient propulsion and comfort. However, the choice can affect the diving conditions they are suitable for and the ease of adjustability. Open heel fins are more versatile and adjustable, accommodating various foot sizes and dive boot thicknesses, while full foot fins are typically lighter and more streamlined, making them suitable for warm water diving and snorkeling. The best choice depends on personal preferences, diving conditions, and comfort.