What is a Full-foot Fin?
Full-foot fins have a soft, flexible foot pocket. As their name suggests, the foot pocket encompasses your entire foot. These kinds of fins are often worn barefoot but can also be worn with a thin lycra or neoprene sock for additional comfort and protection.
Pros and Cons of Full-foot Fins
1. Less Stuff — Don’t require the use of neoprene dive booties, so you have one less thing to pack and one less thing to buy.
2. Travel Friendly — They tend to be less beefy than their open-heel counterparts. This makes them well-suited for travel but also translates to less drag in the water and easier kicking on the surface.
3. Direct Contact — The design of the fin allows the energy from your foot to be directly transferred to the fin.
4. Size Specific —Getting the right size is very important because they aren’t adjustable — they either fit or they don’t.
5. Bare Your Sole — Since they are worn without booties, they don’t offer any exposure protection. During shore dives, your feet will be completely exposed to any hazards between you and the dive site.
6. On and Off — Squeezing in and out of a snug foot pocket may be more of a chore than just tightening or loosening a heel strap.
Full-foot fins would be an appropriate choice for divers who frequent warm-water destinations and prefer to dive from boats. They are also well-suited for folks who travel or enjoy snorkeling as much as diving — provided that they purchase actual dive fins, not just snorkel-specific fins that are not suitable for current or moving bulky dive gear underwater.
Divers who visit destinations with cooler water will want to consider open-heel fins. This will allow them to wear neoprene booties appropriate for the dive environment. Booties can also be worn in warm water and can be useful for divers who get cold easily. The added protection is ideal for divers who like to shore dive or have long walks between where they gear up and the dive site. They may be slightly bulkier and more expensive than full-foot fins, but open-heel fins offer greater flexibility and are a good investment for any diver.