There is a lot of hot air spoken about fins. Every brand is trying to have some gimmick that will entice you to part with more of your hard earned dosh.
The reality is that there is very little difference between the performance of fins. The most expensive fins probably are only about 10% more efficient than the cheapest.
Again try and look for quality and durability over the colour and look.
Stiff fins vs flutter fins
If you are an ex rugby player and hail from the Free state (in other words a very large fellow)
Stiff fins will be the best choice as the floppy fins do not work well with the high drag of the giant folk. However, if you are normal sized, the stiff fins are very sore on legs, ankles and feet when you have to swim fast.
Flutter fins consist of flap fins or split fins and they are normally made of a heavy duty rubber as opposed to plastic. The Split fins are not great in a current. These fins feel very soft but work really well and are very fast.
The down side is they tend to be heavy for traveling and it hard to kick up to get a boat.
Open Heel vs closed heel fins
Open Heel Fins
Open Heel Fins are the preferred way of diving because you have the protection of Booties on your feet. They also tend to last longer and are slightly more rugged and less prone to sun damage. They come in general sizes, namely XS, S, M, L and XL.
Closed Heel Fins
Closed heel fins, however, will fit the foot better as they are made according to actual shoe sizes….They are usually slightly cheaper than the Open Heel Fins when you take into consideration that you do not need to purchase booties. Unfortunately, the foot pockets do perish.
These are simple fins with a blade and no other “feature” They are generally cheap and do the job. They are hard on your feet when swimming fast but they are rugged and durable.
They have a blade made with hard plastic, with a rubber section that cups the water. Though, softer than the Paddle Fins, the plastic around the foot pocket makes the fin relatively stiff.
The Pivot Fins allow for more bending on the down stroke and less on the upstroke. These are also relatively hard fins due to the plastic parts. They are also relatively expensive.
They have a big well ….. split down the blade. Very soft to use and son have their fans. Not great in a current and some models tend to twist the foot. Not easy to get back into boat.
Similar to split fins in that they are very soft to use yet powerful. Good in a current but not good in getting back into the boat. Heavy out of the water, rubber material.
This is the weak point of Open Heel Fins. You need easy to use and easy to adjust straps. The best straps by a huge margin are quality spring straps that are bought as an add on.