If your shoe size is a US5, or UK3, or EU36 — or whatever applies in your country — you’ll already know that finding shoes can present a challenge as an adult. This problem is magnified in a dive shop, where standard fins may just be too large. Finding fins for small feet is always a challenge.
Fins that are too big or too wide can be uncomfortable, inefficient or just plain annoying in the water. You can end up with blisters and foot cramps. And if you’re diving in challenging conditions, small blades may not provide the power you need in currents. Divers can use either full-foot or open-heel fins, depending on where they dive and their preferences for foot protection. There are options in both types for small feet, depending on your needs and your budget. Below we’ve offered a few of our picks for divers with small feet, as well as a few tips to help find the perfect fit.
Finding the Perfect Fit
- Try to be creative, and perhaps even a bit unconventional. For example, you may need to wear 5 mm neoprene socks in your fins, even in warm water, to make them fit properly. You can also wear booties in larger full-foot fins.
- You will need to do some research; try a few pairs on with your preferred boot, and check out even some lesser-known brands.
- If you choose to wear booties, some brands will carry your size but not always in all models. Once again, a bit of research is necessary, and trying them on is highly recommended. While you may find more variety online, you won’t know what you’ve got until it arrives at your door.
The Best Scuba Fins for Small Feet
- Mares Avanti Excel and Mares X-Stream both come in extra small. Both are versatile and efficient options; the Avanti is a full-foot and the X-Stream is an open-heel. However, not all Mares fins come in extra small, including their best-selling Avanti Quattro.
- Aqua Lung HotShot size small are quite small. Thanks to the wide, comfy strap, they can also work with bare feet or with neoprene socks.
- Beuchat Power Jet are strong fins but the smallest size is S-M. These fins are an example of ones that could work better with heavy-duty booties, even if conditions do not require something so warm or heavy. They are available in full-foot and open-heel.
- Scuba Pro’s full-foot Seawing Nova comes in extra small as of January 2016, and offers benefits of both a blade fin and a split fin.
- Cressi has a couple of smaller-sized options, such as the full-foot Pluma or the open-heel Frog that come in 36/37 size or similar. Pluma is lightweight fin which makes a good option for traveling, but may be too soft for strong currents or rigorous diving.
If you’re an avid diver, you may need a few pairs of fins, depending on the type of activity. I personally ended up using two pairs: a bigger, full-foot freediving fin (size 40/41) to give me a longer blade and more power for dives in current, with 3 mm booties in size 36; and open-heel, extra-small fins, with standard 5 mm booties for pool training, calm conditions or travel.
If you’ve got small feet, hope is not lost. There are plenty of products out there for you, and a good fit is possible with a little research.