Elite Selection: Top Swim Fins Recommended by Navy SEALs for Optimal Performance

Diving into the depths requires not just skill but also the right gear. For those who navigate the waters with precision and expertise, having the best equipment is key. When it comes to swim fins, Navy SEALs are known for their rigorous training and top-notch performance underwater. Their choices in gear matter significantly, and their recommended swim fins are a testament to excellence in aquatic operations.

Whether you’re a military diver or a sports enthusiast exploring the underwater world, understanding the preferred swim fins of these elite forces can be a game-changer in enhancing your own performance and efficiency beneath the surface.

The specific swim fins used by Navy SEALs can vary based on personal preference, mission requirements, and training scenarios. However, certain swim fins are popular among military units, including the SEALs, due to their performance, durability, and efficiency in water. While an official list of the top 10 swim fins exclusively used by Navy SEALs might not be publicly available, here are some fins commonly favored by elite military units and professional divers.

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The Aqua Lung Storm Fins have captured the attention of many underwater adventurers, scoring high marks among global reviewers. With most ratings at 5 stars, these fins are praised for their versatility and ease of use, making them suitable companions for diving and snorkeling trips.

I like that they fit snugly into duffel bags, making them convenient for travel. Reviewers note that when worn with diving shoes, they offer comfort without causing discomfort or cramps, although they might feel a tad large without shoes. Some users comment on their rigidity compared to longer fins, mentioning that although they may not provide the same power, they ensure an effortless swimming experience without feeling left behind.

Customers commend these fins for their lightweight build, making them easy to carry and travel with. They have been utilized on various dives, earning praise for their functionality in freshwater and open ocean environments. However, some divers suggest caution when pairing these fins with thick diving boots, as the straps might become tight and cause discomfort.

While they work well in warmer waters, there’s advice to seek a larger size or try them with dive boots for colder water conditions. Overall, users appreciate these fins for recreational activities such as snorkeling, boogie boarding, and open-water practices, making them a go-to choice for aquatic adventures.

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Question: Do you have a dive sock that you recommend?

Yes; that is a good question as it is good to wear a dive sock or bootie to protect your feet. I like the Cressi dive sock if you just need something simple to cover your feet. Many your snorkeling on a sandy beach with no coral or rock around. You cant go wrong with a dive sock like Cressi.

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Gear up with the Aqua Lung Stratos 3 Full Foot Pocket Scuba Diving Fins for a top-notch underwater experience. These fins bring a powerful kick with minimal effort, thanks to the Torsion Energy Point. The blade’s unique design, made of strong and elastic technopolymers, ensures durability and flexibility. Slip into the ergonomic foot pocket, designed for comfort and compatibility with bare feet or socks.

The Grip Effect inside adds stability, and the 4-channel structure improves water canalization along the blade. With side wings for enhanced swim performance and rubber side ribs for elasticity and resilience, these fins are a reliable companion for your underwater adventures. Plus, the anti-slip rubber pads provide stability on slippery surfaces. Dive into the Stratos 3, a durable, light, and affordable choice suitable for intensive use in Diving Centers, passing extreme stress and anti-shock tests with flying colors. Whether you’re into scuba diving or snorkeling, these fins deliver power and sleekness, making them the best all-around full foot fins for your aquatic endeavors.

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#8 Scubapro Jet Fins

Step into the world of underwater excellence with the Scubapro Jet Fins – a true powerhouse in diving gear. Crafted with robust rubber material and boasting a beefy shape, these fins set the standard for power and durability. The distinctive design not only speaks volumes about its quality but also ensures a sturdy companion for your underwater adventures.

Experience the difference with the proven vented design that reduces drag on the upstroke and amps up thrust on the downstroke, propelling you farther and faster through the depths. Finding your perfect fit is a breeze with the self-adjusting stainless-steel spring heel strap, snugly conforming to your foot. Whether you’re a tech diver, deep diver, military diver, commercial diver, dive instructor, or an old-school recreational diver, the Jet Fin is tailored to meet your needs. SCUBAPRO, committed to constant innovation and improvement, crafts high-quality equipment that elevates the diving experience for those whose passion lies beneath the surface. Dive into excellence with SCUBAPRO – where work, sport, and lifestyle meet beneath the waves.

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#7 Cressi Rondinella

Cressi Rondinelli swim fins are designed for water enthusiasts who enjoy snorkeling, free diving, and long swims. The fins are crafted with a blade made from lightweight and reactive polypropylene, along with a flexible thermo-rubber for the foot pocket.

This special combination makes the Rondinella fins both light and powerful, providing an easy and not-too-demanding experience while generously delivering excellent performance. The computer-designed foot is enveloping and anatomical, ensuring a comfortable fit for extended use. Whether you’re exploring the underwater world or enjoying a leisurely swim, these fins, available in sizes from 29 to 48, offer a perfect blend of ease of use and performance for water activities.

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#6 Mares Avanti Quattro

The Mares Avanti Quattro Plus Open Heel Bungee Strap Fin is a scuba diving essential designed with practical features. The fins come in a vibrant yellow color and are made from a durable blend of thermoplastic rubber and Tecralene. This material mix ensures flexibility and sturdiness, making the fins suitable for both men and women, as indicated by the suggested users being “unisex-adult.” The open-heel design with bungee straps adds convenience and comfort for users.

When it comes to dimensions and weight, the Mares Avanti Quattro Plus fins are compact and lightweight. The item package measures approximately 25.12 x 10.35 x 4.76 inches, and the fins weigh around 1.9 kilograms. The individual fins have dimensions of 17 x 5 x 3 inches and weigh 0.9 kilograms each.

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#5 Force Fin Pro

ForceFin Pro Original Swim Fins offer a unique and efficient design for swimmers and divers. The special Force Fin foot-pocket design allows you to wiggle your toes freely. What makes these fins stand out is their ability to transfer much of the effort to your quadriceps, the largest muscle group in your body. This clever design removes pressure from your toes and feet, significantly reducing muscle fatigue and cramping. With your entire leg doing the work, Force Fins provide a more efficient and comfortable swimming experience.

These fins are not only efficient but also fast. Modeled after the split-V shape of fish tails, Force Fins channel water effectively, allowing for swift and streamlined movement. They are designed to follow your natural two-stroke kick cycle, reducing oxygen depletion and delaying the onset of fatigue. Additionally, the fins are compact, making them convenient to carry on, and their environmental consideration means you’re less likely to unintentionally disturb delicate reefs while maneuvering. ForceFin Pro Original Swim Fins are a smart choice for those looking for a comfortable, efficient, and environmentally conscious swimming experience.

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#4 OMS Slipstream

The OMS Slipstream Monoprene Fin has received a perfect 5 out of 5 stars from three global ratings, reflecting outstanding performance and quality. Users have commended these fins for their exceptional characteristics, with one reviewer expressing their loyalty to the Slipstream for over 13 years due to its lightweight, compact design, and durability. However, there was a recent change in sizing, prompting caution to new buyers as the sizing may differ from the previous versions. A user suggested carefully reviewing the toe-box measurements and recommended sizing up based on their experience to ensure a comfortable fit, highlighting the importance of considering sizing changes when replacing older pairs.

Another reviewer compared these fins favorably to the classic Scuba Pro Jet Fins, praising the Slipstream’s lighter material and efficiency in achieving better trim during dives. The reviewer emphasized how these fins helped to balance and trim out the body during different diving conditions, highlighting their versatility for both warm and cold-water diving scenarios. Overall, the consensus among reviewers indicates that the OMS Slipstream Monoprene Fin is a well-made, efficient, and appropriately weighted fin option for divers seeking reliable propulsion and functionality underwater.

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#3 Oceanic Viper

The Oceanic Viper Open Heel Fins stand out with a remarkable 4.8-star rating from 25 global reviews, reflecting their excellence in comfort, performance, and efficiency. These fins embody a perfect blend of hydrodynamics and cutting-edge materials technology, ensuring an unparalleled diving experience. The blade’s Flexible Power Thrust Channel efficiently directs water off the blade’s tip, significantly enhancing power and propulsion without compromising efficiency. Engineered channels and side rails manage water flow off the fin tips, preventing spillage and maximizing power output for divers.

Reviewers have applauded the Oceanic Viper Fins for their professional-grade quality and exceptional value for money. These fins are well-suited for various skill levels, from novices to experienced divers, offering excellent propulsion, ease of use, and comfort. Users have expressed satisfaction with the fins’ ability to assist in scuba diving lessons, snorkeling activities, and even deep dives down to 105 feet. Praised for their performance and durability, these fins continue to impress users, making them a preferred choice for both recreational swimming and professional scuba diving activities.

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#2 Atomic Aquatics Splitfins

The Atomic Aquatics Open Heel Scuba Diving Split Fins have garnered positive acclaim, boasting a 4.4-star rating from 103 global reviewers. These fins are celebrated for their high-quality design and innovative features, offering both comfort and performance to diving enthusiasts. Reviewers appreciate the fins’ softness, which doesn’t compromise on propulsion and maneuverability, ensuring a pleasant diving experience. Users admire the fins’ capability to work efficiently in various water conditions and currents, making them suitable for different diving environments.

One satisfied diver highlighted the fins’ ability to significantly reduce leg cramps while diving, mentioning the fins’ effectiveness in preventing cramps, which can often hinder the diving experience. The Atomic Aquatics fins are praised for their durability, with some users mentioning that after several years, these fins continue to maintain their shape and efficiency without warping.

I did see where some divers noted that these fins might be bulkier and heavier compared to other options, which could affect their ease of travel and storage. Nonetheless, these fins are highly recommended for their comfort, reduced leg fatigue, and overall efficiency underwater.

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Scubapro Go Sport Fins are designed with features that cater to the needs of divers, especially those who frequently navigate rocky shore entries. The “boot-fit” design includes a replaceable, self-adjusting bungee heel strap that easily slips over boots, providing convenience and ease of use. The fins boast ultra-strong 100% Monprene construction, ensuring durability over the long term. This material won’t delaminate, break, or tear even after years of heavy-duty use, making them reliable for various diving adventures.

The performance features of the Scubapro Go Sport Fins contribute to a fast, powerful, stable, and maneuverable underwater experience with minimal effort. The fins incorporate a 25-degree pre-angled blade and power bars on the underside of the rail to prevent over-flex, maintaining the optimum angle of attack under high-load conditions. With a focus on innovation and improvement, SCUBAPRO creates high-quality equipment for divers who are passionate about exploring the underwater world. The compact and lightweight design of these fins makes them easy to bring to your favorite tropical waters, fitting conveniently in AITA carry-on compliant luggage for hassle-free travel.

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It’s important to note that while these fins are popular choices among elite divers, including some military units, individual preferences and mission requirements heavily influence the selection of swim fins. Navy SEALs undergo specialized training and may have access to various types of swim fins based on their specific needs and operational requirements.

Questions from our SGPT readers:

Question: What fins are used in Navy SEAL BUDS training?

Answer: Though the options mentioned in this list are all excellent swim fins, the ones we personally used were ScubaPro jet rocket fins with thin neoprene dive booties.

Question: Where can I get a good military rocket fins package like the one they use in BUDS training?

Answer: Check out the rocket fins here

Question: Do SEALs use snorkels?

Answer: Yes, SEALs Instructors use snorkels at times, especially when observing and working with trainees in the dive tower or pool. I never really used a snorkel unless I was swimming along a reef and looking for lobsters.

Question: What is a good dive bootie to use?

We like the Cressi High Cut Diving Boot for everyday diving work.

Question: What fin did you use when you were preparing for BUD/S?

Answer: I did not own a pair of fins as I was not training properly and lacked the knowledge and proper equipment.

I did not know the impact a good pair of fins can have, not on my swimming speed, but more importantly on my swimming technique. Now that I know better, and if I had to do it again, I would get a pair of the rockets.

I did spend a lot of years in the pool swimming as a kid and taking trips out to local ponds and sinks to cool off in the summer.

Question: What dive mask do they use for training at BUDS?

Answer: I just talked with an instructor and he said that they are usually one of a few styles from U.S. Divers or Aqualung, low profile, and black.

The mask in the photo is clear which some guys like for training purposes. But it also comes in black.

If you are on a training mission…

…you can always dust it with a few spots of black paint to knock out the clear color.

I used this same type of mask when I worked as a commercial diver working on boats in San Diego harbor.

Question: “Coach, I just started with swim workouts and my ankles start to hurt whenever I swim in the pool with fins. What am I doing wrong?”

Answer: You need to get your feet and ankles ready to swim with fins.

Go easy the first time and only swim 50 meters after you are warmed up with a few laps. Put them away and finish your swim workout without fins.

Next time at the pool…

…swim 75 meters, each time slowly build your way up until you can swim a mile without any problems. Another trick is to run 100 yards down the beach and then swim 200 yards then run back.

This will condition your feet and work them in a good way to strengthen them.

Question: What does UDT stand for?

Answer: Underwater Demolition Team.

Conclusion: Navy SEAL Recommended Fins

Choosing your first or your next swimming fins is quite crucial. After all, it’s what will help you last longer in the waters especially if it’s in rigorous military training.

That is why it’s important to choose based on your task and purpose instead of design and looks.

Just remember…

When you initially put on fins, just swim a few hundred yards and push slightly past discomfort in your ankle and shin.

Overuse ailments such as tendinitis in the feet and knees might flare up if you push too hard and for too long at the beginning.

A good and strong scuba type fin will help you perform workouts, underwater task and last for years.


Brad McLeod is an all around average family guy married with two kids.

He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and despite training all the wrong ways – made it to Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California.

He flunked out of Navy SEAL BUD/S training after making it over half way through (6 months of grueling training). After a year in the Fleet Navy on the USS Cleveland (LPD-7) he came back to graduate BUDS and serve on SEAL Team Four.

His story is simple–Don’t Ever Quit on your Dream! Put one foot in front of the other and fall forward.

Proceeds from this website go to help raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation.

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