The Open Heel snorkelling fin design is one that was originally designated as a cold water style which required the use of additional footwear in order to be used. The design of the foot pocket included an adjustable strap which allows for a more customised fit, but the foot pocket portion is usually made of a more rigid material. Wearing wet suit boots, water shoes or neoprene socks is required to prevent chaffing and irritation caused by the rigid material in the foot pocket on bare feet. Though known as cold water fins, these are also suitable for warm water use as well. Common names for this fin style are strap, cold water, pocket and open pocket.
There is a warm water, barefoot open heel snorkelling fin design that has been introduced which has been becoming increasingly popular with snorkelers. In this barefoot open heel design you will notice that the foot pocket uses the same flexible material as is found in the full foot design. This is still a strap design, but like the full foot is designed to be worn on bare feet. Having an adjustable heel strap means that the size range for a particular pair will be more generous than the full foot style. This is great if you are looking for someone whose feet are still growing. Be aware that there may be width issues as these are mostly engineered for average foot widths of your bare foot. These will not accommodate wetsuit boots or water shoes but may allow for the lycra or neoprene socks because they have no soles on them. You will see the bare foot strap fins more with the travel design than you will with the traditional length style.
The original Open Heel fins, intended to be used with dive boots, come into their own when entry to the water involves walking over rocks and rough surfaces. The boots/shoes worn will protect your feet. Then you slip on your fins at the water's edge. Whereas with full foot fins and warm water open heel fins, you have to walk barefoot to the water's edge with no protection for your feet. Please check out our range of Boots/Socks for use with original Open Heel snorkelling fins.
Need more information? Then please check out our Snorkelling Fins Buying Guide.