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The best fins for freediving

The best fins for freediving have a full foot pocket and are a high visibility color. When you are first starting out with freediving, I recommend you get a pair of short affordable rubber fins like Tuffies. They are so easy to learn with, and won't hold back your freediving for a long time. Wait until you are really struggling to swim up from the depths you can dive to before upgrading to carbon fins.
  • Full foot pocket
    Strappy scuba fins are ok to rent for your first ocean day, but if you are going to buy a pair, make sure they have a full foot pocket, to efficiently transfer the force of your kick to the water.
  • High visibility
    Ideally, your fins will be a visible color underwater, such as white or yellow to help your buddy track you.
  • Longer means more power
    Length involves a trade-off. Shorter fins cost less and are easily taken in a carry-on bag. They can also be easier to control. But longer fins do generate more power. Unless you feel that leg strength is the binding constraint on your freediving, the shorter fins are better.
Best budget pick: Tuffies

I recommend you buy Tuffie fins in yellow. These fins are made of tough plastic and will last a lifetime. They are short enough to fit in a carry-on bag so they can travel with you anywhere. High visibility yellow helps your buddy see you in our sometimes murky conditions.

Even if you order a pair of long carbon fins later, you will never regret owning these. Don't worry that they are plastic - your fins will never be the thing holding back your freediving (at least until you start breaking national records!). I have worn these in competition and my instructor trainer, world class freediver Johnny Sunnex, can dive deeper than 80m in these. They are powerful enough.

Best mid-range pick: Leaderfins carbon
Leaderfins make carbon fiber freediving fins at relatively affordable prices. Pictured here in basic black, they also have tons of cool designs you can choose from. Their long carbon blades provide plenty of power. They are heavier than higher-end carbon fins like Alchemy's.
Top of the line pick: Alchemy V3
The ultimate competitive freediving carbon fin. Carbon has 100% "memory" so the fin snaps back to its original position with no loss of energy. The length of the fins generates more power than shorter fins. Alchemy's carbon fiber is lighter than some lower-priced carbon fins such as Leaderfins.
A final word... another interesting option is to buy your footpockets and blades separately. Footpockets don't involve much tech, and are all about getting the right fit. By contrast blades can get very high-tech. So start with footpockets that fit your feet, add some short cheap durable blades, and then you only need to upgrade the blades when you are ready.

You can get a good pair of footpockets like the Leaderfins Classic for $54 and a good short durable blade "specially designed for diving in shallow waters and rocky environments" like the Leaderfins Abyss Pro Short for about $100.