Re: Freedive fins for big feet ?

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Posted by Franko on April 23, 2002 at 18:14:14:

In Reply to: Freedive fins for big feet ? posted by 86 dive beginner on April 23, 2002 at 11:11:03:

The problem with freediving fins is that they're all pretty much made in Europe, where the shoe sizes run smaller. So it can be tough getting a good fit in larger sizes.

I'm a size 11 in shoes, and for freediving fins I have a pair of Riffe Silent Hunters in Euro size 44-46 (roughly U.S. 11-13). They're snug on my feet when I wear them with 3mm neoprene socks.

Most of the freediving fins I see seem to go up to that same size, 44-46. However, someone in Denmark mentioned recently that Sporasub goes up to a 46-48 for their Dessault fins. I took a look at these on Pirate Scuba:

where the sizing is in U.S. units and they seem to call this a 12-13. Still, it might be worth checking out if you can find a pair to try in person.

Here are some other suggestions:

-- Different brands fit people in different ways, and the sizing is not necessarily uniform from one maker to another. So you might try different brands (Omer, Sporasub, Cressi, Esclapez are some of the major makers of freediving fins) to see if maybe one of them works for you.

-- Although most freedivers prefer to size their fins so that they can wear up to a 5mm sock to keep their feet from getting cold when they're in the water all day, I prefer to freedive for shorter periods (usually an hour max at a time), so I find I can get away with thin lycra socks. This buys you another size or so that you can fit into.

-- Some people wear a thin sock, or no sock, but then use a partially cut-off neoprene boot around the heel part of the foot after it's in the fin to keep from getting chilled.

-- Esclapez has a freediving-style (i.e. thin and long) fin with an open heel and strap (a la scuba-style fins). Some freedivers with big feet who can't find a full-foot fin that will fit them have had good luck with this one. Although freedivers prefer full-foot fins (better energy transfer, doesn't catch on kelp), this can also work. For example they're at this website:

-- Some people with big feet stretch the foot pocket on fins by heating them in the sun and then inserting wooden blocks. I did this on my Riffe fins because, although the width and length overall were okay, the rubber strip that goes over the top of the foot was too tight for me.

Hope these ideas help.

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