When you go snorkeling in Hawaii the gear you use can really make a great deal of difference. There is a huge variety of different types fins that you can use. The right set of fins for you is going to depend on a variety of different factors and personal preferences so instead of trying to tell you what set of fins is the best for you we're going to instead try to help you learn about the differences between different types of fins so you can make an informed decision about what kinds of fins you want to use.
Open Heel Pockets have a single strap that loops around the back of the heel. The benefits of this design is that they are easier to get on and off and they are designed to wear over booties. Having booties is nice if you're going snorkeling at a location that requires you to get in and out from a rocky shoreline because you have a layer of protection against cuts to your feel.
The shorter the fins, the faster you will have to kick to get the same amount of propulsion as you would from a longer fin. A longer fin is nice because you can kick slower, but each kick requires more effort. Most of the designs that we've had the best experiences with are mid length. Mid length fins are generally available in open or closed heeled versions. Long blade fins are generally only available in closed heeled versions. When you get down in length to less than mid length fins it gets harder to propel yourself. Short fins are generally reserved for shallow water activities like bodyboarding or body surfing.
If you are going to bring your fins home and use your fins in a colder climate you should get some open heel fins so you can fit full neoprene booties under them. If you are planning on doing a great deal of deep freediving you may want to go for a pair of long fins but normally a pair of mid length will do you just fine. We've compiled some fins that we've used in the past and have had positive experiences with below.
We can help you arrange a snorkel or SCUBA dive trip on any of the Hawaiian Islands. We offer a full selection of snorkeling excursions ranging from entry level all the way through intermediate and "expert only" options.
I never really understood what all the differences with snorkel fins were before. I'm glad I read this because now I know to get the fins with the straps on the back so I can use them for cold water. Looking forward to using them :)