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Wide foot fin drama

Minneapolis
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566 posts
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Wide foot fin drama

So we FINALLY decided to bring full snorkel gear this year instead of renting. After all our drama last year dealing with the rocky entry at Kiddel Bay, we decided that the answer would be open-heel fins plus water shoes. Because we are also trying to keep the luggage down to carry-on only, we decided to look for short travel fins. This turned out to be WAY harder than it sounds.

Possibly because we live about as far away from an ocean as it is possible to get on the North American continent, there aren't a lot of snorkel shops in town. There are a few dive shops, but they cater more to serious scuba divers that buy wetsuits and book expensive dive expeditions. Not a single one of these places carries any of the short travel fins I found online.

So I came home from my first shopping trip with a pair of ostensibly "short" dive fins and a pair of heavy-duty rubber-soled dive booties. I'm not very good at judging size by eye, and was dismayed to discover when I got home that the "short" fins are 21" long and don't fit inside any suitcase we own. Oh well, I guess I can carry them in my red mini-duffel. They're pretty heavy for snorkel fins, but I guess by diver standards they are light weight.

DH was impressed by my double-jointed, turbo-charged dive fins, but still insisted on something that would fit in his rolling carry-on. Since I couldn't find anything at the dive shops (and happened to have a 1-month free trial to Amazon Prime) I decided to order online. Boy, was that a mistake! The US Divers Trek Travel Fin looked perfect: wider shape but only 15" long with the open heel for maximum adjustability. His size (8) falls right in the middle of the Medium size, so I ordered those. They were so narrow he couldn't get his foot more than 3" into the foot box. So I ordered a Large (10-13), figuring that the largest size available should be big enough for any size 8 foot, even a wide one.

Well, no. The Large was hardly bigger than the medium. The foot pocket is not only far too narrow for an 8EE foot, but too tight in the vertical direction for Richard's rather high arch. They look like nice sturdy fins if there is any foot that they would fit. It occurs to me that they might work well for a woman with a medium to narrow foot, assuming she had the sense to order a size larger than advertised. But there is no way in hell that a man with size 10-13 feet could wear these.

But our story has a happy ending. We did what we should have done all along - gave up on the fancy dive stores and went to a chain sporting goods superstore. All the way to the back, where we found exactly what we were looking for: a moderately priced Tusa snorkel package (mask, fins, snorkel), complete with a sturdy carrying case. The mask fit perfectly. And, miraculously, so did the fins. A Large slipped on easily over 3mm snorkel socks and fit like a glove. The fins are 16" long, and the entire set in its carrying case fits easily in a 21" rollaboard. The pair of Tusa fins weighs about the same as one of my Aqualung Hotshots.

So, hurray for Tusa!! And if you happen to have wide feet, I recommend the Tusa Sport Snorkel fin.

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: Wide foot fin drama

Can I ask what store? I am going to be in the Cities sometime this summer. Thanks!

Pennsylvania
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2. Re: Wide foot fin drama

I had the same trouble with those US Diver fins. I ended up ordering up two full sizes.

Minneapolis
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3. Re: Wide foot fin drama

@jessie459: "Can I ask what store? I am going to be in the Cities sometime this summer. Thanks!"

Sports Authority. I think it's a national chain, but the store we went to was at the intersection of Hwy 494 and Lyndale Ave. The package we bought was identified as the "Tusa Sport Lightweight and Compact Premium Travel Set." There were two packages, with the same fins in each package but a more expensive mask and snorkel in the premium set. The cheaper set was $60 and the one we got was $90. Haven't tried the equipment yet in the water, but it seemed to be good quality and fit well.

Minneapolis
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4. Re: Wide foot fin drama

@cleobeach: "I had the same trouble with those US Diver fins. I ended up ordering up two full sizes."

I deduce from this that you are a woman who wears a shoe size in the 6-9 range, and that the largest available size of this fin works for you (i.e.,the sizelabelled as "12+"). That's just what I would have expected after futzing around with two sizes of these things. And if they fit right, I'll bet they're pretty nice fins.

So why didn't the company that sells them just market them as women's fins, and correct the size labeling? Aarghh!

Pennsylvania
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5. Re: Wide foot fin drama

I don't know what's up with their sizing. I couldn't get my foot in the mediums . However, I am happy wiTH tHe fins. My husband wants a set but at a size 14/15, I don't know that I will be able to find them.

Ridgewood, New...
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for Kiawah Island, Charleston
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6. Re: Wide foot fin drama

After reading this thread, I was intrigued. Ordered the US Divers fins in "medium" through Amazon. The medium fins fit my ladies 8.5B foot perfectly, even though I have a relatively high arch. The fins are extremely comfortable, and I can't wait to try them on our next trip to St John. However, I cannot imagine that the medium fins would work at all if my foot were any wider, longer, or higher than a standard ladies 8.5B.

Chicago
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for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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7. Re: Wide foot fin drama

U.S Divers stuff is junk. Go to Scuba.com or leisure pro.com if you can't find a local dive shop who will let you try on the fins.

B.

Nassau, New...
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8. Re: Wide foot fin drama

Dreamshark - enjoyed your saga of the fins - argh! & glad it worked out - now you get to enjoy them!

9. Re: Wide foot fin drama

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