Snorkeling fins are one of the essential components of a complete snorkelling package and allow snorkelers to move through the water with much greater ease without wasting huge amounts of energy. Although all snorkeling fins do the same job they are not all made equal and different types of fins have strengths and weaknesses that make them great for one application but not so good in another. To start with snorkeling fins are designed to be worn bare foot but some people will find them even more comfortable with a pair of neoprene socks or fabric fin socks that help to keep the feet warm and also provide additional protection against rubbing and soreness after prolonged use. Fins coming a range of styles including open heel or full pocket pocket, long or short blade and standard, channel, hinge/pivot or split fin blade designs. Fins are available in a variety of blade lengths which can generally be observed as a short, medium and full length. Generally the longer the blade the better the propulsion as the fins are able to push against more water and forcing the user forward. Whilst a longer blade is great short blades are much easier to pack with the shortest fins being easily packed into a day rucksack for long hike and snorkeling trips. Blade design refers to the technology that has gone into the blade and will determine how flexible the blade is, how much water it is capable of moving and as how much the fins will cost. A standard blade is simply a flat surface of a single material and are usually the most cost effective. Channel blades look very similar but incorporate one of more flexible panels in the blade surface to allow the blade to form a U shape that cups and focuses water into a jet for improved propulsion. Channel fins are the most common and most popular type of fin thanks to their good efficiency and relatively low cost. Hinge and pivot blades utilise a special break in the blade that allows it to pivot to a special angle that maximises propulsion and minimises the effort required. Finally, split fins use the same principle that a birds wing use to move the snorkeler through the water by creating negative pressure on the lead side of the blades that pulls the snorkeler forward rather than push. Both hinge/pivot and split fins are comparatively expensive but offer significant advantages if you are snorkelling for long periods of time.