Snorkeling Fins for Feet With Bunions?

by Nancy W.
(Silver City, NM)

Any suggestions for snorkeling fins for my feet with bunions? Or any other way around my bunion/fin problem, maybe lighter weight open foot fins?

We bought the US Divers Sea Lion fins, and Dee's are working out fine, because he has regular shaped feet. However, we've been trying to modify mine with chisels and scalpels and so far it's not working out so good. I'm thinking I need to go with the open foot kind with booties.

I really like your website. It's part of the reason Dee and I decided to take our first trip to the Big Island of Hawaii (and to use your guide of where to snorkel there). We'll be camping (out of a van) there for 28 days beginning May 15. Activity-wise, snorkeling is number one on our list, though neither of us has done a whole lot of it, yet.

Thanks for inspiring me.

Comments for Snorkeling Fins for Feet With Bunions?

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Apr 26, 2011
Best Fins For Bunions
by: Galen & Nicole

Hi Nancy, you are probably right in thinking that you may need to go to an open foot fin and wear a padded bootie. Because those Sea Lion fins are some of the most flexible closed foot fins on the market. Nicole has a small bunion and just had to deal with the same issue and basically could find nothing better in a closed fin.

We think your best bet would be buying from a store where you can try many options on to see what works best. You may wish to wait until you are in Hawaii to do that if you don't have a good shop where you live.

P.S. Have a great trip to the Big Island!

Apr 28, 2011
Wear a Thin Lycra Sock for Bunions
by: Marvin Bernstein

I developed a bunion right behind my left little toe where the bone seems to be. I did it by wearing flip flops for three months everyday.

I scuba and snorkel. When I put on my ocean fins I noticed pain at the bunion. I asked around and found out that by wearing a thin lycra sock that can be purchased in most dive shops and wearing it in my closed fins that I had no pain. I suggest you try this in a pool before going out into the ocean. Everyone's feet are different. Good luck.

Apr 23, 2013
Foot Attached to a Bunion
by: Errol

Hi Nancy, my bunion is such that it's more of a foot attached to a bunion rather than the other way, and boy did it cause me problems with fins.

I tried bigger and tried socks and they all ended up in loose rubbing fins that inflamed the bunion and caused blisters.

The solution for me is very simple. Normal closed foot fin, with open toe - not a strap at the back! Fin size the same as without the bunion so it's a tight fit - I mean tight. The fin must, must have soft elastic rubber over the top of the foot rather than the traditional rubber which is pretty inflexible.

Very simple but works an absolute treat.

Good luck.

Nov 20, 2017
Snorkel Fins With Bunion
by: Holly

I have a bunion under the outside of my right big toe and, after reading through related comments, I am wondering if Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins would be a good choice?

Nov 20, 2017
Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins
by: Nicole & Galen

Hi Holly, the Wildhorn Topside Snorkel Fins are interesting. They are basically neoprene boots with a tough sole and a small, stiff fin integrated.

The only way to know if they will work for your feet with bunions is to try them on. Every foot and person is different.

Because these fins are so short, about 1/3 the length of the fins that we wear, they would be very low power. So, if you go for long snorkels, you would be working very hard.

Mar 03, 2018
Simple Fix
by: Anonymous

I have a bunion on my right foot and I have two pairs of closed foot fins that I have successfully modified by cutting a cross to relieve the pressure. First put the fin on and use a marker pen to mark where the pressure is worst. Then take a sharp knife and cut a small cross with the center over the spot you marked. Start small, you can always make a bigger cut if the pressure is still too much. Don't cut away any material, just cut a cross that will allow the fin to split open a little and relieve the pressure over the bunion. Also avoid cutting into the rigid side of your fin, just cut the softer part that is over your foot.

You will now have to remember to use the modified fin on the affected foot but you'll soon get used to it.

Happy snorkeling!

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