Problems with rubber fin straps
1. They can cause foot cramps.
During my first few years as a certified diver, I changed fins at least half a dozen times. Regardless of what fin I tried, I’d wind up with foot cramps during the dive. After lots of trial and error (and wasted money), I learned that a few things that can cause foot cramps. Any one of these will do it, however it’s common for people to have more than one of these problems simultaneously.
- Fin straps that are too tight. All it takes to over-tighten most fin straps is a gentle tug on one of the loose ends of the strap. I can recall several dives where I felt that one fin strap was either just a little too loose or a little too tight: It was rare (for me) that both fins felt “just right”. As a result, I felt like I was constantly messing with my straps in order to make things feel more comfortable. Furthermore, I eventually learned that what I thought was “tight enough” was actually too tight. Fin straps should just be snug enough to keep your foot from moving back and forth inside the fin pocket.
- Dive Boots that are too small. For a long time, I thought that wetsuit boots were supposed to feel pretty tight. This can result in some cramping in the arch of your foot during the dive. Instead, I learned to buy wetsuit booties that were big enough to let me comfortable stretch my feet out, but not so big that they slide around on my foot. I’ve also had good results by wearing a slightly larger boot with LavaCore socks underneath to prevent blisters.
- Fins that are too small. While wearing your boots, the fin pocket should be wide enough to accommodate your foot without having to force the fin on but not so wide that it will shake back and forth. When removing you fins after a dive, they should slide off your foot with nothing more than a gentle tug. If you’re having a hard time finding a fin with the proper width for your foot, try wearing booties that are a little thicker and then go up one fin size. The extra neoprene will act as a cushion, and make for a better fit.