I wanted to wait before I wrote a review on my new fins. Prior to a diving trip to Cozumel Mexico with Scuba Board (Invasion), I was in need of fins. My old fins had been used and abused for the past 7 years and were cheap, old, outdated, and I felt extreme fatigue with my long surface swims that we have in Venice Florida when shore diving. I was researching fins and was really intrigued how fins could vary from 60$-200$+ and all of the options. Scuba Board typically helps with reviews but even there I was hitting a dead end, with a conclusion I would wait till I went on the invasion and won a pair. I walked into the drawing the day of the contest and told Roxanne (the drawer) that I was going to win, and boy did I.
I have waited about 5 months to put about 20 dives on these fins before I gave any recommendation. I can say I have owned 3 pairs of fins my entire diving career and these are by far the best I have owned. They are easy to on and doff with a thick rubber retention strap. I ordered (BLACK on BLACK), and found the fins to be light weight barely noticeable when on. The make up of the fin has both solid and soft plastics, and an interesting alien style shape/influence. The foot pocket has not lost shape at all (I store without the plastic inserts) and has holes in the pocket that I find prevent your boots from getting stuck inside with suction like my old pairs. The Mares X-Stream fins appear to have created a balance between soft/hard split/solid fins and I feel give me the best of all worlds. The surface swims for shore dives are a breeze and instead of stopping and beginning my dive feeling exhausted from the swim, I stop when I want and dive with less exertion.
Now in all honesty at a current price tag at 180$ I would have passed on these fins simply because I did not see the value of the price point. I can assure you after diving these fins and seeing the night and day difference in exertion alone, I would not hesitate on recommending these fins and am in love. Mares you have a new customer.