Now Accepting PayPal and Google Wallet

How to Choose Swim Fins


Swimming fins are designed to help swimmers develop a more powerful kick, increase their kick tempo, and improve ankle flexibility. They also help swimmers move through the water faster, which makes them a very attractive piece of swim equipment. Since fins for lap swimmers come in a wide array of styles that vary in length, stiffness, and heel design, this guide helps swimmers choose the fins that best meet their swim practice needs.

Training Fins

The length of the fin blade has a big impact on how it will affect a workout. The longer the blade, the more resistance there will be in the water. That means that the legs have to work harder, but that the swimmers also kicks at a slower rate. Each fin blade length serves a slightly different purpose, explained below.

  • Short fins create resistance in the water while forcing the swimmer to use a faster kick, making them ideal for freestylers and backstrokers. Short fins also help swimmers develop proper kicking tempo and technique. Most lap swimmers or swimmers on swim teams use these short "Zoomer" style fins.
  • Notched fins (fin blades with a V-cut) are also intended for serious swimmers, as they mimic the natural path of the foot through the water. Most notched fins have the same short blade that promotes proper kicking technique.
  • Mono fins and breaststroke fins are rarely used, but certainly have their benefits. Mono fins force swimmers to keep their feet together as they kick, enforcing correct butterfly/dolphin kick movements. Breaststroke fins are curved and allow swimmers to execute a correct breaststroke kick (impossible with traditional straight fins) while increasing resistance.
  • The stiffer the fin blade, the more resistance it will provide. While this sounds appealing to those who want to increase leg strength, it also leads to a slower, ineffective kick without fins. Softer fin blade material provides a more natural movement through the water.
  • Some fins include channels that direct the flow of water over the foot. The more the fin is designed to mimic the feel of swimming without fins, the more benefit the swimmer will get.
  • Long fins are best for young swimmers who are still learning how to move in the water, snorkelers, and recreational swimmers. Long fins improve ankle flexibility and leg endurance.

Fin Heel Styles

Most lap swimming fins are "full foot," meaning they are designed to encase the entire foot like a shoe. However, some models come with an adjustable back heel strap instead. The attributes of different heel styles are explained below.

  • Swim fins usually have a "full foot" or closed heel — a soft rubber pocket that helps keep the foot inside the fin while kicking. Because the foot is totally encased in rubber, an improper fit can lead to rubbing and blisters. Carefully look at the size chart before purchasing.
  • Open heel fins use a strap across the back of the ankle to keep the fin in place. This usually results in less rubbing on the heel, but may not provide the same secure fit as a full foot fin.
  • Some swimmers get blisters from fins. If this happens, wear fin socks. These are specially designed to prevent chafing.

Swim Fin Advice

The right swim fins help their users increase leg strength and develop proper kicking technique. Once you have the right fit and model, you're sure to enjoy the speed and variety fins add to swim practice. Remember, though, that swimming with fins all the time will make it that much harder when you have to take them off.

Shop all Swim Fins

Email Address Invalid. Please enter an email address in the format: xx@yy.zz
 
Share on facebook
Letty
2 weeks ago.
Looking for floating fins to help son with proper kicks. He wears a size 13
Grace
3 weeks ago.
I am trying to find the right size for my daughter. She is 10 and wears a size 4-5. I want to order sporti floating fins and finis foil monofin for her swim team practice. I'm lost while reading a size chart. Please help! Thanks!
Megan
1 month ago.
I am looking at the sporti training swim fins. I wear a size 11 in womens. I don't know if I should get the 9-11 (grey/black) or 11-13 (black/blue). Should fins be a little big or should I go with the smaller size?
swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hi Megan,
I would suggest going with the 9-11. If you do go with the 11-13 and you find they are a bit big, you can always pair it with the Sporti Neoprene Swim Socks. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
Jane
1 month ago.
My 13 year old daughter has long, narrow feet. She currently wears Zoggs training fins in size US 8 - 9 but these are getting too small and are rubbing the side of her toes. We have tried the next size up in both this brand and Eyeline but they are too wide for her and she would not be able keep them on in the water even if she had fin socks. Do you have any advice on fins for long narrow feet please?
swimoutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hi Jane
Unfortunately, we do not have any swim fins with a narrow foot bed. We usually suggest wearing a neoprene swim sock to fill in for the extra space. Please see the link below which provides full reviews of each fin. I hope you find fins that will work out. Please let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/blog/top-training-fins-compared-the-gangloff-review/
Michelle
2 months ago.
Hi - is there a swim fin that is better for a wide-sized foot?
SwimOutlet.com
1 month ago.
Hi Michelle,
We actually do not have fins that come in wide sizes. However the Sporti Floating Swim Fins can be a bit wider for some customers. You can also try getting a size bigger and wear fin socks. I hope this is helpful. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!
sarah
2 months ago.
I'm looking for a better fit of training fins for my 12 year old son. He trains 6 times (x 1.5-2hr) a week and has used kiefer training swim fins however as he has grown (now a uk size 6.5) the rubber foot pocket seems to be pressing on the top and sides of his feet now. Could you recommend a brand that would match his training needs but be softer fit on his feet?
SwimOutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hi Sarah,
Two of our most popular and highest rated fins are the Sporti Training Swim Fins and FINIS Zoomers Gold Swim Fins. You can find the links to those fins below. I hope one of the fins works for him. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-training-swim-fins-(color)-23088/
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-zoomers-gold-swim-fins-1267/?color=206
Sharon
2 months ago.
Hi,

I've read the first 25 questions and answers and am a little confused. I've previously purchased Sporti floating fins from your company (Sporti Floating Swim Fins - Navy/Blue - Men's 5-7, Women's 7-9
SKU: SSGF001-Navy) and have misplaced them so want to buy another pair of fins. I liked the workout and propulsion of these fins so I probably want similiarly long fins, but I did find them just a little small for my sensitive size 8 feet; if I remember correctly, it was across the bridge just under the toes, and probably largely on my left foot which has a small buyon. What would be your recommendation in terms of a) size, if I stick with this model: and b) any other model that might fit a little better as well as be a little softer around the foot bridge area?

Secondly, what would you consider your most comfortable bathing cap? I have purchased in the past the old fashioned bubble caps that are not tight fitting and, in fact, last purchased one from you (Sporti Bubble Cap with Chin Strap - White
SKU: SCL001-White | COLOR: White | SIZE: M 5-7, W 7-9). I need to buy another one and did not totally like the shape of this last one - do you have anything that might be a little rounder and more comfortable that is also a bubble-type cap?

Thanks so much,
Sharon
SwimOutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hi Sharon,
If the size 8 was too small for you, you may want to try going up just one size to the W 9-11 with fin socks. The FINIS Floating Fins and Bettertimes Floating Swim Fins are 2 other most popular floating fins that recieved high star ratings from customers.
As for caps, silicon is known to be tighter fitting and comfortable for most swimmers. You may also want to try the Creative Sunwear Molded Petal Cap with Strap. It's not a bubble cap but it is close to one. I hope you find one that works for you. Please do let us know if you have any other questions. Have a great day!
k
2 months ago.
I have Aquasphere Zip VX blue fins and they don't seem to be working for me. I'm on a swim team so when I put these fins on, everyone behind me goes in front of me and is way faster then me. I think the fins are making me struggle in the water more and making me slow down. Do you have any advice and/or different suggestion of fins?
Swimoutlet.com
2 months ago.
Hi K,
If you do feel like you're struggling with the fins, you may want to try a different pair of training fins. Below is a link to our training fins.
http://www.swimoutlet.com/training-swim-fins-c9647/
Have you tried the Sporti Training Swim Fins or the FINIS Zoomers Gold Swim Fins? Both are our most popular and highest star rated fins. I hope you find a pair that works for you. Please do let us know if you have any other questions.
Greg
3 months ago.
Hi, I am looking for a pair of fins for snorkeling. I want full foot and rigid blades. The ones I have are too flexible. I also wear a size 8.5 men's shoe. Any suggestions? I only use them for snorkeling and in the pool.
SwimOutlet.com
3 months ago.
Hi Greg,
Below are links to some snorkeling fins that you may like. I hope you find one that works for you. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/head-swimming-corda-rubber-fins-42441/?color=9325
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/cressi-pluma-snorkeling-fin-8126979/?color=9325
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/mares-avanti-hp-dive-fins-30129/?color=210
spencer jones
4 months ago.
hi,i currently have a set of head fins which are relatively long and give me calf cramps after a few lengths of the pool (being a former rugby player my thighs and calves are pretty chunky). could you suggest a pair of fins with a smaller surface area and provide less resistance,thanks. ps I am a European size 44
SwimOutlet.com
3 months ago.
Hi Spencer,

It sounds like you may need training fins. Training fins are shorter and even though you are kicking faster, your legs do not feel the same resistance as longer fins. Below is a link to our training fins. The Sporti Training fins and the TYR Flex fins. I hope you find a pair that you like. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a great day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/swim-fins-c9646/
hailey
4 months ago.
I am a 12 year old girl and i were a size 8 shoe. i take a advanced 2 swim class at my local rec center. me and my mom would like to know how to find the right fins for me.
pleas get back with me.
- Hailey
Swimoutlet.com
4 months ago.
Hi Hailey,

It sounds like you would want the shorter training fins. Below is a link to our training fins. A couple of our popular ones are the Sporti and Finis training fins. The sizing goes by the womens shoe sizes. I hope you find ones that you really like. If you have any other questions please feel free to let us know. Have a great day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/training-swim-fins-c9647/
Carol
4 months ago.
Although I have been a swimmer all my life, I am now a much more serious swimmer, swimming 4 -5 days weekly, a mile and half each day. The lifeguard at my health club suggested swim fins and gave me a loaner pair. I find that I swim better and faster with them. I would now like to buy a pair. The fins I have been using are longish and straight. From what I have been reading, I think the notched fin might be better for me. Please give me your best advice. Thanks.
SwimOutlet.com
4 months ago.
Hi Carol,

The TYR CrossBlade Training Fin and Sporti Training Swim Fins (Color) sound like the kinds of fins you are looking for. The links to both fins are below.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/tyr-crossblade-training-fin-8490/

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-training-swim-fins-(color)-23088/

Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!
Rachel
4 months ago.
Hi SwimOutlet, thank you for assisting me. I just started tri training and a decent swimmer. I'd like fins that will help me develop my technique but won't leave me fin-dependent. Something with channels? Not stiff? Unsure, please help.
SwimOutlet.com
4 months ago.
Hi Rachel,

Congrats on your start to tri training! You may want to try the Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins (Heres the link http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-alpha-fins-5265/) Or the Sporti Training Swim Fins (Heres the link: http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-training-swim-fins-(color)-23088/)

These fins are one of our lightest but will still be able to give you the same workout as a heavier pair of fins. Hope this one works out for you. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. Have a wonderful day!
Frances
5 months ago.
I am 69 and a good swimmer, but when I tried some training fins that are floaters, they pulled my feet up and it strained my back. What fins would be better? Is it the floating feature that gave me trouble?
SwimOutlet.com
5 months ago.
Hi Frances,

Its hard to tell if the floating feature was the cause of your back strain. Most of the fins we carry do float. I did find a pair that do not float. The link to those are below. If you have any other questions please feel free to let us know. Have a wonderful day!

FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers Swim Fins
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-z2-gold-zoomers-swim-fins-3568/?color=206
Richard
5 months ago.
Has anyone compared the DMC Elite Fins vs. the Finis Positive Drive Fins? I'm wondering which ones are better for IM training.
SwimOutlet.com
5 months ago.
Hi Richard,

We haven't compared the DMC Elite Fins vs. the Finis Positive Drive Fins but from the looks of it, the Finis Positive Drive fins would be a better choice for you since you can actually do breastrokes in those fins. The DMC Elite fins look too big and would probably put too much resistance on your knees. I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!
Leanne
5 months ago.
Im confused and not sure which type of fin i should get.
I take an aqua class called "Finning". We use lap boards and water weights while swimming laps with fins on. I want to get my own fins as the ones at the gym are a total mess. I don't want to experience any cramping. Would a longer or shorter fin be best in this situation? A little help please! Thanks
SwimOutlet.com
5 months ago.
Hi Leanne,

For finning, a training fin is recommended so your legs do not get overworked. And they would be easier to move in with lap boards and water weights. Below is a link to our training fins. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/training-swim-fins-c9647/
tricia
6 months ago.
Am trying to find the right size for my daughter. She is 7 and wears a size 2. I can't seem to find that size on your sight. Can someone please help:)
SwimOutlet.com
6 months ago.
Hi Tricia,

She would be a size M1-3 on most of the fins that we carry. The Sporti Floating Swim Fins (Color) is one brand where she would be a M1-3. I hope this information is helpful.Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day
SwimOutlet.com
5 months ago.
Hi Tricia,

If she wears a size 2 then a M1-3/W3-5 would be the right size for her in most fins. We also have some that are sized 2-3 as well. Below are the links to those fins. I hope you find a pair that she likes. Let us know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful day!

Size 2/3:
http://www.swimoutlet.com/swim-fins-c9646/#cat=9646&page=1&sortby=Popularity&allsize=2&viewall=no

Size 1-3
http://www.swimoutlet.com/swim-fins-c9646/#cat=9646&page=1&sortby=Popularity&allsize=1&viewall=no
Barbara
6 months ago.
I am a recreational swimmer. I wear a size 10 women's shoe. My current fins are 9-11( not from your website) and am getting blisters on my toes. I cannot fit them with socks on and the toe area has split because they are so tight. Which fins have the most flexible toe areas and what size should I order?
SwimOutlet.com
6 months ago.
Hi Barbara,

Our Sporti fins (floating and training) have a flexible foot pocket that may work for you. Below are links to both. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

Sporti Floating Swim Fins
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-floating-swim-fins-23058/?color=12816

Sporti Training Swim Fins (Color)
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-training-swim-fins-(color)-23088/
Clara
7 months ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your very useful guide to fins! I appreciate knowing the difference in stiffness and blade length. However, as helpful as the guide is, it's difficult to apply to your products since there's no indication of whether a particular model is stiff or more flexible.
I'm looking for short blade fins that AREN'T too stiff (notched or not, not sure yet). Which models would you recommend?

Thanks!
Swimoutlet.com
6 months ago.
Hi Clara,

The Speedo Short Blade Training Fin and the TYR Flex Swim Fins are 2 of popular ones that have a softer blade. Below are links to both fins. I hope you find one that works for you. Let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/speedo-short-blade-training-fin-42699/?color=11590

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/tyr-flex-swim-fins-3471/
Vanessa
7 months ago.
Hi,
I swim laps for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. I dedicate about half the time (in each session), to using fins while I do freestyle, backstroke and use the kickboard. I would appreciate your advice about which fins are best to support this routine that also helps to tone my butt, legs and hips - giving that lower part of my body a good workout!

Many thanks!
PS By the way, I am not an "athlete", but do it for the exercise, weight loss and toning.



many thanks,
Swimoutlet.com
6 months ago.
Hi Vanessa,

I would recommend that you go with a pair of long fins because that will give your legs the most workout. Our Sporti Floating fins and the Finis Floating fins are both popular fins with high customer reviews. You can view both those in the links below. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Thank you!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-floating-fins-13413/

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-floating-swim-fins-(color)-23059/
Lyn
7 months ago.
I am a female fitness swimmer, age 60. I have been swimming a mile a day for many years. I am looking for a fin that is lightweight and comfortable (have some knee issues) but gives me speed to make my swim more enjoyable. I have the zoomers, but they don't give me as much speed as a longer fin. Some of the longer fins feel too heavy. Womens size 10 shoe. Any recommendations?
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Dear Lyn,

Have you tried the Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins? Those ones are one of our lightest fins we carry. And it's longer than the Zoomers. You can use the link below to view.

http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-alpha-fins-5265/

Please let us know if you have any questions. Have a wonderful day!
Maria
7 months ago.
Hi
I swim 3-4 times' per week about 1 mile each time. I use the Sporti gloves (LOVE those for my arms) but have never used fins. I think I need to get short ones to begin with, but they need to be lightweight. Also, I have very narrow feet (womens 9.5 narrow) - so which brand's fit and type would be best for me? I've taken a look at these 3 but don't know which would be best: TYR Burner EBP Floating, Finis Floating Fins, Aqua Sphere Micro Fins.
Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks
Maria
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hi Maria,

One of the lightest fins we have is the Aqua Sphere Alpha fins (http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-alpha-fins-5265/?Search=SAYT-aqua+sphere)

Finis and TYR are both great brands and both those fins have gotten really great customer reviews. More customer felt the Finis Floating fins ran small compared to the TYR ones. So with narrow feet, I would suggest trying out the TYR one. I hope this is helpful. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!
Erica Rose Siegel
7 months ago.
Whenever I swim with fins, I always seem to get cramps in my feet. I feel the cramp in my toes. I have not used fins in a while because I am scared of this happening again. I am training for my first half-ironman and I am decent swimmer and I would love to be able to get a good pair of fins that don't hurt me. Suggestions? Oh and I also have plantar facitis and that occasionally acts up too. Thanks a bunch! #IronRealtor Training for #MyFirstHalfIronMan
SwimOutlet.com
7 months ago.
Hi Erica,

I can feel you with the cramps! I get them all the time, but not from fins. I've heard that its the way you kick that can cause you to cramp up. For some people if they kick hard they tend to cramp up. You should be good with any pair of fins. If you're looking for a pair of training fins, then the Sporti Training fins and the Finis Zoomers are 2 of our most popular ones. The links are below. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

Sporti Training fins
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-training-swim-fins-(color)-23088/

Finis Zoomers
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/finis-zoomers-gold-swim-fins-1267/?color=206
Elizabeth
8 months ago.
My son has a wide foot. He wears a mens size 11, but usually has to wear a size 13-14 fin because of the width. This causes the fin to move oddly and split because the length isn't correct. Can you please suggest a fin for competitive swimmers that have wide feet?
Swimoutlet.com
8 months ago.
Hi Elizabeth,

We unfortunately do not have any fins that specifically come in wide sizes. Although some customers say that the Sporti Training Swim Fins tends to run a bit big. I would also recommend trying fin socks as well if the fins are too big. Below is a link to the fins socks we have. I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!

http://www.swimoutlet.com/searchresults.asp?Search=fin+socks+&checkRealSearchInput=Y
Eric
9 months ago.
Hello. So I will beginning rehab for a ruptured Achilles's Tendon in the near future and planned on doing water exercises. Really, I'm looking to strengthen my calf, ankle, and tendon without the additional weight. What type of fin would you recommend for pool training for a man who wears a 12. Thanks!
Swimoutlet.com
9 months ago.
Hi Eric,

It sounds like you would need a training fin. One of our lightest ones is the:
Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/aqua-sphere-alpha-fins-5265/
We also have the
Sporti Floating Swim Fins
http://www.swimoutlet.com/p/sporti-floating-swim-fins-(color)-23059/

Both fins recieved great reviews from our customers. I hope you find one that works well for you. Please let us know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful day!
Displaying   1 - 25 of 77
Add a Comment
Name * Your Email (will not be displayed) *
To prevent automated bots from spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below: