Ultimate Guide to Speedo Swim Fins

September 13, 2017

If you’ve ever used a swim fin, then you know how useful they are in the water. They can help you get a more powerful kick, increase your kick tempo, and improve your ankle flexibility. Often, the weakest part of a swimmer’s repertoire is their kick, but by using a good pair of Speedo Swim Fins, you can turn that weakness into your biggest strength! Not only that, but fins help you swim faster! And really, swimming faster is fun enough on its own!

Fortunately, Speedo Swim Fins are the best fins on the market for any use. They come in a wide variety of types and styles. However, since each fin type is different, how can you know which one is the best for you? That’s where we come in!

Benefits of Speedo Water Fins

Why would you choose a Speedo Water Fin? Easy. Speedo makes some of the best swim gear in the world, and their fins are no exception. If you want to increase your swim speed, improve your workout, or you just enjoy going through the water as fast as possible, Speedo swim fins do the job and more!

But what else are swim fins good for? Well, they reduce kick frequency by about 40%, to start. Because of that, they make your swimming more efficient, meaning that you can swim farther without as much energy expelled.

They can also:

  • Strengthen your leg muscles. While your swim fins will make swimming more efficient and faster, they also strain the muscles more, resulting in a stronger workout for your legs!
  • Reduce strain on your shoulders during workout. It sounds strange, but swimming with fins will help your shoulders stay loose and relaxed and work to prevent swimmer’s shoulder.
  • Improve ankle flexibility. This is actually way more important for swimmers than it sounds. If your ankles are not flexible, you kick water downwards, as opposed to backwards, resulting in a poorer stroke. By forcing your feet to move more in the water, swim fins can make your ankles more flexible.
  • Improve body position. You swim naturally higher in the water when you use water fins, which can improve your posture and make you a better, faster swimmer.

Water Fin Caution

The only real downside of using water fins is that they can become a crutch. While they are great for training, it is important that you keep your swimming skills in tip top shape when not in the fins, since they are not allowed in most competitions!

Also, they can cause blisters if they are not fitted properly. Make sure that you get a properly sized water fin for your feet and that you follow the directions to ensure a good fit.

Length of the Fin

When choosing your Speedo water fin, you need to consider how long you want the blade to be. The longer the blade, the more resistance there will be in the water, which means that your legs will have to work harder, but you will also kick at a slower rate. Because of these differences, each blade has a slightly different purpose, described below:

  • Short fins--Adds 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. Ideal for sprinting or medium-length swims.
  • Notched fins (fin blades with a V-cut)--Mimic the natural path of the foot through the water. Most notched fins have the same short blade that promotes proper kicking technique.
  • Breaststroke fins--Curved fins that allow swimmers to execute a correct breaststroke kick (impossible with traditional straight fins) while increasing resistance.
  • Long fins--Improves ankle flexibility and leg strength. Suited for young swimmers who are still learning how to move in the water, snorkelers, and recreational swimmers.

In short, 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 Speedo 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.

Fin Heel Styles

Some Speedo Water Fins are "full foot," meaning they 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:

  • Speedo swim fins generally 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.

Fin Stiffness

Speedo Swim Fins come in varying stiffness as well as length. In short, the stiffer the blade of the fin, the harder it will be to kick, but the more efficient each kick will become. This can make for a better workout and stronger legs, but it won’t help you swim faster without any fins. The more flexible the fin, the easier your kicks become and the faster you’ll get, but you won’t get as good of a workout.

Additional Advice

The right Speedo swim fin will help you 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. Balance is key.

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