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How to Put on Swim Fins

Fins are a great piece of gear for swimmers; whether they're used for endurance training, speed play, or just having fun in the water, swim fins give everyone a chance to move through water a little bit more like a fish. But however graceful you feel once you're wearing them, fins can be a little awkward to put on. The following tips will help you wear your fins safely, comfortably, and effectively.

Put Fins on in the Water

Swim fins are designed to be worn only in the water. It's quite awkward to walk in fins, and wearing them on the pool deck can actually damage them, as the flexible rubber will break if significantly bent. Avoid walking in your swim fins at all costs, and put on your swim fins while sitting on the side of the pool, standing in the shallow end, or hanging on to the wall.

Consider Wearing Socks

If you get blisters from wearing fins, you may want to consider wearing a pair of either regular athletic socks or specialty “fin socks. Fin socks are designed specifically to fit under fins and reduce the amount of rubber-on-skin contact. This prevents chafing during long kicking or swim sets. Since they're designed for the water, fin socks can handle many hours of use. So put them on — also in the water to avoid damaging them — before putting on your fins.

Adjust the Heel

If your swim fins have a closed heel — also known as "full foot" fins — hold the back of the heel and slide your feet into the foot pocket; toes first. Run your finger around the edge of the foot opening to make sure the rubber isn't folded over. Your heel should be fully encased. If it's only partially inserted, the fin may slide off while you swim.

If you have an open heel fin with adjustable straps, hold the heel strap and slide your feet in toes first. Adjust the strap (if needed) for a snug fit. Don't make it so tight that your feet are uncomfortable, but it should be secure enough for the fin to stay on once you start kicking and pushing off walls.

Fin Size Matters

Since fins need to be big enough for your feet but tight enough to stay on as you swim, having the right fin size is important. A little too big and your fins will fall off as you swim, but a little too small and your feet will blister and cramp. Putting on fins that are too small is also a challenge in and of itself. Make sure when you buy your fins that they are the closest possible match to your actual foot size. This may require measuring your foot and using a size chart, but it will be worth it in the end.

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1 year ago.
I’m a competitive swimmer and I use fins on the regular at training with I do 6 times a week. My fins have blistered the top of my toes from the gap they have and now has left cuts on the blister and was bleeding. Any suggestions? Going to try socks but if it doesn’t work can we have some suggestions please??
1 year ago.
Hi Hope!

You may want to consider a closed-designed fin or simply use a swim sock. Make sure when you buy your fins that they are the closest possible match to your actual foot size.
2 years ago.
i AM USING "FULL FOOT" fins with socks and find getting them on in the water a real wrestle. What are the easiest fins to get on? Straps? Easy close or what?
Coach K
1 year ago.
try putting a piece of good ol bubble gum in and chew it up a little...this allows for some spit to lube it before inserting your foot. once you start kicking the water washes away the spit. Most recommend spitting out the gum before diving but I keep chewing a little here and there to relieve ear pressure.
Deborah Clauss
3 years ago.
Our sons new fins just arrived. They are super slippery, he tried them on and the slippery coating actually rubbed onto his socks. He then slipped and fell because his socks were so slippery after taking the fins off. Is this normal? We have never experienced this before
3 years ago.
I'm very sorry your son is having trouble with his swim fins. This should not be happening. Could you please email us some more details such as order #, specific fins purchased etc.? You can send it to

We look forward to hearing from you soon!
bob white
3 years ago.
Hi I am trying to get my scuba bootie in my scuba fins. I find it real hard because the rubber on rubber causing friction make for a tough enclosure. Is there any way I can put something in the fin to make the bootie just slip in?
3 years ago.
Hello Bob,
We recommend putting the fins socks on in the water as well as the actual fins, this way it should rid some of the friction.
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