If you are a swim workout enthusiast or swim fanatic, just like other workouts, you need the right equipment to achieve great results. Getting yourself a pair of the best swim fins or paddles can transform your lap or leisure swimming into an enjoyable and powerful fitness exercise.
Swim fins are very common aquatic accessories with multiple functions that will help you develop better swimming techniques in the water.
In this article, I have put together a review of the best swim fins and a buying guide that will help you purchase the best pair for upping your swimming game.
Why You Need Swim Fins?
A good pair of swim fins are necessary for improving your swimming experience underwater in the following ways;
- Improve your body position, giving you less resistance in the water.
- Reduce stress on your overworked shoulders.
- Improve your kicking technique, thus more power output underwater and faster laps.
- Increase strength and endurance in the water, making you swim faster.
- Increase swimming power thus excellent for scuba diving.
- Assist in free-diving and allow you a longer stay out of the water.
- Improve ankle flexibility
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What Are the Best Swim Fins to Buy?
These are the best swimming fins that will help you improve your technique s this season whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an experienced swimmer.
- Best Overall: Arena Powerfin Pro Swim Training Fins
"Powerful and firm. Superior Comfort. High ankle flexibility."
- Runner Up: FINIS Long Floating Swim Fins
"Great Propulsion. Builds leg strength. Highly Buoyant."
- Best Budget: Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers Training Swim Fins
"Very comfortable. Flexbox. Fluid separator. Snug fit. Such a steal with all these features."
- Best for Learning/Developing Swimming Techniques: Speedo Biofuse Swim Training Fins
"Snug fit. High kick frequency. You will become a better swimmer in no time."
- Best Multi-Purpose: TYR Sport CrossBlade Swim Training Fins
"Provide good speed. Build leg strength. Flexible foot pocket. Great for both beginners and experienced swimmers."
- Best for Training at Race Pace: TYR Burner Swim Fins
"Highly buoyant. Perfect for race training. Comfortable. Secure fit. All you need to improve your techniques."
Comparison of Top 17 Best Swim Fins 2020
This comparison guide should help you in the process of choosing the best swim fins that will make you a better swimmer. It will give you a quick peek on the features of each of the 17 swim fins and what they can be best used for so you can easily narrow down to what suits your needs.
Best Swim Fins Reviews 2020
In this section, I have provided detailed information for the best 17 swim fins you can select for various functions. I have highlighted their strengths and weaknesses, and what they are best for so you can pick what best suits your needs. I have also provided links to video reviews of some of the products for more details.
Arena Powerfin Pro Swim Training Fins
If you are looking for an all-round swim fin, you want to consider the Arena Powerfin Pro which is the trademark swimming fin of Arena. They are simply the best swim fins for training out there.
They come in an open-heel design with a sloping surface and hydrodynamic slits on the top that offers you ultimate ankle flexibility which allows you to move upwards faster with more powerful and controlled leg kicks.
These swim fins are made of 100% silicone that makes them comfortable and durable. You do not have to worry about blisters as they are incredibly comfortable and flexible. Therefore, you can comfortably use them for any long kicking sets.
The Arena Powerfin Pro Swim fins will help you improve your swimming technique. You can use them for training your legs vertically, and this helps you control your body position as well as perform better leg kicks.
With the Arena Powerfin Pro Swim Fins, you are guaranteed of a big motor behind you when you get in the water to swim.
- Maximum ankle flexibility.
- Superior comfort.
- Excellent upward motions and forward thrusts.
- Faster and powerful kicks.
- High frequency and better-controlled kicks.
- The fins run small.
Here is a video review of the Arena Powerfin Pro Swim fins. Watch it and see for yourself how good looking and efficient they are.
See Also: 17 Best Swimming Gloves
FINIS Long Floating Swim Fins
Are you looking to swim at a faster speed? The Finis Long floating swim fins are the best equipment you can use for remarkable propelling when swimming. They are among the best swim fins for training as they increase leg strength and help athletes swim faster.
The fins come in a closed-heel design with a long hydrodynamic blade which adds propulsion to the butterfly and flutter kicks as well as offer superior buoyancy of the legs, thus reducing any drag of the body during swimming.
The closed-heel design of the fins prevents your ankles from hyperflexion which is caused by the force of water’s resistance against your joints. Your workout time will, therefore, be longer because of the protection and comfort provided by the fins’ design.
The Finis Long fins are made of soft rubber that floats both on salt and freshwater, making them one of the best swim fins for open water swimming and pool training.
The fins come in color-coded sizes for youth and adult that save you the trouble of finding your perfect fit.
- Great propulsion.
- Soft and secure fit with no hyperflexion.
- Color-coded sizes- Easy to pick the perfect fit.
- Builds leg strength.
- Great buoyancy.
- Can be used in both fresh and saltwater.
- The sizes are not exact.
Check out this Youtube video of the Finis Long Float Swim Fins and see more of its amazing features and capabilities.
Finis Zoomers Gold Swim Fins
(Best for Short and Faster Kicks)
If you are a competitive swimmer looking for simply designed swim fins with high functionality, then Finis Zoomers Gold is your optimal pick. With the fins, you will get the best out of your swim workout.
The fins come in a closed-heel design which provides a secure and comfortable fit. It also inhibits hyperflexion in the water, so you can comfortably swim for longer sessions.
For superior comfort, the fins feature an improved foot pocket made with natural soft rubber.
With a pair of these fins, you will get the best kicks in water because they feature a blade angle that is designed to work with the natural angle of your feet.
The Finis zoomers are among the best swim fins for building leg strength and endurance owing to their short-blade design. The stiffness of the short-blade offers good forward momentum and encourages shorter, faster, and more powerful kicks.
You do not have to worry about getting the perfect fit of these fins as they come in 6 different sizes and they fit snuggly but not too tight. The natural rubber they are made of is firm enough for fast and powerful kicks and not too hard to hurt your feet while swimming.
Another praiseworthy feature of the Finis Zoomers is that once you start kicking with them, they stay on your feet. You will not have to go diving in search of lost swim fins.
- Excellent kicks-short and fast.
- Easy to wear and take off.
- High ankle flexibility.
- True to size.
- Not useful in longer sets.
Check out this video of the Finis Zoomers Gold Swim Fins for more information on features and tips on how to kick properly with them.
See Also: 15 Best Water Socks for Swimming
Speedo Biofuse Swim Training Fins
(Best for Learning/Developing Swimming Techniques)
These are the best choice for anyone learning to swim or trying to develop new swimming techniques. They are made of soft and hard silicone material for your comfort and excellent resistance during your swim training.
With these fins, you are free from allergens and irritation thanks to their latex-free silicone which also makes them eco-friendly.
The silicone blade of the fins has been made hard and stiff to increase your resistance to water and build your leg strength. The stiff blade is also shaped in a way that allows you to coordinate your strokes in a timely manner and increase your kicking strength, making you swim faster.
The Speedo Biofuse is one of the best fins for open water swimming because their silicone material is resistant to sunlight and chlorine.
These fins have a non-chaffed contoured foot pocket for the comfort of your feet, although the toe-edges are a bit stiff and can rub against your toes.
The fins fit great, snug and not very tight and are firm enough to give you a quick response when you want to swim faster. You also get a high kick frequency because they are small enough.
You can also comfortably use them for longer sets because they have longer blades.
- Longer blade.
- Snug fit.
- True to size.
- Latex-free silicone.
- Non-chaffed Contoured foot pocket.
- Hard and stiff toe edges.
Watch this wholesome video of the Speedo Biofuse training fins and see how much you can do with them on a swim workout.
Aqua Sphere Swim Fins
If your legs tend to sink or you are a triathlete with tired legs from other workouts, and so you struggle to keep your kick going during swim workouts, you have the ultimate solution. The Aqua Sphere are amazingly buoyant and comfortable to swim in.
These fins are made with EVA foam that is non-porous and does not absorb water making them highly buoyant. Your feet will effortlessly float on water which will help improve your body position as well as activating your kick.
The shape of the blade and strap of the fins are meant to increase your resistance against water and make you use more efforts in building your leg muscles. The blade also has water channels to direct water so you can maximize your kick power and focus on stability.
Unlike many swim fins, the Aqua Sphere are specially designed into dedicated left and right foot to offer your feet with arch support and unparalleled comfort. This also reduces the possibility of cramping.
These fins are very soft and foamy, thus very light and easy to pack.
- Very buoyant.
- Strengthens legs.
- Improves form and position.
- Fins do not provide speed like others.
Here is a Youtube video of the incredibly comfortable and lightweight Aqua Sphere Alpha fins. Check it out and see if they are you are grabbing them for your next swim workout.
See Also: 15 Best Open Water Swim Buoys
Finis Edge Swim Fins
(Best for Muscle Building)
Are you looking to build your muscles and swimming is your favorite sport? The Finis Edge would perfectly suit you as they are designed to help you improve your technique and put your legs to work.
The fins come in an open-heel design with a short and wide blade. This means they are comfortable, highly flexible and you can use them for sprint and longer freestyle sets. The fins also feature side rails that ensure you make proper strokes that start from your hips and not knees as with other swim fins.
You will have to put in some work to be able to push the Edge swim fins through the water, in result, you will build your strength and endurance. The fins are made to catch water whenever you make an upward motion kick, thus activating your hamstrings and glutes.
Unlike most swim fins, the Edge fins come in an open-toe design that offers a snug fit. You can also forget the discomfort caused by toes jamming with the open-toe design.
Another fantastic feature of the Edge fins is that they are made with a flexible and durable silicone such that the moment you wear the fins, they start to conform to the shape of your feet.
- Activates hips and quadriceps.
- Activates hamstrings and glutes.
- Flexible and durable.
- Snug fit.
- Can be used for sprint and long sets.
- Need a few wears to get comfortable.
Watch this Hot or not video review of the fantastic Finis Edge Swim fins and see if they fill the gap of what you are looking for.
TYR Sport CrossBlade Swim Training Fins
These are one of the best classic and simple swim fins for training. They are designed to be multi-purpose and will, therefore, focus on almost all of the critical aspects of your swimming strokes.
The fins are multi-purpose because they come in an intermediate/mid-range blade size which is something between the popular long and short blades. The mid-range blade size is meant to offer the benefits of both blades.
You can get faster speed while swimming as well as enough resistance against water during kicks to build your leg strength. This helps you develop your swim technique and efficiency.
The TYR sport fins are made with rubber that is firm enough to allow you to take fast and powerful kicks. They also feature a foot pocket that molds around your feet in the water in a secure and comfortable manner; this means you can forget about the pain that comes with low-quality foot pockets.
However, they are a bit tight, and you might not want to wear them for longer periods as they can get uncomfortable.
Also, you have to put on the fins while in water because they are easier to wear when wet.
- Are multi-purpose.
- Provide good speed.
- Build leg strength.
- Flexible foot pocket.
- Can be used by both beginners and experienced swimmers.
- Uncomfortable when worn for longer durations.
- Not big enough for very high speeds.
Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers Training Swim Fins
This should be the best pick for any swimmer seeking comfort in terms of fit and feel on swim fins. The Finis Z2 are comfortable, short, and flexible fins.
You will get the highest level of comfort in a pair of these fins because they are incredibly soft, fit well as they come in multiple sizes even for wide feet and the closed-heel design prevents any chaffing or hyperflexion.
The Z2 fins feature a patented angle and a quick response technology that will give you short and fast kicks. You will also use less effort when doing your strokes because the fins have a fluid separator that makes your feet slice through water easily.
The fluid separator saves you from the fatigue that comes with doing downward motions and quads.
You can also build your muscles with more comfort thanks to the fins’ flexbox that catches water when you kick upwards, thus activating your hamstrings and glutes.
The Z2 zoomers are made of 100% natural rubber, but they do not float.
- Very comfortable.
- Fluid separator.
- Snug fit.
- Not buoyant.
- Not perfect for power, strength, and conditioning.
Here is a video review of the Finis Z2 Gold Zoomers review, check it out and see if you’ll settle for comfort over everything.
Hydro Tech 2 Swim Fins
(Best for Body Surfing)
If you are looking for swim fins, you can use to swim underwater, work in real-time with the wave as you draw the surf line with your body, the Hydro-Tech fins are your prime choice.
These fins are made with super-soft silicon-based material called T-Form, which offers you unsurpassed comfort. They come in a V-rail design that provides more surface area so that you can increase your kick power.
Also for superior comfort and a secure fit, they have a contour ankle strap.
The fins have an asymmetrical design based on your body’s natural movement, meaning you get a dedicated left and right foot fin which equally distributes the force around your feet.
You can also forget about the discomfort caused by accumulated water and sand in the foot pocket; these fins have 3 drain holes for flushing out water and sand.
In case you will be bodyboarding with the Hydro-Tech 2 swim fins, you will not have to worry about the fins catching whenever in the drop-knee position because of their design.
However, these swim fins do not float and are not suitable for competitive swimmers.
- Very comfortable.
- Help improve swimming technique.
- Drain holes.
- Secure fit.
- Asymmetric design.
- Not buoyant.
- Not suitable for competitive swimmers.
Watch this video review of the Hydro-Tech 2 swim fins and get more information on its features and functionality.
TYR Burner Swim Fins
(Best for Training at Race Pace - Editor's Choice)
If you are looking to level up your swim fitness and strengthen yourself to become a faster swimmer for racing, then this an excellent option for you.
The TYR burner swim fins are floating short-blade fins designed to mimic the race-day pace and build your lean muscles.
The short-blade fins give you excellent propulsion allowing you to make perfect strokes. You also get to make shorter and faster kicks which help build your legs’ twitch muscle fiber very fast.
You do not have to worry about straining your foot tendons as the foot pocket inhibits this, while efficiently building your ankle strength.
These swim fins are made from ultra-soft rubber that is highly buoyant. The buoyancy helps you maintain an elevated body position during training which reduces body drag and maximizes the efficiency of each stroke.
The fins come in a closed-heel design that offers you a comfortable and secure fit. Unlike other swim fins, you will not feel pressure and fatigue around the ankles during kicks.
They also feature a wall gripper footpad that keeps your foot in place during flip turns and push-offs.
It is advised that you try on the fins when wet for ease of wear.
- Highly buoyant.
- Perfect for race training.
- Secure fit.
- No intermediate sizes.
- Can cause blisters if not sized properly.
Watch this video review of the TYR Burner swim fins and learn how you can get the best out of your workout with them.
Speedo Rubber Swim Training Fins
(Best for Snorkeling)
This is your ideal pick if you love snorkeling because you can use the fins both for swimming laps and snorkeling. They are among the best swim fins for snorkeling in the market.
With the Speedo rubber fins, you can enhance your training sessions regardless of your swimming experience and also maximize the amount of thrust underwater using less energy when you snorkel. Their long-blade will provide you with extra power and force as well as help you improve your kicking techniques and speed.
For your comfort, you have been provided with soft orthopedic foot pockets which mold to your feet. You can, therefore, wear the fins for extended periods.
The fins have a tapered blade edge that allows long whips in between kick cycles; therefore, all your kick efforts focus on increasing your speed as you are easily propelled forward. Even when you make smooth and light kicks, you will easily get propelled forwards because of the tapered blade edges.
The fins have color codes that ensure you easily get your perfect size.
- Soft and comfortable foot pocket.
- Strong propulsion power.
- Can be used on longer snorkeling tips.
- Improves your kicking techniques.
- Not suitable for wide feet.
Check out this video review of the Speedo Rubber Swim Fins and decide how soon you will grab them for your next snorkel trip.
MP Michael Phelps Alpha Pro Swim Fins
If you are up for the lightest swim fins, the MP Alpha pro swim fins have got your needs covered. They are 70% lighter than other classic rubber swim fins, thus increase your comfort and improve your body position.
The fins come in a unique shape that offers an enhanced surface area that mimics the shape of your feet, giving you allowance for more natural kicking motions. They are made with EVA foam material that is durable, inherently buoyant, and provides enhanced propulsion.
Training with the Alpha Pro swim fins will help you improve your kicking technique, build your leg strength, increase your ankles’ flexibility and let you swim at a race-cadence without premature fatiguing all because of their short-blade design.
They have an asymmetrical design that helps you maintain a natural kicking movement through the water.
- Very light-comfortable.
- Are buoyant.
- Maintains a natural kicking movement.
- Strong and durable material.
- Provides great propulsion.
- Offers race-cadence training.
- Can cause blisters if they do not fit perfectly.
Arena Powerfin Swim Training Fins
(Best for Flutter Kicks)
This is like Arena Powerfin Pro’s little brother, and you can use the fins to improve your flutter kicks for strength and speed in water whether you are a beginner, intermediate or experienced swimmer.
The fins come in an aqua sole design which offers a secure grip and excellent propulsion. They are short-bladed and are made with 100% silicone that guarantees your comfort and prevention from blisters.
With these fins, you can increase your muscle activity using the natural resistance of the water. The stiff, short blades also allow you to develop strong and more accurate flutter kicks, making the fins highly suitable for sprints, backstroke, and freestyle sets.
The Arena Powerfin fins are shaped like diamonds to enhance your stroke power. Their design also allows you to strengthen your ankles and calves as you train your upper body to adjust to swimming at faster speeds.
The soft silicone foot pocket of the fins offers a comfortable fit.
- Helps you improve your kick techniques.
- Secure fit and grip.
- Superior propulsion.
- Finding the proper size can be challenging.
Here is a Youtube video review of the Arena Powerfin Swim fins, check it out for more details on its benefits and usage.
Cressi Swim Fins
(Best for Recreational Swimming)
If you are an occasional swimmer, this should be your prime choice as they are among the best swim fins for open water swimming. They are designed to be used in the pool and seas.
They are the best choice for recreational swimming because they are super light, so no excess weight for your effortless swim and bag. You can also use them for long periods as they feature anatomic foot pockets made with soft rubber elastomers that offer a great deal of comfort.
In case you want a swim workout, you can still count on these fins thanks to their short blade that offers perfect muscle training without any discomfort or cramping. The blade is made of a highly reactive and superlight material that guarantees you powerful and efficient kicks without pressure and fatigue.
If you choose to train with these fins, they will increase your speed, improve your leg strength, flexibility, and racing technique.
- Super light.
- Can be used in pool and saltwater.
- Improves swimming technique.
- Proper sizing can be a challenge.
Head Energy Swim Fin
(Best Exercise Tool)
These are another excellent training swim fins you can use to build your body a well-deserved workout. They are made from high-grade propylene material that makes them highly durable and functional.
The fins come in a closed-heel design with a foot pocket to hold your foot in place comfortably. They also have a heel pull tab for easy removal of the fins. The innovative design of the fins offer excellent foot speed and helps you develop the correct kicking technique.
These energy fins will help you build and develop stronger leg muscles and turn you into a better all-around swimmer.
However, the Energy fins run large and do not hold much water when you do an up-kick. You will have to pick a smaller size than your standard shoe size for a snug fit.
In the beginning, you will find the fins very hard and rigid, but with time they will become less stiff and fit you well like swimming gloves.
- Innovative design
- Great for foot speed.
- Great for swim workouts.
- Great propulsion.
- Run large.
- Do not hold much water.
- Hard when still new.
Speedo Short Blade Swim Training Fins
This is an impressive combination of versatility and high functionality which are highly sought for traits in swimming equipment. The Speedo Short blade comes in a variety of accent shades and different sizes for children, men and women.
The fins offer superior comfort and performance. They come in a closed heel design with a foot pocket made with soft silicone material for extended comfort and secure fit.
The short blade design of these fins will help you develop your swimming technique by enhancing your kicking tempo while propelling your body forward. In result, you will achieve short and fast kicks that are necessary for perfecting your flutter kick.
The fins are made with soft silicone material that molds to your feet perfectly. You cannot lose the fins when you make flip turns during training because of the secure grip.
The silicone material is also very high quality and durable, so your fins can last you for a couple swims before you can replace them.
- Great for building leg strength.
- Can be difficult to size.
Here is a video of the Speedo Short Blade Swim fins with more information on their benefits and functionality.
Churchill Makapuu Swim Fins
(Best for Bodyboarding)
Last, on my list are these fantastic fins from the Churchill brand which is popularly known for producing some of the best swim fins for several decades now. If you are a bodyboarder or a body surfer, this is your prime choice for it is built mainly for that.
The Makapuu fins are made from 100% natural gum rubber that is very buoyant and eco-friendly.
They are open-heel fins and have a unique dolphin tail design to provide you with powerful thrusts, faster speeds, and better overall performance. The design also gives you enough power and acceleration for catching waves when surfing or boarding.
You are offered with individual fins for each foot, and they are labeled to avoid confusion. The rubber that covers your foot is soft for your comfort while that on the blade is firm enough to ensure you get high kick power.
They also feature side rails that contribute to a high kick power.
Another praiseworthy feature of the great Makapuu Swim fins is the inclusion drain holes that get rid of water, sand, and seaweed.
These fins can be used by anyone and everyone, from beginners or pros to casual swimmers or workout enthusiasts.
- Provide high kick power.
- Drain holes.
- Great quality.
- Are buoyant.
- Provide great acceleration and control.
- Toes can get stuck at the drain holes on a massive wipeout.
Choosing the Best Swim Fins - Buying Guide
Owning the best pair of swim fins starts with you knowing how to get the best and what you need them for. Here are a few tips that will help you.
What Sort of Swimming Are You Going to Be Doing?
Do you want fins for casual swimming? You need the lightest and less stiff swim fins to avoid unnecessary pain and fatigue. Are you looking to increase your swimming speed? You should not settle for highly flexible fins because they will not help you achieve your goals.
Fins are designed to change your motion in the water; varying styles and fins will impact your swimming in different ways.
You want to get yourself a pair of swim fins that offer superior comfort in the water. Ensure you settle for fins made with high-quality rubber or silicone because they are more forgiving when they rub against your feet. You do not want to cut short your workout or fun because of blisters or chafing caused by fins made with low-quality material.
You should also know the difference between closed-heel and open-heel or those with heel straps so you can settle for what suits your comfort needs. The closed-heel fins cover your entire foot while the open of strapped heels wrap around your ankle, leaving the heel open.
The contact between your foot and the fin pocket affects your ankles which in turn impacts your swimming motion.
Length of Fins
There are 3 lengths for swim fins, short, intermediate and long. If you want a natural feel when kicking water and great resistance for an intense workout, you should settle for short-blade fins.
If you want to increase your speed and use less effort, get the long-blade fins because they offer great propulsion.
If you are in between, as in you want great propulsion but still, want to put in some effort to train your form and build your leg strength then settle for the intermediate blade fins.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Swim Network Overview
For you to get the most out of your swim workout, you need to add the best swim fins to your swimming equipment.
There are multiple brands of swim fins built for different purposes, and not all of them will provide you with the results you need. You have to be keen to choose the best that suits your needs.
For instance, the Churchill Makapuu Swim Fins are perfect for bodyboarding so you would get disappointed if you bought them to improve your speed. If you are an athlete, the TYR Burner swim fins are the best you can get to train at race pace, if you bought them for recreational swimming, you would get fatigued for no reason. For recreational swimming the Cressi Swim Fins would perfectly meet your needs.
The main goal of wearing swim fins is to train yourself to produce the same motor patterns you would use in regular swimming and not to go so fast as most people assume. You can learn new techniques and develop power and strength in the water.
Also, most people assume that long-blade fins are the biggest and baddest thus rush to buy them. Remember with the long blade; your kicking tempo is slowed down so much that you no longer have a natural kicking motion.
Ensure you get the proper size of fins for comfort and the perfect fit; otherwise you will regret your experience with most of them.
There we go! 17 best swim fins. Whether you are looking for a pair for yourself or for your kid, you are in the right place because the review and buying guide I put together is simple, clear, and thorough. I hope you find the guide informative and fun. Feel free to drop a few comments on what you think.