Picking Your Next Swim Fins

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Feb 17, 2012
  • Updated Dec 17, 2012 at 4:02 PM UTC
Photo: Nils Nilsen

If you don’t already carry fins in your swim bag, here’s why you should: They promote a proper kick, give you a better body position in the water, increase ankle flexibility and simply break up an otherwise boring swim set.

Shorter fins are best for fast, shorter kicking, while longer fins provide more propulsion at a much slower tempo. Based on your swimming objectives, here’s a guide to help you pick your next pair. The fins are ordered from least propulsive to most propulsive.

Finis Zoomers Gold


The traditional Zoomers are perfect for working on your kick within a stroke while keeping the same tempo.

Aquasphere Alpha Fins


The Alpha Fins are incredibly flexible and light enough to float. The fit is different than a traditional fin: There are designated right and left fins for a secure arch, toes are kept inside and a strap goes around the ankle.

Speedo Optimus Training Fin


If you’re having trouble with a specific freestyle drill, the mid-length Optimus Training Fin can help put you in the ideal body position to take full advantage of the exercise.

Tyr Flexfins


Want to know what a strong dolphin kick feels like? Throw on a pair of the powerful Flexfins. These longer fins will slow down your freestyle kick but speed your stroke while helping with ankle flexibility and leg strength.

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FILED UNDER: Gear & Tech / Swim / Triathlete Buyer's Guide TAGS:

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a contributor for Triathlete magazine, a six-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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