Flip-Flopper: The 9 Best Swim Fins

Whether you’re just getting you feet wet or are a seasoned swimmer, you could benefit from adding a set of swim fins to your routine. Not only can you get enhanced power and efficacy by using fins, but they’ll increase your sex appeal exponentially as you slap around the dock of the bay, wasting time. True, it’s common for experts to claim that using fins is cheating, but the truth is that using them helps you use your legs far more as you crawl along or just tread water, which ups your cardiovascular game for a more full-bodied workout that will get your ripped for swimsuit season.

Using a pair of fins – or a triple-set if you’re built like that – will help you to learn better technique and body position, make your ankles more flexible, get your legs more involved for greater strength in your lower body, and can help to change or break bad habits developed over a lifetime of swimming incorrectly. By choosing the correct set of fins for your needs, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance to become a stronger, more successful swimmer. To help you along, we found the 9 best swim fins for any paddler.

Long Floating Fin

Long Floating Fin

Pro: Easy to don/remove in the water
Con: Uncomfortably narrow footbed

The Buildup: Able to float in both salt and freshwater, the Long Floating Fins are meant exclusively to add to your workout to give your muscles more bulk and heft by forcing them to work against the water, rather than flowing through it. Purely intended for conditioning, you’ll get more speed, but also more muscle mass and definition. The increase in speed is noticeable, but you’ll feel every stroke the next day.

Purchase: $22

Finis Zoomer Gold E

Finis Zoomer Gold E

Pro: Extremely long-lasting
Con: Can cause hotspots

Training Wheels: Barely bigger than your water shoes, the Zoomers aren’t going to be good for the old pro, but anyone who hasn’t gotten their sea legs yet will find the combination of small size and simple usage to complement their innate swimming strokes. The body is built to align naturally with the foot and act as an extension to the leg for shorter, faster movements and accurate kicking process.

Purchase: $29

Arena Powerfin

Arena Powerfin

Pro: Snug, supportive fit
Con: Tend to feel heavy

Back to Basics: Using a soft silicone body, it’s easier to get a nice, comfortable fit with the Powerfins than other models. They’re priced right and built correctly for beginners who need something basic that isn’t overly technical and doesn’t have a steep learning curve. Made with a gentle, natural sweep, they’re less likely to pull off in the water, even for users who find themselves kicking frantically and forgetting their training.

Purchase: $29

Speedo Biofuse Training Fins

Speedo Biofuse Training Fins

Pro: Excellent conditioning
Con: Difficult sizing. Try in person

Check Yourself: With a stiff body made for accuracy and resistance combined with a soft footbed for extended comfort, these are actually not for the beginner, whatever the name may imply. Rather they are meant for those swimmers serious about getting their motions built up to Olympic-grade perfection. The Biofuse fins cut down on stress during workouts for longer toning and resistance sessions and help force your body to adopt efficient swimming methods to achieve optimum success.

Purchase: $31

Voit Duck Feet

Voit Duck Feet

Pro: Extremely easy to use
Con: Can coddle sloppy swimmers

Lazy Days: They haven’t changed much since the ‘50’s but that’s because they didn’t need to. Able to be slipped on and off with ease, these facilitate your swimming and are ideal for adding motion in the water without working any harder. You’ll get more speed, more distance, and an easier tread using the Duck Feet, allowing for strained muscles to rest or enjoyable days at the lake or beach to continue. Their propulsive symmetry across all planes allows anyone with feet to get the knack in mere moments.

Purchase: $39

Churchill Makapuu

Churchill Makapuu

Pro: Wide body catches more water
Con: Do not truly float

The Everyman: You shouldn’t buy what everyone else is buying just because you can; but when they’re buying one of the best – as they are with the Makapuu – then you’d be a fool not to get on the bandwagon. Using an ideal “dolphin” design that works best for bodyboarders, you’ll get loads of power and acceleration out of each kick thanks to the drain hole and stiff rubber body. These work like a surfboard skeg to offer enhanced control during turns and alterations in direction.

Purchase: $52

Mike Stewart Viper Flex

Mike Stewart Viper Flex

Pro: Reliable, comfortable everyday fin
Con: Too soft for training or loads of resistance

The Legend Continues: If you aren’t familiar with the name Mike Stewart, you should get out of the water right now and search YouTube the name for some of the greatest body boarding action seen anywhere. He put his name on these fins because he believes in them, and once you give them a shot, you will too. 100% natural rubber with loads of buoyancy for staying afloat when taking on waves, the Viper Flex’s are meant for the action swimmer and extreme watersportsman.

Purchase: $64

DaFin

Pro: Supremely comfortable
Con: Unattractive

Lifesaver: Endorsed by the United States Lifesaving Association, these are hardy fins created by Andy Cochran off the shores of Hawaii. Probably one of, if not the most respected swim fin among bodyboarders and bodysurfers, those who brave the waves will find themselves pleased over and over again with how facile the usage, how comfortable the fit, and how quickly their experience in the water will be enhanced whether doing a casual crawl or a competition stroke in still water or chop.

Purchase: $75

Aqua Lung Stratos 3

Aqua Lung Stratos 3

Pro: Solid heel grip
Con: Too bulky for casual swimmers

Go Deep: For SCUBA divers looking for a serious hunk of hardware that can catch the water and move it with great effect, there’s the Stratos 3. Immense side rails set the pivot point near the front of the foot and get the entire blade moving with every stroke for a stronger movement every time. A soft, spacious toe opening makes the Stratos comfortable to wear and adds lots of efficiency during flutter kicks.

Purchase: $80

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