9 Best Swim Fins for a Stronger Kick and Faster Swimming

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Looking for the perfect swim fins for training? Here are the best fins for every kind of swimmer and workout.

Swim fins are a training accessory that helps swimmers improve body position, increase leg strength, and learn how to swim faster.

Using training fins is also a lot of fun!

There’s nothing like strapping on a pair of swim fins and motoring across the pool, a rooster-tail of white water exploding behind you.

But when choosing the best swim fins, things aren’t so simple.

Design, materials, blade length, heel type, price; many factors make a swim fin the “best” for your swimming.

In this guide to choosing the perfect swim training fins, we will evaluate the right option for every kind of swimmer, from beginner to elite competitive swimmers.

We’ll compare the different swim fins on the pool deck, highlight critical pros and cons, and share expert tips based on 30+ years of swimming and coaching on how to choose swim fins for you and your goals in the water.

Let’s jump in.

Best Swim Training Fins for Faster Swimming

Here is an overview of the top swim fins for helping swimmers kick stronger and swim faster:

Next, we will review each swimming fin individually, highlighting what we liked during testing, things to be aware of, and what kind of swimmer would use it most.

Later, we will list some other swim fins that didn’t make the cut and some tips for choosing the perfect set of swim fins for you and your swimming.

To the winners:

Arena Powerfins Pro Swim Fins

🥇 Best overall swim training fins

Best Swim Training Fins - Arena Powerfin Pro

The Arena Powerfins Pro Swim Fins are the best training fins for competitive swimmers looking to develop a faster and stronger kick in the water.

The short-blade design ensures a kicking tempo that matches regular swimming, the open heels help swimmers kick with a full range of motion, and the soft silicone construction almost completely eliminates blisters and chafing from extended and aggressive use.

Best Overall Swim Fins - Arena Powerfin Pro

The Arena Powerfins Pro is made for high-performance swimming and drop-dead speed in the water.

The short blade is perfect for FAST kicking, rails along the side help keep your feet from “slipping” in the water, and a small release chute helps discharge water from the fins.

Arena offers the Powerfins in four colors, from bright neon green to bright pink to pool blue, with a set of the fins retailing for around $60.

Although pricier than other swim fins on the market, the soft silicone is much more durable than rubber, degrading more quickly when exposed to chlorine and UV rays for extended periods.

Arena Powerfin Pro Swim Fins

My set of Powerfin Pro fins have been kicking for nearly ten years, and they’ve never shown a hint of cracking or wear.

The Arena Powerfins Pro just might be the last set of training swim fins you ever buy, and combined with the performance features, makes it the best overall fins for swimmers.

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Best overall swim training fins Release chute hole isn’t rounded off
Made of long-lasting soft silicone May be too heavy for inexperienced swimmers
Reduced chafing and almost no blisters
Open heel design that makes it easy to get into and promotes full range of motion when kicking
Lots of bright colors to choose from

Sporti Essential Training Swim Fins

✅ Best budget-friendly swim fins

Best Swim Training Fins - Sporti Essential Short Fins

The Sporti Essential Training Swim Fins is our top value pick for a fin that promotes faster swimming without breaking the bank.

The foot pocket of the fins is surprisingly supple, helping swimmers kick to the full range of their kicking motion, and the buoyant construction means you won’t have to dive to the bottom of the pool should a fin slip off.

Sporti Essential Training Swim Fins

The fins are made of 100% rubber and are easy to pull over the heel of your foot when it’s go time. A short blade design also promotes a faster kick that more closely reflects your natural kicking tempo for increased skill and power transfer.

Sporti offers the Essential Training Swim Fins in a wide range of male and female sizes, and at just $25 or so, these fins are an excellent choice for swimmers looking to crank up their training in the pool.

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Budget-friendly training fins Limited color options
Soft rubber heel and hood to reduce blisters
Buoyant; won’t sink if you drop them
Short blade for increased kick tempo

FINIS Floating Swim Fins

✅ Best fins for kids learning to swim

Best Swim Training Fins - FINIS Floating Fins

The FINIS Floating Swim Fins are a long-blade fin that is perfect for helping younger (and newbie) swimmers learn the fundamentals of proper kicking in the water.

The increased blade length helps new swimmers really “feel” both phases of the kick, improves leg endurance, and can also help increase ankle range of motion.

As you can surmise from the name of the fins, they are made of 100% buoyant rubber. The closed heel is made with soft rubber and rounded at the edges.

Additionally, and this is a pet peeve of mine when swim fins do not do this—the FINIS fins have rounded edges where the toes stick out, eliminating painful blistering when kicking and swimming.

The FINIS Floating Swim Fins come in a wide variety of sizes, from youth to size 14 men, and are very inexpensive, retailing for approximately $25 for a set, and is our top choice for kids and new swimmers looking to develop better kicking fundamentals and power.

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Best swim fins for younger kids Swimmers with wide feet may have a hard time fitting them properly
Floating, rubber construction
Tons of sizing options for adults, too
Excellent value pick
True to size

Speedo Triathlon Rubber Swim Fins

✅ Best long training fins

Swim Training Fins - Speedo Triathlon Rubber Swim Fins

The Speedo Triathlon Rubber Swim Fins are the best long training fins for open water and pool swimmers looking for a set of fins that will help them go the distance.

The added surface area and materials of the long blade fins creates more buoyancy, which can help better position your bodyline when swimming.

Longer swim fins also help you more fully extend your stroke, making them an ideal type of swim fin for swimmers focused on distance per stroke.

The Speedo Triathlon Rubber Swim Fins are made with soft, 100% rubber, and foot pockets are comfortable enough for extended use.

While more sprint and power focused swimmers will prefer a short blade swim fin, the longer blade fin is great for intermediate and open water swimmers focused on building a longer swim stroke.

These swim fins are also remarkably light.

But, of course, here’s the rub; the lightness is due to the rubber construction, which is more prone to rips and tears compared to heavier silicone swim fins.

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Best long training fins for a longer swim stroke Not suitable for lots of heavy-duty sprinting
Soft rubber construction that is great for extended use Rubber is known to rip and tear
Generates extra buoyancy
Great option if you want a lighter fin

Arena Powerfin

✅ Best training fins for intermediate swimmers

Swim Training Fins - Arena Powerfins

The Arena Powerfin is an excellent swim fin for younger and intermediate swimmers who want to transition to a short-blade fin, but aren’t quite ready for the high-performance features of the Powerfin Pro or other comparably “elite” training fins.

Like its big brother, the Arena Powerfins are made of 100%, buttery soft silicone which almost completely eliminate blisters and painful chafing from extended use.

In contrast to the Pros, the Powerfins are lighter, making them more suitable for less experienced swimmers. This allows them to kick fully without getting exhausted after just 15 meters.

The Powerfins also have a closed-heel design. While this type of heel construction can feel constricting with some swimmers, with the Powerfins, the silicone shell is so thin that it doesn’t impede the range of motion when kicking.

The main downside of the Arena Powerfins is that both fins are exactly the same shape. Fins contoured to the natural shape of the right and left feet promote better kicking technique and control.

Comfortable and available in some truly bright colors (making them hard to lose at swim practice), the Arena Powerfins are the perfect fins for swimmers progressing towards more high-performance fins but aren’t quite there yet.

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Best swim fins for intermediate swimmers Fins not shaped to right/left feet for improved ergonomics and control
Short blade teaches a fast and powerful kick
Lots of sizing options, from youth to adult
Bright color options

FINIS Foil Monofin

✅ Best fins for a stronger underwater dolphin kick

Swim Training Fins - FINIS Foil Monofin

The FINIS Foil is a specialty training fin designed to help swimmers develop a more powerful underwater dolphin kick.

The single-blade design encourages increased undulation and helps swimmers dial in the “up kick” phase of the dolphin kick to develop a more balanced kicking motion.

The FINIS Foil Monofin has an open-heel design to allow for a full range of motion when kicking.

Open heels are also more comfortable, in my opinion, and result in less friction and chafing against the back of the foot during vigorous kicking.

Made with 100% natural rubber, the Monofin can be used with a swim chute for increased power development or simply when you want to open up your hips and kick motion with extra-wide fish kicks.

FINIS offers the Foil in its customary gold and a range of sizes, from XS (male 3-5) to XL (male 13.5 to 14), and it’s a bit pricier given that it’s a specialty swim training fin.

Another downside: it takes up a ton of room in your swim bag and will likely have to be carried and stored separately.

All that said, if taking your underwaters and dolphin kicks to an elite level is a priority, the FINIS Foil Monofin is a must-have for your training toolkit.

✅ Reasons to Buy: ❌ Things to Note:
Best Monofin for swim training Large; takes up a ton of room
Essential tool for a stronger dolphin kick
Open heels for full range of motion
Plenty of size options
Made by FINIS, one of the most innovative brands in the pool

Other Swim Fins We Tested

During our testing of swim fins for performance and comfort, several fins were evaluated but ultimately didn’t make the cut.

They included:

FINIS Zoomers – Zoomers are one of the “old school” swim training fins, with stiff rubber and a very short blade. I have recurring nightmares about the blisters these training fins gave me as an age group swimmer. Some lap swimmers swear by them, but for those looking for more flex and less blistering, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Speedo Biofuse Training Fins – Although popular, we didn’t love these fins during testing, finding them overly stiff, despite the 100% silicone construction.

Nike Swim Fins – While they are moderately comfortable, they also feel like you are wearing aqua socks. The closed-heel design leaves less wiggle room for sizing variances such as wider feet. The added grip on the bottom, however, makes it a good choice for open water swimmers looking for added stability when clambering along wet rocks and the closed-foot design can help retain heat in colder water.

 How to Choose Swim Fins

When swimming through the various swim fins on the pool deck and on the market, here are the key decision-making factors to keep in mind to find the perfect fins for you and your goals:

How to Choose Swim Training Fins

Type of Swimming

The kind of fins you choose should match the primary purpose for using swim fins.

Are you working on building leg endurance? Improve sprint performance? Power up your underwater dolphin kicks? Use the buoyancy of fins to master stroke technique?

Swim fins vary significantly in terms of function, and aligning the fins that match with your goals in the water will enhance your overall swimming experience and help you improve what matters most.

Fin material

Silicone and rubber are the two most commonly used materials for swim fins.

Rubber is less expensive, but is more prone to breaking, cracking and ripping, especially with more aggressive use, such as when sprinting. Rubber also degrades faster when exposed to pool chemicals like chlorine and UV rays.

Silicone fins are pricier, but last much longer. It’s rare to see 100% silicone swim fins rip, which makes them a smarter investment as they will last much longer.

Silicone is also softer and almost significantly reduce blisters and chafing.

Blade length

Training fins, and no, we aren’t including snorkel fins which can be several feet in length and made of hard plastic, either have a short or long blade.

Short blade fins are more specific to how you swim; the smaller surface area encourages you to kick faster and increases leg power.

Swim Fins - Blade Length

Swim training fins have variable blade lengths.

Longer blade fins move more water, and as a result are ideal for general leg conditioning and strength.

Long blade fins are also more buoyant, both in terms of material used, which helps raise the body, but also the amount of water being pushed by the legs, which pushes the hips up the surface.

Blade stiffness

When choosing the perfect fins, evaluate the blade design and stiffness to match your swimming goals.

Beginner swimmers may prefer a softer, more flexible blade that doesn’t immediately jab into the foot when kicking.

More experienced swimmers will prefer a slightly stiffer blade to maximize power and propulsion.

Heel type

Swim fins have either a closed or open heel. Open heel fins encourage more ankle range of motion as the ankle is “free” to move within the full kick cycle nearly unimpeded.

Swim Training Fins - Heel Type

Open heel vs. Closed heel swim fins

Closed heel fins tend to be less expensive, and while most are not restrictive, some can be.

Performance features

Fins for more experienced competitive swimmers are designed for high-performance swimming. These features include a rail design along the side of the fins for more control and pushing water backward instead of out to the side.

Drain chutes at the bottom of the fin keep water moving and reduce pooling in the fins, and gripped bottoms are helpful for maintaining a steady grip on slippery pool decks or when climbing out of open water and walking across slick rocks.

Wrapping Things Up

Swim fins are an excellent addition to the training of any swimmer, regardless of goal in the water.

Swim fins are a tool for better technique, increased stroke per distance, developing a stronger kick, powering up your underwater dolphin kick, and ultimately, help you swim faster than ever.

Using the tips and fins above, choose the swim fins that match your goals and abilities, and take your swimming to the next level.

Happy swimming!

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About Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy

Olivier Poirier-Leroy has been involved in competitive swimming for most of his life. Starting off at the age of 6 he was thrown in the water at the local pool for swim lessons and since then has never wanted to get out. A nationally top ranked age grouper as both a …

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