The 10 Best Swim Fins for Swimming Training

One of the best ways to work on your kick is to use swim fins. Fins are an extremely popular training tool for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. They help swimmers improve kicking tempo and range of motion while also strengthening the kick itself, and can lead to rapid improvements that wouldn’t be realized without the help of fins. Picking the right swim fins for your training needs, however, can be difficult. Swim fins come in a variety of shapes and sizes, stiffnesses, and designs. Hopefully, this guide will help direct you toward the best swim fins for your needs.

First, let’s clarify the difference between long fins and short fins, as we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best long fins and short fins separately. The difference is important. Long fins are generally used by younger or less experienced swimmers. They primarily improve leg endurance and flexibility, and will propel you through the water much faster. On the other hand, short fins force swimmers to kick faster since they tend to be more stiff and resistant. This helps experienced swimmers (especially freestylers and backstrokers) work on kick tempo, strength, and technique.

With this in mind, here are our top ten picks for the best swim fins for swimming training.

Long FinsCheck Price
BetterTimes Floating Swim FinsSwimOutlet
Sporti Floating Swim FinsSwimOutlet
TYR Flex Swim FinsSwimOutlet
Speedo Trialon Rubber Swim FinsSwimOutlet
FINIS Floating Swim FinsSwimOutlet
Short Fins
Sporti Training Swim FinsSwimOutlet
Speedo Short Blade Training Swim FinsSwimOutlet
TYR Burner EBP Floating FinsSwimOutlet
FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers Swim FinsSwimOutlet
Arena Powerfin Pro Swim FinsSwimOutlet

Long Fins

1. BetterTimes Floating Swim Fins

BetterTimes Floating Swim Fins

Pros
– inexpensive
– durable

Cons
– unreliable sizing

Our first pick seems “risky” – the fins are from a lesser-known company, which produces not much more than swim training gear, and they’re at the lowest price point. However, BetterTimes is good at what they do. The quality of their swim fins is actually excellent, and they’re remarkably durable, potentially lasting you years of use. In fact, several teams actually recommend their swimmers purchase from this particular brand.

The fins are easy to put on, especially for young swimmers, and fairly comfortable in the water. As with most fins, be careful with sizing – BetterTimes does mention that when choosing adult sizing, they better reflect women’s shoe sizes, so men might want to size up. Overall, I’ve never really had issues with fit, and the BetterTimes swim fins deserve the “budget pick” spot on our list.

2. Sporti Floating Swim Fins

Sporti Floating Swim Fins

Pros
– inexpensive
– durable
– float, easily retrieved

Cons
– can be too flexible

The Sporti floating swim fins take the second spot on the list and come in at a similar price point. The shape and feel are very similar to the BetterTimes fins; in fact, from a distance, they look almost identical. The closed ankle provides support while kicking and the foot pocket is quite flexible. They’re sturdy and well-built; my pair lasted a few years despite being subject to a young age group swimmer’s beating.

Sizing seems to be quite accurate with the Sporti swim fins, and the adult sizes well reflect men’s shoes sizing. When I first got my pair, they were on the larger side, which can chafe at your heel with hard kicking. After I grew into them, they felt much more comfortable, and red skin was no longer an issue. Thus, whether you’re just a lap swimmer or your competitive team recommends this brand, the Sporti swim fins are an excellent training tool.

3. TYR Flex Swim Fins

TYR Flex Swim Fins

Pros
– durable
– stiff
– true to size

Cons
– can be too stiff

TYR breaks from the other long fin designs with their Flexfins, featuring a pointed end and slightly smaller surface area. In my experience these swim fins are fairly stiff, meaning comparatively higher resistance, and are extremely durable (no real wear after YEARS). Thus, I recommend the TYR Flexfins primarily for their excellent build quality.

Sizing/fit is quite good for these swim fins as well. The swimmers that say “run small” and “run big” are approximately equal and overall constitute a small percentage of users. As with most pairs of fins, however, be careful – they will hurt if too tight or too large. For the majority that say they’re a perfect fit, the TYR Flexfins are comfortable for long-time use.

4. Speedo Trialon Rubber Swim Fins

Speedo Trialon Rubber Swim Fins

Pros
– comfortable
– flexible

Cons
– durability varies

Next on the list are the Speedo Trialon rubber swim fins, which are possibly the most comfortable pair available. Wearing these have never left me with painful feet/ankles, even after lengthy sets. The Speedo swim fins, when fit properly, wobble little and truly feel like extensions of your feet. They’re on the softer side and quite flexible, which is especially nice for younger swimmers who are looking to develop their kick technique and motion.

Durability seems to vary slightly more on these; I’ve had swimmers break the Speedo swim fins after a year or two (the issue always seems to be ripping at the toe opening) while others have kept the same pair for nearly a decade. Understanding this possibility, choosing these fins can offer the most comfortable kicking workout you’ve ever had.

5. FINIS Floating Swim Fins

FINIS Floating Swim Fins

Pros
– durable
– high quality
– float, easily retrieved

Cons
– unreliable sizing

Finally, we have the FINIS floating swim fins. FINIS really makes some of the highest quality fins out there, which is why they make an appearance in both the short and long fins categories. The durability reflects the top build quality; breakage should be largely a non-issue. FINIS boasts of the fins’ buoyancy in both fresh and salt water, meaning that, if you are ever swimming in deep waters, retrieving the fins are a non-issue in the event that they come off.

If there is a downside, sizing/fit seems to be a recurrent issue, with a good number of swimmers saying that the fins run small (and very few saying that they are too large), and therefore hurt their feet. Thus, if you’re near the upper end of a size range, considering sizing up with the FINIS swim fins for the optimal training comfort.

Short Fins

6. Sporti Training Swim Fins

Sporti Training Swim Fins

Pros
– inexpensive
– durable

Cons
– can be too flexible
– on the long side

First on the short fins list are the Sporti training swim fins, which are priced affordably at around $20. Among short fins, these fins are some of the softest and most flexible, which means that they offer slightly less resistance but more propulsion. The fin is pretty sizable; in some ways, the Sporti short fins are an intermediate between long fins and zoomer-type fins. In other words, they feel more like long fins while swimming than do the other short fins on the list. Thus, if you’re looking for a “true” short fin for sprint work, these fins are probably not for you.

The Sporti fins fit well and they’re usually true to size. These short fins are very durable, capable of withstanding years of usage. They were the first pair of short fins I ever wore and they absolutely sold me on the switch from long fins to short fins as I became a more experienced swimmer. I definitely recommend the Sporti training swim fins for making this transition.

7. Speedo Short Blade Training Swim Fins

Speedo Short Blade Training Swim Fins

Pros
– fairly stiff
– comfortable

Cons
– feels slightly heavy

Next on the list are the Speedo short blade swim fins, priced at a fair premium to the Sporti fins. However, the price tag comes with good reason. The Speedo short fins are quite stiff, making sure that each and every kick must be delivered with force. They are a little heavier than most of the other picks on this list, but this is compensated by excellent quality and design.

If you are transitioning from long fins or from a softer short fin like Sporti’s, it will often take a while to get used to the stiffness of the overall fin. However, once you get used to it, these fins are just as comfortable as the long fins that Speedo makes, and have never left me with painful feet following a workout. The sizing is usually a non-issue, but the Speedo swim fins are more likely to run small than big, so consider this when making sizing decisions.

8. TYR Burner EBP Floating Fins

TYR Burner EBP Floating Fins

Pros
– float, easily retrieved
– comfortable
– good traction
– true to size

Cons
– none!

At a similar price point are the TYR Burner EBP floating swim fins, which offer a different take on short fins. They are on the shorter side of short fins (zoomer-style), and also float due to the high-buoyancy rubber used in the design. This may slightly alter your body position, but for the better; bringing up the lower half of your body is something every coach teaches. In addition, its small size allows you to work on your stroke cadence and kick tempo, better reflecting your sprinting kick rate. An added bonus in the design is the rubber footpad. Some fins lack traction on slippery walls, but the TYR Burner swim fins grip tightly so you never slip on your flip turns.

The TYR short fins are the most true-to-size fins out there. They fit remarkably well, adapting to any foot shape due to its soft rubber construction. As a teenage age group swimmer these were probably my favorite pair of short fins just because they felt the most comfortable, almost as if they were extensions of my feet.

9. FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers Swim Fins

FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers Swim Fins

Pros
– good propulsion
– improves body position
– comfortable fit

Cons
– pricey
– runs large

The FINIS Gold Zoomers have consistently been one of the most popular pairs of short fins, and FINIS has recently released the Z2, a redesigned version of their famous short fins that impressed swimmers just as much as the original. This review will primarily cover the updated version (the first generation remains popular, but in my opinion is inferior, as it should be).

The FINIS Z2 Zoomers are at a higher price point that the previous picks on the list, but offer several advantages. First, the design is unique, featuring a clean angled design patented by FINIS to promote a faster kick while still offering higher propulsion. Furthermore, the Zoomer design, like the TYR Burner fins, helps the swimmer improve their body position without using buoyancy. The holes in the fin are so-called “fluid separators,” which FINIS says helps the foot slice through the water (though I would argue the difference is negligible).

What’s noticeable is the soft, comfortable fit of the FINIS Z2 Zoomer fins. However, one downside of these fins is sizing. They tend to run large, so I would recommend downsizing if you’re ever unsure. With the proper fit, the FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers deserve their well-reputed name.

10. Arena Powerfin Pro Swim Fins

Arena Powerfin Pro Swim Fins

Pros
– stiff
– comfortable
– responsive

Cons
– pricey

Finally, we have the Arena Powerfin Pro swim fins. These fins are at the top price point on the list, and it may seem surprising that they remain one of the most popular options for short fins – the majority of my age group team uses these fins. However, one try-on and it’s easy to understand why Arena’s Powerfins are so highly regarded. These fins are quite firm and stiff, offering maximum resistance and forcing you to kick rapidly and with strength. You really can’t slack off when training with these fins.

For sprinters especially, this means that the Powerfins respond quickly to every kick. I love wearing these for short sprint sets since they really force me to kick with effort. These swim fins are also extremely comfortable. The open heel design has never caused any chafing or blistering for me at all. Furthermore, durability has been a non-issue; I’m two years in to my current pair and they’re just like new. As for sizing, the Powerfins do tend to run small, so considering sizing up if you’re at the upper end of a size range. With the right fit, the Arena Powerfins are truly one of the best short fins available for your swim workout.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has helped you gain an understanding of the pros and cons of each pair of swim fins from my experience. However, the best experience is your own – pick the pair that stands out the most to you and try a couple laps. If you have any issues with putting the fins on the first time, this article should help you out. Do they feel comfortable? Do they offer a good workout? Do they hurt your feet? Remember these tips while wearing them. I would recommend completing a full workout before you determine if the fins are right for you. No matter which swim fins you pick from this list, you will likely love them for years of training to come.