the best fins for lap swimming

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The Athlete Approved Guide to Using Fins for Lap Swimming

Fins are a must have for all swimmers! Fins add a ton of value to your training. They help strengthen your leg and core muscles, improve your ankle flexibility, and make swimming fun!

There are hundreds of different models, materials, and functions for fins. If you are looking to use a pair of fins, but do not know where to start, then read on.

Our Athlete Approved Team created a guide to the best fins for lap swimming including:

  • Best Overall Fins
  • Best Beginner Fins
  • Best Speed Fins
  • Best Kid Fins
  • Best Fitness Building Fins
  • Best Monofin
  • Best Budget Fins
  • Why Should You Use Fins
  • Who Should Use Fins
  • How to Wear Fins

The Best Overall Fins for Lap Swimming: DMC Elite Swim Fins

DMC Elite Swim Fins are our top overall pick for the best swim fins. DMC specializes in making fins. They are based out of Australia where swimming is one of their most popular activities. The comfort, performance, and look of this swimming tool is second to none.

The silicon material of DMC Elite Fins deliver maximum comfort vs. traditional rubber fins. Our team has been using these for years and our feet are blister free.

The thrust of the fins gives you an even up and down kick. The toe-drain release ensures they will stay on your feet. These functions make this fin the best option for competitive swimmers, fitness swimmers, beginner swimmers, and even body surfers.

This fin comes in a beautiful and unique colors of fluro, charcoal, hot pink, and blue ice. Be sure to reference the sizing chart for a proper fit.

The Best Beginner Fins for Lap Swimming: Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins

Our pick for the best swim fins for beginners is the Aqua Sphere Alpha Fins. They are made of closed-cell EVA foam. In other words, they are super buoyant, comfortable, and soft.

The most common thing beginners need to work on is their body position in the water. It is important for swimmers to keep their head in-line with their body and resist the urge to look ahead. The Aqua Sphere Alpha Swim Fins float to help you maintain that proper body alignment.

These fins are incredibly popular with triathletes. If you would like the next level up from these, try the Aqua Sphere Alpha Pro Fins, developed by the greatest swimmer of all time Michael Phelps and his coach Bob Bowman.

Aqua Sphere Alpha Swim Fins come in blue and have a sea creature-like look to them.

The Best Speed Fins for Lap Swimming: DMC Repellor Fins

DMC Repellor Fins are fast! It is a must have for body surfers, snorkelers, beach lifeguards, and any swimmers who wants to swim at top speeds.

DMC Repellor Fins have a patented Reverse V Rail design. This design gives you max speed with less fatigue. During the down kick, these fins open up for a turbo boost of thrust.

The soft silicon based material on all DMC fins gives it a super comfortable fit. The no slip tread pattern will prevent slipping on land.

As if these fins needed any more features, they come in patterns of stars & stripes, camo, zebra, and more.

The Best Kid’s Fins for Lap Swimming: Finis Long Floating Fins

Our pick for the best kid’s swim fins are the Finis Long Floating Fins. These fins are a great standard start up fin for children. Swimmers can use these for training and recreationally. They additionally are one of the lowest costing fins on the market.

The Long Floating Fins are designed with a long blade to provide buoyancy and propulsion. These will assist in learning how to kick from the hips instead of the knee. They also float which will help learn proper body alignment.

These fins come in size XXXXS – XXL. They have a color associated for each size which makes it convenient for teams to easily sort shared equipment.

The Best Fitness Building Fins for Lap Swimming: Finis Zoomers Gold

The Finis Zoomers Gold Fins are designed to make you work hard! These short blade fins are made to be less propulsive compared to other fins.

These fins are the best to increase your cardiovascular capacity and quickly build leg strength. The short blade also encourages short and fast kicks, which is the proper technique to use when swimming.

Finis Zoomer Gold Fins will easily fit in any swim bag. Reference the sizing chart to determine the correct fit.

The Best Monofin for Lap Swimming: Finis Foil Monofin

No one does monofins (and snorkels) better than Finis. The Finis Foil Monofin is a light weight monofin that teaches swimmers how to properly kick butterfly.

Underwater butterfly kick is known as the “5th stroke”. A monofin can be used to perfect the even up and down kick thrust needed for an effective kick. The Foil Monofin is designed for technique and strength building. The rubber provides a soft, comfortable, and secure fit.

It is meant for lap swimming, but there is nothing wrong with having fun getting your mermaid on!

The Best Budget Fins for Lap Swimming: Finis Positive Drive Fins

It is no surprise that Finis makes its fourth appearance on this list. They know swim equipment better than anyone. The Positive Drive Fin is our top budget pick. Do not let the price fool you. This is a great fin for multiple reasons.

The Positive Drive Fin can be used for all four strokes. That includes breaststroke! The ergonomic foot pocket gives it an easy fit. The adjustable heel strap keeps the fin stable. The adjustability of the strap is also great for kids with growing feet.

This fin comes in Finis’ signature yellow and black color.

Let us know if you agree with our best fins for lap swimming picks in our comments and on social media! View all of our Athlete Approved gear here!

Why Should You Use Fins for Lap Swimming

Fins build strength in your leg and core muscles

Similar to how paddles will focus on your upper body strength, fins will focus on your lower body strength. It is healthy to diversify your training by working different parts of the body. Wearing fins will give an extra burn in your legs. Try butterfly kick on your back with fins. It is one of the best core workouts ever.

Fins increase ankle flexibility

Often times new swimmers do not have flexible ankles. Many runners and triathletes also struggle with this. Studies and real life experience within our team have shown that having flexible ankles is more important to kicking than leg strength. If you are that swimmer who kicks and goes nowhere (or even backwards), you likely have poor ankle flexibility. Use fins to increase your range of motion.

Fins help you learn to kick evenly up and down

Too many swimmers focus solely on the down kick. They slowly bring their foot back up only to reload for the next down kick. This kicking method could not be more wrong. Learn to work both the down and up kick with fins to enhance your kicking efficiency.

Fins make swimming fun

Have you ever wanted to feel like you were swimming at world record pace? Put a pair of fins on and go for it. There are few better feelings than the feeling of water rushing by you while you are being propelled by a pair of fins. Swimming can get monotonous if you are doing the same old routine. Adding fins mixes it up and makes it fun!

Who Should Use Fins

Every beginner to advanced swimmer should use fins.

Fins are great for beginners. They can help you learn proper kicking technique. Learning the correct way from the start is crucial to making healthy technical habits. When starting out, there is no shame in using fins to increase your speed. This will help you get into the proper body position needed for efficient swimming.

They will also assist you as weaker swimmer that would like to keep up with a group.

Advanced swimmers use fins all the time. They can be found in just about every competitive swimmer’s equipment bag. Since they can be used for all four strokes (yes, that includes some fins for breaststroke), veteran swimmers will work the use of fins regularly.

How to Use Fins for Lap Swimming

The first thing to consider is transportation. Fins can be on the larger side and take up a lot of room in your swim bag. We recommend a bag made for swim equipment, a mesh swim equipment bag, or carrying them outside of your bag.

Once you get to the pool, work in fins periodically throughout your workout. You really cannot go wrong here. Some swimmers will wear them for a portion of warm up for kicking. Other swimmers will save them for the end of the workout to help them finish strong. For further guidance, read our Athlete Approved Guide to Creating Your Own Swim Workout.

Keep in mind the fast feeling you get when you put on fins will be opposite when you remove them. So try not to become too dependent on them.

Athlete Approved Tip: Walking backwards is the safest way to walk when wearing fins. #LessTumbles #MoreTumbleTurns!

When you finish up, maintenance of fins is minimal. Our main advice is to store them out of the sun to reduce long term sun deterioration.

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