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__steve__
January 29th, 2013, 10:22 AM
Hi,

I need to widen my swim gear inventory. A waterski is about the closest thing to fins I have experience with (id est - never used fins). I feel I can really make use of a pair of them but I haven't a clue as to what type to try first. :help:

If it's possible to point me in the right direction, would anyone know what fins to try first?

If it helps:


Short distance swimmer (order of ability level: free, fly, back, breast)
Foot size: 10.5 (very wide)
moderate ankle/foot flexibility
average flutter kick speed
below average SDK speed (but moderate efficiency)
Primary uses: to augment fly, various drills, and to spend more time feeling hydrodynamic forces at race pace and faster.


Not sure I know what I exactly need but I was thinking of something that will allow me to swim 2 x 50 (at 1 sec faster than race pace) @ 0:90, yet be forgiving enough to assist other uses (i.e. fly sets, drills).


:notworthy: Merci Obrigado!

The Flyer
January 29th, 2013, 10:45 AM
I would use a shorter fin if your trying to simulate race pace. These allow you to get a higher kick rate compared to the long fins. Zoomers are a brand that everyone has heard of, but I just use the Sporti training fin. They are cheaper and fit me well.

arthur
January 29th, 2013, 10:54 AM
Here is the USMS swimmer magazine video review of fins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3JRV4JJD28

I would get a medium sized fin like the speedo optimus or tyr crossblade.

ekw
January 29th, 2013, 11:49 AM
Here is the USMS swimmer magazine video review of fins:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3JRV4JJD28

I would get a medium sized fin like the speedo optimus or tyr crossblade.

If you go with the Tyr Crossblade - the sizing is really weird. The Tyr size chart says the sizing is done in men's sizes but this is not true. Based on reviews, I ordered the size 7-9 fin and it fits my women's size 8 foot perfectly. It also runs narrow.

tpost2
January 29th, 2013, 07:54 PM
My husband got me yellow Zoomers for Christmas and I really like them. They're short so I can wear them for pretty much every stroke and I also like how soft the rubber is. No blisters - yay!

Ripple
January 29th, 2013, 09:22 PM
I have the Tyr Burner model and like it a lot. It's similar in design to the blue Zoomer but made of softer silicone. A bit lighter and easier on the feet.

stanflys
January 30th, 2013, 01:53 AM
If you have pool mates with similar sized feet, try their fins out. Soft, and a good fit are most important. I've even cut some fins down (length) to make them more useful for high cadence work. I agree with The Flyer, short fins are what you need. But you don't want to cause blisters. Thus soft rubber (silicone or other), and a good fit. Are there dealers in your area? Other Masters teams with selections?

__steve__
January 30th, 2013, 07:02 AM
Are there dealers in your area? Other Masters teams with selections?Not really. I train solo and seldom have the opportunity to try someone's fins. Crossblades are automatically off the list since they fit narrow. I'll have to review Sep/Oct 2010 Swimmer's issue (online:)). But it looks like I may have to have 2 different pairs;) - short for speed, and medium to long to help my underwater kicking.

swimshark
January 30th, 2013, 07:20 AM
With a wider foot, I would try the Hydro fins. They run big/wide and are short fins so they are different on the legs than traditional fins. I got mine from Amazon but here they are at Swim Outlet http://www.swimoutlet.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=1269&Click=310393&gclid=COG54qeIkLUCFQ-e4Aod6HkA2A

__steve__
January 30th, 2013, 07:31 AM
Ah, Jackpot!

Ordered

Thanks

__steve__
February 1st, 2013, 10:08 AM
Ordered hydro T2's.

The other day I asked to borrow fins from a pool acquaintence, this being first time ever wearing the things. I only did one lap - series of UWDK out and flutter kick back. I dont think I ever traveled through water as fast and I was just testing and the acclimation to the new movement was instant. There is a different feel to the kick propulsive forces with fins, mostly on the top surface of the foot. Perhaps fins are essential for teaching required technique for doing it correctly?

roschulze
February 1st, 2013, 04:03 PM
I have a wider foot and am looking for a longer fin. Any suggestions out there? I've tried several brands ... Just can't find a wide size.

I agree that there are brands with wider feet but they are always short fins.

Thanks for anyone's help!

The Fortress
February 1st, 2013, 04:06 PM
I have a wider foot and am looking for a longer fin. Any suggestions out there? I've tried several brands ... Just can't find a wide size.

I agree that there are brands with wider feet but they are always short fins.

Thanks for anyone's help!

I have a wide foot and use the long blade Water Gear fins: http://www.watergear.com/categories/swim-fins/.

Don't like zoomers.

roschulze
February 4th, 2013, 03:36 PM
Thanks!!

slow
February 4th, 2013, 10:17 PM
I will just throw in a comment that I use Tyr Crossblades size 13-15 (46-47). My shoe size is normally 14 WIDE and the Crossblades are a bit tight but totally serviceable.

When I eventually need to buy new fins, I will be looking at other options but right now they are fine.

swimslick
March 27th, 2013, 02:01 PM
Can anyone comment on Zoomer Z2s? Specifically the size of the closed toe box compared to other open toe boxes? My biggest problem with most fins seems to be rubbing at the top of the toe/cuticles at the toe opening. I don't think its a sizing issue, but rather the shape of of my toes/feet (my toes seem to slant upwards from my foot it seems?).

Coming off shoulder surgery, I have been using the Sporti short/medium-ish fins mentioned above. I had to cut back the rubber around the toe opening as my cuticles and toe nails were being ripped to shreads. That didn't bother me much since they were only $17 bucks, and they are perfectly comfortable after the modification.

But now I'm finding that fin to have a bit too much oomph than I'd like at the moment, so I'd like to go back to shorter fins. I do have an old pair of red Zoomers, and I love how large the toe box is on those. But after using the Sporti fins for a while I realize that they are waaaay to big for me, even with socks! So I'm thinking of either trying out the Z2s (older blue ones, they are a plenty on ebay) or maybe the TYR Burners, but its hard to tell from online photos what the toe box situation is like, and no one at my pool uses Z2s or Burners! I could just order another pair of original Zoomers in gold.....but I'm afraid of feeling all duck-like haha.

I know its hard to gauge these things because foot shapes and proportions vary, but just thought I'd ask! Thoughts?

ALM
March 27th, 2013, 04:42 PM
Can anyone comment on Zoomer Z2s? Specifically the size of the closed toe box compared to other open toe boxes? My biggest problem with most fins seems to be rubbing at the top of the toe/cuticles at the toe opening. I don't think its a sizing issue, but rather the shape of of my toes/feet (my toes seem to slant upwards from my foot it seems?).

Coming off shoulder surgery, I have been using the Sporti short/medium-ish fins mentioned above. I had to cut back the rubber around the toe opening as my cuticles and toe nails were being ripped to shreads. That didn't bother me much since they were only $17 bucks, and they are perfectly comfortable after the modification.

But now I'm finding that fin to have a bit too much oomph than I'd like at the moment, so I'd like to go back to shorter fins. I do have an old pair of red Zoomers, and I love how large the toe box is on those. But after using the Sporti fins for a while I realize that they are waaaay to big for me, even with socks! So I'm thinking of either trying out the Z2s (older blue ones, they are a plenty on ebay) or maybe the TYR Burners, but its hard to tell from online photos what the toe box situation is like, and no one at my pool uses Z2s or Burners! I could just order another pair of original Zoomers in gold.....but I'm afraid of feeling all duck-like haha.

I know its hard to gauge these things because foot shapes and proportions vary, but just thought I'd ask! Thoughts?

Buy the yellow Zoomers. I wore the blue Zoomers for years and loved them. I bought a new pair a couple of years ago, in the same size I had always worn, and they were tighter than the old ones. I think my feet have actually gotten a little bigger over the years. I finally gave that pair away. By then they had stopped making the blue and red and had switched to the yellow. So I bought a pair of the yellow ones but went one size larger, and they're great.

I was one of the testers a couple of years ago for the magazine and I remember hating the Z2s. I don't remember why but I remember it surprised me because I had been such a big fan of the blue Zoomers for so many years. I do remember that the Z2s were very different from the regular Zoomers.

It sounds like I have the same problem that you do with some brands and the toes. I did the same thing (cut back the rubber over the toes) on a pair of Club Swim fins and also on a pair of longer Sprint brand fins. I didn't have to do anything to the yellow Zoomers.

The other ones that worked well for me in the testing were the TYR Burner EBP Floating Fins. They are very comfortable. The foot pocket is softer than the Zoomers fin. They're about the same length, though, so the effect is similar.

Anna Lea Matysek
Membership Director
US Masters Swimming

magick17
March 28th, 2013, 03:02 PM
Try burner would be my rec for you..

swimslick
March 28th, 2013, 06:43 PM
Thanks so much Anna and magick for your responses! No Z2s for me then, which narrowed it down to yellow Zoomers or Burners. I've decided to give the Burners a shot, and if they don't work then I'll exchange for the yellow zoomers and be done with it. I don't know why Finis doesn't make the new original zoomers in a least a few color choices.....I'm sure they would sell like hotcakes!!! Although the bigger question might be, why am I so adverse to yellow fins? haha. :dunno: I hope the green Burners work out!

harleycodr
April 2nd, 2013, 03:23 PM
As a swimmer returning to the pool after quite a few years away, are fins going to be a good training aid? I put some on today (not the real short ones) and I felt like I was "cheating." I was across the pool (25 yards) in 20 seconds. I still felt the workout and all of that, but isn't it cheating? I'm trying to get my groove back and have not had my freestyle going much at all since I was in high school...2 years ago :-D OKAY it was 30 years ago! I would love to do 40 laps with fins on but would I be cheating myself?

knelson
April 3rd, 2013, 12:17 AM
As a swimmer returning to the pool after quite a few years away, are fins going to be a good training aid? I put some on today (not the real short ones) and I felt like I was "cheating." I was across the pool (25 yards) in 20 seconds. I still felt the workout and all of that, but isn't it cheating?

It's cheating if you use them as a crutch. Using fins occasionally for specifically targeted uses is fine, but once you start using them because they make you faster then, yes, it's cheating.

__steve__
April 3rd, 2013, 07:16 AM
I used fins for the first time (recently) after nearly 5 years of swimming without. I can't assume my swimming skill or conditioning would be better off now if I had used them earlier, but one thing for certain is my swimming and kicking has improved shortly after my first pair, and I currently use them for the greater part of my workout. My shoulders are also happier.

The one thing I don't use fins for is to get a goal distance or time (unless it is within context of the set).

But I do use fins to:
1) feel what it's like to travel through water efficiently and to notice how position effects drag
2) complete difficult stroke drills and have more drill endurance
3) concentrate on form swimming at speeds that, without fins, are too fast to be able to concentrate on anything at all.

Maybe it would be good to have them in your bag at this time, but not next to the goggles

harleycodr
April 3rd, 2013, 02:00 PM
What about monofins? What do those do besides make you swim like a mermaid? :0)

fatboy
April 3rd, 2013, 04:08 PM
What about monofins? What do those do besides make you swim like a mermaid? :0)

Swim like a Fortress!

__steve__
April 4th, 2013, 06:42 AM
I never used a monofin, but it would seem that, other than being more propulsive, it would force you to roll from the core.

swimark
April 12th, 2013, 03:42 PM
I'm looking at the Burners, but am between two sizes. My feet are 11's and the size of the fins are 9-11 or 11-13. According to the reviews on swimoutlet they run true to size. Hmm... Is it better to go smaller or larger for these?

mlabresh
April 12th, 2013, 04:25 PM
I'm looking at the Burners, but am between two sizes. My feet are 11's and the size of the fins are 9-11 or 11-13. According to the reviews on swimoutlet they run true to size. Hmm... Is it better to go smaller or larger for these?

I don't have experience with Burners (hopefully someone else does!), but I do have fins that are a bit snug and some that are a bit loose. I have Speedo fins that are similar to the Burners - they are quite tight. I'm prone to blisters, but these don't bother me at all. I'd say tight fitting isn't a big deal. I also have a pair of Speedo breaststroke fins that are quite loose. These were supposed to be the correct size range for me, but I worry sometimes that they will fall off.

So, per my experience, I'd err on the side of too snug rather than too loose.

arthur
April 12th, 2013, 04:40 PM
I don't have experience with Burners (hopefully someone else does!), but I do have fins that are a bit snug and some that are a bit loose. I have Speedo fins that are similar to the Burners - they are quite tight. I'm prone to blisters, but these don't bother me at all. I'd say tight fitting isn't a big deal. I also have a pair of Speedo breaststroke fins that are quite loose. These were supposed to be the correct size range for me, but I worry sometimes that they will fall off.

So, per my experience, I'd err on the side of too snug rather than too loose.
Also if fins are too loose they can fall off when you turn, although you can buy socks to give them a tighter fit. It really depends on your foot shape and the brand of fin.

smontanaro
April 12th, 2013, 04:41 PM
I'd think about a little too loose. If worse comes to worst, you can always get a pair of thin aquasocks to take up the slack. That's not the right name - I'm thinking of the little neoprene liners you can get at dive shops.

swimark
April 12th, 2013, 05:48 PM
Thanks for the input.

Looks like they can be returned if they don't fit right. But want to avoid that hassle. Yeah, don't want them uncomfortably tight or too loose and have them fall off. Swim socks sound like a good idea if they are too big, and would probably cut down on blisters. Also I wasn't sure if the fins would stretch out over time.

I was looking at the Zoomers, Z2s and other short fins... too many choices!

ALM
April 12th, 2013, 10:35 PM
None of my fins have ever stretched. In fact, I think sitting in a hot car may have caused some of them to shrink a little bit.

I own five pairs of fins. I'd go for looser rather than tighter. I have one pair that I got when we did fin testing for the magazine a couple of years ago. At first they seemed like a perfect fit but they turned out to be too tight and gave me blisters.

I have another pair that I use for open water in the winter. They're a little too big, so I wear the neoprene socks with them and they fit just right.

Unfortunately you won't really know whether a specific model will work for you until you've worn it a few times. I just looked at all of mine and here are the sizes I own, along with how they fit me. My shoe size is usually around a women's 7.5 to 8, which is supposedly equivalent to a men's 5.5 to 6.


Sporti (Clubswim)
http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/23088.htm
Men's 3-5
These are the ones that seemed OK at first but now I think they're too small. I cut some of the rubber out around the big toe area but they still rub.

Sprint Floating Fins
http://www.sprintaquatics.com/prodinfo.asp?number=640
Small, Men's 5-7
These are also too small around the big toe. Again, I cut away some of the rubber from the toe area but they still rub.

TYR Burner EBP
http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/22453.htm
Small 5-7 (Green) (Men's)
These fit just about right. Maybe very slightly loose. But the foot pocket is softer rubber than a lot of other fins, which makes them really comfortable.

FINIS Zoomers
http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/1267.htm
Size E: 7-1/2 to 8-1/2 Men's
These also fit just about right. I used to always wear the size D in Zoomers but the last pair I bought was too tight. I went up to size E which may be very slightly loose but they work fine.

Hydro Training Finz
http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/1269.htm
S (6-7) Men's
These have the largest foot pocket of any of the fins that I own. I can wear them without the neoprene socks, but they're a little loose and in open water I'm afraid I might lose them. With the neoprene socks they're just right.

Neoprene socks:
I have the Speedo brand but there are other brands that I'm sure are just as good.
https://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/3630.htm

smontanaro
April 12th, 2013, 10:52 PM
I was looking at the Zoomers, Z2s and other short fins... too many choices!

I just sold my Zoomers. I don't think I got much out of them after a fairly short period of time. The biggest use I made of them was during rehab from some rotator cuff problems. My next fins will be long fins. YMMV.

Jimbosback
April 12th, 2013, 11:01 PM
I never used fins before this year, and I really like my Zoomers. I especially like to do SDK shooters and fly, but they have helped my freestyle kick a lot, too.

Also, either my feet shrank or the Zoomers loosened up a little.

vo2
April 13th, 2013, 04:42 AM
Take a look at the AquaSphere fins that are tapered on the inside edges. They allow me to get my feet close together, in point of fact in what I'd say is the exact foot width I kick w/o fins. Consequently my legs are not forced wider with fins than they would be w/o fins. Follow?

I kick with my toes pointed just slightly inward and nearly brushing each other....'tight in a tube'. No way could I ever replicate that with all manner of fins over the years. The Aqua Sphere fins are also fairly flexible so for a guy who has had a bum knee redone x 2 this is nice. If you ever look at the GoSwim vids quite a few of the folks on the vids use them...the bright blue ones that are very sleek looking. Highly recommend a try. In point of fact I believe using all the other fins for dolphin drills actually impeded my progress for a long time due to the forced width. Once I started using the narrower fin everything seemed to translate very well to my regular dolphin kick w/o fins.

Here is a clip of them in use:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPO4MCBQIaM

swimark
April 13th, 2013, 10:59 AM
Lots of really good info posted here. My main issue is that I am all arms in freestyle and am one of those leg draggers. When I do put more effort into kicking I get unbalanced in the water. What happens is when I breath my one leg will kick out causing resistance. I read (and viewed some videos) that certain fins help train the legs to maintain proper positioning. Another review mentioned that shorter would be better since they would help maintain the faster cadence of "normal" swimming - (without fins). Of course something else that requires attention is my SDK\underwater kicks, but might need a different set of fins for that. I appreciate everyone's input.

Looks like serious kicking drills are in my future.

mlabresh
April 13th, 2013, 01:23 PM
You won't necessarily need another set of fins for working on SDK. Personally, my favorite dolphin kick drill is dolphin kick on my back with fins on. Do a few lengths of that, then flip over and do it underwater and see if it's helped. :)

__steve__
April 13th, 2013, 07:06 PM
I have these:
http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/4004.htm (http://www.swimoutlet.com/product_p/4004.htm)

They have helped me take my swimming to new levels, they also provide me with a fun option in my solo swims (akin to driving a sports-car with abundant horsepower). There is nothing like flutter kicking faster than my peak freestyle speed, and how the water feels.

My feet are 10.5, but very wide, so I purchased the large size and they fit fine except for my big toes. I notice most people have big toes shorter than the adjacent toe, and some don't. I am of the latter (minority I believe) and it appears the fin design mold is from the former. So my big toes would be crunched up and eventually became bright red and inflamed from use, I was about to drop a toenail until I took drastic modification action on my fins.

The original design has an opening for the middle toes, I cut another opening for the big toe. This was quite an in-depth modification because it created rough edges and structural weakness, as well as a ripping hazard. I remedied this by sanding the rough cut edges smooth, then providing support strips over the top of the modified big toe release sections (used from an old snorkel strap), siliconed in place for torsional strength. It has been two months and they are still trouble free and fun. I can provide a picture of the final product if I can get out of this hammock.

jaadams1
April 13th, 2013, 07:19 PM
Lots of really good info posted here. My main issue is that I am all arms in freestyle and am one of those leg draggers. When I do put more effort into kicking I get unbalanced in the water. What happens is when I breath my one leg will kick out causing resistance. I read (and viewed some videos) that certain fins help train the legs to maintain proper positioning. Another review mentioned that shorter would be better since they would help maintain the faster cadence of "normal" swimming - (without fins). Of course something else that requires attention is my SDK\underwater kicks, but might need a different set of fins for that. I appreciate everyone's input.

Looks like serious kicking drills are in my future.

In all honesty, I think you just need to get to work on more kicking, without the arms, or fins for that matter. All strokes, distances and all events now, especially at the upper levels, kicking is a key component of swimming. You can get started with just a kickboard and start out with sets of 25s or 50s, trying to reduce your interval down so that you're trying to hold a "good" pace. I wasn't a big kicker in the past, but I've changed that now. I still consider distance freestyle my best events, but I am much more kick based than before, and when needed can really pour it on with my legs when needed, especially at the end of races when you don't need to lose.

swimark
April 14th, 2013, 10:00 AM
In all honesty, I think you just need to get to work on more kicking, without the arms, or fins for that matter. All strokes, distances and all events now, especially at the upper levels, kicking is a key component of swimming. You can get started with just a kickboard and start out with sets of 25s or 50s, trying to reduce your interval down so that you're trying to hold a "good" pace. I wasn't a big kicker in the past, but I've changed that now. I still consider distance freestyle my best events, but I am much more kick based than before, and when needed can really pour it on with my legs when needed, especially at the end of races when you don't need to lose.

Agreed, I do need more kicking sets - no arms. It is a tricky balance as I have limited pool time. Back in my high school swim days the coach was not a fan of swim toys and subsequently neither was I. However now almost 30 years later I need a little help. I'm hoping the fins will give me a better feel for the water as a kick set without just isn't working for me. So need to rethink the way I do things.

_Steve_ good job on the modifications. I hope I won't need to take such measures.