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If so, what type would be best (short blade, long, etc.)?
My coach said to get Short fins for any "swim w/fins" work. He suggested long blade fins for pure kicking, since I have runner's ankles. He also said get plain rubber fins, not those foamy floaty types.
Key point is to make sure that your big toe does NOT protrude through the opening. A hair loose is better than your toe sticking out. The speedo version did NOT fit me. I wear an 11 4E running shoe. The Speedo 9-11 fin was too small, and the 11-13 was made for a giant. YMMV. Because of this, I strongly recommend trying on in a store. I tried the Amazon route first. I bought the Speedos in both sizes...and returned both.
I use the Swim Stuff short fins, I sized up from my running shoe. They are just slightly loose, bit stay put when pushing off. Bought these locally.
I've gone through 3 or 4 pairs before getting any that don't hurt or give me foot cramp after 20yards.
(Wide foot across the ball of the foot)
I ended up with finis floating fins. Quite long. But the foot pocket was the softest I've tried so more comfy.
I use them for alignment drills (side kicking, Unco drill etc) more than for pure 'improve kicking per se' .
Swim Smooth info points at fins being THE most useful tool for training.
about 2 years ago I saw how many elite swimmers had adopted the Arena Powerfin pro and got a pair...
They are plenty stiff/powerful and a bit heavy which helps you work on the up kick. I use them quite a bit, even on some distance freestyle sets. The idea is to keep the kick nice and compact and they do a good job with that.
The Arena and DMC are pretty similar but I dont think the DMC are as heavy.
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I had never used fins before and tried a pair at the Y last week and could not believe how much of a difference they made. Not only in speed but in keeping my legs, ankles and feet in proper position. There is still hope I may become an average swimmer.
Will pick up a pair this week.