Swim fins are a great investment in your swimming skills and the quality of your workouts. They can help hone your kick technique and rhythm, boost the intensity of your water workouts, build leg muscle and ankle flexibility, and provide other benefits.
As with any investment, it’s worth a little extra time and effort to protect your swim fins from damage and extend their life as long as possible. They may not be expensive, but if you swim frequently and don’t care for them correctly, you’ll have to dispose of them and replace them fairly often. That adds up.
So, once you choose the right swim fins for your needs, use the tips and advice below to take good care of the handy foot accessories.
Swim Fin Care Tips
- Select fins that fit snugly but not too tightly around your heel, or they’ll get stretched out quickly and not stay on your feet properly
- Don’t pull hard on the heel cup openings when taking your fins on and off, as this too will stretch them out; if it’s difficult to put on and remove the fins, you haven’t found the right ones
- Swim fins are made for swimming in—not walking in—so put them on right before getting in the water; if you walk around in them, the heels and specially designed curves and grooves quickly become deformed, ruining the fins’ fit and hydrodynamic qualities
- Another good reason not to walk around the pool deck, beach, or anywhere else in your swim fins is the the risk of wear, tears, and punctures
- For similar reasons, don’t stand on the bottom of the pool or walk across it in your fins (including while resting between laps)
- One of the most important part of swim fin care is protecting them against pool chemicals or salt from ocean water, which corrode the material; give the gear a few swishes in a cleansing, neutralizing product like Suit Solutions along with your swimwear, or wipe the fins down with Swim Wipes
- Dry your fins with a towel and let them finish air drying completely before putting them away (and never dry them with hot air from a hair dryer or automatic dryer, as this is likely to warp the material); storing wet or damp fins can lead to mold or mildew growth and bad odors
- Keep swim fins in a temperature-controlled, dry place; don’t store them anywhere too hot or close to a heat source, or it can negatively affect the material
- Don’t leave your fins sitting in direct sunlight, as its UV rays and heat will fade the color and gradually break down the material
- Never hang swim fins from the heel’s opening, as this will stretch it and cause the fins not to fit snugly
- Make sure you don’t place anything heavy on top of the fins when carrying them around or storing them, as this can distort their shape; also, keep sharp objects that can cause rips or punctures away from the fins