Swimming fins come in many different sizes, brands, and styles, and can be important pieces of gear for your swimming workout.
And a good pair of fins can be the difference between a painful workout with blisters on your feet or an enjoyable swim workout.
Throughout the years, I’ve tried numerous swim fins from FINIS Zoomers to TYR Crossblade Swim Fins. All have left my feet blistered and in pain, until I tried the Arena Power Pro Fin and finally found the perfect fins for my feet.
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Looking at getting these swim fins or just ready to find a pair of fins that won’t give you blisters? Keep reading to get my full breakdown and thoughts on Arena’s Power Pro Fins.
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Overall Swim Fin Design
The Arena Power Pro Fin is a short-bladed fin with an open heel. The short blade allows for a shorter and faster kick, while I’ve found that the open heel lets my ankle flex just a bit more than a closed-heel fin.
Compared with other swim fins, this fin isn’t the shortest blade I’ve used. Instead, the FINIS Edge Fins have some of the shortest blades I’ve seen on fins.
However, it’s also not the longest, nor does it necessarily fall in the middle. Sporti and FINIS long-blade swim fins are by far the longest swim fins available. Whereas Speedo Switchblade and TYR Stryker fall more along the middle range in blade size.
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These fins fall somewhere in the middle of short and medium-length blades. Putting them at just the right size to develop a short and fast kick, while building leg strength at the same time.
They also feature a slopped surface on the front of the fin to allow for the water to move over the fin easier. Additionally, there are ‘side rails’ along the side of the fin that can help guide the water as you kick.
Finally, the Arena Power Pro Fin is made from 100% silicone.
Silicone fins are less likely to rub or create blisters on your feet compared to fins made from rubber. However, silicone fins tend to be a bit heavier than their rubber counterparts.
These fins are unisex but are sized to men’s shoe sizes. They range in sizes from 4.5 up to 13 (in the US size chart).
One thing we will note is that the back of each fin has the sizes listed for EU, USA, UK, and Australia. I like the different sizing options because it makes it easier for everyone to find the best size for them no matter what sizing chart they use!
When wearing the Arena Power Pro Fins you’ll want enough space that your foot can slide into the fin easily and have some space to move around. Your big toe should be right at the little hole in the front.
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If it’s barely visible, you may need a smaller size. And if your toes are rubbing against the edge of the fin, you should look at the next size up. Having the right size is important to help prevent any chafing or discomfort.
As a reference, I wear shoe size 10 in US women and the best fin size for me is the USA 9.5-10.5 size. This gives me enough wiggle room and space without my foot sliding around too much but also not so tight that my feet cramp or feel claustrophobic.
The few times I’ve worn fin socks, they fit just right. Perhaps just this side of snug but still not so tight that my feet felt trapped.
When it comes to color, Arena’s Power Pro Fins come in many different options! There are at least 2 dozen color designs available. From solid colors and dual colors to fins that mirror various countries’ flags, there’s no shortage of options available.
I really like the wide variety. Most fins only come in a few color options, so it’s refreshing to see so many different options. You can showcase your personality with these and depending on the design you get, it’s not hard to find your fins on the deck. 🙂
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Ankle Straps and Open Heel Design
The ankle straps sit just below my ankle bones. When I first started wearing them, I found that they came up higher than the FINIS Zoomers that I wore at that time. It did rub once when I first wore them but following that, they’ve only rubbed around my ankles on a few occasions.
If you’re not used to the ankle piece of the swim fin cutting that high, it may be weird or uncomfortable for you at first. It did take a few practices to adjust to the ankle strap and the open-heel design.
However, once I became accustomed to them, I found that I liked having the ankle strap with the open heel vs the closed heel design. The straps make the fins easier to put on and they’re 90% less likely to slip off than the closed-heel fins.
I will disclaimer though that if I push off the wall at just the right angle, and speed, and point my toes just right, they will slip right off. But it’s only at most, once a month that this happens.
The open heel also allows my ankle to flex a bit more. This provides a faster and more flexible kick and can prevent my feet from cramping up. Which is much appreciated during long kick sets! 🙂
Material and Durability
As stated earlier, these fins are made from 100% silicone. They are on the heavier side though due to this and because the material is relatively thick for swim fins.
Because the material is made from silicone and is thicker, Arena Power Pro Fins are less likely to rip along the toe hole or on the ankle strap. These are notorious spots for fins to tear and once they start ripping, they’re more likely to chafe and cause blisters.
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And while these are some of the most durable swim fins I’ve used before, they can crack if you’re using them incorrectly. To keep your fins lasting longer and in good shape, follow the below suggestions:
- Don’t wear them outside of the pool or on the pool deck
- When leaving the wall or bottom of the pool, push off with the bottom of your feet/fins, not the very tip of the blade. This puts your body weight on the thinnest part of the blade and it will crack the blade near the toe hole
- Don’t try to balance on the tips of your blades either
- Wear the correct size
- Don’t leave your fins sitting out in the sun or the heat. This can damage the material or distort the shape
One thing I will note is that due to the heavier material, new fins can be stiff when you first start wearing them. As they’re not broken in, the top part of the fin may feel stiff and can put pressure on the top of your foot.
I suggest wearing fin socks for longer sets to keep some cushion between your foot and the swim fin until they’re more broken in. For shorter sets, you may be okay without the fin socks.
Ease of Use
Swim fins as a whole are relatively easy to use. The design of the open heel on these fins makes them pretty easy to slip on and off. Especially when you’re in a hurry.
Arena Power Pro Fins do have designated fins for the left and right foot though. While this isn’t a big deal overall, it can give you grief if you grab the wrong fin for your foot without looking first.
I try to keep them on the deck as I would wear them. So they’re easier to grab and put on when we have a quick turnaround in a set.
Probably one of the biggest reasons I put off wearing these fins for so long was their weight. Now, that’s not to say they’re extremely heavy or feel like ankle weights on your feet.
In fact, they only weigh about 1 pound or so (.45 kilograms) each. Whereas other fins may weigh just a smidge less.
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For a while, I worried that they would hurt my knees due to the weight but once I started using them full-time, I found I didn’t have that issue. Instead, the extra weight compared to the lighter fins helped better strengthen my legs and forced me to kick better.
Again, I want to stress that the weight of these fins isn’t a significant amount. However, if you’re used to longer and/or lighter fins, they may feel heavier when you first start using them.
Next to the weight, this is probably the biggest negative that I have about these fins. They’re certainly not the cheapest fins available. In fact, they’re probably one of the most expensive pair of training fins on the market as of this writing.
The solid colors of black, blue, green, and pink can run a bit cheaper compared to the patterned and team color fins. And I only look at these fins when they’re on sale and average closer to the cost of other swim fins.
TYR HydroBlade swim fins cost pretty much the same for a near similar design.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
From the easy-to-use design, the ability to strengthen your kick, and the durability of the material, there’s a lot to like about these swim fins.
The open heel allows for more flexibility and the open toe hole can keep your feet from feeling confined. While the design enables a more effective kick.
What We Like in Review
- 100% silicone to reduce blisters, rubbing, and chafing
- Thicker material ensures these swim fins are more resistant to tears or rips
- Ease of use/easy to put on and take off
- Builds, develops, and strengthens your kick
- Short blade to promote a short and fast kick
- Open heel to allow for more flexibility when kicking
- Several sizes are available so that most swimmers can wear them comfortably
- Can be paired with fin socks for added comfort or a tighter fit
- Can be used for flutter and dolphin kick (not recommended for breaststroke)
- Great training tool to pair with swimming
- Several colors/designs are available
Probably the biggest con for me with the Arena Power Pro fins is the cost. They can be very pricey compared to other fins. However, with how long they last when taken care of, some may argue that the price is worth it.
Next to cost, the stiffness that comes from a new fin is a negative for me, although it’s a temporary one. I do have very boney feet and until the fin is broken in, I have to wear fin socks to keep some of the pressure off the top of my feet.
For other swimmers, the short blade may be negative. Especially if they’re used to longer blades. The short blades will really make you work your kick and if you’re transitioning from long blades to short blades, you’ll go much slower than you used to.
Lastly, the weight may cause issues for some swimmers. Again, they don’t weigh much. But compared to other fins, they can be heavier and that may be a negative for some swimmers.
What We Didn’t Like in Review
- New fins need to be broken in
- Short blade
- Open heel
- Designated left and right swim fins may add a few seconds when looking for the correct fin
Other Swim Fin Options
If you don’t think Arena Power Pro Fins are for you, that’s okay! I’m of the belief that not every swim fin is for every swimmer. Some fit certain swimmers better than others. The good news is that there are at least dozen or so swim fins available.
They come in a wide variety of designs and shapes, and you can try them until you find what works for you!
Some other options to consider are:
- FINIS Zoomers Z2: The blades on these fins run a bit shorter than the Arena fins, feature a closed heel, and are made from rubber. I think they’re lightweight and for the most part, they’re relatively comfortable. However, they did rub more than my Arena fins and I needed to wear fin socks with them more often than not
- TYR Stryker Silicone Fins: For a closed heel with a short blade, the TYR Stryker Fins fit the bill. They’re on the lighter side which may appeal to more swimmers, especially younger ones or those looking to develop their stroke. Another similar option to these are Arena’s Power Fins, which may run a bit cheaper than the TYR version.
- Speedo Switchblade: One of the longer blades on this list, the Speedo Switchblade is also probably one of the more affordable. I do find that they rub on the sides of my toes where the toe openings are and this area is more prone to tearing over time. A similar option would be TYR Crossblade Fins
Arena Power Pro Fins Final Thoughts
Despite my initial hesitation to use these fins, I can admit that I enjoy them. As much as I can enjoy using swim fins, that is! I’ve been using them almost exclusively now since 2020 and I believe my kick has become stronger and faster.
They’re a great design that focuses on developing and strengthening the kick, while the material is long-lasting and comfortable. A win-win in my book!
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I believe this fin is probably best for more competitive swimmers, more so due to the price. Lap and leisure swimmers can also use them if they’re okay with the price. But I also believe that a more affordable set of fins can work just as well 🙂
If this is the case, I do recommend FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers, Edge Fins, or TYR Stryker Fins. All of these fins are great fins and designed to develop your kick. Plus, they’re short blades, which we all know I recommend over long-bladed fins!
Lastly, if you know someone who uses swim fins, ask if you can try them for a few laps. And get their opinions on them. This can help you narrow down what you’re looking for.
As always, happy swimming!
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Chevron is a current competitive swimmer with almost 20 years of experience in the pool. And although she fell into the sport by accident in her high school years, she still trains daily and competes throughout the year. She’s committed to providing guidance to all levels of swimmers and believes that everyone should know how to swim.