Swim fins alone can work great for you with no problems. But many need these accessories that help with either comfort, not losing them or even cold water.
Heel pads, fin socks and finsert pads help with comfort. Fin tethers save your fins from falling off and booties help with extreme cold water. Read below for more information:
Fin Socks and Booties
Fin socks and bootie socks are made out of a soft neoprene material that covers your foot.
- Fin Socks are for the purpose of giving extra comfort to your feet. Finserts and heel pads also provide comfort in certain areas but fins socks are the ultimate becouse they cover your entire foot. If your foot is still rubbing with Finserts or heel pads then try fin socks. They are cut at the heel and ankle so they provide water to circulate and keep your feet cool, unlike booties, so they work great in warm water.
- Booties are just like fin socks except the cover your entire foot and stop at the upper ankle. These can definitely provide comfort but they aid in keeping your feet warm in cold winter water. Any water temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit could definitely use some booties!
People lose a fin (or both) out in the ocean all them time. It is never fun losing one fin and having one left over, you have to buy a whole new pair of fins because companies don’t sell individual fins!
The solution to this is fin tethers. One part is attached to the heel while the other is attached to your ankle. when your fins fall off, they are still help on by the tether attacked to your ankle. There are several types of fin tethers.
- Velcro fin tethers work great and are stronger than string tethers. The down side is that they are a bit clunky because they are thicker than strings.
Ball synching tethers are not around as much but they work great. The tether end that goes around your ankle is closed and there is a ball that synchs the gap. It is kind of hard to describe in words but check out the picture! It is great for easy on and off access.
Buckle tethers are awesome, many peoples favorite tethers to save their fins with! They are the was as the ball or string type but their way to fasten the ankle string is with a plastic buckle that you snap together. Very fast way get get in and out.
- String tethers are the most common type. Basically the whole tether product is made out of string material, both the part that goes around fin heel strap and the part that you tie around your ankle. Companies make a product for this but you can also just use shoes string! A lot of
bodyboarders use shoestring, they just loop the center of the string (so its equal on both string sides) and the tie a knot around the fins heel strap and keep both string ends open so you can bow-tie or slipknot that around your ankle.
The video below shows how shoe strings work and how to tie them properly… and no it’s not a bow-tie!
Safety In Large Surf
Either one of these 4 types will work great for you and will save you from losing your fins many times over. But there is one safety concern with tethers that we must inform you on. If you are in small waves disregard this, but if you plan on going in large surf, there is a potential drowning hazard with the string type of tethers. In the event that you get pushed deep underwater in large surf (10ft+) and your fins fall off with tethers on, what can happen is that the fins foot pocket fills up with water and they act like anchors to your feet with the tether attached to your ankle, preventing you from reaching the surface for air. In that event you have to unleash the finsaver from your ankle and it can be really difficult to untie them underwater! Have you ever tried to untie your shoelaces from a bow-tie and ended up pulling the into a knot? I have many times and I wouldn’t want that to be the case in this type of situation. So in this case of larger surf, we recommend the ball or buckle type, for easy escape!
If you lost a fin or want to know what to do in the event of, read our helpful article on that. You can even lose a fin with tethers on sometimes to be sure to read the article.
Heel/ Ankle Pads
Heel pads can be a life saver when your fins heel strap is rubbing you the wrong way. Try to fin a comfortable swim fin in the first place to avoid this, but even the most forgiving and softer fins can rub and hurt feet.
Heel pads are made out of neoprene wetsuit material and cover the fins heel strap. They securely fasten with velcro. Really just about any companies heel pad product works great.
Fin Pad Inserts
These are pads that go in your fins foot pocket on the top to provide a better comfort for your feet.
They are made out of neoprene (wetsuit material) and have a sticky glue side that goes up against the roof of the fins foot pocket. Unfortunately, we do not believe that they are in production anymore as a stand alone accessory but do however come with fins such as the Makapuu PRO and Viper Fins.
One alternate is the Gyroll fin pad inserts. They are an all in one cushion for your foot and heel.
Now you need a good set of bodyboard fins to pair with your swim fin accessories! Click here to see our in-depth reviews of the top bodyboard fins on the market!