UPDATE: As of 2013, these fins are no longer being made. Sorry, folks!
Speedo, long-regarded as a forerunner in aquatic fitness products, boasts some of the best swim fins on the market. The Speedo Optimus fin is a prime example of Speedo’s commitment to quality and effectiveness in all of their products. Made from natural rubber and designed with your feet in mind, the Optimus swim training fin is both highly durable and extremely ergonomic. Although my hamstrings, thighs, and glutes were burning by the end of my workout, my feet and ankles remained secure and unobstructed by the fins.
The Optimus swim fin features a unique blade design resembling a fish tail. This V-shaped blade allows for greater ease of motion in the water and thus, greater speed. The short, wide blade of the fin minimizes the amount of resistance required to move forward. Interestingly, it seems that the propulsion gained from the fins nearly outweighs the effort put into the kick.
In my own experience, the Speedo Optimus fins are made for swiftness. Seemingly, the blade design allows for greater amounts of water to pass through the center of the blade, while the longer sides produce greater resistance – allowing you to harness latent energy from the water with very little effort. In practice, this means that the Optimus fin provides for a smooth, easy kick, while simultaneously maximizing the return.
Likely designed for freestylers, this fin promotes proper kick and stroke tempo on the flutter kick. I found that the lengthened kick also encouraged full body rotation and an extended stroke overall. Essentially, the Optimus fin is an effective training aid for those swimming the front or back crawl; however, if you are a sideswimmer or a breaststroker, you may not find this fin to be as effective or as comfortable as it often catches resistance in the wrong direction.
Overall, I found the Speedo Optimus Swim Fin to be a powerful addition to the flutter kick. If you are going for a comfortable fin to boost your flutter kick performance, this fin will surely deliver.
These fins come in a variety of sizes (XXS-XXL) based on shoe size and seem to run exactly as sized.