One of the newest additions to the Speedo family is the Speedo Short Blade Fin. This model is actually a new product due to debut in the 2013 Speedo catalog; however, it can be purchased now from select swim shops.
The Short Blade fin by Speedo is a small, compact fin designed for the strength- and cardio-training needs of athletes. The Short Blade is made of 100% silicone for increased comfort and durability.
The blade of the fin, which comes only about 3 inches off of the foot, is unique to this type of fin. The shortness of the blade is meant to allow for a faster, shorter kick (typical of the flutter kick). The fin construction is also designed to stabilize kicking tempo. However, because of the intense muscular workout these fins promote, they may tire a recreational-swimmer. (Remember, the shorter the fin, the harder and faster your kick will need to be; longer fins for diving require less tiresome kicking because of their length). Therefore, I would recommend these fins primarily to athletes or exercise gurus.
The fin was well-suited to the flutter kick and – unlike the Speedo Optimus – it seemed to adapt more smoothly to the breaststroke kick as well. Overall, the fins created a pretty decent amount of resistance, meaning that the Speedo Short Blade might make a good exercise or training fin – but you may want to stick to a basic flutter kick.
My only qualm with these fins is the material. Although many people prefer silicone to rubber because of its longevity and feel, I found that the silicone was rather abrasive on my heels. Perhaps this was a result of a higher fit on the ankle or the stiffness of the material, but I found the foot pocket to be somewhat uncomfortable.
Overall, the Speedo Short Blade Training Fins proved highly effective for their intended use (flutter kick improvement), but they fell short on comfort. For a similar, more comfortable fin, check out the Speedo Optimus Training Fin.
The Speedo Short Blade Fin comes in numerous sizes (XXS-XXL) based on shoe size. Regularly in stock here.