A question we get asked a lot is “What swim fins do Navy SEALs use?”
Check out these Navy SEAL recommended swim fins for pool workouts, diving and open water work.
Special Warfare Operators use different fins for different jobs.
Either way, you will need a good pair to get you going in the water for the long haul.
Check out this list:
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VOIT UDT DUCK FEET
The Voit UDT Duck Feet Swim Fins are a very simple set of fins but a good one to get you started.
If you are just beginning your journey…
…it is a good place to start as a matter of conditioning. Even though the design is simple, the fins are very reliable and can serve you well for a few years.
It is still a preferred fin of US Navy SEALs, big wave bodysurfers, scuba divers, and lifesaving professionals. This vote of confidence by some of the best swimmers in the industry means that these fins will serve you well.
The fins are a true workhorse that will last and last despite harsh conditions.
As a matter of fact…
…the size and fitting of the body of the fins on your foot are also quite snug and comfortable, making it a good fit for swimmers who expect to be in the water for a long time.
A true workhorse that will last and last despite harsh conditions.
I still own a pair today and took them out last summer and used them for some bodysurfing.
IST ROCKET FINS
…you need to have a wide fin that is strong and relatively stiff.
This will ensure that your fins move more water and help you swim faster and cover more distance with the same amount of energy.
The IST Deep sea scuba diving military fins is used by a variety of amphibious warriors to include the Marine Recon units and Army Special Forces divers.
Did you know?
This design has been around for decades and has been proven to be quite effective.
The extra-large vents help to assist in efficiency and water flow, while the stiffness helps you displace more water.
This fin has a large blade and good stiffness for a big kick and open water swim.
We used these types of fins in BUDS and in the Teams. These work really well to move you through the water quickly with the least amount of work.
If you want to haul ass on a swim it even rigorous military training, then these are the go-to swim fins.
AQUALUNG ROCKET FINS
This gives them a vote of confidence because of their reliability and endurance.
They also come with a mask included.
The mask is soft around the edges and has a great seal on the edges for your face. This makes it airtight yet comfortable when you’re underwater.
Additionally, it’s easy to clear and de-fog.
The snorkel gets the job done when on the surface scouting mines and enemy terrain.
If I were training for BUDS today…
…this is the scuba fins package that I would pick to train with and get stronger in the water. It would give me an edge when I’m just under the surface as well as when I’m swimming underwater.
You cannot go wrong with Rocket fins. I used them after my time in the fins as I worked part time as a San Diego bay diver cleaning boats and doing odd jobs
What if I just want a good pair of goggles to swim in the pool without investing in a snorkel or swim fins?
We like these simple goggles – the Aqua Sphere Goggle.
These are easy to slip on and knock out a 2k swim in the pool swimming with fins regularly while maintaining a very efficient stroke or to get out in the ocean and get some distance.
The glasses will serve their primary purpose, to keep your eyes safe and give you extra visibility when you’re under the water.
These will keep the salt and chlorine out of your eyes and do the trick. There are not a lot of situations where you need to swim in freshwater, so a pair of reliable goggles is an excellent investment to keep your eyes safe and give you the best experience when your head is under the water.
What about a good pair of swim board shorts that I can also use for the gym or surfing?
Check out the O’Neill Santa Cruz Boardshort if you are not worried about insulation and the water is warm.
You can wear these for a quick workout at the gym or to go out surfing or paddleboarding. A great deal at around $21.
They’re breathable, light, and look great, as well.
If you want something with more insulation check out the Scubapro 1.5mm Exerflex dive shorts
Questions from our SGPT readers:
Question: What fins are used in Navy SEAL BUDS training?
Answer: Though the options mentioned in this list are all excellent swim fins, the ones we personally used were ScubaPro jet rocket fins with thin neoprene dive booties.
Question: Where can I get a good military rocket fins package like the one they use in BUDS training?
Answer: Check out the rocket fins here
Answer: Yes; we have read the book American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History several times and definitely recommend it.
I have also watched the movie and thought that Bradley Cooper did a great job.
It is just too bad that you have scumbags like Hollywood types like Michael Moore that do not appreciate our military and the job that snipers perform.
Question: What brand of dive mask do Navy SEALs use?
Answer: They use a variety of dive masks but U.S. Divers is one brand used.
Question: Do SEALs use snorkels?
Answer: Yes, SEALs Instructors use snorkels at times, especially when observing and working with trainees in the dive tower or pool. I never really used a snorkel unless I was swimming along a reef and looking for lobsters.
We like the Cressi High Cut Diving Boot for everyday diving work.
Question: What fin did you use when you were preparing for BUD/S?
Answer: I did not own a pair of fins as I was not training properly and lacked the knowledge and proper equipment.
I did not know the impact a good pair of fins can have, not on my swimming speed, but more importantly on my swimming technique. Now that I know better, and if I had to do it again, I would get a pair of the rockets.
I did spend a lot of years in the pool swimming as a kid and taking trips out to local ponds and sinks to cool off in the summer.
Answer: I just talked with an instructor and he said that they are usually one of a few styles from U.S. Divers or Aqualung, low profile, and black.
The mask in the photo is clear which some guys like for training purposes. But it also comes in black.
If you are on a training mission…
…you can always dust it with a few spots of black paint to knock out the clear color.
I used this same type of mask when I worked as a commercial diver working on boats in San Diego harbor.
Question: “Coach, I just started with swim workouts and my ankles start to hurt whenever I swim in the pool with fins. What am I doing wrong?”
Answer: You need to get your feet and ankles ready to swim with fins.
Go easy the first time and only swim 50 meters after you are warmed up with a few laps. Put them away and finish your swim workout without fins.
Next time at the pool…
…swim 75 meters, each time slowly build your way up until you can swim a mile without any problems. Another trick is to run 100 yards down the beach and then swim 200 yards then run back.
This will condition your feet and work them in a good way to strengthen them.
Question: What does UDT stand for?
Answer: Underwater Demolition Team.
Conclusion: Navy SEAL Recommended Fins
Choosing your first or your next swimming fins is quite crucial. After all, it’s what will help you last longer in the waters especially if it’s in rigorous military training.
That is why it’s important to choose based on your task and purpose instead of design and looks.
When you initially put on fins, just swim a few hundred yards and push slightly past discomfort in your ankle and shin.
Overuse ailments such as tendinitis in the feet and knees might flare up if you push too hard and for too long at the beginning.
A good and strong scuba type fin will help you perform workouts, underwater task and last for years.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brad McLeod is an all around average family guy married with two kids.
He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida and despite training all the wrong ways – made it to Navy SEAL training in Coronado, California.
He flunked out of Navy SEAL BUD/S training after making it over half way through (6 months of grueling training). After a year in the Fleet Navy on the USS Cleveland (LPD-7) he came back to graduate BUDS and serve on SEAL Team Four.
His story is simple–Don’t Ever Quit on your Dream! Put one foot in front of the other and fall forward.
Proceeds from this website go to help raise funds for the Navy SEAL Foundation on CrowdRise.