All fin reviews

Freestyle & butterfly: help for amputation below knee fins

Anthony has a below knee amputation and finds that shinfinTM fins really help his freestyle and butterfly swimming techniques. So he wears one fin on his right lower leg and adjusts the other fin to fit the 8 inch (20 cm) stump of his left below knee amputation.

Anthony’s review from Hong Kong

“The shinfinTM fins work perfectly on me. They help a lot in freestyle and especially butterfly. For freestyle, they help to keep both legs in the correct kick actions. For butterfly, they help me to ‘feel’ the kick perfectly so that I know how to turn my body at the right timing.”

Anthony’s review: Helping freestyle & butterfly with below knee amputation

“My left leg below knee was amputated in an accident many years ago. I would like to know how shinfinTM fins can help me to improve my swimming. I have difficulty in doing my kick during freestyle swimming.”

“Plus, I would like to know how fit the fin to my left leg. Do I have to wrap it over the knee in order to keep the knee straight?”


You can try fitting the fins on your lower leg stump, or on your thigh with the straps just above your knee. We have amputee customers doing both. It depends on your body flexibility and joint movements as to which is best for you. You can experiment with this, and also with the angle of the fins around your legs.

The fins flex to fit around the leg and the straps are adjustable. The fins help to lift your legs horizontal to reduce drag and also give extra kick power for swimming.

It is best to wear both fins, even if they are in different positions on each leg. This is to balance the down kick of one leg with the upkick of the other, and so balance your whole stroke (arms too). They help you to get more power from your arm stroke because the left fin balances the forces from the right arm pull, and vice versa.

You do a streamlined swimming kick from your hips, with only a little knee-bend.


“The shinfinTM fins work perfectly on me. They help a lot in freestyle and especially butterfly”.

“For freestyle, they help to keep both legs in the correct kick actions.”

“For butterfly, they help me to ‘feel’ the kick perfectly so that I know how to turn my body at the right timing. The only concern is that I could not get the same feeling without the fins.”


I’m glad you find they work perfectly on you. That’s great. Where do you find is the best position to fit the fin on your left leg? How much of your left leg do you have below your knee?

Are you wearing the other fin too, on your right shin?

I suggest you swim butterfly with the fins and then take them off and immediately swim fly without the fins. I think this will help you get better with no fins. But a butterfly kick could be difficult without the fin on your left leg, so you could try leaving that fin on and just taking the right fin off (for freestyle too perhaps).

We get a lot of great feedback from customers saying that swimming with shinfinTM fins, especially full stroke swimming, improves their horizontal body position, breathing, speed and overall swimming technique, arms too. The shinfinTM kick does more than just add leg power. It also balances your arm pull and supports good breathing technique. For example, there is often a larger kick down with the left leg when the right arm pulls, and with the right leg when the left arm pulls. A diagonal force balance across your body. This is probably what you have already felt with your freestyle. Is that right?

Most importantly, the benefits of swimming with shinfinTM fins transfer across to your “no-fins” swimming too. This is because the shinfinTM kick is very similar to a proper streamlined “no-fins” kick. So you feel the shinfinTM power in your thighs, buttocks, stomach and torso, the same muscles as for good “no-fins” swimming. A foot flipper kick is very different, with more knee-bend and power in your calf muscles and ankles, so foot flippers can’t provide the same benefits.


“I wear shinfinTM fins on both legs when I am swimming. There is about 8 inches of leg below the left knee. I fit the fin almost level below the left knee.”

“I think the fins help a lot to give me a feeling of the kick, particular in my left leg. Usually, people can feel the kick from their feet. Feeling the kick is very important particularly in butterfly swimming. In freestyle, the fins help me to balance.”


Thank you for your kind feedback Anthony.


shinfinTM fins really help your freestyle, butterfly and backstroke swimming techniques, including if you have a below knee amputation. They adjust to fit your stump(s). It is usually best to wear a pair of fins if you can. The fins can be fitted at different heights on each lower leg or thigh.