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Feet disabilities: para-swim training fins

Owen, with disabilities in both feet, has been para-swim training with his shinfinTM fins for about five years. They adjust to fit on his legs. He has been so successful, that he has reached number one UK rankings in his para-classification. These include 50 metres freestyle, 100 metres freestyle and 100 metres breastroke. He is also captain of the University of Nottingham swimming team and on the England Para-swimming Talent Development squad. Owen finds shinfinTM fins extremely helpful for improving his kick action because they lift his thighs and body horizontal. This gives him the best swimming style. Furthermore, he finds them extremely helpful for improving his leg strength because they encourage proper kick power from his hips.

Owen’s review from Nottingham, UK

“shinfinTM fins have been extremely helpful in helping improve my kick action and leg strength, letting me participate in sessions I previously wasn’t able to.”

Mark (father): “So, thank you. The fins have been really effective and they allow Owen to train with able-bodied swimmers. We purchased two pairs of shinfinTM fins and Owen hasn’t looked back since. Now when kicking drills are ordered in training, he can match the able-bodied swimmers and the session is no longer an exercise in disheartening futility!”

Champion para-swimmer wearing shinfinTM fins
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Residual limb water exercise fin

Rachel finds her shinfinTM fins great for moving better in the water, and for exercising her residual limb to build strength ready for using a prosthetic. She likes wearing one fin on her below knee amputation stump and kicking holding a float in front of her. Kicking with just her residual limb ensures that it does all the work. Furthermore, she finds this technique also builds her core strength because her core strength stops her rotating in the water. When she tried kicking without her shinfinTM fin, she found she didn’t seem to move anywhere! Later, she also started using her shinfinTM fin for front crawl, enjoying going faster. She plans to experiment wearing two shinfinTM fins in the pool, and also to swim in the sea.

Rachel’s tibia is slightly protruding at the end of her stump. So she wears a modified diving sock to pad her stump, to stop it rubbing on the fin. Padding options include stump socks, neoprene knee supports and sleeves, wetsuits, and sleeves cut from wetsuit legs, arms and socks.

Rachel’s review from Oxford, UK

“I’ve been enjoying using the shinfinTM fin, which has enabled me to exercise my residual limb more and to move better in the water. So I wanted to find a way to exercise my residual limb, by increasing it’s resistance in the water, to maintain and build strength ready for using a prosthetic. Swimming with a float, leaving my healthy leg floating in the water, so my residual limb has to do all of the work. Initially, I tried doing this without a shinfinTM fin, but I didn’t seem to move anywhere!”

“You recommend wearing shinfinTM fins on both legs. I haven’t done this yet, because I specifically wanted to work my residual limb really hard. Also, I find when swimming with just one shinfinTM fin, that I am using my core strength to stop me rotating in the water, which is also very useful exercise!”

6 months later: “I’m getting on really well with the fin. I still only wear one and I mainly use it to exercise my residual limb, by swimming with a float and only using that leg. I’ve started doing a few lengths front crawl and I enjoy being able to go faster. I’m slowly increasing the number of lengths I do with the fin. It’s a great product and I’m really glad I found it.”

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Swim fin changed my life: below knee amputee

Tracy is a below knee amputee whose shinfinTM swim fin has changed her life. She absolutely loves the improvement in her swimming style and the increase in speed. What’s more, her leg muscles, balance and mobility have all improved too. This is because shinfinTM fins encourage her to kick from her hips, strengthening the muscles in her thighs, buttocks and torso. They also encourage constant speed throughout her stroke. So Tracy swims about a mile most days, summer and winter.

Tracy’s review from Cedar Rapids, USA

“Thank you swim fin! I’m a below the knee amputee and use your fin just about every day. It’s made a difference in my mobility. The fin has helped my leg (Stella) develop muscle a lot faster than just walking. My balance has improved 300%. I recommended trying the fin out! You’ll be surprised at the results and it happens quickly. I swim a mile just about every day and my time improved by 8 minutes. In just a month!!!”

One shinfinTM fin changed her life: below knee amputee
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Stronger muscles, better butterfly: pool & sea fins

For many years, shinfinTM fins have helped to give Alona a better butterfly stroke and stronger muscles in her buttocks, stomach and legs, for improved swim technique in the pool and sea. This is because they encourage her to kick from her hips to give her a better swim style. Alona is also a Pilates instructor and there was some discussion about wearing shinfinTM fins on the arms for exercises to strengthen the upper body.

Alona’s review from Jerusalem, Israel

“Thank you for your great innovation! I am very happy with my shinfinTM fins, and I also get a lot of attention when I swim with them in the pool. I love how I can swim the butterfly better now! And I also love how they help me strengthen my buttocks and stomach too, as well as my legs!”

5 years later: “I use the fins mostly in the swimming pool and it is great! At my last vacation in Greece, I took them with me to swim at the sea. Using the fins helped me to improve my butterfly style and strengthen my middle section. I just love them! Thank you Marc for inventing them! Thanks for being so dedicated to your customers!!!”

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Foot drop & peripheral neuropathy exercise fins

Louise finds shinfinTM fins very helpful for her swim exercise, having peripheral neuropathy, foot drop and severe lower leg weakness. The fins allow her to swim through the water so much more easily because they promote a horizontal body position and lift her legs horizontal and streamlined too. Also, the fins encourage her to kick from her hips and help her to strengthen her torso, buttocks and thigh muscles. With weaker fingers due to her peripheral neuropathy, an alternative strapping method for less finger strength can help.

Louise’s review from Kiama Downs, Australia

“I’ve found the fins very helpful, although I still haven’t mastered adjusting the straps properly. My hands are also affected by peripheral neuropathy, so that may make it harder too. I have quite severe lower leg weakness and foot drop. The fins allow me to get through the water so much more easily. So I can get the exercise I need.”

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Strengthening & propulsion: below knee amputee 1 & 2 fins

Rob, a below knee amputee, finds shinfinTM fins work really well for strengthening his leg and giving better propulsion. He finds the resistance and extra propulsion from just one fin on his stump helps him strengthen that leg. However, wearing both fins gives him better overall swimming and more propulsion. This is because shinfinTM fins encourage a streamlined kick with minimal knee bend, for amputees and non-amputees. So this gives him kick power from his hips which strengthens the larger muscles in his core body, buttocks and thighs.

Rob’s review from Whitethorn, USA

“I’m doing really well with my shinfinTM fins. You might like to know I am an amputee (left, below the knee). I find that it’s best for me to just use one fin on my residual limb. Without the fin there’s not enough resistance and with it I get more propulsion than the other leg. It works really well for me. I did try it with two fins and it works good. It’s better with two. But for now I need to strengthen my one leg, so I’ll continue to use just one. It’s a great product.”

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Clubfoot & below knee amputation fins

With severe clubfoot and a below knee amputation, Krista finds shinfinTM fins wonderful for swimming and treading water aqua aerobics exercises. This is because shinfinTM fins help lift both her legs horizontal for less drag. So this raises her body horizontal and gives her smoother swimming strokes. Furthermore, they also reduce drag from water flowing over her clubfoot. So they streamline her whole body to swim faster and help her to build stronger muscles during her swimming workouts.

Krista’s review from Craig, USA

“I am really enjoying my shinfinTM fins. I am a below knee amputee and have a severe clubfoot on the other leg. My legs finally are getting more of a workout and aren’t just dragging behind me. I can also tread water so much better and for a much longer time. Can’t wait to take my shinfinTM fins with me for snorkeling.”

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Double below knee amputee: front & back swimming fins

For over five years, shinfinTM fins have helped Alison, a double below knee amputee, to build her confidence swimming on her front and back, in ways she never imagined. The fins are so adjustable and flexible to fit her thin, skinny lower legs without rotating or slipping. Made from strong polyurethane, the fins are tough enough to bend when she pushes off from the pool wall with her leg stumps. She uses the fins to help strengthen her muscles in the lower half of her body. With the fins, she can even swim legs only, without using her arms. She used them to build her confidence to do a one mile open water swim.

Alison says that shinfin™ fins have not only helped her to gain the confidence to swim on her own, but they have also helped her life in so many other ways. They have improved her physical appearance and overall confidence. They have helped her to strengthen muscles all over her body, including her knees. So her walking is straighter and she can even run up stairs!

Alison’s review from High Wycome, UK

“Thank you for all your help and thank you for getting me back into something I love. The shinfinTM fins are the best purchase I have ever made. It’s the first time I have ever been able to swim without using my arms. They have helped to build my confidence in ways I never imagined. I have used them both for on my front and back. I’m finding it perfect with what they’re designed for. There are not enough words to explain how thankful I am and I can’t wait to get more people ordering them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

And 5 years later:

“I just wanted to say, your shinfinTM fins have really helped change my life! I’m currently training for a mile swim in London and your shinfinTM fins with be there with me! If I didn’t have them, I don’t think I’d have the confidence to do an open water swim. Thank you once again! So due to shinfinTM fins, I now have the confidence to swim on my own. I also have more confidence in day to day life. I can run up the stairs! My knees are stronger. They used to knock together but now I walk straighter.

“My overall physical appearance is a lot better. They really have helped to build muscle all over my body. I don’t get as sick and run down like I used too. Also, I’m a lot more confident talking to people. People always ask about the shinfinTM fins at the pool and rather than shying away I talk to them! shinfinTM fins have helped change my whole life. I feel like the confident young lady that I was always meant to be. Thank you. Best wishes.”

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Strong kick muscle memory: learn to swim fins

Emely’s shinfinTM fins help her learn to swim with a stronger kick because they teach her a proper kick with a strong muscle memory. Most importantly, her muscle memory persists for her stronger kick even after she takes off her fins. This is because the fins are specifically designed to teach her and strengthen a proper kick from the hips for freestyle, backstroke and butterfly.

Emely’s review from Pasadena, USA

“I LOVE my shinfinTM fins!! At 43 (2 years ago) I got over my fear of deep water and learned how to swim. My kick was weak and I’ve had such a hard time learning how to strengthen it. I used your shinfinTM fins for the first time and immediately took to them! I felt HOW my leg should be moving … amazing! When I take them off, the muscle memory is strong, and I now know what a proper kick feels like in my body. Thank you so much for creating such an invaluable tool for swimmers. I’m so grateful to you! My newfound passion for swimming continues to be stoked!”

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No calf cramp, no back pain & backstroke: training fins

Unlike foot flippers, shinfinTM fins don’t give Adriana calf cramps or low back pain for her swim training and she can even use them for backstroke. This is because they give her a smooth swimming stroke which uses her thigh muscles, without cramping her calf muscles. What’s more, because they lift her thighs horizontal, that’s why they give her no low back pain too. So, overall they are much more comfortable for her.

Adriana’s review from Asheville, USA

“The shinfinTM fins are great! I am very happy with your product, and proudly show it to everybody at the pool! Thank you for coming up with such a wonderful product!! Once again, thank you for your wonderful customer service and the marvelous shinfinTM fins that are helping me so much with my favourite sport.”