I’ve read about people online liking these fins, but I knew nothing about them before I tried them. From looking at them I imagined they would be quite rigid like the TYR Crossblades. This changed as soon as I pushed off the wall and started to swim with them. They were surprisingly flexible and this, along with being the shortest fins I’ve ever worn, means that they generate very little power. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean working a lot harder to generate speed compared to longer or less flexible fins. They are also not buoyant, while I don’t look for this in fins if you do then these aren’t the fins for you.
Fit and feel
These fins are incredibly soft and are the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. My feet are quite wide and I often have to pick show sizes that are anywhere from 8.5-9.5 depending on the brand. It was a surprise then when size 7-8.5 in the Z2 fitted so well. They are also the easiest to get on and off while still in the water.
When swimming I kept worrying that the heels were a bit low and that they might slip off, but they stayed on. I think they are deliberately like this to prevent any chaffing and for comfort, and comfortable they are. Their length and flexibility also made tumble turns very easy and natural. I could flip without hinderance and my feet could grip the wall as if I wasn’t wearing anything.
Out of the three fins I’ve reviewed so far, these allow for the most natural kick. This is due to their flexibility and length. With other fins you can sometimes get extra power by flicking your ankles or doing one or two things that you wouldn’t really do without them on. With these I found my legs were never under pressure and no particular part of them felt like they were working more than the others.
Back in my club days our senior squad coach didn’t allow us to use fins, so until recent years I haven’t tried swimming fly with fins on. I have found when I do wear fins for fly it’s very hard to get the rhythm and timing correct because of the extra power. However, these fins only provided a slight boost so my butterfly felt very natural and I was able to really focus on my technique. For fly kick on my back I found it really worked my core, more than for other fins.
I tried sprinting full frontcrawl, frontcrawl kick, and butterfly kick on my back with these fins. I wasn’t too happy with it for sprint kicking, but that’s because I like those sets to really work my legs hard and to generate power, and speed. While you do certainly need to work hard to get speed with the Z2s, it’s a different type of “toughness”.
When sprinting frontcrawl they felt fantastic. Some of my speed sessions involve sprinting with fins and/or paddles. For these sets it is tricky to get my timing for the arm rotations right, but as with the butterfly, the Z2 fins added just enough speed to not require me to change anything with my stroke.
To summarize these are comfortable, short, flexible fins. Great for maintaining a natural kick without overpowering your stroke, but if you want strength and conditioning, power or buoyancy then these are not the fins for you.
|Very Comfortable||Not the fins for you if you want power|
|Allows for a natural kick||Not the fins for you if you want buoyancy|
|Doesn’t overpower when swimming|
|Doesn’t work any part of the leg over others|
You can find the Z2s on Amazon here or click on the image above.