Tactical Fitness with Stew Smith: Fins and Booties in BUD/S?

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Infantryman swims with fins.
Pfc. Michael Prince, an infantryman with Detachment 4th Force Reconnaissance Company, conducts the swim portion of a run, fin, run training event at Davie Point, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Jan. 22, 2018. (Lance Cpl. Luke Kuennen/U.S. Marine Corps photo)

Stew –

I have a few questions about diving fins, booties and the best way to swim using them. I bought dive boots and dive socks to wear with my fins. Is this how they do it at BUD/S? The boots made it much harder for me to get a good kick. With just the sock, I was much better and swam 45 seconds per 50m. Will I be allowed to wear just the sock and no boot at BUD/S? Also, is it better to use constant flutter kicks or big scissor kicks or dolphin kicks? 

You wear booties at BUD/S. I had one with a sole to it, which helped a lot since you walk around in them during dive phase, often while carrying a lot of heavy gear. But some candidates wore the socks with a thinner sole. This helps if you have a foot that's smaller or bigger than the well in the fin.

I do constant flutter kicks on my weak side, and in between, I do big scissor kicks and little flutter kicks on my strong side.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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