The Olympics have come and gone. The competitions are over. The fanfares have been played, and all of the athletes have traveled back to their respective home countries. It will be another four years before they all assemble again in Japan, but that doesn’t mean training is over for the athletes who competed this year – or for those who love to swim just for the exercise and thrill of it.
The hard work happens when no one is looking. Lap after lap, session after session, athletes have to make use of special equipment in order to get in the kind of shape necessary to bring home the hardware from competitions both large and small. Whether you are just a recreational swimmer or at the top of your field, we assembled a list of some of the best swimming gear for men to help you push yourself to beat the clock, or out-swim your fiercest competitor.
TYR Wrinkle Free Silicone Cap
Unless your idea of a good time in the pool includes dealing with knots, tangles, and serious drag, you’re going to want a solid swim cap in your bag. TYR’s wrinkle free silicone cap will keep your messy mop under wraps and ensure you stay sleek and quick up and down the pool. To top it off, thanks to a non-slip and tear resistant interior, putting this cap on and it off in the water won’t be a total pain either.
Nike Chrome Training Goggle
All of the features you’d want from a pair of goggles are present in this pair from the Oregon based sports giant Nike. These anti-fog and uv protective goggles boast a latex split strap, fit any head size, and are made completely without PVC. All materials used to make these goggles are naturally soft, meaning that this pair is totally free of chemical softeners as well.
Speedo Nemesis Contour Paddle
Two really important parts of becoming a better swimmer is training both your muscles and good technique. These contour paddles, whose design was inspired by humpback whale fins, do both of those things. Not only do they increase the surface area on a paddle edge making it so you both push more water and strengthen your arms, they encourage proper hand position while entering the water.
Kiefer 5-Inch Universal Pull Buoy
While training your kick is great and all, sometimes you just need to put a little more focus on your upper body strength. You can do that with this simple rigid foam buoy. Contoured to fit comfortably between your legs, it is an ideal piece to pull while practicing any stroke.
Clif Builder’s Bar
During the Olympics in Beijing, a lot was made of Michael Phelps’ diet. He was reported to eat 12,000 calories a day. A daily meal would consist of fried egg sandwiches, two pounds of pasta, and an entire pizza. Apparently the swimming champion has cut back a bit on the crazy diet since having a kid, but it almost goes without saying that anyone who is putting in a lot of hours at the pool should be sure to have enough energy. A solid way of doing that is with high-protein bars that replace both sugar and badly needed fuel. Also, it doesn’t hurt to down some chocolate once in a while.
Finis Alignment Swimming Kickboard
Ever wonder how professional swimmers know how to keep their bodies so streamlined after exploding off of the blocks and into the water? In part, it is thanks to training tools like this Alignment Swimming Kickboard from Finis. Unlike traditional kickboards that train incorrect positioning in the pool and can cause shoulder issues, this thing keep you nice and straight while in the pool while also helping you train your legs as well. Ditch the old kickboard and throw this in your pack.
Havianas Brazil Logo Flip Flops
Flip flops are to bodies of water what butter is to toast, America is to apple pie, Kanye West to controversy. Throwing on a pair of simple Havianas for walking from you car to the pool, or for strolling around the locker room is a must. Not only do you avoid stepping on rocks or acquiring athlete’s foot from the wet tile, but you look fly as hell.
MP Focus Swim Snorkel
If you are doing laps in the pool using the Finis kickboard, you’re going to want a good snorkel to keep air flowing into your lungs. What better way to do that then by using the Focus Swim Snorkel? Unlike the snorkels you and your family used on that vacation to the Hawaii or San Diego, this fits right in front of your face and straps on much like a pair of goggles. This design makes it so you can continue to breathe even while kicking hard through the water. Oh, and it’s from Michael Phelps’ brand, so that means you can eat like 10 pizzas after your swim, right?
Speedo Ventilator Duffle Bag
So with all of this gear, you are likely going to need to a good bag to carry it all. While you may want to throw all of it in the same bag that you take to the gym, that may not be the best idea. Soaking wet gear makes for soaking wet and smelly bags, which in turn makes for bad moods and money spent at the laundromat. The best way to avoid all of that hassle is to set yourself up with a mesh bag. While a lot of bags out there don’t have any form and are maybe more accurately described as a ‘sack’ the ventilator retains the look and function of a bag while also allowing enough air to move through to dry everything off.
Finis Edge Fin
Training with fins is a pretty common thing for a lot of swimmers. They provide more of a surface for athletes to kick with, making it so they can better train their legs while swimming laps in the local pool. One issue that pops up with fins, however, is that they interrupt the natural kick cycle. Finis’ Edge Fin was painstakingly designed in order not to train bad habits. Users can slip them on and train hard without actually screwing up their form.
Finis Duo Underwater MP3 Player
Runners do it. Weight lifters do it. You might even be doing it now at work. So why shouldn’t you be able to listen to some tunes while you are swimming in the pool? Say goodbye to nothing but the whir of water in your ears and throw this bone-conducting MP3 player on with your goggles. With a waterproof rating of up to 7 meters and 7 hours of battery life, this is a piece of audio equipment you’ll not want to be without.
TYR Tracer Light Jammer
One of the most important pieces of any swimmers getup is of course the swimsuit itself. TYR’s light jammer is an ideal pick for anyone looking to do some serious racing – whether that be racing other swimmers or the clock. It’s an elite swimsuit that has captured titles from the NCAA to the World Championship. Woven from a micro-filament and stitched in a manner to fit around the natural musculature, these can decrease body circumference by up to 5% making it that much easier for you to slip through the water. PR here you come.