- The easiest guide for beginners to buy swimrun equipment online
- Get the most basic decent swimrun outfit for less than 300 €
- If you don’t mind what brand you buy you can get it even cheaper
As more people are joining the #swimrunmovement, we’re also seeing an upsurge in available swimrun equipment. As we reported last year in our swimrun equipment test, the manufacturers now provide us with a wide range of wetsuits, shoes, goggles and paddles to choose from.
If you missed our 2017 test you can read about them here:
In general, swimmers and runners know their specific gear from before. But when you start with swimrun, there are a couple of aspects you need to consider when buying “new” swimrun equipment. New we say, but you can also buy second-hand as this market is growing.
Scroll down and we’ll give you a few pointers on what swimrun equipment to buy on a low or reasonably fair budget.
1. The Wetsuit
The most expensive purchase is the wetsuit. We strongly recommend that you go for a shorty, i.e. a cut version of a full wetsuit, with front and back zippers if you want to cab-down. Or with only a front zipper if you don’t heat up as much and want to keep it on all the time during a race, for example during a short sprint. A long wetsuit will impact on your running technique and running economy and a wetsuit with only 1 zipper will be difficult to cab-down when you are hot. Plus, the god 1-zipper-ones are expensive.
A mid-range model for the beginner to start with is the Mako Land & Sea. Normally this suit will cost you around 345 €, but the off-season price has gotten as low as 230 €. If you want to get a suit from the top-tier segment last years test winner, the Colting SR02, has dropped from 660 € to 410 €.
2. The Shoes
It’s important to have shoes that fit your feet and running style. They will get wet and won’t act as dry shoes normally do, so buying shoes is all about that individual preference. The main important thing is to get shoes that releases water quickly, and all of it. The second most important is that the grip is decent, normally implying the shoes carrying plastic studs. We still recommend last year’s winner, the Acceleritas 5 RB9X. They will normally cost around 135 €, but the off-season price has dropped and if you don’t care about which year-model you use (they are basically the same) you can get the 2016 shoe for around 55 €.
3. The Goggles
If you’re doing shorter races (below 20 km) you can manage with only the wetsuit and shoes, as many experienced swimrunners have started to race without goggles in shorter races. If you plan to buy a pair, remember this: All goggles will fog up. Period! Hence, buy cheap and make sure they fit your skull. If you get transparent ones they will allow you to run short stretches with them on and they are cheap, only 6 €.
Adding some extra supporting equipment
To basically get started, re-using some of your old stuff like socks, underwear etc., you can start your 1st race for under 300 € and still be competitive. If you’re not a strong swimmer, you probably want to add some supportive equipment like a pair of paddles, pull-buoy and neoprene calfs.
4. The paddles
The same principle goes for the paddles as with the goggles. Go for the tested stuff, not the fancy-pancy. You will find a basic set of paddles for as low as 6 €.
5. The Buoy
The buoy will help with your swim position and most likely increase your speed in open water. There are as many options out there as swimrunners, so go for the cheap and easy one. The standard foam type will cost you approximately 10 € and attaching the thigh-rope is easy.
6. Additional stuff
As you progress in your swimrun career you might want to invest in more gear to help build your overall capacity and speed. Below we will list what we recommend, but there’s plenty more if you’re the gear nerd that tries everything. Have a further look on our many posts on swimrun gear.
- Pull-cord (belt*)
The pull-cord will really help out if you do team swimrun racing. Check out our detailed analysis on why you should use one for only 3 €.
*Buy cheap in your local boat store
- Compression socks
Get a standard pair for only 8 €.
- Calf guards / Swimcalfs (with buoyancy*)
*If you want to go cheap skip these and instead use foam underneath your compression socks.
You can get as low as 20 € for a pair.
All-in-all, a full swimrun budget outfit will cost you around 340 €. If you’re the handy type there are a lot of swimrun modifications and tweaks out there that can cut the total price even more!
Pay attention that all prices have been collected off-season and that they are likely to go up once the new season kicks in.
Happy bargain hunting
/The WoS Team
*All prices have been fetched using price comparison sites with focus on Europe, foremost Scandinavia.