Why Do Pros Wear High Performance Swim Suits?

When you see professional swimmers or Olympic competitors training or competing, you might notice that they are wearing high performance swim suits instead of the average swim wear that you buy on the high street.This is also referred to as arena swimwear and they use this for a number of key reasons and that is what we will look at in this article, the reasons why the pros wear high performance swim wear.

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The first reason is that they have been designed specifically with comfort in mind. This is because in order to perform at the top of their ability, swimmers need to be comfortable. Elements such as too tight elastic, fabric ‘digging in’ or discomfort causing by fabric friction can all impede on a swimmer’s performance, slowing them down when in the water and affecting their lap times or race outcomes.


The second reason is that it increases their performance in the water. High performance swim wear comes in a range of materials and styles but all have the same aim – making the swimmer as streamlined as possible to help them cut or glide through the water with the least resistance, thus making them faster.

One brand which goes to great lengths in order to make high performance swim wear as effective as possible is Speedo. For the 2004 Olympics, they wanted to mimic how efficiently sharks cut through the water so undertook a study to determine how shark skin worked in relation to swimming. Their researchers discovered that shark skin is not as smooth as originally thought. In fact, shark skin is covered with tiny dermal denticles which vary in position throughout the length of the shark. These are believed to manage the flow of water around the shark’s body and reduce drag to allow them to glide efficiently through the water. Speedo took this research and went on to design an innovative bodysuit called the Fastskin FSII which was used at the Athens Olympics to increase the performance of the pros.

Extra Features

Many suits also include additional features which help to prolong the life of the swim wear or protect the athlete. Features such as being chemically resistant, especially in relation to pool cleaning chemicals such as chlorine. They may also be highly UV resistant, especially if designed for open water swimmers.


The final reason is that it’s also pretty stylish these days. High performance swim suits come in a range of different styles, many of them flattering,with high legs and racer style backs. They also come in a wide range of colours and fashionable looks with great panel detail and other decorative features too.

High performance swim wear has come a long way in recent years

So whether you are a professional athlete or just an enthusiastic amateur, you will be able to find an effective and flattering swim suit for your needs.


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