I can’t afford a full body wetsuit. all I have here is a longsleeve wetsuit top. Will that do?
Mike Rich answers:
It depends. What is the water temperature likely to be?
If it’s too cold for you to swim without a wetsuit, then by all means wear it! It will keep your core warm even if your legs are getting cold. I would recommend buying a neoprene hood to wear under your swim cap. They aren’t very expensive but will keep your head warm. I do a lot of open water swimming in cold water (under 60F) and usually wear a neoprene cap and just a regular swim suit –though this takes some practice to get adjusted to!
If you are not worried about the water being too cold for you to swim in without a wetsuit, then I would not bother with it. The wetsuit will restrict your arm movement while not giving you the benefit of lifting your hips like a fullbody suit would. The reasons triathletes wear wetsuits are to a) stay warm and b) keep their hips up since they often are relatively weak swimmers with poor body position/technique. So, wearing a wetsuit on top only can actually lift your shoulders up more, which will result in dropping your hips more –this is the opposite of how you want to swim. You do not want to drag your hips through the water like a barge. You want to float them up to the surface as much as possible.
In short, if you won’t be too cold, leave the top-half wetsuit at home.
Either way, you should be able to save time in your first transition over folks wearing a full wetsuit!
I’m a swimmer who just started doing triathlons myself. I saved up my money to buy a road bike, so I couldn’t afford a wetsuit either. I borrowed one from a friend for a couple of really cold water early-springtime practice swims. I hated wearing the wetsuit (but was happy for the warmth). I’m glad I spent my money on the bike instead. The triathlons I’ve done were in water warm enough for me to leave the wetsuit at home.
“Looking for the best running shoes for men? Check out this list now and see if there is something you’ll like!”
Best Running Shoes for Men
Running can be boring, but it’s also one of the best things you can do to shed pounds, increase energy levels, and flee zombies. You’ll want to do everything you can to avoid nagging injuries like shin splints, which means it’s not enough to simply trade up from your scuffed-up Chuck Taylors. You need to buy the best running shoes for your particular body type, running style, and choice of terrain. And whether your flat feet need extra support, the trail running you do is murder on shoes, or your awkward knock-kneed gait defies typical human locomotion, this guide comprising the best running shoes for men will help you find what’s right for you.
Nike Zoom Structure +14 ($100) Those prone to overpronation — runners with flat feet whose feet roll inward more than 15 percent — and shin splints should look into these two-pound beasts. The mesh upper with flywire strap and enhanced heel strap offer great support and stability, without making the Structures look like corrective footwear.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 ($100) The GTS 11′s breathable upper-mesh material and sockliner will help prevent your socks from turning into swampy slabs of cotton while its Tri-density Progressive Diagonal Rollbar will keep your feet from under- or overpronating. Guys with flat feet will dig the extra cushioning, stability, and responsiveness that’ll keep them running longer distances without worrying about shin splints or stress fractures.
Saucony ProGrid Kinvara ($90) The Kinvaras weigh 8 ounces, have a soft Pro-Grid Lite heel lining to absorb impact, and possess an XT-900 carbon rubber outsole for increased traction. Plus, its midsole construction was built to protect against the unforgiving pavement, which is typically hell on a runner’s joints. But now just because you run the mean streets doesn’t mean your knees or feet have to suffer.
Merrell Barefoot Sonic Glove ($125) The Sonic Glove allows your feet to respond to what’s under them, not on them. The breathable, soft mesh material and microfiber footbed with antimicrobial solution molds to your foot as it yanks the moisture out to keep your tootsies dry and comfortable in even the harshest terrain.
Mizuno Wave Elixir 6 ($110) Yes, they look like abstract art. But what’s more important — fashion or function? The Smooth Ride and Wave technologies ensure you’ll be met with comfort and stability whether you’re accelerating or decelerating. The Elixirs are light, responsive running shoes that are tough enough to handle the rigors of everyday training as well as long-distance, high-tempo runs.
Brooks Cascadia 6 ($110) The Cascadia 6 is for people who run trails more often than the track. The outsole is made of highly durable rubber that’ll handle encounters with brush, rock, and mud — without giving up traction. Its Rock Shields protect your feet from jagged edges, and the DNA cushioning uses viscosity to react instantly to each step.
Saucony ProGrid Peregrine ($90) Outfitted with a ninja-style rock-guard outsole, this trail runner provides a smooth ride over varied terrain. While the multi-direction lugs give you confidence in the turns, the flexible, cushioned fit feels like an extension of your foot.
“We review some of the best triathlon wetsuits to help you give your competitors the slip in the swim. Read them below!”
Choose the right triathlon wetsuit for you
Triathlon Wetsuit Reviews for every triathlete:
Orca Equip £215 www.orca.com The equip’s blue arms echo Orca’s top-end Alpha suit of a couple of years ago. The fully coated neoprene and impressively flexible shoulders are welcome at this price point, as is the comfortable, low neck. Buoyancy is good for slighter athletes with 2-5mm front panels correcting sinking tendencies well. The catch panels cover the entire forearm but made the elbows feel a little stiff, distracting from a natural stroke. The legs also have a stiffness to them, but this helped in producing a smooth and efficient kick. Getting out of the suit is easy thanks to super stretchy calf panels, but our female testers would have appreciated some more girl-friendly styling. We found Orca suits tend to come up small, so make sure you try on before you commit.
Verdict A good suit that performs well for the price and has high-end looks too. Performance 3/5 Value 5/5 Overall 4/5
Xterra Vortex £265 www.xterrawetsuits.co.uk Xterra’s vector Pro suit is worn by more Ironman and 70.3 athletes than any other and its little brother, the Vortex, is no slouch either. The suit is fully coated for hydrodynamics and the 1.5mm arms take care of shoulder flexibility, allowing an unencumbered stroke. Buoyancy from the 5mm front/3mm back is really positive for sinky-legged swimmers; tipping you forward slightly to glide over the top of the water, and allowing for an easy kick. The lined interior and stretchy neck keep things comfortable, even during sighting when swimming over long distances. Simple catch panels had no extra feel against the water for us, but the suit was fast and comfy. However, the sizing came up large on our testers and the looks are a little basic.
Verdict A comfortable, flexible, fast and highly buoyant suit at a great price. Performance 4/5 Value 5/5 Overall 4/5
Zone 3 Aspire £265 www.racezone3.com Zone 3’s mid-level suit offers stunning performance at a very good price. The fit is slim with tight wrists that keep water out and a low, unobtrusive neckline. The ends of the legs, which are made of stretchier neoprene for a fast exit, didn’t seem to make as snug a seal, though speed seemed unaffected by this. Shoulder flexibility is astonishing at this price point with no noticeable restriction. Buoyancy is impressive, with 5mm neoprene to the knees raising the legs and supporting the core without getting in the way of swimming naturally. The catch panels had no discernable ‘feel’ against the water, but didn’t hurt pulling the suit off quickly. A close second to the HUUB in speed, flexibility and comfort, at just over half the price.
Verdict If you want a high-end performing suit at a low-end price, there’s none better. Performance 4/5 Value 5/5 Overall 4/5
Triathlon Plus Value Award issue 41 2XU T:3 Team £280 www.2xushop.co.uk; www.wiggle.co.uk This entry-level wetsuit, available exclusively through Wiggle, offers many of the benefits – and the cool looks – of 2XU’s higher-end models. The shoulders are flexible enough to allow the arms to swing freely, which is partly down to the stretchy, uncoated material under the arms. All testers found the neck a bit restrictive at first, but quickly got used to it. The torso, with Velocity Strake grooves designed to help forward tracking, feels strangely stiff at first, but the suit is superbly buoyant and two of our testers who are prone to ‘snaking’ found it kept them on the straight and narrow and helped control body rotation. It feels completely different to the other suits here, and comes highly recommended for weaker or new swimmers who’ll love the support.
Verdict A buoyant, supportive and fast suit, great for beginner triathletes or weaker swimmers. Performance 4/5 Value 4/5 Overall 4/5