For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Essentials for diving into the wet’n’wild world of swim/run.
1. Orca RS1 Swim-Run
Most swim/run events require a wetsuit, and while you can chop up your trusty tri suit, swim/ run-specific neoprene has unique features. On the Orca RS1, you’ll find short legs and flexible material in the hip area for easy running, a front zipper to get fresh air, durable butt material to side over rocks into the water, and three large pockets inside the suit to hold nutrition, gear, and an emergency whistle.
2. Icebug Acceleritas6
Invest in a good trail-specific shoe like the Icebug Acceleritas6 with a super grippy and mud-shedding sole. Though experienced swim/runners will usually upgrade to elastic laces to prevent them from untying midrace, the mesh upper resists water absorption to keep your feet light while running.
3. CEP Ultralight Socks
Compression socks are a must-have because they don’t move, slide, or bunch up when wet. This pair has 30-percent less volume of material than regular compression socks and comes in three heights.
Swim/run events allow paddles to provide extra propulsion in the water and let legs—and shoe-covered feet—rest. This set’s plastic material is flexible, buoyant, and durable—and available in multiple sizes.
5. Sporti Pull Buoy
Because you won’t take off your shoes in the water, floating your legs and not kicking is important for a smooth swim in a swim/run. The Sporti buoy is super cheap, made of a lightweight and non-slick foam, and comes in a variety of colors.
(Note: You’ll need to modify your buoy to attach to one of your legs with an old bike tube or elastic laces—look for tutorials on YouTube!)
6. SEAL-3 Pull Belt
Teammates may tether together during swim/run events to transfer power, stay in the draft, and maintain the 10-meter rule, but it’s not mandatory. The SEAL-3 pull belt simplifies the usually DIY-creation process with a packaged two-belt system (each with a small pouch for gear), elastic cord (regular or hard resistance), and pre-attached snap locks.
7. New Wave 15L Swim Buoy
Not only can you store your keys and clothes in the waterproof buoy, but the bright colors (fluorescent yellow, pink, or orange) will help you stay visible to boaters and friends on shore. The inflated buoy can also be used as a resting/flotation device during a long swim segment—in case of cramping—or as a lifesaving device in an emergency.