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+.
The pull buoy is a valuable tool to keep your legs afloat as you focus on your stroke, build upper-body strength and give your legs the occasional rest. But when it comes to mimicking the lift you get from a wetsuit, a buoy doesn’t provide the exact same buoyancy and can limit your hip rotation. That’s why many wetsuit companies, including Blueseventy, have recently released neoprene shorts made to simulate the buoyant-hip feeling of wearing a wetsuit. You get the benefits of a pull buoy plus the ability to naturally kick without having to don full-body neoprene in the pool.
The Core shorts use the same jersey-lined material as Blueseventy’s top-end ($700) Helix suit, so they’re flexible and instantly comfortable to swim in. Although the shorts are easiest to put on dry, the flared leg openings allow for a quick slip on and off once you’re already in the pool.
We liked the Core shorts most for drill work and recovery sets, and would also recommend them for warmer open-water swims when you want to practice wetsuit body position but don’t need a full suit. As a bonus for those with a coach on deck, the strategic orange graphics draw attention to how your hips are rotating.
The shorts are available in five unisex sizes (based on waist inches). If you’re in between sizes, opt for the smaller option—the drawstring helps but doesn’t completely secure the waist if they’re on the looser side.
“The Core Shorts are great for pull sets—they allow you to still freely move your legs in a light kicking pattern to keep the connection and timing between arms and legs.” –Triathlete swim expert, coach and pro triathlete Sara McLarty