Ready to hit the pool and get in shape this year? Here are some of the common pieces of equipment that you will need in order to rock out in the pool with style and safety.

Swim suit. The obvious one, right? When choosing a swim suit for swimming laps make sure to go for comfort and durability. Swim suits for lap swimming come in a variety of different sizes and shapes. For dudes you got your classic Speedo brief, the square-legged suit (which is common, particularly as most drag suits for swimming are made in this shape), and you have the newest swim suit to the game, the jammer (which is basically a set of spandex shorts). Nylon is a durable material, so look for it when picking out a suit. In terms of care, give your swim suit a quick rinse when you hop out of the pool to get the chlorine out of the suit and to keep the color and shape of the suit intact for longer.

Swim goggles. Now that you have your suit in order, it’s time to get your eyes set-up. Picking out a pair of the best swimming goggles for you is important because goggles allow you to see other swimmers, the lane ropes, the black line on the bottom of the pool (so you know the wall is approaching), and of course, the walls and bulkheads as well. Beyond that, goggles also keep that annoying red itchiness from hitting your eyes. This happens when chlorine and human waste interact in a pool, creating a nasty compound called chloramines, which are actually quite not-awesome for you (giving you an added reason to shower before you hop in the water and not pee in the pool).

Ear plugs. Not many swimmers will need to wear these when they do laps, but for the few that do, ear plugs can be a total game changer. As a perennial and life-long earplug wearer I know the misery of having to wear them: when they get jarred loose you have to stop and adjust them. They wear out quickly. And when they aren’t sticking in just right you find yourself stopping every few meters to perpetually readjust them. It can be annoying. Over the years I have tried every set of ear plugs imaginable, and the best ear plugs for swimmers hands-down are Mack’s Pillow Soft silicone plugs. For best use, ball em up and warm them in your hands for a few minutes before applying them to the side of your face. The silicone is more pliable once it’s been warmed up, which will help you guarantee a more comfortable and secure fit.

The swim cap. Like goggles, the immediate need for a swim cap is not always readily apparent, particularly for those of us who don’t have that much hair happening on the top of our domes. But swim caps serve more functions than trying to keep your hair dry (which is also a myth—swim caps don’t keep your hair dry). They help keep chlorine—an industrial strength solvent—from degrading and fraying your hair. Swim caps also keep your hair from littering the water, the gutter, and the bottom of the pool. And lastly, swim caps can also serve a purpose in terms of reducing drag (but let’s be honest, it’s not that much). Choosing the best swim cap for your swimming is pretty straight-forward: choose a material that is breathable (latex wins in that department) and also durable (silicone wins in that department).


So, there ya have it, a quick breakdown of the swimming equipment that you need in order to dominate the lap pool. Happy swimming!