Swimming is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety while also keeping you fit – so it’s no surprise thousands more women are dipping their toes into the sport of late. We’re not only looking forward to the re-opening of indoor swimming pools later this year, but we’re swimming outdoors more, too. In fact, The National Open Water Coaching Association reported a 323% rise in outdoor swimmers in October 2020, as well as the year-round opening of more official swimming lakes than ever.
Plus, a 2020 study by Sport England found that the number of women getting into swimming was the main reason for an increase in the total number of people taking part in water-based activities between 2018 and 2019.
If, like me, you’ll be returning to the pool to pack in those lengths this Spring (or you’re planning on doing wild swimming/water sports with your mates on your weekend break), our guide to the best sports swimsuits should come in handy. ‘Cos let’s face it – when you search for “sports swimsuit” and receive thousands of options in return, the buying process can be a tad daunting.
While a stylish bikini or belted one-piece swimsuit is paramount for days spent lazing around by the pool of your Greek Airbnb (potentially?), an activewear swimsuit is a necessity if you’re going to be a bit more… well, active in the water. Luckily, loads of our favourite brands (Nike, Adidas, Lululemon, M&S – we’re looking at you) stock really stylish and supportive sports swimsuits that’ll take you from indoor pool to Cornish surfing lesson in one fell swoop.
Just like the gym clothes we’d wear on dry land (sports bras and yoga leggings, for example), sports swimsuits boast technical and performance-driven design features like fast-drying fabrics, built-in bras for support, higher necklines, UV protection, chlorine resistance or compression. This makes them ideal for swimming, aerobics, waterfall hikes, surfing, paddle boarding… the list goes on.
As well as all of the above, it’s crucial you ensure your sports swimsuit fits properly before you take the tags out. An ill-fitting sports swimsuit will only cause chaffing, rubbing and discomfort – three things we’d definitely rather avoid. The straps of your swimsuit should sit flat on your shoulders (without cutting in – ouch), and the front of the swimsuit should lie against your chest without gaping.
For more from our Commerce Writer Sophie Cockett, follow her on Instagram @sophiecockettx.