Whether you’re training for something in particular or investing in a Speedo swimsuit just so you can rack up all those missed miles at your local lido this summer, one thing’s for certain: you’ll want your suit to be both stylish and supportive.
There’s no point in looking great only to flash a bum cheek mid-length, plus, thanks to a steep rise in the popularity of swimming as a low intensity steady state exercise, fashionable swimsuits that are also functional are in.
Enter stage right, Speedo swimsuits: yes, exactly like the kind you used to wear to Sunday swimming lessons and accessorise with a woggle—just slightly more fashion-forward.
What I love about swimming
I love swimming as it requires very little equipment, just great your swimming costume and you’re ready to jump in. Although, if I’m swimming in a pool, I also have to have goggles! I have a pair of anti-fog Speedo goggles which fit me well and I find really comfortable.
For me, swimming is a great way to relax, I have to focus on my breathing and every day stresses fade away. Of course, it is a great way to keep fit too, and I am always amazed by how a good swimming session really does work all my muscles!
I have to admit that I like to have different options when it comes to swimwear. Especially if I’m taking part in a water-based sport rather than swimming. Sometimes I need more support – or more flexibility in my swimwear.
I was sent a Speedo Swimming costume to review which is designed for sports use. It has a high neck, and offers great bust support. I was worried about the zip-front but actually I can’t notice it once it is on. The leg is not cut too high, making it comfortable for things like aqua-aerobics too.
The side panel detail makes it a really flattering style, it really helps create a waist.
I was really impressed with this swimming costume, it was comfortable in the water and out too. It is soft to wear, and yet offers great support too. Also, it is also an eco-friendly option! It has been made using recycled abandoned fishing nets.
Speedo Swimwear Review
WH fashion assistant Courtney Smith has been a long-time fan of Speedo “I have been swimming for most of my life and have tried a number of different swimsuits over the years, but I always end up back in Speedo.
It’s nice to know that I can rely on them when it comes to providing a high-quality costume that will last. I’ve had my current swimsuit for a couple of years now and sure it’s not brand new, but it works just as well as ever and still looks good.”
WH’s have picked out our favourites so you can shop now and swim later.
First, a cautionary note on sizing. My waist is about 31 inches, so I looked at Speedo’s online size chart and saw that I was a size 22. Friends, this was a mistake. Speedo also showed the measurements for hips, which I ignored because I had no idea how big my hips were. I just assumed that if the waist was right then we’d be fine. We were not fine. We were so very not fine. The shorts that arrived looked like they were made for a kid and I instantly knew that we had a problem. These shorts are also not as stretchy as plain old Spandex. The result was that I couldn’t pull them up past my knees. It was very literally impossible. Despite nobody being there to witness this futile attempt to pull on shorts, I felt deeply embarrassed.
Upon measuring my hips, I found that they’re 39 inches, which would have me pushing the limits of a size 24! Oops. So, Speedo sent the larger size. In the meantime, a former-swimmer friend convinced me that if I didn’t buzz my leg and chest hair there was no point to this exercise. More and more awkward by the minute.
The size 24 finally arrived and it still seemed impossibly small. My swimmer friend assured me this was normal, and that I would need to shimmy, squirm, and “pinch my cheeks in.” It still took five minutes of very intense wriggling, and it got stuck several times, both on my hips and my butt. The waistline would dig into my flesh, and it was generally a painful and uncomfortable experience. I ended up being glad I buzzed my legs because there was enough hair-pulling as it was. In retrospect, I probably should have gotten a size 25, despite that appearing to be way too big for my waist.
Once I actually had it on, though, it looked right. Not comfortable, but “right” in that it looked like a gross approximation of how the pros wear it. The suit sat low on the waist. It’s a compression suit, and I could really feel the squeeze. My butt was smooshed flatter than I’ve ever seen it. I felt like I could barely move, but upon further examination I did still have a full range of movement, so what the hell, let’s go swimming.
When I jumped in the pool, I could instantly tell that it felt different somehow. As I swam, I couldn’t really feel the water as much where the suit was. It felt like I was slipping through the water easier, but I knew it could be in my head, so I designed a test: I would swim 100 yards, then 200 yards, then another 100 yards, as fast as I could (in a 25-yard pool). First I did this drill in my regular Spandex jammers that I’ve had for 10 years, then I would stop, eat lunch, and repeat the same drill in the . I knew this gave my old swimsuit an advantage because my arms would be far fresher on my first swim, but I figured if the $400 suit couldn’t make up the difference then it was basically a fraud.
Holy crap. I was really ready to call bullshit on this whole thing, but that is statistically significant. More than 12 seconds off my first 100 yards and more than 26 seconds off my 200 yards! Witchcraft! By the time I did the second 100-yard swim in the LZR my arms were very much spent, but it was still more than six seconds faster. I repeated that same series of drills a couple days later, but this time wearing the first, and the results were effectively the same, except I was even slower in my old shorts during my second set. This was measured with my Garmin Enduro watch, which automatically counts laps and times them, though it did hesitate by a few seconds each time I stopped at the end of a set, so we can subtract 3-5 seconds from each, but that seemed to be pretty consistent for every set.
After I crunched my numbers I reached out to Speedo asking what sorcery was in these shorts. The response I got: “The latest Fastskin suits were designed by combining 20 years of performance learnings with innovative technologies and fabrics, and Speedo worked alongside some of the world’s leading research institutions to study the ancestry of sharks and how they reduce drag when they swim. Speedo also collaborated with various partners including the Natural History Museum in London and Formula 1 on these suits.”
Umm, the ancestry of sharks? You did 23 and Me on Jaws and somehow made a fast pair of shorts? OK, that all sounds cool I guess, but it doesn’t really tell me much about how the damn thing actually works. I’ve reached out to Speedo again and will update if I hear back.
Here’s what I can tell you. When you touch the outside of the suit, it isn’t soft and silky like Spandex, but slightly rough. The website claims its “shark skin-mimicking texture creates micro vortices along the suit’s surface, helping reduce drag and encouraging forward propulsion,” which again, maybe. But the material itself feels almost more like a high-end rain-jacket. Indeed, when I stuck the suit under a tap, the vast majority of the water beaded right off (whereas my Spandex shorts sucked it up). This tells me the suit has some hydrophobic properties, which would indeed let it slip through the water with less friction.
The waistband lined with not one, but two silicone bands that not only pull at your body hair while you’re trying to tug it on, but also keep water from flowing into the suit, where it can really slow you down. I also noticed that the suit has a ton of vertical stretch (if you pull from top to bottom), but almost no lateral stretch. I suspect that’s how it achieves compression without limiting range of motion. On the butt-panel there’s a slightly raised hexagonal pattern, which makes these shorts look very cyberpunk, but I genuinely have no idea what it does beyond that.
16 Best Speedo Swimsuits
Women’s Allover Fixed Crossback Swimsuit Black/Green
If you’re hitting the pool on the regular but still want to look good while doing so, then this is the swimsuit for you. The graphic tropical print, and the thin straps and high cut of the legs will have you spinning, diving and gliding through the water as free as if you were swimming on an exotic Island (we wish!). Compared to Speedo’s other thin strap costumes, this style has more side and lower back coverage, with a pretty teardrop opening.
Women’s Neon Freestyler Swimsuit Green
This swimsuit is all about the details, especially the intricate tie back, and yet if you’re worried about losing your costume mid-lap, worry not because the straps are semi adjustable to keep you secure and comfy. Designed for tough sessions, the fabric is 100% chlorine resistant so the only thing you’ll be risking is spending more time in the water than you planned for.
Women’s Eco Endurance+ Medalist Swimsuit Blue
The much loved Medalist is now available in Speedo’s super durable ECO Endurance fabric that’s made with 50% recycled materials. It’ll have you winning in and out of the pool, thanks to the iconic silhouette that is perfect for a training session and the bright blue colour that catches the eye and brightens the mood.
The cut is designed to keep you comfortable and avoid hindering any movement at the shoulders. Gilly McArthur from the Wonderful Wild Women, a partner of Speedo, opts for the medalist when braving cold waters. “My “go to” costume is the Speedo endurance Medalist, it’s a brilliant fit for any body shape, feels secure and comes in a range of brilliant colours.”
Endurance+ Striped Medalist Swimsuit
If you’re not big on brights, the navy and white stripe offers a stylish yet understated version. The neck, back and legs still have a medium cut to keep you confident as you glide your way to your goals, but the colour-way will be one you’ll want to keep for good.
Essential Hydrasuit Flex Swimsuit
A swimsuit with an iconic silhouette, the high neck and zip-up back on this black number proves that full coverage can be just as striking as strappy styles. The fabric is soft and stretchy, and the leg cut is high to allow you to move your way through the water unrestricted. A timeless buy.
Flyback Pool Swimsuit
This timeless black scoop neck design is enhanced with Speedo’s classic 90s logo and we are totally onboard with this retro aesthetic. The Flyback has a supportive bust shelf liner as well as racerback straps, allowing your shoulder blades to move freely as you glide up and down your lane.
Women’s Allover Powerback Swimsuit Black/Blue
This dynamic swirl print swimsuit is a dream technical costume. The open back and narrow straps are perfect for movement and flexibility, plus, you can wear for regular training sessions as it’s made from their ECO Enduraflex fabric, meaning it’s built to last. Not only that, but the yarn is made from 100% recycled materials, too.
Women’s Watergem Swimsuit Blue
Part of the sculpture collection, this one-piece is made to enhance your shape with ruching at the bust, fabric that supports and smooths – also promising to last twice as long as standard swimwear – and a flattering V neck. Known as the LBD of the water, it’ll be just as good an investment as its clothing counterpart.
Women’s Calypso Printed Swimsuit Black/Pink
You’ll really make waves in this costume that comes in a unique oil-effect print and has stunning twisted back-straps. Whether you’re perfecting your strokes or trying to savour some off-time, the Calypso swimsuit is a summer must-have.
Women’s Starback Swimsuit Green/Pink
Standout with every lap in this striking lime green neon number. It’s fully lined with attractive star shaped back straps and high legs so you’ll have all the freedom of movement you need. This style is also made from Speedo’s ECO Endurance+ fabric using 50% recycled materials, so you’ll be going green in more ways than one.
Women’s Placement Thinstrap Muscleback Swimsuit Blue/Black
This costume has a striking multi-colour print that’ll motivate you on your early morning swims. The open back, thin straps and high cut leg allow for maximum flexibility in the water, whilst also making for an attractive addition to your beach wardrobe should you find yourself sunning on the seaside.
Women’s Lexi Printed Swimsuit Black/Green
Along with the Lexi’s cool graphic pattern, which resembles a subtle animal print, the bust has a flattering wrap style neckline as well as removable bra pads for shape and support. Not only stylish, but this suit is chlorine resistant too, made from Speedo’s Endurance10 fabric.
Women’s Ribbonback Swimsuit Blue/Orange
Not your average swimsuit, this bold costume has summer written all over it. The rock tee print in clashing colours juxtaposes nicely with the delicate Ribbonback strap details. Designed for intensive training, the extra-high cut legs allow total flexibility whilst the chlorine resistant material means you can wear it again and again.
Lunalustre Printed Shaping Swimsuit
Made from lightweight shaping fabric, with adjustable straps and an under-bust seam, they don’t come more supportive than the Lunalustre costume. The flattering swimsuit, with a square neckline, is ultra-chlorine resistant so perfect for your regular swim workouts.
Women’s Boom Logo Allover Medalist Swimsuit Black
Our logo mania doesn’t stop with just the one. The trend revival has our 90s obsession to thank and this retro Speedo design is right on point. You need only imagine yourself decked out in this piece whilst playing some beach paddle tennis, it’s fun and flattering and not something you’ll want to confine solely to training sessions.
Women’s Colourblock Splice Muscleback Swimsuit Black/Blue
The sporty design with colourblock panels is super flattering, extenuating curves, and features a keyhole opening on the back with high coverage. All in all a perfect costume for everyday pool sessions that is both comfortable and flexible.