Due to swimwear products entering and leaving the market over time, it is no longer feasible to have a predetermined “Approved” list. The information provided here is meant to help the athlete determine if the swimwear in question would be legal for use at USA Triathlon sanctioned events.

USA Triathlon Swimwear Rule

4.7a  When the use of wetsuits is prohibited, swimwear (including, but not limited to: trisuits, swimskins, compression socks/sleeves, and full body garments) must be constructed of 100% textile material, which is defined as materials consisting of natural and/or synthetic, individual and non-consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting and/or braiding (this generally refers to suits made only from nylon or lycra that do not have any rubberized or buoyant material such as polyurethane or neoprene). When the use of wetsuits is mandatory, textile swimwear may be worn underneath a wetsuit, but may not be worn as a replacement for a wetsuit;

World Triathlon Swimwear Rule

4.11 cii Swimskins must be 100% textile material, which is defined as materials consisting of natural and/or synthetic, individual and non-consolidated yarns used to constitute a fabric by weaving, knitting and/or braiding (this generally refers to suits made only from nylon or lycra that do not have any rubberized material such as polyurethane or neoprene)

There are basically three categories of triathlon apparel: Wetsuits, Swim skins, and Tri suits/kits (including standard Cycling apparel).

  • Wetsuits: Are made with a nonpermeable material. Usually, neoprene. This material provides buoyancy and is only legal in wetsuit legal swims or wetsuit optional waves. Wetsuit legal water temperatures are variable depending on the hosting party. They are allowed a maximum thickness of 5mm.
  • Swim skins/skin suits: Are made of permeable synthetic textiles designed to smooth the swimmers in-water profile and reduce drag. They contain no neoprene and do not provide buoyancy. They are legal for use in either wetsuit or non-wetsuit legal swims. (Unless the swim is wetsuit mandatory in which case, they cannot be worn in in place of a wetsuit.)
  • Tri suits/kits: Are made of permeable textiles (whether synthetic or natural materials). They contain no neoprene and do not provide buoyancy. They are legal for use in either wetsuit or non-wetsuit legal swims (unless the swim is wetsuit mandatory in which case, they cannot be worn in in place of a wetsuit.) and may be worn underneath a wetsuit in wetsuit legal swims. 

If you have a question regarding a specific swimskin/skinsuit please reach out to rulesandofficials@usatriathlon.org.