We put Orca’s neoprene skull cap and split-toe booties through their paces

Orca neoprene skull cap and booties
Orca Neoprene Swim Cap
£20
Orca Hydro Booties
£35
orca.com

With winter seeming to get ever longer, the window for open-water training before the first triathlons of the season has dwindled over the past couple of years. Orca’s Hydro Booties and Neoprene Swim Cap are designed to help insulate you while swimming outside to ease you into the cold water.

The booties offer a reassuringly snug fit to help avoid water pooling and maximise insulation. The split toe gives a more natural, less fin-like feel in the water than some others – though be warned, most races won’t allow them.

The skull cap really helps to shield the ears and forehead from numbness, the under-chin strap holding firm but not causing any problems while swimming. Both are key weapons against open-water chills.