Speedo Biofuse Finger Paddles
I was excited to try the Speedo Biofuse Finger Paddles, because I know Gordon uses finger paddles in some of his workouts. I tried them on briefly while on vacation at an outdoor pool in St. George. There wasn't enough room to do much swimming, but the paddles were comfortable to wear (my kids also had fun playing with them).
I have since used them as part of my regular workouts. They feel much different that regular hand paddles because they only cover your fingers instead of your whole hand. Finger paddles are meant to help work on technique (especially the catch). As you begin your catch, your fingers should point down toward the bottom of the pool. I found that I was much more aware of my catch while wearing these paddles. The straps are very comfortable and they are a good piece of equipment to have in your bag for when you want to mix things up and focus on technique.
AquaGear has the Biofuse paddles on their website for $15.95.
Speedo Air Seal Tri Goggles
I requested the Speedo Air Seal Tri Goggles after seeing them reviewed in SWIMMER Magazine. The lenses are kind of strange looking, which is part of reason that I wanted to try them out.
I pulled them on while in St. George and was really impressed at the clarity of the lenses and the field of vision. The gaskets are filled with air (hence the name "Air Seal") and are very comfortable. I let my wife try them out and she loved them. I didn't see the goggles again until we left the pool.
I also tried the Air Seals during a pool workout. The goggles are designed for open water and triathlon and are not the best goggles to use if you do most of your swimming in the pool. Because of the their high profile and large lenses, you may find them pulling off or filling with water when you push off the wall. In open water however, these goggles would be awesome. They have a huge field of vision and are very comfortable to wear. My test pair had mirrored lenses, which will be great for sunny days.
My only complaint (and one that is shared by others who have tried these goggles) is that the straps are very slick when wet and can pull out of the strap adjuster (which has roller pins in it). I am planning to replace the strap adjuster on my pair with one from another pair of goggles.
AquaGear has the Air Seal Tri Goggles on their website for $19.95, which is a reasonable price for open water goggles. They come in Ice / Smoke or Black / Mirror.