But now that the World Championships are back, some wondered whether Lochte's antics would distract him from his supposedly no. 1 priority -- swimming.
On Thursday, just before his appearance at the Championships in Barcelona, the world's most outlandishly dressed swimmer posted a photo of the sneakers he was wearing on his big day -- a fuzzy, yellow-and-black set of teddy bears wearing Adidas hats.
"Wanna go on safari?" Lochte wrote.
Thankfully, the eyebrow-raising kicks didn't seem to distract from his performance in the pool.
The former Florida Gator won his third gold in the 200m medley on Thursday, becoming only the second man to do so after Michael Phelps.
"It's good to get a win out of this Worlds considering the circumstances I was in, taking time off and starting back in training late, so I'm happy with it," he told reporters.
Lochte beat Japan's Kosuke Hagino and Brazil's Thiago Pereira with a time of 54.98.