Optical tracking was utilized to investigate the acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI)‐induced response in a translucent, tissue‐mimicking phantom. Suspended 10‐μm microspheres were tracked axially and laterally at multiple locations throughout a microscope’s field of view with 0.5‐μm displacement resolution, in both dimensions, and at frame rates (with an attached video camera) of up to 36 kHz. Induced dynamics was successfully captured before, during, and after the ARFI excitation at depths of up to 4.8 mm from the phantom’s proximal boundary. Results are presented for tracked axial and lateral displacements resulting from on‐axis and off‐axis (i.e., shear wave) acquisitions; these results are compared to matched finite element method modeling and independent, ultrasonically based empirical results. A shear wave reflection, generated by the proximal boundary, consistently produced an artifact in tracked displacement data later in time (i.e., after the initial ARFI‐induced displacement peak). This new tracking method provides high‐frame‐rate, two‐dimensional tracking data and thus could prove useful in the investigation of complex ARFI‐induced dynamics in controlled experimental settings. [This work was supported in part by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.]