Choosing and Wearing the Right  Swim Goggles

It is that age-old question, which goggles should I buy?  Here are some tips for choosing and wearing those goggles correctly.

1. Try before you buy. Take the goggles out of the package, place over your eyes and press to your face. If they do not stick or they fall off immediately, they are not the right size or shape for you. Try another pair. There are many style choices for goggles. You have fixed-bridge as well as styles with a selection of varying size nose pieces. You also have a mask-style goggle available. Choose what is most comfortable, does not leak and fits your swimming needs.

2. We classify goggles one of two ways: open water or pool. If swimming outdoors in sunny conditions, you will want a mirrored goggle. For overcast days, a polarized lens is much better allowing you to see the buoys easier. Open water goggles are made of a softer silicon gasket as well as flexible lens, while pool goggles are made of a hard plastic gasket and hard non-flexible lenses. Why? It hurts less in an open water race if you are hit. Open water goggles also typically offer a larger lens, which helps with sighting and peripheral vision. In the pool we have the black line and flags, so that’s not quite as important, and we’d rather worry more about our drag coefficient. 

3. Lens color also plays an important role in choosing goggles. Do you swim inside or out? Are you swimming at dawn, dusk, or the middle of the day? Is it cloudy or sunny? Mirrored goggles are best for sunny or high-glare conditions, and they offer the best UV protection. Another good option for sunny days is a smoke lens. A blue or violet lens is designed for moderate light conditions and is best for cloudy days or indoor lighting. If you swim early in the morning or late in the evening, a yellow/orange, pink or amber lens is best because it will help brighten dark situations. As you can see, you will probably need more than one pair of goggles, and always have a backup pair ready!

4. Depending on the materials and frequency of use, your goggles may need replacing as early as six to ten months. Some may last much longer. Most goggles also have an anti-fog coating. If you are careful to not touch or rub the inside of the lenses and rinse with fresh water after use, they may last a bit longer. Eventually, that coating will wear out.

5. When wearing your goggles, you want the straps as loose as possible. Tighten them only enough that they do not leak when pushing off the walls in the pool. There should be no need to press the goggles into your face and cause suction. Place your goggles on your face and go swim! https://www.usms.org/fitness-and-training/articles-and-videos/videos/swimming-101-how-to-put-on-goggles

6. Recent swim goggle reviews: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/best-swim-goggles.html

Goggle brands to check out:

The Magic5, Roka, Aqua sphere, TYR, Speedo, Arena, MP, Finis

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