Goggle Buying Tips!
If you’re planning to be in the pool, do yourself a favour and get some goggles! And do the same for your kids. Burning eyes are sure to turn you little ones off swimming and it’s hard to be first to the ring on the bottom when you’re blind and all the other kids are wearing goggles.
With what seems like an endless choice of styles from Speedo, TYR, Nike and Aquasphere, across prices that range from a few dollars up to over $100 how do you find the right goggles? The most important thing is fit.
Get them properly fitted by an expert! Every face is different and each one will have a few types of goggles that work best. Don’t rush out to get Speedo Sprints because your best friend swears by them, and expect a miracle. In fact, don’t buy any goggles without trying them on and having some expert help with the fit and function. The Team at AquaSportWest have spent endless goggle-clad hours in the pool. They can help you find the perfect combination of fit, function and price.
How does fit impact your goggle experience? Have you ever seen someone get out of the pool looking like a red raccoon? Goggles that don’t fit the face properly are often strapped on so tight that their imprint lasts for hours. Goggles that fit your face should actually stay on your eyes for about 5 seconds, without the strap. So when you’re in the store, take the goggles out of the package and put them on your face. You can tell pretty quickly if they feel comfortable, fit around your eyes and if you can see. You need space for your eyelashes as it’s very annoying to feel your lashes lick the lenses every time you blink. The Speedo Vanquisher, a very popular goggle with the competitive swim set, seems to fit a lot of faces and leaves room for lashes. TYR Swimple goggles are designed for narrow faces and tend to fit kids. Speedo’s Skoogles or their new Holowonders, with the fun hologram on the lenses, are both a good first goggle for kids as they are designed for kid-sized faces.
Don’t worry too much about the strap as it’s adjustable but a double strap will provide better stability on your head. Good goggles will come with an adjustable nose piece or an assortment of sizes to fit every nose. Everybody’s schnoz is different and you want to be sure yours is comfy between the eye-pieces. Before the availability of some of today’s flexible materials hard plastic nose pieces used to cut slices into my bridge on a daily basis.
Once you find the size and shape that work for your face make sure you’re getting goggles that won’t leak. Swimming with goggles full of water is worse than swimming with no goggles at all. Fit is key to preventing your goggles filling up with water but the material that forms the seal is critical as well. You can get cheap goggles with foam but it will break down quickly and often irritates the skin around the eyes. And, in my experience, goggles with foam tend to leak. Silicone seal is good.
In addition to the fit of your new goggles you need to decide on factors related to function. Where and when and what type of swimming you’ll be doing impact your choice of goggles greatly.
Goggles are available with a variety of lens colours from clear to mirrored to a rainbow assortment of colours. If you’re swimming outdoors UV protection and glare reduction are important. Something like TYR Metallized Tracers or Speedo’s Sengar Mirrored goggles, provide UV protection and are designed to be anti-glare. If you’re buying goggles for kids taking lessons at an indoor pool it might be best not to give in to their cries for the coolest dark goggles as they won’t be able to see a darn thing in the relatively low light in most indoor pools.
If you swim both indoors and out but don’t want to have multiple pairs of goggles something like the TYR Remix, with interchangeable mirror and regular lenses, would be a good plan.
Foggy goggles are another annoyance. Most goggles, like TYR’s Nest Pro, come with some form of anti-fog treatment or you can buy Speedo’s Anti-Fog spray which cleans the lenses as well as prevents fogging.
Where you are swimming and what do you need to see is another consideration. Many open water swimmers prefer goggles that provide a wider field of view like the Aquasphere Kayenne or Kaiman that provide a wrap around polycarbonate lens for 180 degree visibility.
And for competitive swimmers the low profile, like the Speedo Fastskin3 Super Elite Mirror goggle, are designed to eliminate drag. Not only do they look really cool, they are the first pair of goggles designed with an outer profile that protects the eyes during dives and turns and improves overall “hydrodynamic contouring of the head.”