Swimming goggles – where to start?
When it is time to hit the pool or open waters for a leisurely or competitive swim, you want to have the right goggles to protect your eyes. Goggles not only keep water out of your eyes and help you see better underwater, they also keep your eyes protected against harmful rays when you are swimming outdoors.
Those who swim laps indoors might want to opt for a pair of clear lens goggles, while those who swim outside should opt for polarized lenses to fight off the sun. If you are a competitive swimmer, you’ll want a pair of goggles that are more streamlined and will stay on when you dive in. No matter you’re swimming style or preference, here are just a few pointers to help you choose wisely.
A good pair of goggles can make all the difference to you’re swimming, whether that’s in the local pool, or hitting the open water.
You need to be able to see clearly underwater and adjust the fit easily. If you are an outdoor swimmer, you may want UV protection and mirrored or tinted lenses to reduce the amount of light coming in and help keep the glare down.
Many competitive swimmers like smaller goggles that fit snugly around eye sockets. Anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses should be on your list too. Leisure goggles offer a more comfortable fit sitting mainly on the bone of the eye and there is a recent increase in the use of much larger mask style goggles which were originally made for the open water swimmers but offer a fantastic fit, super wide peripheral vision and stay clear of the soft and easily marked skin around the eyes as they sit much further down the face almost on the cheek bone.
There are so many adult goggles on the market it is a job to know where to start. One of the main things to understand when looking to buy a new pair of goggles is the fit. This may seem an obvious statement but I have always been amazed how people base their decision purely on the look. This I understand can be the deal clincher but should in my opinion not be the most important feature. Adult swimming goggles should always be tried on at time of purchase and any good store will allow you to do this. There are many goggle shapes to fit all the different faces out there and time needs to be taken when choosing your new pair.
Budget should be a consideration but try not to restrict yourself if possible…..there is usually a good reason for the higher prices demanded by some models. The frames will feel more comfortable due to a better shape during the manufacturing. They are quite often made from better quality material which in turn will be lighter and more comfortable on the face.
This is always a topic for discussion in store and many people are led by the usual suspects who have the biggest advertising budget but this is not always the way to go.
There are always the market leaders in every niche market and the brands that we feel comfortable with because they have always been around but don’t be fooled into discounting some lesser know brands. There are quite a few smaller brands that offer a fantastic range of goggles at a really competitive price and these should be given fair consideration when buying.
I sometimes feel that some smaller brands out there have to try even harder to and offer a better product, at a very competitive price in order for them to break into the market and survive against the already established brands that are quite often trading on their reputation and market share. They are often not the innovators in the field and in occasion have been caught napping and found themselves playing catch up.
The fit of a kids goggles is really important.
The lenses are smaller and the nose bridge is shallower. The head strap is smaller but can always be adjusted to fit securely. It can sometimes be the first encounter that a child has with a pair of goggles that can go on to make or break that all important relationship that they have with the water. Swimming under water for the first time with goggles and being able to see this newly discovered underwater world can be a fantastic experience and a wonderful discovery but done with an ill-fitting pair of kids swimming goggles then things can very quickly start to go wrong. Kids can get frustrated and give up easily.
Kid goggles need to be secure, comfortable and allow the user to feel free to dive in and under the water without the need to constantly remove adjust and empty the swimming goggles.
There is an ever-increasing range of ladies goggles on the market today with the manufactures realizing that ladies faces are in the most part slightly narrower than the men. The nose bridges and slightly smaller and lenses are just a little smaller too. However, a good proportion of ladies find that the Unisex adult goggles are just fine when it comes to fit and have no problem wearing either size.
The Answer to the question of Which one?
So in conclusion there is really no one size fits all answer.
Everyone who is in the market for a new or first pair of swimming goggles should take the time and visit their local sports shop with a view to taking time and choosing carefully from the wide range of swimming goggles on the market. Most good shops would let you try them on in store and make sure that the basic shape of the frame fits the face well. You should be able to feel the suction created between you and the frame even without water. If the swimming goggle seals to the air then it is a pretty safe bet that it will be leak free once you are actually in the water.
Get out there and get swimming.