Swimming Goggles – What is the real difference?

Types of goggles

There are in the main, I would say just four categories :


These, as the name would suggest are aimed at the competitive swimmer.

Competition goggles are generally low profile, technical, and fit close to the eye socket. This tends to reduce drag, making you more hydrodynamic (more streamline)

These goggles are designed to be streamlined with smaller eye gaskets to minimize water drag when competing and to give a secure fit for dives and turns. With the emphasis being on a low profile to minimize water drag, these goggles may not be as comfortable as fitness and leisure goggles but will help to give you a streamlined shape in the water.

2.Practice goggles


The clue again is in the name….. They are for practicing. They are still made to a very high standard but usually offer a little more comfort than the competition goggles due to the fact that they have more rubber on the gasket and this in tern causes less pressure around the eye allowing the user to feel more comfortable for longer.

3.Recreational Goggles  

If you are swimming for reasonably long periods of time, comfort will be your main priority.

Swim training and fitness swimming can involve swimming many lengths in one session and you should therefore choose a goggle that feels comfortable around the eyes. Although cheaper and fairly comfortable, recreational goggles are not great for long swimming excursions. The anti-fog film on the inside of the lenses is more likely to wear off with type of goggle as in most cases the lens are coated rather than impregnated into the lens itself. For regular swimmers this is probably the most popular categories due to the easy and comfortable fit for most face shapes.
If you are just having fun at the pool, you will also want a goggle that feels comfortable so that you can concentrate on having a good time in the water!

4.Swim Masks

Mask style goggles are based loosely on scuba diving masks but do not usually enclose the nose. They sit much lower on the cheek bone and higher in the forehead thus allowing for an excellent seal which will minimize leaks and take a lot of the pressure away from the optical area leaving the user with a much better all round vision. They are very comfortable and ideal for open water swimming and water sports, but more and more swimmers are using them in the pool as they are so comfortable and easy to use.
For most swimmers they’re comfortable and can handle rough water if you are out in the open but are larger and there is definitely more goggle on the face which doesn’t suit everyone in its general appearance

                     Decide what type of swimmer you are and then Dive right in!!                                                            Sorry couldn’t resist that one…..

7 thoughts on “Swimming Goggles – What is the real difference?”

  1. Awesome information on goggles.
    My children love to swim and we have just gotten an above ground pool.
    I have looked at goggles at discount stores and pool stores.
    They seem to be either really CHEAP or really EXPENSIVE.
    They look the same though.
    If I were to buy them online, how do know if I am buying a quality pair for the price I am paying and not getting the same pair as if I had bought at a dollar store?

    1. Hi Lee Ann
      thanks for stopping by and reading my posts.
      In answer to your question in general you get what you pay for. So the cheaper end goggles tend to fit less well and are more prone to breakages. Kids goggles are relatively inexpensive in the most part but if you pay more the seal will be better. usually soft silicone instead of cheaper less well fitted materials. That said sometimes the cheaper ones work fine for a while but usually end up broken. kids are not very careful users and can be quite heavy handed. Hope this helps a little.
      Good luck with your purchase.

  2. If you are into swimming like a lot of people and you need to purchase swim goggles, this website is the place to look for all the latest and best swim goggles.There is good information on the range of swim goggles here with different styles of swim goggles to suit everybody.

  3. As a lifelong swimmer, I can attest to the need for a good set of goggles.
    Even if you’re not competing, you must be comfortable in the water to extract the most enjoyment from your aquatic experience.
    Now, I’ve got a big nose and it took me a while to fit a pair that fit me well enough for long-term use.
    The shape of your face and eye sockets can go a long way towards overall comfort.
    Once you find a brand and style you like, stick with those and don’t look back.

  4. Hi BabyTurque, Thanks for your comments.
    you are so right. If you find a brand that works for you stick with it. Can i ask which brand you found worked best for you?
    thanks again

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