We’re often asked ‘which goggles should I buy?’ Or ‘what goggles should I use for open water swimming?’ There is no simple answer, it comes down to personal preference, some styles of goggle will fit some faces better than others, some trial and error will be required.
- Try a few pairs on and pick one you find comfortable – you can use any goggles for pool or open water swimming, it doesn’t matter what size or style they are so long as they don’t leak!
- Once you’ve found a pair that works for you, consider buying a second pair in the same style with a different colour lens – it’s good to have the option of a clear or light tint for poor light conditions and a darker lens to help with visibility in bright sunny conditions.
SOCKET STYLE GOGGLES
Socket goggles are smaller in size and fit into your eye socket, you will see most competition pool swimmers wearing this style of goggle as they are very streamlined. There is often not much peripheral vision with this style of goggle which isn’t that important when pool swimming. Plenty of people still use these for open water swimming too.
A mid-sized goggle is a good all-round type of goggle, they sit just around the edge of the eye socket which some can find more comfortable. A slightly bigger lens can give a bit more vision to the sides.
MASK STYLE GOGGLES
The larger mask type goggles have a wider lens and cover a broader part of your face so can offer a good seal around the face, they often get sold as open water swimming goggles. However, the amount they cover your face is not for everyone.
Goggles come in many different lens types and colours and like sunglasses act in the same way to help visibility in different light conditions. Clear Great for low light and poor visibility outdoors and general pool swimming. Tinted Offer a small to medium amount of protection from brighter light conditions, fine for use indoors and outdoors Mirrored Reduce glare and reflection from the sun, great for outdoor swimming in sunny conditions Polarised Good in high light level conditions, they block out glare without dulling the view and also can increase contrast with is sometimes lost with a tinted lens
Photochromatic: These lenses automatically adjust to changing light conditions, they get lighter in low light and darker in bright light, of course this technology tends to come with a steeper price tag but good for outdoor swimming.
CARING FOR YOUR GOGGLES
If your goggles are constantly fogging up or leaking and you’ve had them for a while, it’s probably time for a new pair! The following steps will help prolong the life of your goggles:
- Don’t rub the inside of the lens! This can scratch and ruin any anti-fog coating they have.
- After swimming, don’t leave them wet in your swim bag take them out rinse them with cold clean water to remove any chlorine or grit and let them naturally dry out.
- Once dry put them in a protective pouch or case.
- Don’t leave them in direct sunlight this can degrade the silicone seal.