Swimming, over time, has become one of the most common exercises and sports around the world. Most people have access to pools, rivers, oceans, and lakes, and this adds to the popularity. But, for you to enjoy fully, you need to have the right swimming gear. One of these essentials is a pair of swimming goggles.
Here is a swimming goggles review featuring different types, what to look for when buying, and how to choose the right size.
P.S. We also have a page for the best swimming goggles for kids.
Top Swimming Goggles to Buy
Types of Swimming Goggles
Swimming goggles are available in four common types. These are open water, Swedish, competition, and mask goggles.
Open Water Goggles
Open water goggles, commonly known as leisure goggles, come in a design that sticks into the socket within the frame. Usually, the frame features a broader silicon gasket and a waterproof seal for protection.
With this design, the nose bridge and the frame come as an indivisible unit hence not fully adjustable. However, these are comfortable to wear and work well for beginners. The best thing is that they come in different lenses and colours, allowing you to choose based on your style.
Although this type is relatively expensive, it is one of the more durable ones on the market. Also, it serves the purpose of protecting your eyes without compromising on visibility and comfort.
This type comes close in design to the competition type. As much as most models are useful for any competition, these are slightly different. They do not come with any soft sealing gasket hence the unique design.
Also, the lens and the frame of these goggles are all in one plastic piece and are quite small compared to the other types. The hard plastic, therefore, seals directly against the skin. It is important to note that this type requires assembly and fitting.
It is because the goggles come in one standard size that you can adjust to your preferred fit. They can take you some time to get used to, but once you adapt to the design, they work correctly. One of the unique features is the high visibility. They are the clearest of all types, hence the popularity as competition goggles.
This type features more prominent and rounded lenses in comparison with the complete frames. This design provides improved visibility, ensuring precise vision at any depth under the water.
The gasket of these goggles is smaller compared to open water goggles. But, it is still sufficient to wear for any underwater excursion. When it comes to the price, this type lies in the medium to high price range.
Like open water ones, these come in different frame colours allowing you to choose according to your style. With this type, you can adjust the nose bridge. Additionally, the goggles are comfortable, reliable, and last longer with regular use.
The design of this type of goggles resembles that of a diving mask. It is ideal for those that reach the water in depth. This type is the largest of all and works well for open water swimmers. The design is much more robust to handle rough conditions.
The mask goggles are available in different sizes and colours. This allows you to select your correct size and preferred style. Mask goggles are available at a price range from cheap to expensive so, you can find a suitable option for your budget.
What to Look for When Buying Swimming Goggles
The Type of Lenses
Swim goggles come in different types of lenses. It is essential to select the right lenses as they highly affect the visibility and overall functionality of your glasses. Here are the types of lenses available for swimming goggles.
These are commonly known as mirrored lenses. They are useful for regular use in competitions or leisure swimming. If you tend to swim around midday, this type is the best. Also, if you are more of a backstroke swimmer in outdoor pools, these lenses will work correctly.
It is important to note that metallic lenses are not ideal for indoor swimming. This is because they limit visibility due to the dark tint. They tend to dim everything around you, making it harder for you to see clearly.
Clear/ Light Colored Lenses
These are ideal for people that swim early in the morning or indoors. They let the maximum amount of light by allowing you to see more. Light-coloured lenses in orange brighten everything around you, enhancing visibility when swimming.
Other light colours like pink, green, and purple also brighten but not as well as the orange ones. It is essential to note that lighter lenses do not work well in super bright places. Therefore, if you use them outdoors during the day, you will most likely squint in the bright light.
Dark Colored Lenses
These provide a balance between the metallic and the light-coloured ones. Usually, they come in black or blue and do not block the sun. They do not make the surrounding appear lighter hence suitable for cloudy days or a casual swim in well-lit indoor pools.
Swimwear goggles should fit perfectly in all aspects. The best goggles should not be too snug; otherwise, you will have a hard time keeping them on for a long time. Additionally, they shouldn’t be too loose as they will not protect your eyes when swimming.
The good thing is that swim goggles come in different sizes to suit individual needs. Also, most designs are adjustable, allowing you to customize the fit for comfort.
If you cannot see clearly with your swimming goggles on, then they are practically useless. The visibility, just like the fit, is one of the essential factors to keep in mind. You want to get designs that have an anti-fog coating and UV protection.
Depending on the type of lenses, swim goggles suit different conditions. For example, mirrored ones are ideal for reducing brightness and glare, while clear ones work well for low-lit situations.
Consider the type of environment you intend to swim in to ensure you have the right pair of goggles. Also, take into consideration the most likely time you intend to swim as general natural lighting affects visibility. On this note, consider getting a few pairs with different lenses to suit various conditions.
How to Choose the Right Size
The best way to know if the design you choose will fit is by trying them on before you buy. But, if you are buying them online, then make sure the seller has a favourable return policy if they do not fit.
First, you should understand that the right size of the goggles depends on the seal and not the straps. Most designs come in an oval shape with a silicone gasket seal. The best swim goggles should provide instant suction immediately you wear them.
If the swimming glasses are loose, they will let in water. If the nose bridges are too tight, then they will exert too much pressure resulting in discomfort. Also, the right size should not be too wide as it may leak water when stretched around your eyes’ corners.
What Goggles Do Pro Swimmers Wear
The best goggles of pro swimmers have to provide excellent visibility, comfort, and protection. As much as all types can work well for Olympic swimmers, competition and Swedish types are the most preferred for pro swimmers.
These provide not only excellent peripheral vision but also maximum protection of the eyes in water environments. There are renowned swimming goggles brands such as Speedo vanquisher, Aqua Sphere, etc. Speedo Vanquisher 2, in particular, is one of the best swimming goggles for laps.
How to Clean/Care For Your Swimming Goggles
The best way to keep your swim goggles functional is by taking care of the anti-fog coating. Goggles from Aqua Sphere and Speedo come with a high-quality coating, which means they remain clearer for a long time.
But, you have to clean them correctly to prevent damaging the coating. After swimming, rinse the goggles in warm running water to get rid of chlorine and other chemicals. Avoid using soaps as they can scrape off the coating.
Leave your goggles to air-dry to prevent bacteria and mould growth when stored wet. Use a protective pouch to store the goggles. It ensures they are safe from scratches from other items in your gear bag.
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The Bottom Line
Swimming goggles not only enhance your visibility but also protect your eyes from chemicals and contaminants in water. They are available in different types and sizes to suit individual needs.
If you are looking for a pair for your next swimming expedition, we hope this article provides valuable information on choosing the best swim goggles.