Swimming is one of the most comprehensive sports physically, its a full body workout that engages all our body's muscles combining cardio, stretching and resistance training to make us strong and slender. One of the particularly nice attributes of swimming is that in contrast to so many sports, it does not require a significant financial investment. All you'll need are a bathing suit, a swim cap and good swimming goggles to protect your eyes.
This protection is especially important when swimming. Whether you are swimming in a pool or the ocean; chlorine or salt water can limit your visibility when they come into contact with your eyes. In both cases, goggles, tailored to your specific needs, are necessary. We've designed this guide to help you choose the right pair. Let's go!
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Swimming Goggles: Our Picks
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about swimming goggles
- 4.1 What are swimming goggles exactly?
- 4.2 Should I wear swimming goggles if I have vision problems?
- 4.3 What types of swimming goggles are available out there?
- 4.4 Which lenses are the most suitable for me?
- 4.5 How should I clean my swimming goggles?
- 4.6 What type of material is most suitable for the gasket?
- 4.7 What are the differences between swimming goggles for pools and open water?
- 5 Shopping Criteria
- 6 Summary
- You'll find many different types of swimming goggles on the market. The model required will change whether you want to use them for swimming outdoors or if you prefer to swim in a pool.
- Pay attention to the type of lens and the manufacturing materials of the goggles. These materials determine aspects such as durability and comfort.
- Making your swimming goggles last longer is also up to how you care for them. We recommend cleaning them regularly to help prevent scratches.
- Photochromatic lenses will be your best available option if you like to swim in the ocean or in pools, since they automatically adjust to the outside light.
The Best Swimming Goggles: Our Picks
The origin of modern swimming goggles dates back to Olympic medallist Thomas Burgess. He was the second person to swim across the English Channel in the 20th century and the first one to do so with goggles. To be sure, goggles have changed significantly since then. The following section features what we believe to be the very best models on the market right now. Here we go!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about swimming goggles
Certain equipments are an absolute necessity when it comes to practicing water sports, and you can bet swimming goggles are one of them. As you saw in our ranking, the market offers a wide range of products, and it's not always easy knowing which one is most suited to your needs. We now tackle the the most frequently asked questions by users to help you make the right decision.
What are swimming goggles exactly?
Should I wear swimming goggles if I have vision problems?
What types of swimming goggles are available out there?
|Models of swimming goggles||Shape or design|
|Monoblock||The bridge is not adjustable, which is why they are also called "fixed bridge" – you can only adjust the straps. They offer a wide visibility. If they fit your face well, they might be ideal for you if you don't have a very pronounced nose. The silicone bridge they generally include makes them very comfortable, but they might not be your best option if you have prominent features.|
|Adjustable bridge||They present several flaps at the nose bridge and can adapt to the shape of your face. Once they are fitted, it is not recommended to keep tweaking these flaps. This will make them last longer and prevent them from maladjusting.|
|Interchangeable bridge||As their name suggests, they include different bridges from which you can choose. While framed in a fixed plastic structure, the lenses are independent of each other. These models are common in competition and are suitable for people who have a very pronounced nose bridge. The great thing is that you can always change the bridge until you find the most suitable one for your face. The peripheral vision tends to be reduced as the goggles are usually smaller, but you will gain in dynamics in the water.|
|Swedes||The very small and simple goggles offer a better peripheral vision as they do not have frames or mounts. You can adapt the nose bridge with an adjustable cord. They are widely used in competition because of their increased hydrodynamics.|
|Masks||Much like diving goggles, they feature large lenses and a large frame. They are suitable for beginners and for use in open water because they protect well against blows and collisions. The silicone on the frames and in the adjustable part of the face provide great comfort and a wide visibility.|
Which lenses are the most suitable for me?
|Types of lenses||When should I use them?|
|Mirrored and polarised||Ideal for very clear days and swimming in open waters. Frequently used in events such as triathlon.|
|Clear||Suitable for both open water and indoor swimming. Particularly recommended when swimming at night or on foggy days.|
|Coloured||They are commonly used in swimming pools and are usually yellow or blue. Blue models offer greater visibility in the water, while yellow ones are used depending on the chemicals found in the pool.|
How should I clean my swimming goggles?
These are additional things that will help you keep your swimming goggles in great condition:
- Let them air dry. Do not use towels or rags as this can remove the anti-fog protection.
- Keep them in a case. This will prevent scratches on the lenses.
- Remove the straps. If you cannot do that, mix some water with dishwasher soap and clean them gently. If you can remove them, do the same thing without rubbing the lenses. Always let them air dry.
- Cold water. Rinse your goggles with cold tap water after training to remove any traces of chlorine or salt.
What type of material is most suitable for the gasket?
- Foam gasket. They are the most comfortable and do not leave any trace on your face, but they generally lose watertightness over time.
- Silicone gasket. They originally come with a light smell that disappears over time. The silicone is resistant and flexible, but the goggles also adjust to the shape of your face to become fully waterproof. They may leave marks on your face if you use them for a long period of time.
- Unsealed. Swedes are the most common models that do not feature silicone gaskets. They are widely used by top athletes. These models are more expensive and are not recommended for open water.
What are the differences between swimming goggles for pools and open water?
We've summed up the most specific features of both models in the table below to help you have an idea of what you should be looking for:
|Open water or outdoor||Swimming pool or indoor|
|Monoblock goggles with mirrored lenses to avoid reflections, or smoke lenses to protect your sight.||For heated pools, it is recommended to opt for clear lenses and fixed bridge or monoblock goggles.|
|It is also important to have protection against UV-A and UV-B radiation.||You can opt for just about any goggles if you swim in unheated pools. That being said, there are other factors to take into account like anti-fog protection. These are detailed in the next section.|
As we've seen throughout this article, there are a number of key aspects to take into account if you want to buy the most appropriate swimming goggles for you. The type of swimming you practice is the first element to consider, and the starting point in your decision process. Here are essential factors to evaluate:
Type of goggles
You'll want to go for a mask-like model if you're into snorkelling or scuba diving. On the other hand, Swedish goggles should be your go-to choice if competition is your thing. Don't overlook this aspect when buying your very own swimming goggles.
Frequency of use
You also have to choose your goggles based on your swimming level and how frequently you exercise. A beginner won't need the same model as a professional swimmer who has swam thousands of hours. Here is a quick table to introduce you to which goggles are best depending your level and frequency:
|Level of practice||What swimming goggles do I need?|
|Casual swimmer||Go for easily adjustable goggles that include a rather thick silicone gasket around the eyes. You can also opt for mask-type swimming goggles that offer a wide vision.|
|Regular swimmer||Look for comfortable, well-supported goggles. Remember to go for a model with UV protection if you plan on swimming outdoor.|
|Intensive or competitive swimmer||Choose polycarbonate lenses as they are more durable and offer a greater resistance to impacts. Models with double strap provide more stability at higher speeds. Customisable Swedes with removable nose bridges are great if you want to combine performance and comfort.|
You can always go for one-size-fits-all swimming goggles if you simply don't have the time to try different sizes. They will allow you to adjust both the straps and the nose bridge. We recommend you to opt for an S size if you have a smaller face or if the goggles are for a minor. That being said, most manufacturers provide size instructions.
As we talk about earlier, you need to choose goggles with polarised or darker lenses if you swim outdoor, as these models prevent reflections and protect your eyes from the sun. Opt for clear lenses if you swim in a pool, and photochromatic lenses will be your best option if you like to swim both indoor and outdoor. These goggles are designed to adjust to the outside luminosity.
Nowadays, polycarbonate lenses are the most common on the market due to their increased strength and durability. Silicone gaskets are also frequently used for the same reason. Goggles manufactured with these materials are a great choice, but we still encourage you to buy a case to keep them safe and avoid scratches on the lenses.
The fact that swimming goggles can become foggy is undeniably one of the most common problems that swimmers face. This is why you should buy a model with anti-fog protection. This characteristic can sometimes only lass for a few month, in which case you will need a liquid to prevent fogging. This is when past user comments become relevant if you want to make the right purchase.
We might not always pay enough attention to small details, but swimming without appropriate goggles is a mistake that can really catch up with you eventually if you're a regular swimmer. Bacteria, salt residues or chlorine found in swimming pools can damage your eyesight and lead to more or less serious eye injuries: this is why wearing goggles is so important.
Nowadays, you can easily and efficiently buy swimming glasses over the internet, but there are still key factors to consider if you want to make the right decision. These include the manufacturing materials, the size or whether they feature an anti-fog protection.
If you liked our guide on swimming goggles, feel free to share it on your social media. You can also leave us a comment in the section below with your impressions!
(Source of featured image: maridav: 11841070/ 123rf.com)