Swim goggles are essential to an enjoyable and successful swim.
Whether you’re competing in a race or swimming for leisure, your swim will greatly benefit from the use of goggles.
With many types and varieties on the market, however, you may have trouble narrowing down your options. Let’s take a look at the four deciding factors that can help you choose the right pair of goggles for your swimming style.
The first thing to consider when shopping for goggles is the type of swimming you will be doing while wearing the goggles. If you plan to use your goggles for mainly leisure swims or open water swims, you’ll want to consider frame goggles. These goggles typically feature a flat lens fitted into a socket in the surrounding frame. The frame usually has a larger silicon gasket, which is either part of the frame itself or attached to provide the waterproof seal, while the nose bridge and frame are typically one complete indivisible unit. Frame goggles are generally considered to be the most comfortable type of goggles, and can be easily worn for longer periods of time thanks to the large gaskets. These features make them ideal for leisure and open water swims.
Another popular type of goggles are training or competition goggles. The lens in competition goggles is rounded and bigger than in the frame goggles, with better visibility as they are usually transparent on the sides. Since most swimmers who purchase competition goggles are swimming indoors, they aren’t looking for something that can withstand strong currents or choppy waters. Therefore the sealing gasket in competition goggles is smaller and not as forgiving or intrusive as frame goggles, though the seal is still sufficient for fast-paced swims. The nose bridge is almost always adjustable in training and competition goggles, and while smaller on the face than frame goggles, they are still usually comfortable to wear as swimmers will need to wear them for longer training sessions.
After choosing a goggle style or type, you’ll next want to consider the lens. For swimmers who will be swimming outdoors and dealing with the sun and reflections on the water, mirrored or tinted lenses will be extremely beneficial. This is a fairly common feature, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a variety of options with mirrored or tinted lenses. If you know you will be swimming mainly indoors, you should be fine with a regular clear lens.
Another lens feature to consider is an anti-fog coating. Varying water, air, and body temperatures can cause fogging on goggle lenses, regardless of whether you are swimming indoors or outdoors. An anti-fog coating can greatly improve a swimmer’s experience and increase visibility. As it is typically just a coating applied to the lens, the anti-fog feature will generally wear off in time.
No matter which type of goggles you choose, you should rinse your goggles regularly in clear water to help preserve them. For goggles with an anti-fog coating, you should avoid touching the inside of the lens as much as possible. The oils from your skin will help to accelerate the deterioration of the anti-fog coating. When you notice your anti-fog is beginning to wear off, you can use a commercial anti-fog liquid, or create an easy homemade version with a few drops of equal parts baby shampoo and water, and then rinse the lenses in clear water.
Ultimately, you should choose a pair of goggles you feel most comfortable wearing, with features that will best enhance your swimming style. Shopping for goggles doesn’t have to be a chore! Visit the BornToSwim goggle selection today to find your next perfect pair.