You count on swim goggles to see well and remain alert during your swim while preventing eye redness and irritation. But not all goggles are created equal. Finding the perfect pair makes a huge difference in the swimming experience.
Most importantly, they fit just right. That means no water leaks in and they reliably stay in position, no matter how hard you swim. But they’re not so tight that they cause discomfort or pain, or leave you with funny-looking indentations in your forehead or nose for hours after getting out of the water.
Swim goggles come in all shapes and sizes, with so many styles and price points to choose from. If you’re picking out a pair for yourself or your kids, it’s important to make informed selections. That ensures they do their job without any of the potential drawbacks, and it prevents you from having to toss a pair and buy new ones.
Tips for Picking Swim Goggles
The same pair of goggles doesn’t work for everyone. Individual preferences and face shapes matter. But there is a perfect pair of goggles for everyone. It may just take a little trial, error, and patience to find yours. Here are some pointers for choosing just the right swim goggles:
- Buy goggles designed for what they’ll be used for; different categories include competitive swim goggles (not particularly comfortable for daily use, but made to reduce resistance), recreational and practice goggles (more comfortable for frequent use), and swim masks (for snorkeling and scuba diving, and they can work for recreational swims)
- Opt for goggles that don’t obstruct your peripheral view; sometimes you need to see places besides straight ahead, especially if you swim in open water
- Choose metallic (also known as mirrored) tinted lenses for swimming outdoors in daylight; clear or light-colored lenses are ideal for indoor pool use
- Polarized polycarbonate lenses are great for open-water swimming
- Swim goggles with double straps are less likely to slide down than those with single straps
- Never buy goggles without trying them on (or letting your child try them on)
- Check for an airtight fit by forcefully pressing the eye cups to your face without putting the straps on; if the goggles stick to your face for a few seconds before falling off, they’ll keep water out
- Put the goggles on and see how they feel; if they press uncomfortably on your nose, around your eyes, or on other areas, they’re not a good choice
- Remember, if the goggles don’t feel good after a minute of trying them on, they definitely won’t feel good after wearing them for an extended period
- The smaller the eye cups, the more likely they are to stay in place; however, many people find that goggles are more comfortable the larger the eye cups
- Don’t be unnecessarily constrained by package labels or store sections; sometimes, the perfect pair of swim goggles is waiting in the section for the other sex, or even in the kid’s area
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, order goggles that fit your prescription
- When you find the perfect swim goggles, purchase an extra pair as backup