Swimming is one of the most well rounded sports. Swimming engages almost all our body’s muscles integrating cardio, stretching and resistance training all into the same activity. Another compelling attribute of swimming, in contrast to so many sports, is that it does not require a significant investment. All you’ll need are a bathing suit, a swim cap and good swimming goggles to protect your eyes.
Eye protection is particularly important when swimming. Whether you are in a pool or ocean; chlorine or salt water can limit your visibility when they come into contact with your eyes as well as cause irritation. Therefore goggles, tailored to your needs, are necessary. We’ve designed this guide to help you choose the right pair.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best swimming goggles on the US market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about swimming goggles
- 3.1 What are swimming goggles exactly?
- 3.2 Should I wear swimming goggles if I have vision problems?
- 3.3 What types of swimming goggles are available?
- 3.4 Which lenses are the most suitable for me?
- 3.5 How should I clean my swimming goggles?
- 3.6 What type of material is most suitable for the gasket?
- 3.7 What are the differences between swimming goggles for pools and open water?
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- You’ll find many types of swimming goggles on the US market. The model might change whether you want to use them for swimming outdoors or for pool use.
- Take note of 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 your goggles regularly to prevent scratches.
- Photochromatic lenses are your best available option for swimming in the ocean or in pools, since they automatically adjust to the outside light.
Ranking: The best swimming goggles on the US market
Swimming goggles date back to 20th century Olympic medallist Thomas Burgess. He was the second person to swim across the English Channel and the first to use goggles. Without a doubt, goggles have changed significantly since that time. The following section features what we believe to be the best models on the US market right now.
No. 1: Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Swim Goggle
Speedo’s Vanquisher 2.0 are likely the most popular goggles in the US at the moment. And for good reason. They provide a sleek, snug, eye fit. The goggles include UV protection, anti-fog lenses, and are 100% PVC free. The design is very comfortable and includes a head strap with an ergonomic adjustable clip.
The Vanquisher 2.0 are also one of the more affordable options we reviewed. Each order includes 4 interchangeable nosepieces. These goggles can be used by recreational swimmers and competitors alike.
No. 2: Zionor Swimming Goggles
Zionor goggles are moderately more pricer than other brands on the market, due to a variety of features. These goggles are especially suitable for the more competitive swimmer. Zionor include – wide-view vision under water for clear and clean view. The dual-strap at back lessens pressure on the head and enables a comfortable wearing experience for long swimming sessions.
These goggles are made of a non-allergy silicone material. They include UV protection and anti-fogging outside and inside the lens. Additionally, the strap is easily adjustable requiring only the push of a button on each to adjust. These goggles can fit teenagers and adults alike.
No. 3: MP Michael Phelps XCEED Swimming Goggles
The MP Michael Phelps XCEED are performance, competition goggles. XCEED goggles are the priciest option in this review and probably not necessary for purely recreational swimmers. Their main features include patented curved lens for expanded vision, enabling the swimmer to see the sight walls and competition without altering head position. The nose bridge is interchangeable, creating a customized fit.
The head buckle is hydrodynamic and user friendly enabling quick adjustments. The lenses include both UVA and UVB protection. These googles are manufactured in Italy, and the craftsmanship is notable. Last, these goggles are ‘Fina approved’ meaning they are approved for competitive use.
No. 4: Speedo Unisex Hydrospex Classic
The Speedo Unisex Hydrospex Classic are a solid economical choice. They offer a quality option for recreational and sport swimmers alike. The design is stylish and offers a comfortable inner eye fit. The lens structure is snug, and makes use of silicon seals to prevent water from entering the goggles. The lenses are designed to enable a wide viewing range.
The goggles include standard Anti-Fog coating as well as UV coating for light protection. The Gasket shape offers a universal fit that is suitable for teenagers to adults. With an economic price point and advanced functions, these goggles are an attractive option.
No. 5: Aegend Swim Goggles,
Aegend goggles provide a highly popular option for recreational to competitive swimmers. Their main features include a flexible silicone frame. The inner surfaces of the lenses are anti-fog coated. The Ergonomic design ensures a snug fit on different facial forms preventing water from leaking in. The colorful outer surface of the lenses is coated with UV-Protection.
These goggles are also highly durable – the lenses are polycarbonate and stay strong in rough triathlon conditions. The clasp is well designed making it easy to put goggles on and take off without pulling hair. These goggles have a 12 month warranty. Note of caution – people who are allergic to silicone should not buy this product.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about swimming goggles
Certain equipments are an absolute necessity when it comes to practicing water sports, and goggles are certainly one of them. The US market offers a wide range of products, and it’s not always easy knowing which one is best suited for your needs. We now discuss the the most frequently asked questions to help you make the right decision.
What are swimming goggles exactly?
Goggles are a type of glasses designed specifically for swimmers to see underwater while protecting their eyes from either chlorine or salt water. These swimming items are essential for competitive athletes, but also necessary for recreational swimmers.
Should I wear swimming goggles if I have vision problems?
Yes! Swimming goggles are designed to protect the mucous membranes of your eyes from irritants such as salt and chlorine. People suffering from myopia or other vision problems need to wear corrective goggles. These products are naturally more expensive, but they are a worthy investment for your health if you are a regular swimmer.
What types of swimming goggles are available?
As discussed, you won’t need the same model if you swim in open water or if you tend to hit the swimming pool. Your fitness and technical levels should also affect your choice. Swimming goggles can truly differ from one model to another depending on their shape. Here are some more details to help you in your decision:
|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?
The lenses are an element of the swimming goggles you cannot overlook if you want to buy the model most tailored to your needs. The type of swimming you practice will greatly influence your choice, as you need different models to swim on the surface or for diving. Here are the different types of lenses and their specific uses:
|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?
Here are some instructions to follow if you want to keep your goggles in top condition. The first thing is to avoid touching the lens with your fingers, as they can leave grease stains that are hard to remove.
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?
Watertightness is essential, as it is the property that prevents water to leak into your goggles. During the 1970s, swimming goggles often came with a foam gasket, but they could never completely guarantee watertightness. Here are the different types available on the market:
- 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?
As you well know, swimming outdoor or in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool. Each of these different settings requires you to have different swimming goggles.
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. The type of swimming you practice is the first element to consider, and the starting point in your decision making process. Here are essential factors to evaluate:
- Type of goggles
- Frequency of use
- Lens colour
- Anti-fog system
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 harm your eyes if you are a regular swimmer. Bacteria, salt residues or chlorine found in swimming pools can damage your eyesight and lead to eye injuries: this is why wearing goggles is so important.
Nowadays, you can easily and efficiently buy swimming goggles 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: Cervo/ 123rf.com)