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Which Are The Best Swimming Goggles?

Updated on February 17, 2014
Using goggles will enhance your swimming experinece.
Using goggles will enhance your swimming experinece. | Source

The Basics

The key to knowing which swimming goggles to choose is to decide what you are going to use them for. Are you looking for goggles for competitive races, or just recreational swimming. How long do you use a pair of goggles in one go? How often do you go swimming? Where do you go swimming? These are all questions that you need to answer in order to find the best swimming goggles.


Why use swimming goggles?

You might think that you don't even need swimming goggles. However I would advise you to get one even if you are just an occasional swimmer. Goggles keep your eyes from contacting the water. The goggles will give your eyes protection by preventing the salt water or chlorine water from contacting your eyes. The goggles will provide clarity of vision. All in all you will be able to enjoy your swimming sessions, and the whole training will be a more pleasant experience.

It is important to note that many people confuse swimming goggles with snorkeling masks. The main difference is that the former doesn't have a nosepiece, while the latter does. Snorkeling masks are bigger and less aerodynamic, making them unfit and unpleasant for extended swimming practice sessions.

A Few Thing To Consider Before Buying a Swimming Goggle

What are you going to use it for?

Choose aerodynamic models if you are going to swim in competitions, go for comfort if you are going to use it for extended periods of practice.

Who is going to use it?

Go for goggles made of polycarbonate lenses for children. Optical grade lenses are good for swimming in lakes or the sea, where you want to observe wildlife.

What is your budget, and how long are you going to use it?

If you want swimming goggles for a one-off occasion, you can definitely buy the cheapest one, but invest a bit more if you are going to use it regularly.

Alex Harris in the Sydney Olympics. Notice how close the lenses are to his face, so that he remains aerodynamic.
Alex Harris in the Sydney Olympics. Notice how close the lenses are to his face, so that he remains aerodynamic. | Source

The Two Basic Uses

The two basic uses of goggles are competitions, and recreational practices. The two types of uses require quite different features.

Competition goggles must be aerodynamic most of all. A good shaped goggle can mean the difference between winning a competition and going home empty handed. Competition goggles are designed so that they are close to the eyesockets, which reduces resistance and keeps the water out. Any distraction, like water pouring into the goggles can ruin your race. These goggles can be a bit more expensive than the other type of goggles, the recreational goggles.

Recreational goggles are generally cheaper and more comfortable than competition goggles. Recreational goggles tend to be worn for longer periods of time. A practice session can last for an hour, whereas races are usually consist of a few laps, and are over in a few minutes. Recreational glasses also fit well, but they tend to be less aerodynamic. On the other hand they are designed to get foggy on the inside less. The fog that gathers on the inside of the goggles and prevents you from clear vision is condensation. The humidity inside the goggles forms a foggy layer on the inside of the lenses as the outside of the lenses is a lot colder than the inside due to the water it contacts. Most goggles are covered with an anti-fog layer to battle this problem.

Tip: If you already own a goggle that gets foggy constantly, spit on the lenses from the inside, and apply it with your fingers. This will prevent the condensation from developing.


The Material of the Lenses

One of the most common materials that lenses are made of is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is one of the most popular materials because it is lightweight, thin, yet it is very strong. It is UV resistant and impact resistant, which makes it an excellent material for children's goggles and safety goggles.

Optical grade lenses are used for prescription glasses. They are made of high grade plastic, which is popular as it doesn't distort your vision. They are lightweight, scratch resistant, which makes them excellent for prescription goggles.

Polycarbonate is an excellent material to make children's goggles, due to its durability.
Polycarbonate is an excellent material to make children's goggles, due to its durability. | Source

The Top Three Best Swimming Goggles

With all the information provided above it might be hard to know which goggles are the best. To give you a few recommendations, I am going to share with you my three favorite swimming goggles. I am going to share the reason why I like them, and what I recommend them for.

Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Goggles

The Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Goggle is one of my favorite goggles when it comes to swimming in wild waters. The reason for my affection is the great visibility that it provides. It provides a great 180 degree vision, that allows you to use your peripheral vision. It has mirrored lenses, that enhances your vision in hard visibility conditions.

They are very comfortable, and the lenses fit your eye sockets perfectly. The collar is very easy to fit.

I recommend these goggles for recreational wild water swimming. However the lenses are well made, and have a good shape. They are aerodynamic. I would also recommend these goggles for competition swimming.

Aqua Sphere Kaiman Swim Goggle

The Aqua Sphere Kaiman Goggles are known for their great design that allows a 180 degree vision. You can take advantage of your peripheral vision. These goggles are scratch resistant, and provide high visibility. One of the best features is that they prevent all leaking, they fit so well.

Unfortunately they are a bit prone to getting foggy on the inside, but you can swim a solid 45-50 minutes before the fog starts to appear. You just need to take off your glasses and clear it from the inside, spit in it, or wash it in water a bit, and things will be fine again.

Some reviews mention that it starts leaking after years of use in chlorine water, however most goggles don't even make it for multiple years.

Aqua Sphere Cayenne Goggle

These are my favorite goggles. They are very well designed, which makes them excellent for competition swimming. The frame very narrow thanks to a new technology, the so called super-slim microframe, which keeps the lenses very close to your face.

It has a quick-fit buckle, that makes it very quick and easy to put the goggles on.

It is not only anti-fog layered, but the lenses have an UV-resistant layer as well. This makes it excellent for using it on holidays at exotic places. The lenses are also scratch resistant.

All in all the Aqua Sphere Cayenne Goggles are my favorite goggles because they can be used for a wide variety of situations, they are durable, easy and comfortable to wear and last but not least they look awesome.

Conclusion

The best swimming goggle for you is the one that fits your needs the most. There are so many variables that can affect your choice, the material of the lenses, the comfort level, the visibility that the lenses provide, etc. These are just the few of the things you should consider before buying a goggle.

I hope you liked the goggles I have selected as my favorites, and I also hope that this article was helpful in your quest for the best swimming goggle.

How To Choose Swimming Goggles

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    • cobotoozswimwear profile image

      Mark Keane 2 years ago from Glasgow

      A top article for anyone that wants info before getting their swimming goggles. I remember the days, many years ago, that goggles leaked badly, hurt my eyes a lot and you couldn't see thru them. Now all of those issues are sorted and they are so comfortable to wear for long swims.

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