Which type of goggle to choose?
With so many different types of goggles on the market it can be difficult to know which to choose. Here we explain the different styles of goggles available, their features and what type of swimming they are suited for.
These goggles are designed to be streamlined with smaller eye gaskets to minimise water drag when competing and to give a secure fit for dives and turns. With the emphasis being on a low profile to minimise water drag, these goggles may not be as comfortable as fitness and leisure goggles but will help to give you a streamlined shape in the water.
Look out for FINA-approved styles that offer a secure fit, a low profile for improved water speed and anti-fog lenses, which give you the best view while you’re in the water.
Swim Training/Fitness and Leisure
If you are swimming for reasonably long periods of time, comfort will be your main priority. Swim training and fitness swimming will involve swimming many lengths in one session and you should therefore choose a goggle that feels comfortable around the eyes. Goggles should fit well and enable you to focus on training, rather than worrying about your goggles for any reason. Training goggles tend to be a bit more flexible than racing goggles, which are secure, to ensure they remain in place when you’re swimming at speed, diving or turning.
If you are just having fun at the pool, you will also want a goggle that feels comfortable so that you can concentrate on having a good time in the water!
Open Water Goggles
When you’re swimming in open water, you need to ensure that you can see clearly whatever the weather conditions. Comfort is also a consideration, but you also need goggles that will stay put as you tackle potentially difficult conditions. Keeping a good selection of lens types is a great idea for open water swimming, having both clear and tinted lens will keep you covered for all types of conditions. The last thing you want in low light conditions is a dark lens, especially when there are no lane ropes to keep you on the straight and narrow!
Mask style goggles give an excellent seal to minimise leaks, as they have a bigger profile that gives good suction on your face. Masks are sometimes preferable for long swims and outdoor conditions, as they can be more comfortable. It’s often best to try a couple of different styles, and see which you prefer.
Swimming goggles are essential for children as they will protect their eyes from the stinging effects of chlorinated water and will encourage them to put their head under the water; building up their confidence and swimming ability.
Kids (0 to 6 years) - Comfort and a good seal is the main priority for very young children when choosing goggles, as they will be miserable in the water if their swimming goggles are uncomfortable or let water in.
Junior (6 to 14 years) – For older children, different styles such as racing goggles, masks and character goggles and are designed in a small fit. Mask style goggles are a great choice for children as they give a really good seal to prevent water leaking in and give a large field of vision enabling kids to see everything clearly.