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Finding the right swim goggles?

Previously I have mentioned how important your swimming equipment selection is to swimming performance. There is no point dedicating yourself to training only to be distracted in your swim by leaking goggles, poor vision or discomfort from poor swim equipment. Today I am going to look at goggle selection in more detail.

For me buying the right goggles is like buying a new pair of jeans, it is really difficult to find just the right pair, you often have to try many pairs on but when you do find the right pair they fit perfectly and you end up wearing them until they fall apart.

Where you are going to swim is one of the biggest factors influencing goggle selection, what are you primarily going to be doing? Is it a Triathlon/Ironman or just lap swimming in a pool? Maybe you are an open water swimmer or perhaps you do a mixture them all? No I am not being pedantic, this does make a difference, let me explain;

For the Triathlete/Ironman you require goggles that provide good front and peripheral visibility for navigation. You need to be able to sight, see other competitors, see over small waves and see objects on land. You don’t want the goggle to be too bulky as this creates more drag. Also at the start a protruding object on your face is far more likely to be knocked off by a stray elbow in the predictable race start mayhem.

I currently use Predator by Zoggs. Other goggles that look excellent and I hope to try out this season are Kayenne by Aquasphere and Hydra Vision by blueseventy.

For pool swimming you are often going to be doing shorter sets and swimming at a faster pace.  Drag is far more apparent in this environment. You will want a goggle that is small and fits comfortably into the eye socket with very little protrusion.  You are swimming in a lane so navigation and therefore peripheral vision is not a big factor.

I am current using Arena Panavision, I’ve raced in these goggles since December 2008 (refer to my jeans analogy!). I will be using one of the following for my pool racing this summer; Nero racer by blueseventy,  Torrent race goggles by TYR, Fastlane by Arena, or Speedsocket or Aquasocket both by Speedo

For Open Water swimming, if it is a serious race I would use the same selection advice I have given for the Triathlete/Ironman. If you are not racing or as serious about the pace I would use a larger goggle, this provides lots of vision and comfort.

For an English Channel Swim relay last year and for a fun swim around Burgh Island I used the Vista by Aquasphere , I have their Vista in Blue and the Smoke lenses.

No matter what the discipline your goggles should always be comfortable, if they are not comfortable they are not right for you. Most definitely they should not leak. Lastly, I would highly recommend having two sets of the same goggles, one clear set and one with tinted lenses for sunny days to cut down on the glare. Goggle selection, like buying a new set of jeans, is ultimately a personal choice. What is right for someone else may not be right for you. Use my selection advice above to help you get the most appropriate goggles for your swimming. Contact me directly at dan@fitandabel.com for more advice on your goggle selection.

I will update you with goggle reviews as I try out new models over the summer.


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