There are many options available when looking for the best swim goggles. Whether you are looking for the most comfortable full mask type goggles or for the slick suction goggles you will have plenty of choice. Swimming goggles will most likely be one of the cheaper purchases you make when getting set up for a triathlon. Prices range from about twenty dollars up to about fifty dollars for the top of the line.
It really comes down to what you are most comfortable wearing. I started out wearing the full mask style goggles as they gave me the best field of vision and I didn’t have to worry about them leaking during a race. They do offer a bigger ‘target’ when racing for somebody else’s foot to kick them off your head.
I progressed onto a much slicker pain of TYR Special Ops goggles as I got more confident in the water. I usually wear two swimming hats during a race. The second hat goes over the band of the goggles to help keep it in place while racing. There is nothing worse than losing your goggles during a race – it’s hard enough as it is to manoeuvre around the water without having to do it with your eyes closed.
Our best Triathlon Goggles
Our Top 3 Swimming Goggles
First Place: Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Swim Goggle
The best selling swimming goggles for 2014 are without any doubt the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Mirrored Swim Goggle.
Some of the features that make these the best swimming goggles on the market are the ultra low profile design that gives you an additional 25% peripheral vision. Very handy when you are jammed into a pack of eager triathletes all vying for a personal best. They come with a silicone double headstrap that is easily adjustable, and you wont have to worry about these goggles moving about while you are swimming.
The soft silicone eye seals keep every last drop of water out and the ultra mirrored coating help reduce the glare off the water.
Second Place: Aqua Sphere KAYENNE GOGGLE
A very close second in this review is the Aqua Sphere Kayenne Goggle.
These goggles are a firm favorite of mine because they give you a full field of vision when you are swimming. The big lenses are great when you are starting out and you get none of the uncomfortable pressure or suction feeling when you are wearing them.
They come with a very easy to use adjusting system which allows you to make small adjustments while wearing them. Couple that with the anti-fog and scratch resistant lenses and you are on to a winner with these goggles.
Third Place: Sable Water Optics
The final set in our top three review of swim goggles are the excellent Sable WaterOptics 101MT Mirrored Competition Goggles. These goggles form Sable are top of the line with regards to quality and features.
If you need a very clear view of things going on around you then these are the goggles for you. They are a bit more expensive than the other goggles in this review but then the quality of this brand really shine out. They do not fog up when you are swimming and because of the quality of the fit you wouldn’t even know you were wearing them. They are a firm favorite amongst budding and professional triathletes.
Swim Goggles – What to look for
There are many types of swimming goggles you can purchase and here we will break it down a bit more to give you some ideas and use cases for each one.
Competition goggles are really slick close fitting goggles. You will see this style on most of the serious swimmers on race day. They sit very close in to the eye so reduce drag considerably and because they are so slick they also help with aerodynamics during the swim. They take a bit of getting used to but are by far the best but take some getting used to because of the tight fit. I strongly suggest testing these and get comfortable with them in the pool or on training sessions before you hit the start line. Some people cannot wear them at all so take your time and get them setup and adjusted to suit early. I have seen people mark the bands with tape so they know exactly where the need to be adjusted to in case they slip.
Seen by many as the most comfortable swim goggles the gasket style name comes from the ring of silicone or sometimes foam than lines the inner edge of the goggles. They fit snugly to the contours of your face and do not sit in too tight to the eyeball. Sometimes you will hear people complaining that they suck their eyeballs out and are too tight. This comes down to how they are adjusted. Again to highlight the point I made earlier, make sure you test and adjust them correctly before race day. A couple of sessions in the pool will have you sorted in no time at all.
Full Mask Goggles
The full mask style swim goggles are great when starting out. Not the most aerodynamic of styles but for the novice competitor or casual swimmer they are ideal. They give you a full field of vision and do not in any way press in on your eye sockets. The silicone edge fits around the face very comfortably. This is the style I started out with. The big problem I had was they were removed rather abruptly from my head about 2 meters into the first competitive swim I ever did. I do still however use them during the odd training session as they really are very comfortable and have never leaked a drop.
Swim Goggles – How do they Fit
Next up we want to look at how to correctly fit your new swim goggles. We have all seen the mysterious red band of terror that people produce when they take off their swimming goggles. Do the following next time you put yours on or are trying out a new pair.
Easy does it
As a minimum test you want to make sure the goggles actually fit you. This is easily achieved by press fitting the goggles onto your face. Push them gently towards your face until the suction process takes over. They should fit around your eye and not in it. Don’t force them – apart from blinding yourself momentarily you will not conduct a suitable test this way. If they fit correctly they should stay in place on their own. Note that we have not tightened the strap at this stage. They should stay there on their own.
Can I still see
Next you want to adjust the strap. Don’t tighten the strap to the point where you might pass out from lack of blood circulation either. You want to tighten it enough to make sure the goggles stay in place because the suction process mentioned above will look after the water tight seal not the strap.
Caring for your Goggles
Make sure you wash and rinse your goggles properly after you swim. Do not rinse them in the pool but rather rinse them off in the shower or under a tap. The pool chlorine will eat away at the seals if you don’t wash it off post swim. You should also make sure to store your goggles in a dry place after use. Your best swim goggles will be useless if left in the bottom of a damp gear bag. Bacteria will start to grow on them and the lenses will get dull or even crack. Dry them thoroughly and store them somewhere dry. Most decent swimming goggles come with a hard case which is ideal for storage. If you have the luxury of living in a climate that allows for a lot of outdoor swimming protect your goggles from prolonged exposure to the sun. This exposure will effect the durability of the straps.
So just to recap. Keep you swim goggles dry, clean and away from the sun and they will last for many years.