Most swim goggles are pretty decent at the job they are supposed to do: keep water out of your eyes during the swim. However, if you’ve been inside a box sports store or a specialty swim store lately you’ve seen the racks and racks of swim goggles to choose from.
The question becomes, how do you choose from all the different brands?
Well, here are four tips to keep in mind when trying to find that perfect pair for you:
Forget the Brand
Most goggles are made the same way with polycarbonate lenses, rubber gaskets around the lenses (except for Swedish goggles), some sort of nose piece, and then some rubber to attach it all around your head. What that means is that while there are probably a hundred different brands of goggles out there, you don’t need to shop by brand because there aren’t significant differences between the different brands.
Cost Does Not Equate to Quality
We’ve all fallen into the trap of thinking that because something costs more, it’s a better product and will single-handedly shave time off our performance.
As I mentioned before, the best triathlon goggles you need are those that will keep you from going blind during the swim. Sure there are goggles that cost $100, but if they don’t come with x-ray vision, then they are not worth it. A $10 pair of swim goggles can easily be the best triathlon goggles you’ll buy.
Fit Matters Most
All faces are not created equal. There are round faces, fat faces, long faces, skinny faces, faces with eyes close to the nose, faces with eyes out by the ears… you get the idea.
So a pair of goggles that fits me perfectly probably are not going to fit you. Telling you that the pair of goggles I use are the only ones you should use is like telling you to use my running shoes.
So if you’re buying some swimming goggles locally, be sure that you can try them on before you buy them. Even if you have to sneak over by the fishing gear and do it. Don’t worry, nobody ever goes over there. Sure it won’t be exactly the same as swimming in them, but at the least you can tell if you can adjust the goggles to fit your face.
Watch the Color
Color is a beautiful thing, and many triathletes use color to define who they are as triathletes. Just be careful if you do this with your swim goggles. Lenses come in all sorts of colors: clear, tinted, mirror, red, amber, green, blue, purple… you name it, there’s a color out there you can get.
Be aware, though, that the color of your lenses can have an affect on your swim. A clear pair is great to use indoors when you don’t have to worry about the glare of the sun. However, a shaded pair is great when swimming outdoors so you can keep the sun out of your eyes.
If you only want to get one pair of goggles for both indoor and outdoor use, you can always try out a pair of the amber or red colored goggles. They won’t be as dark when swimming inside, and will provide minimal protection against the sun when swimming outdoors. Otherwise, you can always get a dark pair for races or swimming outside, and a clear pair for training indoors.