Whether you’re shopping for yourself or your kids, comfort is an important factor. A good test is to try the swim goggle on without the strap and push them against your face to see if they seal comfortably.
Some swimmers prefer “metallic” lenses, which are dark-tinted outdoor goggles ideal for open water swims or frequent use. They help reduce glare and UV exposure.
Image credit: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0342/0753/articles/11571494-AA1B-48B1-976E-7CB529B461B4.jpg?v=1655036735
Factors to Consider
When shopping for a pair of swim goggles, fit is essential. If the goggles don’t fit properly, they won’t keep water out of your eyes efficiently. A good way to test for a snug fit is to leave the strap off and press them firmly against your face. If they fit well, they should suction to your eye sockets and stay in place without leaking for a second or two.
The color of the lens should also be considered, depending on your environment. Clear lenses work well in low-light conditions such as a dimly lit indoor pool or outdoor swimming at dawn or dusk, while tinted lenses are ideal for brightly lit environments such as public pools and sunny outdoors swims.
Mirrored lenses are another option, but they are best suited for competitive swimmers who want to prevent opponents from seeing their eyes when underwater. These lenses also reflect light rather than absorb it, which can cause glare and headaches for some swimmers.
Swim Goggles for Different Swimming Environments
The right swim goggles are comfortable, secure, and fit your eye sockets perfectly. The goggles also have a wide field of vision and a soft gasket seal to keep water from entering while you swim.
If you swim outdoors during the day, consider a pair with blue-colored lenses to help reduce light and glare. A darker tint works well indoors and in low-light conditions, such as when the sun isn’t out.
A pair of Speedo Vanquisher swim goggles is a staple for many swimmers and fits most faces. The low profile and shape of the lens helps minimize drag for a hydrodynamic fit, and they’re ideal for training.
Image credit: https://prod-everyoneactive-wp.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/18092959/goggles
For more competitive swims, try a pair of competition goggles that are low-profile and technical. These are designed for racing and are often less comfortable if worn every day, but they can be good for casual recreation. You can check for a good fit without swimming by pressing the goggles firmly to your eyes and observing how they stay in place for a second or two.
Tips for Choosing Swim Goggles for Kids
A good pair of swim goggles can help your kids enjoy swimming, whether they’re swimming for fun or participating in a competition. But finding a pair that fits their face well and won’t cause leaks or marks around their eyes can be a challenge.
The best swim goggles for kids will have comfortable straps that grip the head, a soft seal that won’t scratch or irritate the eyes, and clear lenses. They should also be easy to adjust and offer plenty of options for color, lens tinting, and transition lenses to suit their needs for different outdoor water-based activities.
Dobrica recommends mask-style goggles for beginners because they make it easier for kids to see underwater and overcome their fear of lowering their faces into the water. The TYR Swimple Tie Dye youth goggles, for example, feature wide-angle lenses and have an adjustable nose bridge to fit different faces. Plus, they have anti-fog coating and UV protection for comfort and safety.
Prescription Swim Goggles
For people who wear glasses or contact lenses, prescription swim goggles can improve comfort and performance while lowering the risk of eye infections. Eye infections can range from pink eye to the rare but serious acanthamoeba keratitis, which can be dangerous for swimmers.
Properly fitting goggles can provide a tight seal that keeps water from entering around the eye sockets without pinching or pulling on the face. To maximize comfort, look for adjustable straps that stay firmly in place without causing discomfort or slipping off.
Image credit: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0675/6165/2531/products/AqtivAquaSwim
Prescription swimming goggles have shatterproof lenses and anti-fog treatment. UV protection is also commonly built in. Lenses are available in a variety of tints. Recreational lap swimmers prefer larger (to allow for better peripheral vision) and more padded frames, while competitive-style goggles feature sleeker frames that are more aerodynamic for race day competitions. The lenses are typically a step-diopter in one-half increments and do not correct for cylinder, so they may cause some eye strain with extended use.