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Swimming Goggles Advice

Choosing the right pair of goggles can seem pretty tricky - there are so many different shapes and lens colour options available.

We hope that this guide will cover any questions you may have about choosing the right pair of goggles and make swimming a much better experience for you.

For a full range of Goggles please see our Swimming Goggles department.

Tips for Choosing Your Goggle

Which goggle is right for you?

The trick to getting a good pair of goggles is selecting a model that fits your face and your eyes, and of course makes you look the business in the water! This three-step system should ensure you find your perfect match for the water.

Step 1 - Seal

To test the fit, you should firstly apply the goggle to the face without the strap in place and test the seal the goggle provides. If a split second of suction is provided then you have a strong indication of a good fit (take care of your eyes though, our goggles are known to have awesome suction!)

Myth: Tightening the strap will ensure your goggles give a good fit.

Fact: The goggle straps sole purpose is to hold the goggle in position, not to provide the seal. Adjustment of the strap may be necessary, however avoid the temptation to pull the strap too tight, this will simply create uncomfortable pressure on the delicate eye area, not to mention an unsightly panda eye effect!

Step 2 - Fit

Once you have found a good seal you should fit the strap by careful adjustment and then focus on two areas:

  1. Comfort around the nosebridge, the goggle should sit comfortably around the nose and create a good seal.
  2. Seal around the eye should sit comfortably and not wrap too far around the corner of the eye. This can be tricky to see so ask a friend or family member to help you with this and use mirrors to check for gaps.

Step 3 - Style

Check how you look in a mirror! We always recommend trying 2-3 different models, this will help you compare fit, comfort and validate your purchase decision.  There is nothing worse than buying a new pair of goggles then thinking they look awful when you get home! You won’t wear a pair of goggles that you don’t like.

Which Goggle Shape

There are so many swimming goggle shapes to choose from each but each shape does have a different purpose. The smallest and flattest designs are for competition use and are not always very comfortable but give a more streamlined shape. Recreational swimmers may prefer a larger lens goggle or a swim mask so they can see more and have a much more comfortable fit.

Swedish Goggles

Swedish goggles are becoming more and more popular and are designed primarily for competitive swimmers. These types of goggles sit right on the eye socket and so have less drag than a recreational goggle.

Gasket GogglesGasket Goggles (Classic)

These are the most common swimming goggles. Gasket goggles come in two types – silicone and foam. The most popular choice for swimmers is the silicone type however some swimmers will always go for the foam, it’s purely down to preference and there is no right or wrong. It’s a little bit harder to find foam goggles now but a little research and you are sure to find some.
An oval shaped gasket goggle is better suited to people with a smaller facial frame than a round shaped gasket as it does a much better job of fitting the natural shape of the eye socket.

Swim MasksSwim Masks

Swim masks are right between a traditional goggles and a snorkel mask. They vary quite a bit in size and some are more streamlined than others. Swim masks are really popular with children as they can put them on themselves and don’t need a lot of adjusting whilst coming in a huge variety of colours and lens types.
There are plenty of advantages to wearing a swim mask:

  • The mask sits around the eyes so they are super comfortable
  • They stay on the face by a gasket suction and so less adjusting is needed
  • Swim masks give a large range of view as they sit further away from the eyes than traditional goggles

Which Lens Colour?

Confused with the range of lens colours that are available? Different lens colours are designed to perform under different light conditions so take a look at which is best suited to you.

Amber Lens

An Amber lens provides excellent vision in both high and low light environments. In low level light (indoor swimming pool etc) amber lenses amplify the light meaning clearer vision in the water. In high light levels (bright sunshine, outdoors etc) they reduce glare which also helps to provide better vision and means you won’t have to squint your eyes so much. An ideal lens colour for all enviroments.

Amber Lens

Clear Lens

Clear lenses provide a natural light, which makes it ideal for low light, overcast conditions or in murky open water where maximum visibility is required. Clear lens is also ideal for consistent lighting as it provides accurate vision without filtering out colour. Ideal for indoor pools and dark conditions

Clear Lens

Blue / Violet Lens

These colours are designed to allow a moderate level of light into the eye but they still provide some protection from glare. It’s a practical colour for conditions that might change or you’re unsure of what they will be like. Ideal for everyday events and training.

Blue / Violet Lens

Mirror Lens

Mirrored lenses are used in very bright conditions as the mirror lens reflect the light away from the eyes. Competitive swimmers often use these goggles so their opponents can’t see their eyes and is used as a part of competitive strategy – there is a real cool factor to mirrored lenses! Ideal for use in competitions or outdoor swimming

Mirror Lens

Smoked Lens

Dark lenses provide protection from high light levels (direct sunshine and bright conditions). They have the same principles as sun glasses. Ideal for swimming out in the sun.

Smoked Lens

Which Lens Material?

Lens material is something that people forget to take into consideration. It can be a pretty tough decision when you look further into it.

  1. Polycarbonate – a lens that resists cracking and is strong. You can get this in a variety of colours and can also feature anti-fog properties and UV protection. You’ll find most lenses are made with a plastic but there can be a huge difference in quality and quite often it’s a case of you get what you pay for.
  2. Optical Grade – a high grade plastic that’s used in the construction of prescription glasses. It’s lightweight, scratch resistant and has less distortion than a cheaper lens.
  3. Anti-fog coating – a thin layer of anti-fog treatment that is applied to the lens. It does wear away over time and will need to be reapplied with one of the anti-fog drops or sprays that are available to buy separately.

Prescription GogglesNeed a Prescription Lens?

A decade or two ago you would have seriously struggled to find goggles that could have prescription lenses or you would have had to pay a small fortune. Now there is a good range of goggles that can have a prescription lens at a reasonable price.

A good example of this is the Aqua Sphere Eagle Goggle which you can replace the lenses with prescription goggle lens for pocket money. Each lens can be different as both eyes are quite often different from the other.

Goggle Comparison

To make things a little easier when shopping for some new goggles, Simply Swim have created a goggle comparison chart. This gives you the chance to short list and compare the goggles that only offer what you need, whether it be a certain lens colour, within a certain price range or a women’s specific fit. Now after reading through our goggle advice page, you can be sure you have the goggles that will suit your every need and know exactly what you’re looking for.

Goggle Care

You might be surprised but your swimming goggles need just as much care as your training and racing swimsuits! To preserve the life of your goggles and keep them in good condition we recommend you follow these rules:

  1. Always rinse your goggles off in cold water to remove any chlorine, salt or sand.
  2. Allow to dry in a warm and hygienic environment.
  3. Do not store or leave out in direct sunlight as this could cause the silicone to dry and also make the colour fade.
  4. Never rub the inside of the lenses as this could cause scratches and removes the anti-fog coating.
  5. Consider purchasing a goggle pouch to provide additional protection.

There's no specific 'goggle cleaner' available as the lenses aren't meant to be touched at all. The best way to keep them in the best condition is use them carefully.