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Search for the Perfect Swim Goggles

Posted Jul 28 2007 6:12pm 3 Comments

Why are good swim goggles so hard to come by? It doesn't matter what the brand or the price, it seems that they will often leak and fog up no matter what you do. Or maybe my head is shaped funny? I can't say for sure, but I have yet to wear a swim goggle that doesn't disappoint in some fashion or other.

For a while I had Speedo goggles - the standard ones for swimmers, with the adjustable strap. They leaked something awful. I'm not sure what I did with those, but eventually moved on to a pair of Tyr goggles.

These I got at my gym for $10. The Tyr goggles were in a fancy case and seemed to be all about quality from the packaging...that is, until I wore them. The leaking isn't so bad - but the fogging! No amount of spit helps these goggles stay clear. Wearing them is looking through a fogged up bathroom mirror. Forget it.

Today I went to the sporting goods store to find new goggles. My choices were Tyr (never mind), Speedo, and Nike. Any decent Speedo goggle was selling for $10 and up, some for $16.99. The Nike's started at $10 and went all the way up to $20.

I was suspicious of the new goggles. The latest in goggle technology is a high tech space age goggle made out of some sort of gel-like synthetic plastic. They do not have adjustable nose pieces or straps - either they fit you or they don't, I guess.

I opted for a more "old-fashioned" pair of Nike goggles that had the traditional foam cushioning, adjustable nose piece, and adjustable straps. They were also tinted, which is something I desired after my foggy Tyrs just blinded me anytime I swam in the sun. At $5 on sale, the Nikes won't disappoint me if they continue my goggle losing streak.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Comments (3)
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My head must be shaped funny too. I have the same problem.

A very wise old swim coach told me two things:

"Price isn't the issue, it's whether they fit or not"

and

"When you find a pair that work for you - buy as many pairs as you can afford."

I went through a phase of just buying "designer" (aka expensive Speedo) goggles, they were okay - but expensive. Then I lucked upon a discount sports trade shop that did there own brand of goggles at 25% of the price of the "same" Speedos, I loved them - but didn't follow the second bit of advice, time came to replace them... and they'd changed the style and they didn't work as well...:(

Some hints for you - you should be able to push the goggle over your eye socket, and they should stay there on there own (with a bit of suction). If not then they may leak. Secondly make sure the goggle shape fits your eye (socket) shape. Thirdly an adjustable nose piece is generally better than a fixed nose piece, sometimes just a small adjustment here can make a world of difference. Forthly don't over (or under) tighten - over tightening can cause just as many problems!

Also if you dive then in my experience gasket-based goggles just don't work.

These days I wear Sweedish-style goggles, I was scared off them earlier because people said they were uncomfortable and only for racing. Well they work for me and come in at 3.50 - 5.00!

I bought those same exact nikes, the foam start to separate from the goggle after only a couple weeks, I've even reglued it with special glue, they're worthless.  I would stick with the speedo goggles out of the 3, though I'm still looking for better options myself....
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