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How to Choose the Right Swimming Goggles

 Kid enjoying at pool wearing swim goggles

Have you ever dived into a pool only to find that your underwater eyesight is a little hazy? Or maybe you've been uncomfortable with water leaking into your eyes? 


In such situations, you might have wondered: can I swim with glasses? The short answer is yes, in a way. The innovative solution is simple: swim goggles. Swimming goggles are a necessary piece of equipment that guarantees sharp eyesight, eye protection, and improved performance in the water. 


Whether you wear prescription glasses or not, swim goggles are essential for all swimmers. Let's delve deeper into their purpose and explore why they're a must-have accessory for anyone hitting the pool. 


Why Do We Need Swimming Goggles? 


A photo of swim goggles with a blank background

Any water body you swim in will potentially have a lot of hazardous elements, including microorganisms, debris, leaves, bugs, etc. Most swimming pools are kept clean using harsh chemicals like chlorine which can start to eat away at the corneal surface of the eye on prolonged exposure. This may cause itchy, irritated eyes, or temporary blindness. 


Additionally, it can be disorienting to swim if you wear prescription glasses. You might be wondering if contact lenses could be a solution, but they would not let you open your eyes underwater. If you wear swim goggles with contacts, there is a higher risk of a microorganism getting stuck to the contact lens and eventually migrating to your brain.  With good prescription swimming goggles, you can swim with clarity and comfort, without worrying about blurry vision or discomfort. 


Most swimming goggles protect your eyes from UV radiation (For more on UV, see UV and its Effects on the Eyes), chlorine, and seawater. Additionally, they help in lowering water resistance, which lets you move through the water with less resistance and less drag.


Let us now understand what options you could look at as per your specific needs and purposes. 


What is the Purpose of Your Purchase?


 A photo showing two types of swim goggles: leisure and athletic goggles

When it comes to swimming goggles, they tend to differ in construct and price depending on what activity you plan on doing. Due to this, we suggest selecting swimming goggles based on use.


Leisure: comfort is crucial for leisure swimmers because their primary objectives are to have fun and unwind. For them, goggles with soft, cushioned seals and adjustable straps guarantee a tight, comfortable fit. Appealing patterns and brilliant colors also improve the entire experience and lend a personal touch.


Athletics: on the other hand, athletes and competitive swimmers place a higher value on efficiency and performance from their goggles. Streamlined designs minimize drag, allowing swimmers to go through the water with ease and minimal resistance. 


Plus, athletes can customize the goggles to fit their facial shapes, guaranteeing an accurate and safe fit. Plus, advanced lens technology helps in increasing visibility and eye safety with features like uv protection and anti-fog coatings.


Let us now try to understand how different swimming goggles would fit different categories of wearers. 


Who Will Be Wearing the Swim Goggles? 


Group photo of family wearing swim goggles

Another thing you need to keep in mind's who will be wearing the swim goggles. Adults and children have different requirements for their swimming goggles. Similarly, women’s swimming goggles don't necessarily have the same fit for masculine facial structures. 


1. Children: 


When it comes to children, having a comfortable fit and cool design is very important. It has to be vibrant and attractive enough to keep their interest piqued. Plus, durability is an important factor to consider. 


Children's activities can be more demanding and unpredictable, so children's swim goggles are typically built of sturdy components to withstand hits and rough handling.


You can look for goggles with an adjustable strap to equip them with a secure fit. There are a lot of considerations that go into this, so look for options that combine style and durability. For more detailed tips, read our Tips for Choosing Kids' Swim Goggles guide. 


2. Men: 


Swimming goggles for men typically come with larger frame options and masculine designs. Larger frame options accommodate wider faces and ensure a stable and comfortable fit even on speedy descents. Swim goggles that don't leave marks are ensured by glasses that fit your frame perfectly. 


Features like anti-fog and anti-scratch are also important for men looking into more competitive experiences. 


3. Women: 


Women's swimming goggles are designed to fit a variety of head shapes and have smaller frame sizes with an emphasis on comfort and style. It is important to choose styles that combine functionality and aesthetics that let women swim through without having to worry about adjustments. 


Let us now look at the options available for swimming goggles for people with prescribed vision. 


Swim Goggle Options for Vision Correction


 Photos of swim goggles with prescription lenses

As a swimmer who needs vision correction, you might have wondered if there are swimming goggles that fit over glasses. After all, vision is something that you cannot compromise with, even in underwater sports.  However, if you tried to wear goggles over your glasses, where the glasses earpiece and the rubber seal of the goggles meet, there would be a gap so water would get in. Thus, you cannot wear swim goggles over your eyeglasses. The only solution is to get swim goggles with your prescription. 


Prescription swim goggles come in two main categories: step diopter and custom-made. Let’s look at them in detail: 


 Step Diopter (or Pre-made) Prescription Swim Goggles: 


Step diopter swim goggles provide an affordable choice for a lot of prescription goggle wearers.


Priced around $30-40, they are manufactured in high volumes. However, they aren't customized to your exact prescription and sometimes require identical prescriptions in both eyes, making them unsuitable for certain individuals, particularly those with high or complex prescriptions or astigmatism over -1.0. 


Despite these limitations, they also cater to children with their available sizes, so it’s a good option to consider for people with medium-range power prescriptions and those with little to no astigmatism. 


Custom Goggles


Custom swim goggles are created to order and exactly match your prescription, including any astigmatism or prism that may be required. Plus, vision will be  just like wearing your regular eyeglasses.


This customized method guarantees maximum clarity and is especially helpful for those with higher prescriptions. It's a game-changer for sure. However, they are a bit more expensive than the pre-made type of goggles so take some time to think about your specific sports needs. 


Let us now understand what sizes are best suited for different groups so that you are adept at how to pick swim goggles. 


To make an informed decision about which type of prescription swim goggles best suits your needs, consider exploring our detailed guide on How to Choose Prescription Swim Goggles.


Choosing the Right Size 


 Photo of swim goggles near pool

Next up is choosing the right size. A snug fit is of utmost importance when you swim down the lane. Different face shapes may require different swim eyewear sizes accustomed to the features of their face. Take a look at this sizing selection and help choose a size right for you.


1. Kid Fit:  


The most important things to consider when buying kids' swim goggles are comfort and practicality. Children's goggles are made with smaller heads and faces in mind, so they fit snugly without compromising comfort.


2. Small to Large: 


Swim goggles are available in a variety of sizes, ranging from small to large, to suit different head shapes and tastes. Goggles in smaller sizes fit people with narrower faces better since they fit snugly and securely without causing gaps or discomfort. 


Most adult swimmers may benefit from the versatility and comfort of medium-sized goggles, which also give plenty of cover. Large goggles provide the best sight and protection on the slopes for people with wider faces or for those who opt for a more spacious fit.


3. Universal Fit: 


For those who find typical sizing options limiting or inadequate in scope, universal fit goggles are a good option. If you are doubtful about how to adjust swimming goggles, these might be something to consider.  With the universal fit design, these can be adjusted to fit a variety of head shapes and sizes. These goggles usually have elements that may be customized, such as adjustable straps, to give users a secure and tailored fit.


When it comes to swimming, lighting conditions impact performance quite a bit. Let us now look at the different types of tinted lenses available, and how you can use them for a better experience. 


Selecting the Right-Tinted Lenses 


 A women in the pool wearing swim goggles

If you are a competitive swimmer, you know how glare can mess up your vision. Benues keep changing and it may be difficult to make your vision adjust to the lighting in the arena. Therefore, you may choose a lens tint based on where you usually swim. 


1.  Clear Lenses: 


These are your standard goggles lenses and offer maximum visibility without affecting color. This makes them perfect for low-light or indoor swimming situations. They are ideal for swims in the early morning or late at night when natural light is limited since they offer a clear view of the pool. 

For fitness, recreational swimming, and competitions, clear goggles are an excellent option. However, clear lenses do not lessen brightness or glare, but they are built with a uv protection coating and are appropriate for outdoor use.


2. Polarized Lenses: 


One may ask, since I’m in the water, should I get polarized swim goggles?  The way polarized lenses work may not make sense for general swimming. In order for polarized lenses to work, you need to be 3 feet or more above the surface of the water. 


But if you are in the pool, the polarization won’t help you as you won’t be at a high enough angle from the water for them to work.   However, if you are using the goggles for water sports like kayaking or stand up paddleboarding, or watching you kids play in the pool while you are relaxing outside the pool, you could consider polarized lenses. 


3. Mirrored Lenses: 


Mirrored lenses are ideal for outdoor swimming in sunny weather because they have a reflective coating that minimizes glare and brightness. Their principal function is to divert light from your eyes and offer a clear vision of the road in front of you. Mirrored lenses assist in diminishing brightness and are suitable for light indoor swimming pools, but they may be too dark for dimly lit regions.  They are also a great option for backstroke swimmers who are staring up at the sun. The Mirror coating will help to reduce overall brightness from the sun.


4. Blue Lenses: 


When there are changes in the light, such as on partly cloudy or gloomy days, color lenses improve visibility and depth perception. They are appropriate for swimming both indoors and outdoors in a variety of weather conditions since they filter particular light wavelengths to enhance contrast and clarity.


5. Smoke Lenses: 


Smoke goggles with darker lenses help cut down on brightness when swimming in bright indoor and outdoor environments.  If open water swimming, they will make it a little dark under water, especially if you are swimming in water that is already murky.   


What Coatings Should Your Swim Goggles Have


Women adjusting her swim goggles

There are also specific coatings that your goggles can have that make them better according to your desired activity, and help them last longer. 


  • Anti-fog: 


To provide a clear view underwater, swim goggles with anti-fog coatings are a must-have. Due to body heat and temperature changes, the goggles can fog up and make vision difficult. Anti-fog coatings help create a barrier and help reduce this, resulting in better comfort. 


  • Anti-Scratch: 


Swimming goggles come into contact with a variety of surfaces, such as uneven swimming pools, debris, and accidental collisions. By adding a layer of protection to the lenses, anti-scratch coatings lessen the possibility of scratches blocking vision. 


Plus, to maximize the longevity of such goggles, anti-scratch coatings are essential. 


There are some considerations regarding the materials used in swimming goggles that require some looking into. Especially if you are aware of being allergic to these materials, or have sensitive skin, there are alternatives that you can consider. 


Keeping Allergies in Mind


 A kid in the pool wearing swim goggles

We understand that it may be difficult to get a pair of swimming goggles, especially if you are allergic to latex or silicon. Therefore, if you are getting a pair for yourself, choose swim goggles that are specifically designed to help avoid allergic reactions.


1. Latex-free Construction: 


Various people in America commonly suffer from latex allergies, and coming into contact with latex items can result in allergic responses and pain. Many swim goggles are made without latex to mitigate this concern. Since minimal to no latex is used in their construction, these goggles are safe for people who have allergies or latex sensitivity. 


2. Hypo-allergic Silicon: 


Due to its hypoallergenic qualities, flexibility, and durability, silicone is a common material used in swim goggles. Swim goggles made of hypoallergenic silicone are ideal for people with sensitive skin or allergies since they reduce the possibility of allergic responses and skin irritation. 


It is crucial to remember that if you react to these elements and the other options don't seem to be working for you, you should consult with a specialist. Here are some other factors to keep in mind while purchasing these goggles: 


Other Things to Keep in Mind 


 Image of black swim goggles

  • Proper Seal: 


One of the most crucial factors to consider while choosing a goggle is the seal. A goggle's seal must be strong enough to prevent water from seeping inside for it to function correctly.  Goggles designed to sit in the eye socket will create more of a vacuum seal and cause pressure. They should not be used if you have had recent eye surgery or have sensitive skin around the eyes.  If that is you, look for goggles that fit more on the bone structure. They will be more comfortable and they will cause less “suction” on the sensitive tissues of the eyes.  

The goggles must also completely fit. Make sure there are no clear spaces between your face and the goggles when you put them on. 


  • Interchangeable Nose Bridge: 


With the interchangeable nose bridges that many goggles come with, you may adjust the fit to your nose's specific shape and size. 


Nose bridges that can be adjusted to fit snugly and securely improve comfort and stop water from leaking. For people who have distinct facial forms and bridge heights, this feature is especially helpful.


  • Adjustable Straps: 


Choose goggles with adjustable straps to get a custom fit around your head. With adjustable straps, you may securely position the goggles by adjusting the tension to your desired level without creating pressure spots or pain. 


Look for straps made from sturdy, flexible materials that hold their shape over time and do not stretch.


  • UV Protection: 


It's vital to shield your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (uv) radiation, particularly when swimming outside. To protect your eyes from the sun's damaging rays, choose swim goggles with uv protection. By efficiently blocking uva and uvb rays, uv protection lenses lower the risk of eye damage and discomfort from prolonged sun exposure when swimming outside.


You might want to learn the best practices to maintain these goggles in top condition, ensuring durability and continued performance. Check out our blog on How to Clean and Care for Swimming Goggles for expert tips and methods to keep your goggles like new.


Choosing Swim Goggles by Affordability 


 A pair of swim goggles on a towel

At this point, you might be wondering: how much do goggles cost? Depending on the features of the goggles, and the specific needs of the sport, swimming goggles vary in price. It's important to note that swim goggles range greatly in price according to the features they provide. Hence, when choosing goggles, it's essential to think about the specific demands of the activity. 


The majority of goggles offered are less than $50, however some high-end models can cost up to $200. The range of features, materials, and technology included in the goggles is reflected in the price variations.


In the end, making an informed decision when purchasing swim goggles needs an awareness of your needs and budget, which guarantees the best possible fit and value. 


Choosing Swim Goggles by Brand 


 Photo of four swim goggles brand

When selecting swim goggles, brand reputation plays a significant role in determining quality and performance. At Sporteyes, we offer a curated selection of top swim goggles brands renowned for their innovative designs and durability. Among these brands are Aquaviz, Hilco, Wiley-X, Pro-gear, and VIEW


Our selection of brands assures that you'll find the ideal pair of swim goggles to improve your enjoyment of snow activities, regardless of your preferences for cutting-edge lens technology, exceptional comfort, or fashionable styles.


Final Word


So here it is– a comprehensive guide to purchasing swimming goggles, designed to assist you in finding the perfect pair. Swimming goggles provide essential eye protection during underwater sports, and with this guide, you can select the ones tailored to your requirements. 


Even while they significantly enhance vision and safety, it is important to note that goggles can't offer total protection from all dangers. When swimming, one should constantly use caution, follow safety precautions, and pay attention to their surroundings. 


So think about your specific needs, and browse through a range of designs to get the perfect pair. With a little investment, you will find the best partner for all your underwater activities! 


Looking for the perfect swimming goggles? Explore our Sporteyes selection! Whether you’re just splashing around or training seriously, we’ve got goggles that boost both your performance and safety. Find your perfect match and enjoy clear, comfortable swims every time.

08 May 2024

Categories: Sports Eyewear

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