By Wendy Knowles
There is nothing more frustrating than a badly fitting pair of goggles. Having to stop every length or so to empty water from the lenses is a pain and if you tighten the straps to stop them leaking then you end up with a headache and panda eyes which isn’t an attractive look. But with so many different goggles on the market how do you choose the ones which are best for you?
Fixed or adjustable nose bridge?
If you have trouble finding a pair of goggles which fit without leaking then you may be better looking for goggles which have an adjustable rather than a moulded nose bridge. This allows you to make the gap across the top of your nose larger or smaller to suit the structure of your face.
Many manufacturers now produce ladies goggles which are specially designed to fit women’s faces. If you have struggled with unisex goggles which don’t fit then this is probably a good choice for you. Zoggs Athena II and Zena ranges are both ideal for the recreational swimmer. And Aquasphere produces ladies and small face fit models across their range of performance goggles.
Looking for coloured lenses? Also available from several manufacturers are smoke/blue or mirrored lens goggles alongside the more traditional clear lens models. Not only do these look good but they also reduce brightness and prevent the glare from the water hampering your swim. These goggles can be used indoors but are particularly recommended for those who prefer to swim outdoors.
Swimming in open water
For open water swimming there are now a wide range of masks which provide much better all round visibility than traditional goggles. For example, the Speedo Biofuse Rift is a mask which gives a good range of vision, is easy to adjust by means of a side clip and offers good anti-fog and UV protection, making it ideal for open water swimming.
Many swimmers now prefer masks to goggles in the pool too and Aquasphere do a great range of smaller face masks which are neater and don’t look out of place in your local swimming pool while still being an excellent choice for open water. Goggleblog’s favourites are Aquasphere Kayenne’s range which come in a choice of colours and also in a ladies fit.
For the serious or competitive swimmer there are a range of performance goggles on the market. These are far more streamlined than recreational goggles and reduce drag in the water. Speedo Speedsocket Mirror and Zoggs Speedspex Mirror both provide excellent clarity for good vision in the pool and open water and look fantastic too.
Finally, for those of you who need to wear glasses there are now a huge range of prescription goggles which come in most standard prescription strengths and many companies can also provide different prescriptions for each eye of the goggles.
Gator, one of the most popular manufacturers of ready made prescription goggles, offer prescription strengths from -8.0 to +8 dioptres. They also provide a huge range of spare parts, such as extra straps and eye seals so that you don’t need to replace the whole goggle when one part wears out. Speedo also produces a range of do-it-yourself optical goggles. Simply buy each lens and fit them into an optical pulse kit (sold separately) to tailor make your own goggles. The pool need never be a blur again!