Swimming goggles are a swimmer’s best friend when it comes to the pool and open water swimming.
The right swim goggles do a number of things for you in the water:
They help you see properly. With swim goggles you can see approaching walls, other swimmers, lane ropes, backstroke flags, and so on. Being able to accurately and properly see stuff in the water means you won’t run into them! This is especially important for swimmers who wear prescription swim goggles.
Protect your eyes from harsh pool chemicals. The world’s worst well-kept secret is that pools are kinda gross. Dirt, debris, pee, you name it, end up in the pool. In order to keep pools clean and safe for use, chemicals like chlorine, bromine, ozone, and others are used to sanitize the water. These chemicals are okay in low dose, but some of them, when combined with foreign debris (like sweat and pee), turn into harsher chemical compounds like chloramines, which cause itchiness and redness in the eyes. Goggles protect you from these.
Blocking the sun’s harmful rays. For swimmers who are lucky enough to swim outdoors, a pair of tinted or mirrored swim goggles is necessary not only for protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, but allowing you to see in the face of the sun’s glare on the surface of the pool.
These are just some of the benefits of swim goggles. With those out of the way, let’s get into the features of your swim goggles that are applicable to you and your swimming.
1. Prescription or no? For swimmers who wear glasses or contacts out of the pool, finding the right pair of prescription swim goggles can be a real pain in the pull buoys. Fortunately, there are a lots of options these days for both kids and adults when it comes to prescription swim goggles.
2. Look for goggles made of silicone. Back in my early days of age group swimming, swim goggles were made almost entirely of latex and plastic. The latex faded fast, and the plastic often corroded and cracked after a couple months of wear. Nowadays, most goggles are made of highly durable and hypoallergenic silicone. Look for goggles that have gaskets and straps made mostly or completely of silicone. They last way longer and are exceptionally comfortable on the face.
3. Tints and colors. For outdoor swimmers, a smoke or mirrored lens is almost mandatory. In the same way you wouldn’t leave the house on a sunny day without your sun glasses, hit the outdoor pool or open body of water with a pair of mirrored or smoke-tinted goggles. Swimmers get a double-whammy of sun when it comes to swimming outside. We get direct rays of sun plus the glare and reflection of the sun off the water while we are in the pool. Protect your eyes from chlorine and the sun with a mirrored or dark-tinted lens.