In the market for a new pair of new swim goggles? If you feel overwhelmed and don't know what to pick, we hear you! With the increased popularity of water sports, including swimming, there have never been more styles of goggles available on the market.
Whether you're just learning how to swim in an indoor pool or training for the next triathlon at your local lake, protecting your eyes and maximizing your visibility is key. Swim goggles are an essential piece of gear for all swimmers. When chosen wisely, the right swim goggles will let you focus on your swim and forget worrying about your goggles.
To help you find the right goggle, we broke down the key features according to the benefits and challenges most swimmers experience. We'll review the different styles of swim goggles and their various features. Finally, you'll get all of our top tips on picking the right swim google based on where you usually swim.
ALL THE TYPES AND STYLES OF SWIM GOGGLES
First, let's review the different goggle features and their impact on your swim.
Finding the right fit for your face
Before mentioning materials, specifications, and visual enhancement, goggle shape and fit is the number one reason why water your goggles may or may not leak.
Eye gasket shape & materials
The secret to leak-free swim goggles is to create a water-tight seal that perfectly fits the eye socket. So how do we create a fit for everyone's face, you may ask?
Understanding facial geometry is both an art and a science. Our design team continues to refine and improve our masks and goggles' fit every year, like with our patented AFT (Advance Fit Technology). Thanks to this, Aquasphere now has only one adult size for both men and women for each of our goggle models.
There is only one way to test if a pair of swim goggles is the right fit for you:
- Place the goggles on your eyes without the strap
- Push gently on the lenses to evacuate some air and create a light suction effect<
- If the goggles stay on your face without falling off, this is definitely a model that fits you
- If the goggles fall immediately, try the another model
- If you’re having trouble finding a pair of goggles that fit your face, take a look at swim masks
Fun fact: Since we use hypoallergenic silicone (latex-free), the gaskets on all of our swim goggles help reduce the marks around your eyes after swimming by providing a softer grip to the face and reducing the need for over-tightening the goggle strap.
Swim goggles vs. Swim mask
For decades, swim goggles were mostly minimalistic (small separate lenses with no frame, no gasket, and a simple strap). While these streamlined models continue to be appreciated by competitive swimmers, they can be hard to fit and just downright uncomfortable.
In 1998, Aquasphere, inspired by the know-how and technology of its sister scuba diving brand, Aqualung, launched the world’s first swim mask. It was quite revolutionary: introducing unparalleled 180° peripheral vision, easy-to-adjust double straps, and the long-lasting comfort offered by the larger seal fits just about anyone's face. These days, swim masks are popular with open water swimmers and kids learning to swim.
Swim goggles and swim masks for kids
If you don't like getting water in your eyes, imagine how much young children learning how to swim dislike the same experience. Swim masks keep kids' eyes protected while they have fun in the pool give them the confidence to grow into strong swimmers.
With sizes adapted to different age groups (3-8 and 6-12 years old) and fun colors, our kids' swim goggles and swim masks are perfect to help your little ones learn to swim. They’re also shatterproof – because we all know what can happen to goggles in your pool bag!
The key features to improve comfort
Once you’ve found a model that fits your face, you can start exploring advanced features that may dramatically improve your swimming experience.
Adjustable nose bridge & straps
After checking that there is no gap between the gasket and your eye socket, you need to check the pressure applied to your face by the nose bridge and straps. Ideally, you’ll have the ability to adjust each of these to find the right fit, not too loose, not too tight.
If the nose bridge is too large, water may get into your goggles. If it's too small, it will hurt and bother you as you swim. Look for a goggle with adjustable or interchangeable nose bridge pieces, like what you’ll find on our FastLane goggles.
Tip: If you choose a swim mask, you won't have to worry about the fit of the nose bridge.
The same goes for the goggle strap. It’s important that your strap is able to keep your goggles in place, especially for lap swimmers doing flip turns or open water swimmer in the mass start of a triathlon. But if they're too tight, the pressure may leave dark bruising marks on your face.
Next to leaky goggles, fogging is undoubtedly the most annoying thing for a swimmer. The great news is that our entire range of swim goggles and swim masks feature anti-fogging properties on their lenses.
Depending on how often and in what conditions they are used, skin contact and perspiration can affect the anti-fog coating's longevity. If necessary, you can use an anti-fog solution to keep using your favorite swim goggles fog-free.
Fun fact: Aquasphere swim goggles’ and masks' lenses use durable polycarbonate and Plexisol lenses that also offer UV protection.
A LENS FOR EVERY CONDITION: SELECTING YOUR SWIM GOGGLE LENSES
Last but not least, depending on the model you shortlisted, you may be able to have your choice between our 12 different lens types. Each lens type has different benefits to improve your visual experience above and below the surface of the water.
Beyond looking good, it’s important to select the right lenses for your swim goggles based on your swimming conditions. We have summarized below what you need to remember about each type of lens:
Clear and Tinted swim goggles
The clear lenses may look basic, but they are extremely useful for indoor pool use with consistent lighting as it provides adequate visibility without filtering out colors. They are also an excellent option for outdoor swimming in low-light conditions with an overcast sky and dark waters.
Tinted swim goggles are available in several colors (Blue, Amber, and Smoke) and are a good in-between if you are planning on using them both indoors and outdoors when the sunlight is not too bright:
The Blue tinted lens is the clearest tinted lens option but offers a small amount of glare protection. This lens works well in indoor pools and outdoors when the weather is grey and misty.
The Amber tinted lens amplifies low light and reduces glare further for clearer vision.
Smoke lens swim goggles
The Smoke tinted lens significantly reduces light transmission but doesn't distort colors. They also help to reduce glare in brighter indoor lighting conditions.
Polarized swim goggles
Polarized lenses offer improved color and depth perception by filtering out the sun's horizontal rays to eliminate glare reflected off the water’s surface. Open water swimmers usually prefer them to other lenses.
At Aquasphere, we offer two different tints of polarized lens:
The Green polarized lens is perfect for partial sunny weather.
The Brown polarized lens is preferred when the sky is blue, and the sun is high.
Mirrored swim goggles
For maximum protection in bright to extremely bright outdoor conditions (think tropical locations), mirrored lenses reflect light to protect your eyes.
The Aquasphere mirrored lenses come in 6 different colors to enhance your visual experience based on your swimming conditions:
- Pink Titanium
- Red Titanium
- Blue Titanium>
- Orange Titanium
- Gold Titanium
- Silver Mirror
The metallized coating is typically applied on top of a dark lens, resulting in maximum reduction of light transmission to the eye and maximum protection from glare. The color difference enhances contrast and saturation. For instance, when swimming in blue water, we recommend the Pink Titanium lens, but if you want to better spot the marker buoys' warm colors (typically red, orange, or yellow) on your next triathlon, get the Blue Titanium lens.
Fun fact: The Red Titanium and Silver Mirror lenses are the best at filtering infrared rays, in addition to our standard premium UV protection of all of our swim goggle lenses. By filtering out these rays, which can damage your retina and cornea in the long run, you can get better color contrasts and shapes definition in bright sunshine.
TELL US WHICH ACTIVITY YOU DO, WE'LL TELL YOU WHICH GOGGLES YOU NEED
Not all swim goggles are a good fit for all swimmers. Depending on your level, from learning to swim to training for your next big race, you’ll want to consider different specifications. Here are our top tips for choosing the best swim goggles based on your needs.
Learn to swim
Whether you’re a child or adult learning how to swim, there is enough to worry about. Messing with your goggles is the last thing you want to be concerned with. It’s best to choose a pair of swim goggles that are easy to adjust and won't cause extra stress during your swim. In many cases, swim masks offer all of these benefits to make you feel at ease. Look for something simple that offers medium stability with a clear or blue tinted lens for indoor pool use.
Indoor lap swimming
For swimmers into are training at their local indoor pool, you should start with looking for durable materials and greater stability, especially during your flip-turns.
If you are training with racing in mind, you may prefer a streamlined swim goggle over a swim mask. Swim goggles with clear or blue tinted lenses are usually recommended for indoor pool training, but you may opt for amber or smoke tinted lenses for brighter conditions, which can also be used outdoors.
Outdoor lap swimming
If you are lucky enough to live in an area with good weather, you may be able to do your lap swimming sessions in an outdoor pool. You can count on the water to be as clear as in an indoor pool but the conditions will be much brighter.
Polarized goggles are most often used by outdoor swimmers, where glare can be irritating or dangerous, especially when swimming backstroke while looking up at the sun. You can look at Smoke tinted or Green Polarized lenses with a moderate level of light, but when the sun is much brighter, you should choose Brown polarized or Pink Titanium mirrored lenses that are more efficient at blocking bright light.
Open water swimming
Open water swimming conditions are some of the toughest as you may need to face low-light and bright sunlight during the same swim, while also needing to keep an eye on your competitors and the buoys to stay on course. This is why selecting the right open water swimming goggle is key.
Note: High-quality swim masks offer a wide 180° field-of-vision and excellent stability for any open water swimming competition.
All of our goggle lenses can be used for outdoor events, but the polarized or mirrored lens types tend to be more ideal. Here’s a quick rundown of what type of lenses we recommend based on the weather conditions of your swim:
- Indoors, overcast and misty, or early morning start: Clear or Blue tinted lens
- Overcast, low light, or end of the day: Amber tinted lens
- Changing conditions from partially sunny to mostly sunny: Smoke tinted lens, green polarized lens, or brown polarized
- Very sunny weather without clouds: Silver mirrored lenses or titanium mirrored lenses
Competitive swimmers tend to prefer streamlined and minimalist swim goggles to avoid additional drag in their hydrodynamics. They can be more complicated to adjust, but they work well for confident swimmers.
Even if your sprint races happen indoors, beware of extra-bright spotlights that many indoor pools have. If this is the case, a gold Titanium mirrored lens is an excellent choice to filter strong artificial lights and, bonus, your competitors can’t see where you’re looking.
PICKING THE BEST SWIM GOGGLES: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do my swimming goggles leak?
Other than an ill-fitting goggle, leaking can be due to normal wear and tear. We suggest you inspect your swim goggles and look for any bend or kink in the frame and gasket, which can cause leakage. Ensuring the perfect face fit and reducing over-tightening of the goggle strap are two other ways you can avoid creating a small leak. That is why the quality and softness of the material used in our gaskets is so important.
What's the best way to keep my swimming goggles from fogging up while swimming?
The fog inside the lenses comes from the condensation of your skin's perspiration and the air's humidity.
Even with anti-fogging properties, here are a few things we recommend you can do to further prevent goggle fogging:
Put the goggles on while both you and the goggles are dry
- Immerse your goggles in the pool water for about five minutes before swimming. This helps them adjust to the water temperature and reduce the likelihood or severity of fogging.
- Use an anti-fog solution such as Aquasphere's eco-friendly Sea-Clr Antifog spray.
Which goggles do competitive swimmers use?
Competitive swimmers racing in indoor pools usually use streamlined and compact swim goggles to help with their hydrodynamics. Many athletes like to use mirrored lenses to hide their eyes from competitors. Our Gold Titanium mirrored lenses are perfect for the bright artificial lights of indoor competition pools.