Tips for buying goggles

Goggles are just as important as a racing swimsuit or swim cap.

Goggles are just as important as a racing swimsuit or swim cap.

Swimmers who have been in and out of the pool for years know that a good pair of goggles is just as important as the best racing swimsuit and swim cap. If you're a swim parent, or a beginner to the sport, here's what you should know when buying goggles: 

Fit 

Goggles should be comfortable. The fit should be snug, but not too tight or painful. Most products have two straps, and both should be placed at eye level or higher. The nose piece should also be adjustable and not pinch the face. 

Function 

Will you be doing most of your swimming in open water, or in a pool? Is the pool indoors or outdoors? The color of lenses that you need will depend on your location. Very dark goggles might be necessary in an aquatic center with a lot of lighting, while in open water you may want a clearer product so that you can see as much as possible. 

Lens size

Generally, smaller lenses can help with your swim time, as you will have less resistance in the water. This is not really a concern, however, for folks who are not interested in racing. Large lenses offer a larger field of vision, while the smaller variety allows a swimmer to focus on their lane or other small area. 

Material 

The parts of the goggles that actually touch the eyes are typically made of rubber, silicone, foam or plastic. With rubber and plastic eye pieces, you can create suction to prevent water from getting into the goggles. Silicone is also a a popular, but more expensive, option. Foam is generally not recommended, as the material can deteriorate quickly. 

You may have to go through several pairs of goggles to find the best fit, but once you do, your workouts will be so much better.