Before you head for the water to practice your swimming skills, it’s important to make sure that you have all of the correct gear.
If you own the right equipment and it’s the right size and fits comfortably, this will allow you to focus solely on your technique – a must for any keen swimmer looking to improve their performance.
Remember, your choice of kit can really influence your enjoyment of this sport. So if you’re looking for some new goggles, here are a few tips to help you find the best pair.
Seal, fit and style
First of all, to get a good pair of goggles you need to find a model that fits both your face as well as your eyes to avoid any water filtering in through the gaps.
One simple trick is to apply the goggles to your face without the strap in place so that you can see how effective the seal is. If there is any form of suction, then this is a good indication that they will serve you well in the water.
Your goggles should also sit comfortably on the bridge of your nose and create a seal all the way around your eyes without any gaps. Use a mirror to check this as it can be difficult to spot when you are wearing them, or alternatively ask somebody who is with you.
Make sure you also find a pair of goggles that you like the look of too. Remember – you should always aim to feel comfortable and confident when in the water and a decent pair of goggles will help.
There are a multitude of goggle shapes and styles for you to choose from – for example, some include plenty of cushioning, and others feature less of a profile.
Small and flat designs are more suited for competitions as they are streamlined, whilst the recreational swimmer is likely to prefer a more comfortable fit and larger lens. The latter of these two styles will allow you to see more when in the water.
You should also make sure that the nose piece is adjustable if the bridge of your nose is wide or fairly small so that the goggles can stay in place.
Some of the most common shapes include Swedish (popular for competitive swimmers), Gasket Goggles (available in silicone and foam designs) and swim masks (think traditional goggles combined with a snorkel style for this one). Swim masks offer a larger range of view and are also extremely comfortable too.
The reason swimming goggles feature a range of lens colours is because each style is designed to perform under specific light conditions.
With this in mind, let’s take a quick look at a number of lens options.
Other colours are available too, so check first that you’re not just buying a pair of goggles because they look pretty.
It’s even possible to get hold of prescription swimming goggles too so you don’t have to try and wear your glasses in the water or contact lenses under a regular pair of goggles. As a result, you’ll have no trouble in finding the best pair of goggles for your circumstances and level of ability.
If you’ve done your research then there’s nothing wrong with choosing the first pair of goggles you see. Simply remember to make sure that they fit well and if they’re not right you can always exchange them.
Regardless of whether it’s price, lens colour, shape, style or comfort, you’ll definitely be able to find a pair of goggles that are right for you.
Remember – goggles will protect your eyes from water debris and chlorine and allow you to see where you are going in the water, meaning that you can focus all of your energy on mastering your stroke in comfort and in style.
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Now is the time to check if your prescription goggles have survived the winter at the bottom of your swim bag, or if you can still see clearly through the lenses. With summer on its way, you may want to think about changing from clear to tinted or even mirrored lenses.
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This article was written by Simply Swim, the UK’s leading swimwear and equipment store.