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Published on: 02 Mar 2017 by jshaw
One of the essential components of competitive swimming is a solid
set of swim goggles. Along with your bathing suit, goggles form part of the
“uniform” of your local lap and competitive swimmer.
Goggles are a relatively new invention, only popular amongst elite
swimmers since the mid 1970’s when a British breaststroker named David Wilkie
put on a cap and set of goggles at the Commonwealth Games.
Swimming goggles are more critical than we realize, however. For starters, goggles
help us to see properly under the water. The human eye is not designed to see
well under the water, and goggles will help us to see other swimmers, the black
line at the bottom of the pool (so that we can circle swim properly), and the
Secondly, and this goes
more to our health, goggles protect our eyeballs from the redness and
irritation that arises when they interact with chloramines over the course of
our swimming workouts. What are chloramines? The
result of chlorine interacting with human feces, urine and sweat. Yup, that’s
Here’s what ya need to know
when trying to pick out a perfect pair of swimming goggles:
Choose your goggles by tint
and color of lens. One of the things you
should absolutely keep in mind when picking out goggles is choosing a tint or
lens color that matches up with the environment you are swimming in. Are you
swimming outdoors? Pick out a pair of goggles that are darkly tinted or that
are mirrored. This will help cut down on the glare, and also help you to see
when swimming backstroke and have your face pointed at the sun. Many, if not
all, mirrored goggles also have UV-protection. Are you swimming indoors? Choose
a lens that is clear or lightly-tinted.
Choose comfortable lens. Beyond the color of the lens make sure that the ocular part of
the goggles sits comfortably in your eye sockets. Most goggles have rubberized
linings around the lens that will help buffer the pressure of wearing them for
extended periods of time. Swedish goggles, one of the more popular types
goggles, have lenses that are made strictly of hard plastic, making them not
advisable for beginner swimmers.
Don’t buy into the anti-fog
myth. Every goggle manufacturer,
from Arena to Speedo to Nike, will tell you that their goggles are anti-fog.
And this is true, for about two weeks of use, at which point the anti-fog will
wear out and you will be struggling to see through a film of sweat, beaded
water, and fog on the lens. This is where choosing a goggle tint comes in
particularly handy, and why you should stick to lighter lenses if you are
swimming at an indoor pool. My local YMCA pool, for instance, is poorly lit,
making any of my dark or mirrored goggles nearly worthless in use. You
shouldn’t have to spend the duration of your swim taking off your goggles at
the end of each length in order to see the pace clock and dodge other swimmers.