You've worked hard on your swim skills, you've practiced in the open water, you've learned to sight like a champion. You are ready to conquer your race day swim, but your goggles just won't cooperate. Nothing ruins a race day swim like the wrong pair of goggles. Whether they are leaky, foggy, or just leave you with a massive headache as you go into T1, finding the right goggles is key to race day success.
As people come into the store, we often find them standing in front of the goggles wall looking confused. With so many options, how do you know which pair is right for you?
Choosing the Right Fit
We encourage customers to take the goggles out of the packaging and try them on. First, take the goggles and just press the silicone pads against your eyes. If they briefly suction to your face, then they will fit your face. The strap is completely adjustable and only serves the purpose to keep the goggles in place, not to prevent leaking. The strap should be comfortable against your head rather than so tight that it leaves you with a headache.
Try on several different pairs of goggles and of the ones that fit your face, decide which will be more comfortable to you. Do you like a wider lens with more visibility or a more narrow lens? We often find that people who feel more uncomfortable swimming, like the larger, wider goggle as it takes away from the 'closed in' feeling in your vision.
What's the Deal with Colors?
You'll notice different colors on the lenses of goggles. Here's your quick reference guide to choosing a color:
- Metallicized or Mirrored. These lenses help reduce brightness and glare and are great for bright pools or sunny open water swims. They can really be helpful if you are swimming into the sunrise during a race but may be a bit dark for indoor use.
- Smoke. These lenses are similar to metallicized or mirrored goggles but will reduce the overall brightness with less distortion than the aforementioned goggles. They are not ideal in a low light situation.
- Red. Enhance contrasts so they are good for a low or medium light situation.
- Pink. Offers the best contrast for a blue or green background. Pink is a good choice for indoor or outdoor pool swimming.
- Amber. Offers the best option for both low and high light situations. In a low light situation, amber will amplify the light to make your vision more clear and in high light situations, amber will help reduce the glare.
- Blue/Purple. Reduces the surface glare in bright light. Choose a lighter blue for bright indoor pools and a darker blue for outdoor pools.
- Clear. Best for low light situations including a cloudy open water swim.
To be prepared for race day, it's best to have at least two lens colors of your favorite goggles - a smoke or mirrored pair for a sunrise or later swim start when the light may be brighter and a clear pair for a foggy, cloudy or rainy swim start. Take both with you to transition and make the decision close to the start of the race.
Goggles will need to be replaced every 6-months to year, depending on how often you swim and in what condition you store your goggles. The seal is made of silicone so it will begin to break down over time. Since goggles are a relatively inexpensive investment, we encourage you to buy several pairs of your favorite goggle. Make sure your race day pair(s) are tested and the strap is adjusted for maximum comfort.
The Dreaded Goggle Fog
All of us have experienced it. Your favorite pair of goggles are supposed to be anti-fog but suddenly, you find them hazy when you try to swim. Most goggles do come with an anti fog seal but the treatment will become less effective over time. The fog on the inside of your goggles is coming from vapor on your skin - aka, the harder you work, the more likely your goggles are to fog up.
Most people just deal with the frustration during workouts but on race day you might try cleaning your goggles with a product like foggies. This will provide a temporary anti fog layer for the goggles and should get you through your race day swim!
Need assistance with the right goggle? Come into the store or shop online!