Vicky’s Picks: The Goggle Edition

Over my swimming career, I’ve had many different types of goggles that I used at different ages and times in my career.  Now I have three main types that I enjoy using each for a different reason.

  1. The first type of goggle I used every practice every race through high school and college.  Swedish goggles are inexpensive and get the job done.  You assemble them yourself, and they are ready to wear.  Occasionally there were rough seams from the plastic molds that we’d have to file down, but ultimately these goggles were probably my favorite.  The downside to Swedish goggles there are no cushiony gaskets around the eyes, so this may take some getting used to, and thus may not be a first choice for many.  That being said, there are also no gaskets to spring leaks over long wear and tear.  The straps tend to melt and rot with chlorine exposure and heat, but a bungee strap solves this problem easily.  I wore the same pair of Swedish goggles with a bungee for all 4 years of college.
  2. The second type of goggle I stumble upon after going to the local sporting goods store trying to find Swedish goggles which I previously purchased at swim meets or was given as team equipment in school.  The TYR Socket Rockets are very similar to Swedish goggles, but the eye pieces are dipped in rubber and softer on the face.  The down side is that like the Swedish goggles, after a lot of heat and chlorine, the eye pieces and straps can melt and rot.
  3. The third type of goggle I would recommend are the Speedo Vanquishers.  These are a pricier choice (about triple the cost of Swedish & Double the cost of Socket Rockets), but that being said as I coach, I’ve never seen a goggle that more people across the board enjoy.  I prefer these goggles when I do long Open Water swims in the ocean.  Salt water can really irritate after awhile and 1-2 hour races and workouts in the ocean can really give me some sore red chaffed rings around my eyes.  The Vanquishers give me less irritation when I’m doing long swims and feel more comfortable on my face in the salt water.  The down side is that they are pricier, they eye pieces can get holes in them, and like all goggles the straps are usually the first thing to go (I’m telling you the bungee has saved me multiple goggle purchases!).  I’ve loaned these out to kids and adults and everyone who has borrowed them is a happy camper.

Another question that people ask is if they should get tinted or mirrored goggles.  My answer to that would be decide what your preference is.  Do you swim inside or outside?  I almost always use mirrored with dark tint, but I’ve always been sensitive to the light.  Many people also ask about fog proof goggles, and I will tell you that as a swimmer many goggles begin as fog proof, but they all ultimately fog eventually.  Many people use goggle defogger and as readers, feel free to suggest one!  I either clear them with my thumbs or tongue…very high tech I know.  Hopefully this has been somewhat helpful for anyone with goggle questions!

Clockwise from Left: Swedish Goggles, TYR Socket Rockets, Speedo Vanquishers, and Bungee!

Clockwise from Left: Swedish Goggles, TYR Socket Rockets, Speedo Vanquishers, and Bungee!

Categories: Equipment

8 replies

  1. My goggle question would be whether there are goggles that when you get outta the pool dont leave you looking 20 years older than when you got in?

    • If there are, I have yet to find them. In high school and college, I remember going to classes after morning workouts with goggle rings around my eyes. The price we pay for keeping the water out I suppose…

      • We need to invent a goggle that soothes like a cucumber and applies a cream without stinging your eyes during workout. We could use the straps to market the benefits of compression since compression is so hot right now!

  2. Foggy goggles? (Try saying that 3 times fast…lol) I read that if you soap the mirror in your bathroom it will not fog…I occasionally wash my goggles with ordinary bar soap and rinse them well. Mine don’t fog, but maybe I’m not swimming near as fast/hard as you either…

  3. I usually spit and wipe and it does fine. What about the bigger goggles that allot of the open water swimmers prefer? I currently use a pair of Cressi Flash goggles that I am now addicted to. They are a bit bigger than the ones above, but very comfortable for long swims.

    • I think its really just about comfort. There are probably thousands of goggles to choose from. These are just the ones that seemed to fit my needs best. I know when I’m in the salt water for long periods of time, my normal goggles start to bother me. My swimsuit as well. The salt water tends to make anything that my skin is in contact with a potential chaffing hazard. In pool workouts, I am able to put my goggles on my forehead doing interval training, but when I’m doing a long ocean swim, I choose not to have that luxury.

  4. I was just thinking this morning that it might be time for me to invest in a new pair of goggles. I currently use an open water style that I have really liked.

  5. Swedish goggles = torture device. But I only tried them on once. That was enough! They are extremely cheap and extremely popular, but I’ll stick to my Speedo Hydrospex – Classic style (until they discontinue them for real. The newer version of hydrospex are shaped differently). It really is a very personal decision. When people ask about goggles, I tell them to try them all on and see which ones stick when you press and release. When I raced as a kid, we didn’t use goggles. I had to learn how to dive w/them when I got back into swimming. I still have trouble! Thanks for your post.

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