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Swimming Goggles

Swimming Goggles

If you’re a regular swimmer in a chemically-treated pool and don’t wear goggles, the chances are your eyes are somewhat irritated at the end of your session.  As your fitness improves and your training times extends this initially minor annoyance can actually be the factor that gets you out of the pool long before you’re even approaching your point of fatigue. 


The obvious answer is to invest in some good goggles, not only will they protect your eyes they’ll also improve your vision and may even have a positive impact on your performance as a result.


The range of goggles on the market is huge and prices range from the very cheap to fairly expensive, but for a reasonable price you should be able to find a good pair that’s right for you.


Size and shape are the first factors to consider.  While all goggles are adjustable for tightness around the head, the shape and size of the lenses and the size of the nosepiece is fixed so you need to consider these first to create a shortlist of goggles for you. 


In essence there are three main categories:
• Competition goggles: these are low profile and small, fitting close to the eye socket - which reduces drag.  As they’re designed for racing, competition goggles can be uncomfortable.
• Practice Goggles are meant for everyday use and are generally more comfortable because they have larger lenses and more gasket rubber which softens the pressure against your eyes while creating a good seal.
• Recreational Goggles are the cheapest and fairly popular with non-competitive swimmers who don’t spend prolonged periods in the pool.

 

Goggles range in size from junior to adult and once you’ve found the right shape and size for you your next consideration is the lens type.


Goggles need to be water tight and comfortable so getting this right will make for a more enjoyable swim for all while enabling contact lens wearers to keep their lenses on and safely in while swimming.  If contact lenses are not an option but your eyesight is not up to swimming without aid, swimming goggles with prescription lenses are available at specialist stores.


Swimming goggle lenses are available in clear plastic, coloured plastic to filter light, mirrored to reflect light and others are both coloured and clear combining the benefits of colour filtration and light reflection.  In addition some have an anti-fog film to prevent the lenses from fogging, which happens when the warm air created by the body is condensed by the cooling of the water in the pool, although this can be overcome by wetting the inside of the goggles before swimming.


The shape of the lens will also affect a swimmers’ field of vision.  Conical lenses replicate the eyes’ natural vision while other shapes refract and distort the light to varying degrees. The faster you swim the more important this is as you’ll need to see where you’re going and also if something is coming your way.


As with all sports equipment it’s really worthwhile asking for recommendations and checking out first person online reviews, as the elements that will make the best goggles for you are highly individual. But once you’ve got the right pair you won’t look back.

 

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