Not too long ago, swim goggles weren’t even a thing. When swimmer Mark Spitz won 7 gold medals in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, he did it without any at all. We’re not recommending that.
Goggles do more than help you look like a serious competitor. They can keep pool chemicals, salt water, bacteria and everything else out of your eyes, they can shield your eyes from the sun, and they can help you see better underwater. And if you need prescription goggles, they can also help you see the posted workout at swim practice, or, if you’re super nearsighted, can even help you see the other end of the pool.
As great as they are, goggles can be pretty annoying when they slide off your face, fog up, or give you a headache from how tight they are. So finding the perfect pair of goggles makes everything easier no matter what body of water you’re swimming in.
Goggles can also help you out no matter what the reason is that you swim. Swimming is a great workout. And Olympic swimmers like Michael Phelps, Cody Miller, and Adam Peaty are all in ridiculous shape. Swimming also can help you crush your weight loss goals.
So what should you look for to find the best swimming goggles for you? We asked MH health director Marty Munson, who’s a US Masters Swimming Level I and II coach and is also a distance open-water swimmer who has swum around islands including Key West and Manhattan. The first thing to know is that “there’s no single, foolproof way to choose goggles online that will fit you perfectly, since faces are shaped so differently,” she says. “If you don’t already have a brand or style that works for you, start with a pair that comes with different nose bridge sizes so you can customize them a little bit.”
Next thing is to think about what lens color and shape you want. “Mirrored goggles tend to make you look like a competitor to really contend with,” Munson says. “And they’re great for bright conditions outdoors and in open water. Yet they’re not so great for seeing the posted workout on the board in dimly lit basement pools, so go with clear or a light tint. Also know that orange-tinted ones tend to heighten contrast, just like orange-tinted sunglasses do.”
How big should they be? “In general, larger goggles with more peripheral vision are better for open water and triathlons, where there’s a lot more for you to visually process than a black line and the other people in your lane,” Munson continues. “Competitive swimmers also prefer lenses that are super low profile to keep everything streamlined so you aren’t losing speed.”
Fortunately, there are many different styles to choose from. Some now even have built-in tech that tells you how many laps you’ve swum and how fast you’re going. Others are a lot simpler. To help you nail a hassle-free swim workout, we’ve rounded up 15 of the top swimming goggles on the market.
Finis Smart Goggle
If you get bored counting or lose track, these smart goggles tell you right on the goggle lens exactly how far you’ve swum. If you’re competitive, your time in the same spot. The readout is surprisingly not annoying at all when you swim and the goggles themselves are very comfortable. They’re super easy to set up with the app, which tracks your workouts and your progress. Major bonus with these: the “smart module” that powers these can be detached and popped into another pair of Finis goggles if these get scratched or damaged—no need to spend the $235 all over again as you do with other smart goggles on the market.
These are classics for a reason: They’re low profile and feature an anti-fog coating. The four interchangeable nose pieces allow you to truly find your perfect fit. If you have take your session outside, the lenses will block harmful UVA and UVB rays.
UTOBEST Swimming Goggles for Men Women Adult Junior (Black-3.5)
Prescription goggles can be a game changer, and they’re not as expensive as people think. These come in prescriptions of -1.5 to -6 to let you see everything from your lanemates to the workout on the board to the pace clock…to the other end of the pool, if you’re very nearsighted. The silicone construction provides for a face-conforming fit.
Aqua Sphere Kaiman Swim Goggle
These goggles with curved, distortion-free lenses are the style ultraswimmer Sarah Thomas used when she became the first person to cross the English Channel four times without stopping in 2019. You get a huge range of vision, anti-fog lenses, and easily adjustable buckles. Who knows what you’ll achieve with these?
ROKA R1 Anti-Fog Swim Goggles with RAPIDSIGHT Razor Sharp Optics – Clear
A favorite of triathletes, these goggles’ slight wraparound makes for easier sighting (and straighter, faster swimming). Available in mirrored and non-mirrored styles; both have anti-fog coating and no latex.
U-FIT Swim Goggles
This pair from U-FIT checks all the boxes: anti-fog, no-slip, no-leak and UV-coated. And with a quick-release strap, these goggles are a cinch to get on and off. These goggles come with nose and ear plugs.
Resurge Sports Anti Fog Racing Goggles
Featuring a minimalist design this pair is ideal for competition. The shatterproof polycarbonate lenses offer anti-fog technology and a wide angle for maximum visibility. Customize your fit with three interchangeable nose pieces and this pair’s durable, easy-to-adjust bungee strap.
Nike Vapor Mirror Performance Goggle
The curved, oversized lenses in these goggles are also ultra-low profile, so you’ll not only be able to see the competition, you’ll speed past them. Plus, the different nose bridge sizes slide in and out effortlessly (but stay put while you’re swimming), so you don’t have to waste training time trying to get the parts to cooperate as you assemble your perfect fit.
Cobra Ultra Mirror Swim Goggles
These goggles are built for speed. The low-profile frame and curved lenses provide an expansive frame of view, while the five adjustable nose bridges ensures that you’ll have a perfect fit.
THEMAGIC5 Tailor Made Swimming Goggles
Can’t find goggles that fit? Go custom. Download an app, scan your face, send it to the company, and you’ll have a pair of custom goggles at a reasonable price. Since they’re specific to your facial contours, you don’t need suction to keep them leak-proof. That means goodbye, goggle marks and hello, comfort.
Original Swedish Goggles
Some swimmers swear that no-gasket “Swedes” are the most comfortable goggles they’ve ever worn. These are anti-fog and the set includes one pair of mirrored goggles and another pair with non-mirrored lenses. Not for everyone regarding comfort or leaks, but they definitely add a badass edge if they work for you.
TYR Velocity Racing Goggle
A great all-around basic. Low-profile, silicone gaskets, double strap for an easier fit, and polycarbonate lenses. Available in a number of colorways, including a no-nonsense option with clear lenses and a clear strap.
ZIONOR Swim Goggles
These ZIONOR swim goggles feature polarized lenses that provide better eye protection against harmful UV rays and lights. They’re also made with curved and HD lenses, which provide better light transmission and a super clear view underwater.
vetoky Swim Goggles
These goggles come in a 2-pack with 3 interchangeable nosepieces for a precision fit to your face. The lenses also have a mirrored coating with UVA/UVB protection.
FORM Smart Swim Goggles
These FORM Smart Swim Goggles have a see-through smart display is built right into the goggles lens, delivering metrics without obstructing your vision. It records and displays 12 customizable metrics, including split times, stroke rate/count, pace per 100, distance, calories, heart rate, and more. (See a full review here.) They’re also compatible Garmin smartwatches and Apple Watch, and you can also connect your iPhone or Android via the FORM app.
Emily Shiffer is a freelance health and wellness writer living in Pennsylvania.
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