It’s summer time which means its time to invest in a new cozzie and, if you are serious about swimming, a decent pair of goggles.
Unless you want to swim head up breaststroke when you are in the pool or in the sea (which really isn’t great for your neck muscles) then goggles are an essential item. They will protect your eyes from chlorine when you are in the water as well as help you see where are you going more clearly.
If you are short or long sighted you can now get specialist prescription goggles (though these tend to be about twice the price of a normal pair). Alternatively if you buy a reasonably decent pair of goggles they shouldn’t leak which means it is possible to wear contact lenses in the water.
However, you must, must always take your contact lenses out afterwards, otherwise you risk a bacterial infection such as acanthamoeba keratitis which is caused by an amoeba in the water.
So how do men and women’s goggles vary? Generally women’s goggles are a bit smaller than men’s and often have a choice of different sized nose bridges to suit your face (women tend to have smaller noses than men too!) Chris Price looks at five designs below which are definitely worth checking out.
One company which has a range of goggles specifically designed for women is Zoggs. Like Speedo, Zoggs is an Australian firm which has been producing popular goggles for years. Recently though it seems to have developed a niche in goggles which are ideal for both fitness swimming as well as triathlon (rather than the racing goggles that Speedo is famous for).
However, these Fusion goggles are ‘low profile’ which means they are actually pretty decent racing goggles too, thanks to their hydrodynamic design. Usefully they also come with a selection of different sized nose bridges which come in a number of colours too. Air Cushion gaskets providing a ‘cushioned’ seal which reduces the Panda Eye effect you get when you take some goggles off and for the mirrored lenses with UV protection make the goggles ideal for outdoor and outdoor swimming. Available in green/pink or blue/yellow.
The BioFUSE range of goggles is one of Speedo’s most popular and is available in various styles including standard Adults and Junior variations. However, Speedo claims this Polarised goggle in Chrome and Periwinkle has been specifically designed to fit the shape of female faces. As with all BioFuse models, Speedo uses soft and flexible materials to increase comfort with a rigid structure that helps to give the goggle stability.
Cushioned comfort seals reduce leakage and marks around your eyes, and the anti-fog ultra-lenses help to provide good vision and clarity underwater. These goggles, which also boast UV protection, also come with a carrying pouch to help you keep them clean and scratch free. Like all BioFUSE goggles there’s a side adjustment which makes it easier to tighten though in our experience this can become a little loose over time.
Although most goggles claim to offer reasonable peripheral vision when swimming, the truth is if you want close to 180 degree vision when swimming then you need a more ‘mask-like’ design. This is where brands like Aquaphere come in.
Extremely popular with triathletes and open water swimmers, they offer a range of hybrid designs which are subtle enough for indoor use but practical enough for swimming outdoors. One of the most popular designs for women is the Vista which is available in various colours and with different coloured lenses.
Featured here is a clear lens model which is extremely comfortable to wear and offers most of the benefits we have come to expect from high end goggles including 100 per cent UVA/UVB protection and anti-fog, anti scratch lens. Available in white/lavender, white/pink/silver and white/red.
A few years ago Zoggs took the swimming world by storm with its innovative Predator design. It was really the first goggle that had really been designed with both indoor and outdoor swimming in mind, making it a popular choice with triathletes in particular who wanted a slightly sleeker, more hydrodynamic design than the traditional face mask like the Aquasphere Vista featured above. Since then it has undergone various upgrades including a new model for women that is a suitable fit for smaller faces. Zoggs’ curved lens technology claims to provide 180 degree undistorted vision and the lens is tinted to reduce glare. Other features include impregnated anti-fog lenses which make them good for indoor use as well as full UV protection for swimming outdoors.
When it comes to swimming costumes for racing in the pool, Arena is one of the most respected brands in the world. But it’s fair to say that the US company is less well known for its range of goggles. Nevertheless it does offer several interesting looking designs including this X-Fit range. Featuring a softly moulding fit with its flexible liquid silicone seal and strap, it promises wide, all round vision and is great for swimming both indoors or out. Just ensure you choose a tinted lens for outdoor pools to reflect bright light while a clear lens for indoor swimming is best.