Most swimrunners looking for SwimRun goggles will choose standard open water swimming goggles. Of course, it’s important that any protective eyewear fit well, are comfortable on your face, and keep the water out! Open water swimming goggles are a little different to standard indoor pool swim goggles.
Open water goggles are larger than pool googles; the lenses are slightly bigger, to allow for better peripheral vision. Also, the rubber or silicone seals around the eyes are bigger and softer, making them more comfortable to wear for long periods of time, especially in salt water.
Additional points to look for are anti-fogging qualities, and also polarized lenses. Many goggle manufacturers say that their goggles are "anti-fog", but I have found this feature to be variable at best! The best trick when you have new goggles is to GENTLY clean around the insides of the lenses with a SMALL amount of toothpaste.
This seems to remove any oily layer left over from the production process, and helps prevent fogging. This is a trick used by many scuba divers. BUT it's important to be very gentle, as toothpaste is mildly abrasive, and you could scratch the lenses if you rub too hard.
The second point above, about getting polarized lenses, is very important if you plan to swim in any kind of sunshine. There are 2 issues at stake here.
I do all my training off the Costa Blanca in south-east Spain, and I can tell you my polarized goggles reduce my eye strain on bright days! I can continue to sight the exit marks onshore even in the brightest sunlight, without getting tired eyes.
ALSO, it’s MUCH easier to actually SEE your destination with polarized lenses, whether it’s
a buoy or a shoreline marker. The clarity of vision is just so much better.
My favorites are Zoggs Predators, as pictured above.
I have recently tested a new pair of SwimRun googles from Aquasphere. Here is a picture, with an Ötillö competition swim cap. These particular goggles are mirrored, with an anti-fog coating on the inside. The manufacturer specifically recommends NOT touching nor cleaning the insides, to avoid damaging the anti-fog properties. They state that the lenses should be simply rinsed with fresh water after use.
The picture below shows the adjustment mechanism for the strap. You just have to press down on the button, as shown, to release and adjust the strap length. The release the button to lock the strap. Brilliant!
The picture below illustrates the wide and soft latex eye sockets. Theses promise to exert less pressure around the eyes, especially during a long swim.
I'll be testing these new Aquasphere swimrun goggles during our training for the Isles of Scilly Ötillö World series event in June 2019. I'll keep you updated on my findings!
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