Tip #1: When it comes to choosing goggles, it is definitely a personal choice. Here is a great article on How to Choose Swim Goggles.
Now, I personally feel like I am in goggle crisis. Perhaps my face is morphing and that is why they are all uncomfortable. Goggles that have fit me for years (TYR Racetechs) now seem to fit less well. Ah, I can hear you saying, “Well fine then, quit yer bitchin’ and just try another pair!” Uh yeah, did you think I hadn’t thought of that? I mean really. After this many years of swimming, I have quite a collection – Barracudas, AquaSphere, Speedo, Finis, more TYR offerings, and even an assortment of some off the wall brands. Lack of comfort is one complaint, leaking and fogging are also high on the list. And don’t even get me started about the raccoon rings that stay with me for half the day or more. It seems I have to cinch them super tight to keep them from leaking (especially my AquaSpheres). Coming away from practice with very sore eye sockets and a headache is making me grumpy!
Now, I’ve got options – oh yes, I could don one of those big ‘ol snorkel masks. OMG – are you kidding me? My ego isn’t quite allowing me to do that – yet. But, after reading this blog and other postings, I’m going to venture into unchartered territories – I’m giving a go at Swedish goggles. Not quite brave enough to try them sans silicone ribbing, I’ve ordered some TYR “Socket Rockets” from Amazon. I’ll let you know how things go after a trial run. I’ve also ordered a pair of Speedo Vanquishers as many swimmers swear by them.
Tip #2: Ever have problems with your goggles fogging up? Do you go through goggles about every 2 months? No matter what the makers say, all goggles seem to inevitably fog up. Many of your anti-fog goggles have instructions telling you not to rub the inside of the goggles as they are coated with a special solution to keep them from fogging. So first and foremost, stop rubbing the inside of those goggles with your fingers during practice or a towel after practice! However, even when I’ve adhered to that advice, they’ve fogged up. And, I know there are lots of anti-fog solutions out there from wipes to commercial spray, but honestly, those haven’t held up very well for me either.
I think I got this next idea from USMS Swimmer magazine, and I’ve used it the past few years. I now get very good life out of my goggles. Instead of maybe 6-8 weeks for a pair of goggles, I’m now getting 6-12 months. I carry a small spray bottle filled with distilled water. After practice I rinse my goggles and then give them a quick spray. I do not dry them! The distilled water breaks down the chemicals that are in the pool water you swim in. Those chemicals build up and coat over the anti-fog layer, and when you try to rub those chemicals off, you are rubbing right through the anti-fog coating. Ewww, what are those chemicals doing to me? Don’t ask – just stick your head in the sand, uh, I mean the pool.
You can find spray bottles as pictured below at just about any CVS Pharmacy, Target, dollar store, etc. And distilled water is everywhere and around $1 a gallon. Now that is a cheap solution. I’m telling you, it works!
Another tip that works is to wet the inside of your goggles with your own saliva. Do this just before you jump in for your swim. I lick the inside of the goggles, dip them in the pool, and put them on my face. This does counter the “don’t rub the anti-fog coating off” guide above, but hey, it works. If I’m going to swim in salt water, I skip dipping them in the water (as my eyes burn like crazy) and just use my saliva or a little water from a water bottle to give a partial rinse.
One final tip. Invest in a goggle case and you’ll get even more life out of those goggles by saving them from getting scratched. Here’s hoping you don’t find yourself in goggle crisis!