Any goggle with ‘Eclipse’ in the name isn’t going to be ideal in an indoor pool, and the Missile Eclipse are described as ‘most suitable for outdoor swimming and bright conditions’. What Vorgee fail to mention is that they’re ‘only’ suitable for outdoor conditions, as even in an indoor pool with plenty of natural light we might as well have been swimming with our eyes shut.
To see if things would improve outdoors we waited for the sunniest day September in the UK could muster and rushed to our outdoor gym pool for a training session: and three very frustrating kilometres later it was the same story. The seal is adequate but the gaskets are too round and we found they created irritation around the eye sockets. You get multiple nose bridges included and the adjustment is simple, but sadly all this counts for nothing when you can’t see a thing.
Verdict: too tinted and dark for indoor swim use, and most outdoor pools as well 42%
Buy from www.simplyswim.com
Named after the fastest swimmer on the ITU circuit, the (Richard) Varga goggles from Huub come in mirrored, smoke or clear lens options (we tested the mirrored version). They perform well indoors and out, deflecting glare and providing good all-round visibility. Huub’s ‘Ultra Low Profile’ claim is a touch bold as there are at least three other options in this test that sit noticeably flatter on the face but, to many swimmers, this’ll be a help rather than a hindrance.
You get adjustment clips on both parts of the split strap at the back and numerous nose bridges for a personalised fit. If you want a goggle with a more traditional flat frontage on the lens and some added peripheral vision, the Varga is a solid option, but you might want to choose the smoke lenses if you train in a gloomy pool as things can get quite dark in the mirrored.
Verdict: a good all-rounder for indoors and out, with a comfortable fit and decent visibility 80%
Buy from www.tredz.co.uk
These Aqua Sphere/Michael Phelps goggles are some of the best race goggles around. With a patented curved lens and titanium mirrored coating they offer a perfect balance of comfort, fit and clarity. The flat straps sit nicely and have a simple adjustment system that just requires pulling at the back to tighten. You get numerous interchangeable nose bridges to fit all face shapes.
The white versions here with gold mirrored lenses are suitable for all light conditions, with great anti-glare for outdoor pool swimming. After using them heavily we’ve found the anti-fog can begin to falter, but the longevity is still impressive and it’s nothing some anti-fog treatment couldn’t solve. At close to £50 the Xceeds are a relatively big investment, but one, we and plenty of club swimmers we gave them to as well believe, you won’t regret.
Verdict: pricey but boasting fantastic comfort, anti-glare properties and superior looks 92%
Buy from www.wiggle.co.uk
The final verdict
This year’s goggle grouptest included only one option under £20 – the Zoggs Fusion Air. For us they just don’t offer anything that generic, budget £10 goggles don’t, so they still don’t represent great value. The Zoggs Predators are a different story, however. We know from experience that these last an age and provide a very comfortable fit that’s loved by many, so it’s our favourite training goggle on test. The other larger lenses on test, Speedo’s
V Class Vue, didn’t wow us and felt too cumbersome.
Vorgee’s Missile Eclipse confused us and everyone else who swam in them, and it was the only goggle that actually affected the speed of our swims because vision was so poor. We just can’t recommend them with this lens colour. We like the lenses on Swans’ SRX Mirrored but prefer their Falcon goggles overall, and we’d opt for Huub’s Varga goggle as our favourite option with a flat lens frontage.
We can recommend all the top-end race goggles here – the Arena Cobra, Aqua Sphere/MP Xceed and Speedo Fastskin Elite. The low profiles won’t be for everyone, but the Fastskin Elite and MP Xceed goggles both received
glowing feedback for how surprisingly comfortable they felt.
The Aqua Sphere MP Xceed has won our goggle grouptest the last two year’s running, but this time around the most successful Olympian of all time (or his goggles at least) have been dethroned. Zone3’s new Volaire goggle is £18
cheaper, received acclaim from us and everyone we gave them to, is supremely comfortable and yet stills retains that hydrodynamic appearance.