Which swimming goggles should you choose for triathlon?

Gaskets, lenses, size, tint… There are lots of things to think about when choosing your swimming goggles. In partnership with Zoggs, we explain how to find the right ones for you

Woman wearing Zoggs goggles

Picking the right pair of goggles is essential to helping you get the most out of your triathlon training and racing.

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When purchasing goggles you have a number of options regarding the size, the type of gasket and the type of lens.

We’ve put together a video which explains all these elements to help you choose the best type of goggles for you and the type of swimming and racing you will be doing.

To help us demonstrate, we will be using a range of goggles produced by Zoggs – all of which are available on their website. As well as the video, below are some tips on what to consider…

Choose the right gaskets

So what is a gasket? Put simply, it’s the squashy silicone (or rubber) part that attaches the goggles to your face!
  • A low profile goggle such as the Fusion Air is designed for smaller, narrower faces and fits inside the eye socket, giving a sleeker and more aquadynamic performance. This style sits closer to the face, and is often favoured by competitive swimmer.
  • A standard profile goggle as is found on the regular size Predator is designed for the average size face and offers a larger gasket that fits on the outside of the eye socket.
  • Outer eye goggles offer a wider depth of vision, and are often preferred for longer, endurance swims due to their comfort over a longer swim session.

If you’re unsure whether you are best suited to an inner or outer eye socket fit, you can use the ‘Zoggs Goggle Fit’ app on your phone to scan your face and find out.

The type of gasket you choose can alter the level of comfort and quality of fit that you experience. The Predator goggle features what Zoggs call their Advanced Ultra Fit Gasket. It’s almost impossible to go wrong with this iconic goggle which offers a near universal fit, a claim Zoggs back up with testing on over 200 swimmers.

The Predator Flex goes one step further adding four unique flexpoints to the gasket allowing it to perfectly contour to your face and deliver what Zoggs call their ‘best ever fit’.

If, however, you’re a swimmer that struggles with uncomfortable pressure around your eye sockets caused by your goggles, you might want to consider an ‘air cushioned’ seal – as featured on the Fusion Air Goggle.

The gaskets are filled with air to provide the wearer with an incredibly lightweight feeling fit – while still maintaining a reliable seal around the eye. This gives an ‘almost not there’ fit, minimising marking around the eye.

Also offering a lightweight fit is the Raptor Goggle, featuring a hexagonal structure ‘honeycomb’ gasket which evenly distributes pressure around the eye socket for a lightweight but reinforced seal.

Lens type

The lens you choose will depend on both the light conditions and your personal preference.

One of the most popular lenses Zoggs offer is their polarized Ultra lens, as featured in many of their Predator Flex and Predator goggles.

Polarized lenses are essential due to their reduction of both bright sunlight and glare. Zoggs’ Polarized Ultra lens goes a step further, also filtering blue light and enhancing depth perception to further improve your vision.

It’s important to note how tinted and polarized lenses differ. Tinted lenses will protect you from direct sunlight but they do not combat glare caused by sunlight bouncing of reflective surfaces, like for example, water!

Similarly, adept at reducing the intensity of bright sunlight and glare are Titanium lenses (more commonly known as ‘mirrored’ lenses), which feature on the Tiger LSR+ Goggle.

These are ideal for high level light, reducing eye fatigue and glare from the sun. Titanium lenses also soften your visual experience when swimming inside. We also like mirrored lenses for racing as they look a bit more ‘performance’ and are good for psyching out the competition!

Another option is photochromatic lenses – or as Zoggs call them – Reactor lenses. The lens reacts to the level of light becoming darker in high level light conditions and remaining clearer in lower level light, making it a perfect goggle for changing light conditions when you swim.

Finally, we have clear lenses. These are best for indoor swimming where you don’t require protection from sunlight. The clear lens, however, is a great all-rounder lens, which gives maximum clarity while providing great visibility above and below the water.

While a clear lens does not block out glare, at Zoggs all of their goggles have a base level UV protection of UV 360 to ensure your eyes are always protected from the sun

How to fit your goggle

Now you’ve chosen your goggle it’s time to go swimming!

A common misunderstanding is that the strap of your goggles should be pulled tight to ensure you don’t experience any leaking during your swim. This is in fact not the case and will only cause painful pressure around your eyes, and head.

When putting on your goggles first place them over your eyes to form a seal. Next fit the strap over the back of your head, then adjust the strap for a firm but comfortable fit.

The function of the strap is to hold the goggle in place, not to prevent it from leaking. A double a split strap gives extra security and is also handy for longer hair swimmers. As it can sit either side of your ponytail and is more comfort.

How to look after your goggle

After your swim make sure you remove your goggles, lifting the strap over your head first. Rinse them in cold water to remove any dirt or grime picked up during your swim and store them out of direct sunlight, which can damage and degrade any silicone elements. This will help them achieve their maximum lifespan.

You should also be careful not to touch the inside of the lenses, tempting as it can be to wipe them, as this can damage the anti-fog coating Zoggs have treated them with. You can get eco-fog spray from Zoggs, which will add an additional layer of anti-fog protection to the lenses.

Finally, always pop your goggles back into the microfibre case they came with to store them safely!

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Visit the Zoggs website to view the brand’s full range of swimming goggles.