Swimming is one of those rare activities that enables total escape. Whether you’re in the pool, the sea or your local lake, it offers participants the chance to put down their phones and go back to basics, one length at a time.
It is unsurprising, then, that figures show it is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the country. It is not only credited with improving flexibility, strength and movement, but, according to the NHS, can also reduce risk of serious illnesses.
But in recent years, goggle technology has developed quicker than ever and there are now plenty of high-tech, high-performance pairs to choose from. So, how do you find the perfect match?
To help you out, we took a deep dive and tested goggles from some of the best-known swimming brands, hottest triathlon specialists and biggest sporting retailers in the market.
How we tested
We measured each pair on five key areas; design, comfort, performance (including whether they became foggy or leaked), fit and price. We tested them in different places, completing hundreds of lengths in our local pool and visiting a nearby swimming lake to see if each pair would sink or swim.
Our favourites are listed below – from the best goggles for sunny swims, ones for a tight budget and a smart pair that will literally count the lengths for you.
The best swimming goggles for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Orca killa vision swimming goggles: £15, Orca.com
- Best fit – Zoggs predator flex polarised ultra goggles: £38, Zoggs.com
- Best for the pool – Arena air bold swipe swim goggles: £32, Arenasport.com
- Best for triathletes – Zone3 venator-X swim goggles: £29, Zone3.com
- Best for everyday use – Sundried legend polarised swimming goggles: £24, Sundried.com
- Best for verstaility – Nike vapor photochromic goggle: £40.59, Allensswimwear.co.uk
- Best a tight budget – Speedo aquapulse pro mirror goggles: £16, Speedo.com
- Best for data lovers – Form smart swim goggle: £216, Formswim.com
- Best for outdoor swimmers – Zone3 vapour swim goggles: £35, Zone3.com
- Best for all-weather swimmers – Huub altair swim goggle: £49.99, Amazon.co.uk
Orca killa vision swimming goggles
We love it when we test a product and it smashes our expectations out of the park. And that’s exactly what happened with these goggles from Orca.
At just £15, these offered the best vision underwater out of all of the pairs we tried, enabling us to see the entire length of the pool without making it feel super dark. Not only that, but the panoramic design meant we had full vision, which was useful for both front crawl and being nosy. We had no issues with fogging thanks to the brand’s anti-fog coating, even on the hotter days.
A clip-strap system meant they were very easy to adjust and the 3D gasket (the bit around the eyes) was comfortable and prevented those annoying marks you sometimes get when you have to pull your goggles too tight. They also come packaged in cardboard (a nice change from plastic) with a neat little pouch for safe storage. We tested the medium fit option for low-light or indoor conditions and there’s one thing for sure: we had a whale of a time (pun intended).
Zoggs predator flex polarised ultra goggles
Unlike a lot of other products on the market, the first-class experience starts before you’ve even purchased these goggles. Zoggs has a special “find your goggle fit” tool, which scans your face via your phone or computer and tells you whether you need a regular or smaller profile fit. And it doesn’t stop there.
Once you’ve received these goggles, you’ll find they have an innovative and flexible design, with special 3D flex points that mean you get a great fit without having to lift a finger. We also had a decent field of vision in these goggles and could see around 15m in front of us in the pool without an issue, while the anti-fog technology worked as expected.
Other features include a soft gasket, which we found helped to prevent significant pressure around the eyes and prevented any leaking. There’s also the curved polarised lenses, which helped to reduce glare and made everything look that bit sharper. At £38, they cost a little more than some of the other pairs we tested – but they are a great buy if you’re looking for a high-quality product that’ll fit you swim after swim.
Arena air bold swipe swim goggles
Best: For the pool
Specialist brand Arena faced some stiff competition when it came to the accolade of best goggles for pool swimmers. But we struggled to find much that could knock the brand’s air bold swipe goggles from the top spot.
On the face of it, these offer many of the same benefits as other products – but if you look a little closer you realise every small detail has been considered and perfected. The goggles are lightweight and comfortable with honeycomb-shaped seals that mean they adapt to your face and reduce pressure around the eyes.
They also have anti-fog technology, including what the brand calls “swipe” tech, which can be reactivated while you’re in the pool if you do find they start fogging. We didn’t get a chance to test this as the goggles performed so well, but the brand says users can gently swipe the inner lens with their fingertip while the goggles are in the water, helping them to remain clear for “ten times longer”.
Although they are “one size fits all”, we found them easy to adjust with two side buckles that stayed in place throughout sessions. Available in four different colours, we’d recommend these £32 goggles to active swimmers who like to rack up the lengths or beginners in the pool looking for a high-quality, great value product.
Zone3 venator-X swim goggles
Best: For triathletes
It is perhaps unsurprising that the best goggles for triathletes come from specialist triathlon brand Zone3. But this pair is really worth shouting about. Developed in collaboration with Josh Amberger – a professional Ironman who competes (and wins) on the international stage – they strike the balance perfectly between comfort and performance.
We loved the shape and design of the goggles, which include a soft silicone gasket for heightened comfort and enough flexibility to fit a range of face shapes and sizes. Designed for both pool and open water, these will take you smoothly from training to event day, with anti-fog coating that prevents clouded vision and curved lenses to ensure you can see where you’re going.
Perhaps most importantly, they are available with different lens options – so you can choose which pair is best for your race or training when you purchase them. We tested the polarised lenses, which helped to reduce glare and performed well outside in sunny conditions, and the photochromatic lenses, which adjust depending on the level of light.
We didn’t test them, but the brand also offers tinted lenses, which aim to reduce the brightness of indoor pool lights (we found the photochromatic lenses were great in the pool too). The double strap, which has dimples on each side to keep it in place, was easy to adjust, while the goggles boast the usual UVA/UVB protection too. Whether you’re doing a sprint, Olympic or Ironman distance, these are the ones for you.
Sundried legend polarised swimming goggles
Best: For everyday use
We’ve been using these swimming goggles for the best part of two years – and it’s safe to say they’ve become a staple item in our workout wardrobe. For those who haven’t heard of Sundried, the brand was launched in 2016 with the aim of providing high-quality products at affordable prices. It’s no surprise, then, that these goggles are just as good – if not better – than some of the more expensive pairs on the market.
For just £24, you get a comfortable, lightweight and high-performing pair of goggles. The polarised lenses not only look cool, they also help to block UV rays and filter the glare caused by light reflecting off the water. We found the anti-fog technology worked well during all our swims this spring. They are extremely sturdy and can cope with being dropped, shoved in a bag and knocked about. The side buckle makes it easy to adjust them even when in the water (we preferred this style over some of the other pairs as we didn’t need to fiddle with the straps for ages at the start of every swim). And at this price, you can’t go wrong.
Nike vapor photochromic goggle
Best: For versatility
The first thing that we noticed about these goggles is that they are light. Really light. And that’s not the only good bit about their design. We found Nike’s photochromic lenses worked really well, with the lens tint adjusting automatically (and pretty quickly) based on changing light conditions. This meant they were great for both pool and open water, no matter what time of day we went for a swim. They also looked great, with a low-profile design that sat nicely on our face and with a soft interior that (nearly) left no marks. Plus, they are customisable with a nose bridge that can be tailored as well as an adjustable strap.
Speedo unisex hydropulse goggle
Best: For a tight budget
If someone were to ask about well-known swimming brands, Speedo would probably come top of the list. Having built its reputation since the beginning of the 20th century, you know you’re going to get good quality kit for a decent price. So, with Speedo as the proverbial safe pair of hands, we had high expectations.
We certainly weren’t disappointed in terms of design and comfort. We found these were great all-rounders, performing the same in both the pool and outside. The wide vision lenses meant we could see everything and the double silicone head strap was easy to adjust. We did have one issue with fogging however, despite the promised anti-fog technology. They were comfortable thanks to the soft seals and boasted 100 per cent UV protection for when the sun came out. Plus, at just £16 they are an absolute steal in comparison to some of the others we tried. A solid choice.
Form smart swim goggles
Best: For data lovers
Since last year, Form has continued to reposition itself as much more than a product. With echoes of Whoop (the fitness tracker that’s now worn by professional athletes around the world), the brand has moved to a membership model, providing subscribers with a pair of smart-swim goggles alongside guided workouts, training plans and tutorials. The move means buying into the brand really is the equivalent of having an underwater coach on order. But, is it really worth it?
It depends how much you love swimming. If you’re a regular and you love data, it’s a no brainer. The brand has an impressive roster of fitness swimmers and Ironman Champions using them. The goggles are clever, showing you in real-time how far and fast you’re swimming without the touch of a button so you can make small tweaks to your training and ensure you’re maximising efforts so you hit your goals.
We loved the smart display, which kept us up to date with our split times and distance during every session, helping us to stay motivated and push harder. Out of the pool, it was easy to upload sessions via an app to our phone, so we could analyse our swims. Plus, these goggles aren’t just smart. They’re also comfortable and easy to adjust. We had no problems with water leaking through and the lenses remained clear and free of fog.
If you aren’t a regular swimmer, and don’t want to buy into something long-term, there is a six-month option. However, if you tally it up they are on the expensive side, starting at £18 per month for a 12-month commitment.
Zone3 vapour swim goggles
Best: For outdoor swimmers
The only brand to have two pairs to feature in our “best of” roundup, Zone3 was a close contender for best buy with these vapour swim goggles. Well designed – and even better in terms of performance – these tick all the right boxes and can be used both indoors and outdoors. We found the polarised mirror lenses were particularly good on sunny days when we hit our local swimming lake to do a couple of circuits.
Boasting anti-fog technology and UV protection, our swims were seamless whenever we wore them, with a secure strap-lock to help prevent any leaking. They have the usual wide-angle vision, so we could see where we were going (important when several birds also wanted to use the pool), while the silicone gaskets were soft and comfortable to wear. Available in seven colours, there’s plenty to choose from – and at £35 we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
Huub altair swim goggle
Best: For all-weather swimmers
It’s a case of triple the lenses, triple the choice with these swimming goggles from Huub. The brand bills them as the “world’s only goggles with three different lenses” – and having tested them we were left wondering why no one else has thought of this. Although we were a little sceptical at first, we found the lenses were easy to interchange and the lightweight goggles performed as well as the other models we tested, offering a secure fit and preventing any leaking.
They were particularly good if, like us, you don’t follow a routine and you regularly swim outside. This is because we were able to change the lenses depending on what time of day we were swimming and what the weather was doing. Take the yellow mirror lenses – these are suited for low light, dusk swims; the silver are better for artificial light (in pools, for example) or early morning swims, while the black lenses are for strong sunlight.
You also get a zip case to keep all the bits together and safe. We found the vision wasn’t quite as clear as some of the brand’s competitors, but we think £39.99 is a reasonable price for a product that offers so much choice.
The verdict: Swimming goggles
There certainly isn’t a shortage of swimming goggles on the market – so whether you’re a fair-weather swimmer, lane lover or triathlete, there’s a pair for you.
We loved the killa vision goggles by Orca, which offered 10/10 vision at a show-stoppingly good price. They were closely followed by Zoggs’ predator flex polarised ultra goggles and the technology the brand uses to ensure you get the right fit.
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If you’re looking to update your pool attire, take a look at our review of the best women’s active swimsuits which don’t sacrifice style for support
Source Link 10 best adult swimming goggles for pools, open water sessions and triathlons