Open-water swimming: which goggles are best for you?
Open-water swimming and Triathlon, guide for choosing racing goggles
When it comes to swimming accessories, nothing is more important than your own personal favourites! Remember, there is no right model and no wrong model: the best goggles for you are always those that are most comfortable to wear when you are swimming! Nevertheless, just in case you need some help in making your choice, here are some things to bear in mind…
Are you an experienced swimmer or a beginner?
If you are an experienced swimmer and often swim at the front of a group, you will probably feel most comfortable wearing racing goggles with hard lenses guaranteeing perfectly clear front vision and allowing you to clearly distinguish even the most distant objects. If, on the other hand, you are just a beginner or you often find yourself swimming elbow-to-elbow with other athletes, then you would be better advised to choose a model with wider, soft lenses that will provide excellent lateral position and greater safety and protection in case of bumps and bangs.
What are the weather conditions like out on the race course?
Weather conditions are also a key factor in choosing which goggles to use in a race. Remember, all goggles in the arena range offer maximum protection against UV rays, but if it is a cloudy day with poor visibility, then you should opt for clear or transparent lenses. If, on the other hand, the sun is shining brightly, the ideal thing is to wear mirror lenses to protect your eyes against direct sunlight. If the sun is low on the horizon or you are particularly bothered by light reflecting off the water, then we advise you try polarised lenses that neutralise the “reverberation effect” and allow optimum vision. Remember, the colour of your lenses also affects your visibility: clear-coloured lenses, ideal for duller days, let more light through than dark colours, which, on the other hand, are better on sunny days or when the sun is shining brightest. So, our advice is to invest in two pairs of goggles, one with clear lenses and the other with dark or mirror lenses, so you will not be caught out by sudden changes in weather and will be able to swim at your very best.
Comfort and fit: what are your own particular requirements?
If you are looking for handy goggles that are really comfortable, then you will need a pair that you can put on and adjust in just a few seconds: choose a model with a self-adjusting nose bridge that adapts to every shape of face and a “split” strap at the back that is very easy to put on and fits perfectly. If, on the other hand, you would rather adjust your goggles to get just the right fit for you, then choose a model with an interchangeable nose bridge and dual strap for attaching the goggles at two different points on the back of your head at just the right height for you, giving you a highly customisable fit.
Which is the best material?
We know that open-water races really put our accessories to the test. They often get covered with sand or salt, thrown on the ground, put away in haste or left in the bag for hours. That’s why it is advisable to buy silicone goggles, which, as well as being a soft, comfortable and hypoallergenic material, is also the most durable. If, on the other hand, you are an expert swimmer and looking for a model that offers unrivalled stability and high performance in the water, then we suggest you opt for one of the high-tech Arena models designed from a superior quality TPE, like, for example, the Cobra Ultra or the Cobra Core goggles. This special material made in Japan has the same properties as liquid silicone in terms of its elasticity, softness, hypoallergenic properties and ability to keep its shape. But in this case, make sure you look after them even more carefully!
Last but not least, some valuable tips for looking after your goggles …
Here are a few tips to help make sure your goggles last as long as possible and, most importantly, do not steam up….
- Rinse them in fresh water after every training session and every race (remember chlorine and salty water ruin the anti-fog coating!)
- Leave them to dry in the open air before putting them on again
- Do not touch the inside of the lenses with either your fingers or a cloth
- Do not use soaps or other detergents to clean the lenses
- As far as possible, do not wear your goggles on your forehead when you are not swimming: sweat and the heated from your forehead can reduce the anti-fog effect. You are better off turning them round, so the inside of the lenses is exposed to the air.
- Always carry an ANIFOG SPRAY: the anti-fog coating on the goggles is extremely thin and delicate and various factors can harm it (sweat, heat, touching it you’re your fingers, salt, chlorine, the general state of the pool or water…). If your goggles start to fog, just apply the spray every time you go swimming, following the instructions on the packet.