Swim goggles should be a standard part of any swimmer's gear. Besides a suit and sunscreen, a cap and goggles provide critical protection in the water. The goggles keep the water out of your eyes, preventing them from being saturated with chemicals in the pool or saltwater. In addition, they help you see where you are going in the water, avoiding collisions or other mishaps.
The way your goggles fit depends on your face type and swimming use. Goggles come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some goggles have narrow nose pieces, which are especially useful for younger swimmers to helps keep the eyepieces in place. Goggles also have varied sizes of eyepieces to ensure a proper fit for each face type. Goggles are sold with a variety of tints, which are helpful if you swim in full sun and want to shield your eyes. Last, goggles offer three types of straps--a single strap, a double strap or a single strap that splits to a double strap partway back on your head.
The best way to ensure that your goggles fit properly is to use them in the water. However, most retail establishments will not allow the return of eyewear. Since there's such a wide variety, select a few and remove them from the packaging with the help of a sales associate. They key part of the fit is the eyepiece. It must fit comfortably without too much suction. Slip the eyepieces over your eyes and press gently. If they stay in place for a minute or two, the eyepiece shape is appropriate for your eye socket. If they slip immediately, try a set of goggles with a smaller eye piece. If they feel too tight, try a set of goggles with a larger eyepiece. Next, evaluate the straps. A single strap is fine for a child, but most swimmers find that it cuts too much into their head. Choose either a split strap or a double strap based on your preference.
If you are constantly fussing with your goggles, it can break your concentration and make the workout a chore. In addition, if the goggles don';t fit properly and leak water, your eyes become red and irritated. Properly fitting swim goggles become part of your routine and won't impede your workout. Instead, they act as a workout aid, helping make the swim enjoyable.
The time to check if your goggles fit properly is before you pay for them. It's critical to recognize that different face shapes and ages require different goggles, so a store visit to try some on is a key first step.
Once you find goggles that work, buy an extra set or two. This way, you avoid getting geared up to swim, only to realize your goggles are too scratched to see properly, or the gaskets that seal the eye piece are worn out.