How to Wear Swim Goggles

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30-06-2018, 13:00
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Swimming goggles protect your eyes and allow you to see better underwater, so putting them on correctly is important. A good pair of goggles fits over your eyes, sealing them in without pinching your skin. The back strap should hold the goggles in place without pressing too hard against your head. Shop around for goggles that fit you well and suit your needs so that you can swim in comfort.

Putting on and Taking off Goggles

  1. Place your hands around the eye cups. Hold the goggles in front of you with the inner part of the lenses facing towards you. Position your thumbs next to the eye cups. Your right thumb should be next to the right cup and your left thumb next to the left cup.
    • The strap will be on the opposite side of the lenses. Use your other fingers to support it.
  2. Press the lenses against your eyes. Move the goggles towards your face, fitting the lenses over your eyes. Make sure the eye cups cover your eyes completely, suctioning to your skin to keep water out. The eye cups should feel comfortable to wear.
    • If putting on the goggles this way seems too difficult, you can slide the back strap and eye cups over your head at the same time.
  3. Move the strap behind your head until it is at eye level. Sweep your arms over your head, pulling the strap back. Rest the strap against the back of your head. It should be even with the lenses over your eyes.
    • The strap should feel comfortable to wear. If it doesn’t, the goggles likely aren’t the right fit for you.
  4. Move the goggles until they feel firm around your eyes. Swimming goggles are designed to create a watertight seal around your eyes. Reposition the eye cups so you can see clearly out of the lenses. The goggles should rest on your eye sockets. When the goggles feel tight against your skin, you know they won’t fall off.
    • If the lenses are easy to remove or pop off your face, they aren’t positioned correctly. You may need to readjust their positioning or get goggles that fit you better.
  5. Pull the head strap up to remove the goggles. Slide your thumbs behind your ears and underneath the back strap. Raise the strap until it is above your head. Then, bring the strap forward until the goggles pop off your eyes.
    • Avoid pulling on the eye cups. They can snap back and hit you in the face.

Selecting Goggles by Type

  1. Order prescription goggles if you have a vision problem. You can order prescription goggles from an eye care specialist or find premade versions at swim shops. These goggles allow you to see in the water, so you don’t need to worry about glasses or contacts.
    • A good pair of goggles will let you see clearly under the water with no blurring.
    • Contacts generally should not be worn in the water due to bacteria. However, disposable contacts you throw out at the end of the day are safe to use.
  2. Choose darker lenses for outdoor use. Goggles with darker lenses typically include UV protection as well as an anti-fog coating. They are good for blocking out sunlight in bright environments, such as on a summer day. If you swim during the middle of the day, darker lenses can be the right choice for you.
    • Darker lenses are kind of like sunglasses. Similar to sunglasses, they aren’t meant for indoor use.
    • The anti-fog coating wears off over time, which can make the lenses darker.
  3. Pick light-colored lenses if you swim indoors. Light-colored lenses let in more light, so they are a good choice for most swimming occasions. Lenses come in a few different colors that can affect how well you see the water. Wear goggles with clear lenses in poorly-lit environments.
    • These goggles may also have lenses colored pink, purple, or green. However, orange lenses are the most effective at brightening up swimming areas.
  4. Pick goggles with an adjustable nose piece for more comfort. Fitting goggles that aren’t adjustable can be difficult. Fortunately, many goggles can be tightened or loosened. The nose strap is often an elastic band you simply pull back to adjust, although this differs depending on the goggles.
    • Some goggles have string nose straps that you thread between the eye cups.
    • Some goggles have clip-on nose straps you can swap out for different sizes.
  5. Buy Swedish goggles for an inexpensive but adjustable option. Swedish goggles are an older style still popular with many swimmers. An adjustable string nose strap holds the eye cups together. The eye cups are made out of a hard plastic, but the lenses usually offer UV protection for outdoor swimming. Ordinary pairs of goggles may be more comfortable but larger and less customizable than Swedish goggles.
    • Swedish goggles can cost about $20 USD for a pack of 3 with different lens shades.
    • Swedish goggles are simple, but you do need to assemble them yourself, so they may be a bad option for children.
    • The hard plastic means these goggles often hurt the first time you wear them, as well as any time you bump into something while swimming.
  6. Purchase racing goggles for comfort and performance. Race goggles can be made in many different varieties, so you can always find a pair that fits your face. Some swimmers appreciate the comfort that allows them to focus solely on swimming. The comfort factor and manufacturing process means these goggles can get expensive. Racing goggles are smaller than ordinary goggles and may feel uncomfortable when used for long swimming sessions.
    • Racing goggles can be as much as $50 USD per pair.
    • Thinner goggles with smaller lenses have less rubber in them, making them more aerodynamic. However, they can be uncomfortable when used daily.

Testing Goggles for Fit

  1. Pick goggles that match the shape of your eye sockets. A good pair of goggles feels unobtrusive on your face. The shape of the eye cups can be the difference between swimming freely and swimming with pain. Compare the shapes of lenses and try on different pairs of goggles before making a choice.
    • For example, if your eyes are rounded, you may want to test out goggles with rounded lenses.
    • If your eyes are almond-shaped, you can choose goggles with narrower lenses.
  2. Press the eye cups against your eyes to test the suction. Avoid putting the strap on your head while doing this. Position the lenses over your eyes, pressing them firmly against your face. If the goggles fit properly, they should stick to your skin for a few seconds before popping off.
    • Goggles that fall off immediately are the wrong shape for you.
    • If only 1 eye cup sticks in place, the goggles could be an acceptable fit. Test other pairs of goggles first before deciding on a purchase.
  3. Choose deeper goggles if your eyelashes hit the lenses. This can be very distracting and uncomfortable while swimming. Blink your eyes while the goggles are over them. If this feels uncomfortable to you, you need more spacious lenses.
    • Goggles with deeper lenses protrude away from your eyes, giving them more space.
  4. Test the back strap for comfort. Once you have a pair of goggles that fit you, put them on normally. Position the strap against the back of your head so it is level with the eye cups. A good strap will be tight against your head but still feel comfortable to wear.
    • If the strap hurts to wear, gives you headaches, or causes cloudy vision, the goggles are not a good fit.
  5. Adjust the nose strap by pulling on it. The nose strap, which is the string or band between the eye cups, also needs to feel comfortable against your skin. Many goggles have adjustable nose straps, which can be tightened by pulling on the strap’s ends. Loosen the strap by pushing the ends towards the eye cups.
    • If the nose strap feels uncomfortable, look for a different pair of goggles that fit you better.
    • Not all goggles have adjustable nose straps. If the goggles fit you well, adjustable straps are not a necessity.

Tips

  • The strap can be the biggest problem. A tight strap pinches your skin, but a loose strap allows water to get underneath the lenses.
  • Children’s goggles often have an age range listed on them, but this doesn’t matter. Only the fit of the goggles and their comfort level is important.
  • Shop around for goggles. If a pair doesn’t feel quite right, keep looking until you find something better.
  • Check the return policy before buying goggles. Most stores will accept returns if you decide the goggles don’t fit you properly.

Warnings

  • Wearing contacts in a pool is not recommended. To avoid bacterial infection, either purchase prescription goggles or change your contacts daily.
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