Choosing Your Goggles

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Every human face is different, and therefore the way swim goggles fit will be different. Finding a pair that suits you is a trial-and-error process.

And different kinds of goggles may work better for different kinds of swimming situations. For racing in the pool, many people prefer slim, compact goggles that fit within the eye sockets. For swimming in open water (or being in the water for hours) many people prefer the kind that seal around the eye brows and eye sockets, almost like a snorkel mask.

When searching for a pair, most stores seem to be OK with you taking them out of the box to try them on. It won’t be the same as testing them in the water, but you can still feel how well it seals and fits.

If you are trying on the eye-socket type goggles, raise your eye brows and open your eyes wide, then place the goggles in the eye socket and relax the face so that the skin around your eyes squeezes around the outside of the goggle gasket. Press the goggles until you hear or feel a suction.

If you are trying on the mask type goggles, relax your face and smooth your brow then press the goggles onto your face. Press the goggles until you hear or feel a suction.

The goggles should create a suction on your face without the need for the strap to be holding them tight against your head. As a matter of fact, the less tension needed in the strap the better. If the suction only holds while the strap is pulling them tightly against the head then this is a sign they won’t work well for you.

Once they are securely affixed, make many different expressions on your face that will cause your cheeks, eyes, brow and nose to reshape your skin and face, which could affect the seal of the goggles. Move your face around, make faces, squint, crinkle your nose, close one eye and then the other. you want to make sure the seal doesn’t pop. Next check the bridge of the nose and corner of eyes for any gaps or discomfort.

There should be some suction pressure inside the goggles – that is normal. If they don’t pinch the skin, or rub the bridge of the nose, or hurt in any particular spot, then you may have a winner. Make sure to check return policies, just in case the pair isn’t what you expect when trying it in the water.

And, when you find a pair you really like, you may consider buying a few of them at once so that you have a small stock of them. It is sad when we find a pair we really like then, when we need to replace them, we find out the manufacturer has discontinued making that model and they are hard to find. We have to go through this whole process all over again.

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