Ready to hit the local lap pool and get in shape by crushing some lengths in the water? You’re in good company—millions take to their local aquatic facilities on the daily to get in shape. Swimming is fantastic exercise. Not only do you get a great aerobic workout (along with the lung capacity training that comes with having to hold your breath while swimming), but you are also able to get fit without thrashing your joints or exclusively targeting one area of your body.
But first thing’s first.
You need to get some gear to make sure that you are able to swim in style and safely. Once you’ve got your training suit all sorted out, then comes the next mandatory piece of swimming equipment: swimming goggles.
Why is it necessary to swim with goggles?
Goggles aren’t just for looking stylish (although that is certainly a factor). Swimming your local pool with goggles is important for a couple different reasons. The first of which is visibility and safety. Humans weren’t made to see underwater. It’s important to be able to accurately judge the distance to the walls, where other swimmers are at, and to be able to see where the black line on the bottom of the pool is at. The second reason is that goggles protect your eyes for the nastiness in the water. It’s always been thought that chlorine causes the red itchiness that happens when we swim in a pool, but that irritation is actually from chloramines, a byproduct of chlorine when it reacts with human waste and other foreign substances in the pool. So yeah, that’s what is going in your eye, so goggles keep that stuff out.
Are there prescription goggles available?
Yes! Swimmers with a prescription have options (although perhaps not as many as their non-prescription colleagues in the water, unfortunately) when it comes to buying goggles. Most of the major goggle manufacturers, including Speedo and TYR produce them. Speedo makes their flagship as a prescription swim goggle. For a more detailed breakdown on the best prescription swimming goggles go here.
What kind of swimming are you going to be doing?
Lastly, there is the question of what kind of swimming you are going to be doing. Are you going to be swimming indoors? Outdoors? In a pool? Doing open water swims? The place where you end up training will dictate what kind of goggles, including shape, tint, and materials that the goggles are composed of. Indoor swimmers, for instance, would do well to use cheaper goggles like Swedes which offer great line of sight and are relatively cheap (for the inevitable wear and tear from pool chemicals). Open water swimmers would use a pair of wider-brimmed goggles that give them a broader field of view. Whether you go with a lighter or darker tint on the goggle would also be influenced by how bright your swimming facilities (or river/lake/ocean) is.