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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Saskia Kemsley

Best swimming goggles for adults that are perfect for the pool or open water swims

Some people are born with a natural, fish-like ability. They crave open water and seem to have bodies which are adapted to this aquatic environment – wide and angular in all the right places, cutting an unbeatably streamlined figure which can slice through water like a hot knife on butter.

Others discover their love for swimming later in life; not a bad thing. However, getting into the sport as an adult means conducting a fair bit of research with regard to the correct equipment to use. This is especially true for those who enter the world of all-season outdoor, wild swimming.

First and foremost, the single most important piece of equipment required for regular swimmers – and the item we’ll be focusing on in this article – is simple: goggles.

Goggles tend to conjure thoughts of neon-hued monstrosities that tear and rip at the nose and hair after a handful of uses, but this doesn’t need to be the case. Instead of suffering chlorine-drenched eyeballs and bundles of hair caught in the stretchy strap, you can protect your peppers in style.

There is a vast range of technologically advanced goggles currently on the market, designed for triathletes, and competitive and casual swimmers alike. But how to choose? We've done the legwork for you.

What kind of lenses should I look for in my swimming goggles?

  • Photochromatic: designed to shift transparency depending on light conditions, which works to ensure your vision is always the clearest it can be. Photochromatic lenses are useful for outdoor swimmers who often experience fast-changing light conditions.
  • Mirrored: though mirrored lenses don’t look very practical, they’re a fantastic option for outdoor swimmers. This is because the mirrored lenses reflect bright light away, making your field of vision darker and more comfortable.
  • Polarised: more effective at filtering glare than mirrored goggles, polarised lenses are specifically designed to block harmful UVA and UVB light. Colour contrast and precision are often improved as a result.
  • Polycarbonate: another option which provides UV protection, polycarbonate lenses are the strongest kind on the market. They’re shatterproof and impact-resistant, though this doesn’t mean they won’t necessarily obtain the odd scratch here and there.

What additional features should I look for in my swimming goggles?

  • Field of vision: expanded lenses offer an improved field of vision, especially when it comes to the periphery. This is important for competitive swimmers who must stay in slim swimming lanes.
  • Leak-proof fit: though considered a given for most goggle-purchasers, it’s always important to consider just how leak-proof your lenses are.
  • Nose bridge adjustability: an important consideration for those who struggle with finding that perfect fit. Goggles which come with nose bridge adjustability help to prevent leaks and improve general comfort.
  • Anti-fog: an important consideration for triathletes whose internal and external body temperature is constantly in flux – leading to foggy goggles.

What’s the difference between open-water swimming goggles and those used for indoor swimming?

The most common difference between open-water swimming goggles and indoor swimming goggles is the lenses. As we previously explained, outdoor swimming requires special types of lenses which accommodate changing light conditions.

And with that, let’s get into the best swimming goggles for adults that are perfect for the pool or open water swims. Keep scrolling for more.

Best swimming goggles for adults at a glance

Form Smart Swimming Googles

Best for: award-winning technology

Quite literally the swimming goggles of the future, our minds were entirely boggled when we read of the many technological features imbued in this essential piece of kit. Smartwatch compatible, Form’s Smart Swimming Goggles operate with a companion app which allows for activity tracking and PB sharing with other members of the Form community.

Not only does the app provide a detailed post-swim analysis, but the goggles themselves provide real in-time metrics – Iron Man style. Seriously it’s as close to getting a real-life Jarvis as we’ll ever get.

Included in your purchase is six interchangeable nose bridges ranging from sizes S-XL so that you can find your perfect fit, a ventilated carry case and a magnetic charging cable.

Crafted from FDA-certified silicone and equipped with anti-fog coating, these mirrored-lens goggles will transform your swim from the moment you put them on.

Buy now £179.00, Form

Speedo Hydropure Mirror Adult Swimming Goggles, Black/Chrome

Best for: leak-proof fit

These goggles are equipped with ultra soft cushioning which, alongside providing a secure and cushioned fit, are entirely leak-proof. The extra-large lens design offers an expansive field of vision for an immersive swimming experience, while the interchangeable nose bridge ensures a solid fit. It certainly helps that they look wonderfully sleek, with chrome mirrored lenses and a thick head strap for optimal comfort.

Buy now £22.50, John Lewis

Speedo Fastskin Hyper Elite Mirror Goggles

Best for: competitive racing

Equipped with max peripheral vision thanks to the hydroscopic lenses, these goggles will have you covered come race day. The IQfit 3D goggle seal is both leak-free and mark-reducing, while the brand’s patented one-piece racing strap – equipped with an IQfit tensioning scale – makes these goggles the gold-standard for competitive racers.

Buy now £40.00, Amazon

Nabaiji Swimdow 100 Adult Swimming Mask Clear Lenses

Best for: beginners in outdoor or indoor swimming

Offering a clear, wide field of vision with expanded lenses, these goggles by the experts over at Nabaiji have been designed for beginner swimmers, whether you’re getting your start in wild swimming or indoor pools. A strong and stable option which will stay put on your noggin, these goggles are both adjustable and finished with an anti-fog treatment.

Buy now £12.99, Decathlon

HUUB Aphotic Photochromatic Goggles

Best for: wild swimming

Whether you’re hopping into the water in the early hours of the morning, or during sunset, these photochromatic goggles are sure to keep your field of vision as clear and precise as possible.

Anti-fog, scratch-resistant and complete with a mirrored finish for that extra bit of visual precision, these are a hardy pair of goggles that will last you a solid few years of consistent swimming.

Buy now £40.51, Amazon

HUUB Triathlon Altair Swimming Goggle

Best for: interchangeable lenses

Another fantastic option from HUUB, these goggles are suited to triathlon athletes because they come with three professional grade, mirrored interchangeable lenses designed to be switched out depending on light conditions. The yellow mirror lens has been designed for lowlight, dusk swims and helps to spot buoys. The silver mirror lens is for indoor swimming, artificial light, and early morning swims – while the black mirror lens is for strong sunlight. You can also order prescription interchangeable lenses through the brand’s website.

Rather than purchasing a catch-all pair of goggles with photochromatic lenses, an interchangeable option is suited to triathlon athletes who swim long-distances at high speeds – meaning the light conditions don’t often change.

Buy now £39.98, Amazon

Arena Swedix Mirror Swimming Goggles

With a polycarbonate split lens and TPR coating, it’s a wonder these goggles are so lightweight. The fascinatingly angular shape of these goggles’ lenses have been designed to enhance forward vision, which in turn helps swimmers to improve their head and body alignment for perfect technique and enhanced performance. With a Swedish-style, adjustable nose bridge and a feather-like adjustable strap, these are a favourite amongst the pros for a reason – yet they’re also great value.

Buy now £18.99, SwimInn

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