(Other views are available!)
I use what are called ‘swede’ goggles. They are very simple, and usually really quite cheap. Three characteristics apply. The strap tends to be a simple elastic or rubber band or a tube, usually tied with a simple reef knot. Next, the nose bridge is usually a simple piece of string passing through a small tube to protect the nose. Most importantly, the lenses do not have any kind of rubber seal two cushion the face from the lenses.
Very simply, I do find these easily the most comfortable goggles. They are long lasting, robust and reliable.
I have lately they gone to use a compromise set. These are called Swedix Goggles. They differ in two ways. First, the base of the goggle is covered a rubber surface. The lens still sits directly onto the eye socket, but they assist with keeping them waterproof and possibly helps with the comfort. They also have a fold across the front of the lens – forming a ridge between two surfaces across the lines it with a fold just below the halfway mark.This is supposed to allow you to have improved forward vision. When swimming freestyle, it is important that the head is kept down, and with normal goggles this means that the edge of the surface lens interrupts the forward view. . The design of these Swedix goggles allows you to have your head down and to see forward at the same time. There is one peculiar result of this. It becomes easy to underestimate the distance to the wall and, still, after several months using these goggles I ssometimes feel that I am nearer to the wall than I really am when I begin a tumble turn with the result that I am further away from the wall then I would wish to be reducing the push off from the wall.
Another element of their design is the use of a strip of rubber poked through the holes to side of the lenses to work as a bridge. This work very well. It is really quite easy to adjust the width across the bridge of the nose by small amounts so that the goggles fit precisely. What I have also found out is that a standard 'posty's rubber band, cut appropriately, works beautifully on standard swede goggles
Swede goggles are a minority choice. There are many aspects to the goggles which people usually buy. Nearly always, complications are introduced which have very little to do with anything useful. There are however circumstances which can require different sets of goggles.
- Outdoors, it is proper to have goggles which are capable of dimming the sunshine (if you are lucky enough to be swimming somewhere where this is a problem).
- People with very bad long-distance sight will wear prescription goggles. I have to say that in most swimming pools, nearly all the time is spent looking at the bottom of the pool, and to be frank, one tile looks much like another. The major indications you need are the line along the centre of the lane, the T marks at either end, and the breaks in the lines to show distance so far travelled. These signs are substantial, and simple, but it is right that somebody who has difficulty seeing them should get whatever assistance they need.
I do not like to swim with the goggles with cushioned seal / padding on them. Typically this padding is not long lasting, and also, as the weeks go by horrible stuff begins to grow in the join between the lens and the seal. This gunge is not healthy. It is a very strong reason why it is inappropriate to borrow goggles from anybody else. Last and not at all least, such seals are quite unnecessary. Swedes just work.
Never forget – nobody looks sensible in swimming goggles. There are people who would look cool under any and all circumstances. For the mast majority of us, it is a hopeless task. The harder you try, teh harder you will fall.