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What are the best kind of goggles to use? Should I get a mask or traditional-style goggles?

As with wetsuits, the best kind of goggles are the ones that fit! Any reputable swim shop such as High Point Swim will have a broad selection of brands and styles so that you are sure to find one that works. A simple test for fit is to take the goggle out of the container and press the eye cups (or mask) against your face without the straps around your head. It should stay in place for a few seconds without you having to hold on. The suction should gently hold the goggles in place. If they don't find another pair with a slightly different design. DO NOT wear goggles that require you to cinch down the straps overly tight in order to achieve "fit."

As for the great "standard eye cups vs. mask" debate, I fall on the side of "go with what you feel comfortable with." Keep in mind that no goggle makes you fast! Use the ones that you like and that feel comfortable for up to an hour and 45 minutes of swimming (The outer limit of an Ironman swim leg.) Another factor: Masks such as the popular Aquasphere Seal Mask can cost $35-40. Lose one in the surf, scratch it in the sand, or lose it in transition and you can sink quite a bit of money into your goggles. Standard goggles run from $8 to $25 dollars (or free if you just wait until the age group swimmers are done with practice; they tend to leave 3 to 5 pairs behind every night which makes a great contribution toward your unofficial race fund.) So economics can play a role in your decision of which goggles to use.

One other thought: If you are going to swim outdoors often, you might consider a goggles with a darker or amber lens to keep your eyes shaded from the sun. Many races are early in the morning and the sun on the horizon can make it difficult to spot that little orange buoy!

This Information Brought to You by Konrad Ribeiro


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