6 Truths About Goggles Only Swimmers Will Understand

6 Truths About Goggles Only Swimmers Will Understand

The swim goggle is a fundamental part of our training and our racing.

Like the smell of chlorine, soggy suits between practices, and the occasional kickboard getting thrown at our heads, it’s an essential part of our sport.

Swim goggles help us see underwater, see the competition, and see our splits and times as we cruise up and down the pool.

Here are six fundamental truths about goggles that only competitive swimmers will understand:

1. The moment you realize your goggles are staying put off the dive is a great one.

For non-swimmers watching the Olympics, the fact that many swimmers wear two caps might make them scratch their non-chlorinated heads.

The explanation is simple—we are all terrified of our goggles cracking a leak, or worse yet, coming down the bridge of our nose on the dive.

It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when swimmers didn’t put their caps over their goggle straps.

6 Myths About Goggles Only Swimmers Will Understand
Strap OVER the cap? I too, like to live dangerously!

The bravery these men and women had!

We, alas, don’t trust our goggles this much.

The cursed leaky swim goggle is something no swimmer wants and will go to great lengths (swim pun!) to avoid.

It’s gotten to the point that we double-wrap our heads with silicon caps to make sure that those bad boys stay plastered to our faces when we dive in.

2. There are goggles for swimmers, and then goggles for everybody else.

These are not swim goggles.

6 Myths About Goggles Only Swimmers Will Understand

Sorry to be snobbish, but you would never catch a competitive swimmer wearing these.


End of story.

3. The ever-lasting myth of the anti-fog goggle.

Anti-fog? More like anti-hahahahahaha yeah right.

Sure, the anti-fog coating lasts for a week, maybe two.

But then what happens?

We can’t help ourselves, or forget, or simply buy the hype on the packaging of those brand new goggles, and put our greasy, chlorinated thumbs in there to give the lenses a little wipe.

6 Truths About Goggles Only Swimmers Will Understand

Anti-fog go bye-bye.

If you swim in a darker pool, which I still do on occasion, it means you gotta wipe down the condensation and fog from your goggles at the end of every rep just to see the pace clock.

(All jokes aside… if you are fed up with your goggles fogging up, and don’t want to lick the inside of them old-school style, consider picking up an anti-fog spray. Dirt cheap and will extend the lifespan of your goggles many times over.)

4. When you find a good pair, you never, ever wanna let them go.

When a pair of goggles fit your weird little face, it’s like meeting your soul mate.

The length of the nose piece is just right.

The straps are just tight enough that the goggles are snug to your melon while also not squeezing the top of your head like a pimple being popped.

It makes from 15% more blissful swimming until the goggles eventually succumb to wear and tear.

Fun Fact: Did you know that the first pair of swim goggles was a pair of motorcycle goggles used by a swimmer who crossed the English Channel? True story!

5. You have nightmares about your goggle strap snapping behind the blocks.

Even if you have two spare pairs in your pockets behind the blocks, the thought of your go-to goggles snapping while you are moments from racing is terrifying.

It keeps you up at night.

You try to visualize yourself overcoming this situation but let’s be honest, it’s almost right up there with your suit ripping straight down the middle off the start.

6. They are your secret weapon for getting in the water ten minutes late.

Some swimmers use this procrastination tactic to exhaustion, but let’s be serious: we all, at one point or another, have seized upon a goggle malfunction to delay getting into that frigid water.

“What’s that coach? On this top? Sure, sure, just gotta McGyver these goggles right herrre. Oh look, can’t get the stringy thing in through the lense transductor port, better go stand in the showers for a while, err, go to my locker and get another pair.”

You’ve done it.

I’ve done it.

We all have.

Those nicely timed equipment malfunctions that may or may not have been self-sabotage.

Featured Image Credit: David Kalsbeek

Get Daily Tips on How to Swim Faster

Subscribe to the YourSwimLog.com newsletter and get tips and advice on how to swim faster every weekday morning, straight to your inbox. 

Join 33,000+ swimmers, coaches, and swim parents learning what it takes to swim like a boss.

Unsubscribe anytime. Email will never be shared or sold.

Olivier Poirier-Leroy Olivier Poirier-Leroy is the founder of YourSwimLog.com. He is an author, former national level swimmer, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, and swim coach.

Related Articles

Lane Rage: How to Screw Up Lap Swimming for Everyone Else
Swimming Lifestyle

Lane Rage: How to Screw Up Lap Swimming for Everyone Else

As someone who trains almost exclusively during open lap periods I have experienced more than my fair share of lane ragey moments. Last night, for instance, a family of four head up breaststrokers jumped into the fast lane and breaststroke’d their way up the middle of the lane. When I

Read More »
This Adorable Kid Lost His Goggles...On His Face.
Swimming Lifestyle

This Young Swimmer Lost His Goggles…On His Face.

“I need my goggles!” We’ve all been there. That terrifying moment where you can’t find your swim goggles. Maybe it’s in the moments right before practice, or the panic-soaked seconds as you are about to get up onto the blocks to race. You search desperately through your swim bag, in

Read More »