From why you should train and race with a nose clip to the best nose clip for swimming, here’s your guide to the tool that plugs your nose in the water!
For the competitive (or even recreational) swimmer the nose clip might be something you have always considered was solely for the synchro swimmers in the next lane.
Or at least, not so much anymore.
With swimmers such as Missy Franklin and Tyler Clary making the nose clip “cool” we are seeing it being used more and more often in competition and in practice.
And with good reason.
Nose clips can help you stay underwater longer, control your breathing, and keep water out of your nose. (More on the benefits of nose clips for swimmers in a bit.)
But when it comes to finding the right nose clips for swimmers, there are plenty of options to choose from.
In this guide, we are going to look at the best nose clips for the pool, how to choose the right ones for you, and more.
Let’s dive right in!
The Best Nose Clips for Swimmers
Speedo Competition Nose Clip
⭐ Best “classic” nose clip for swimmers
Speedo is one of the leading swim manufacturers on the planet. From tech suits to swim goggles they make it all for the chlorinated athlete, so it’s no surprise that they make nose clips for swimmers.
Popular with synchronized swimmers as well (and if anybody “nose” nose clips it’s them—har har), the Speedo Competition Nose clip is the classic choice for swimmers and has the classic beige pad and steel clip that lasts forever.
They come with a case, which makes losing them slightly less frequent. It also has a low profile fit with a rubber-coated stainless steel wire frame. The frame itself is bendable, which is great news for people with variable-shaped noses, securing a custom fit.
I love the no-frills design of these clips, and they are comfortable enough for extended wear.
If you are looking for a durable nose clip for swimming, the old-school Speedo Competition Nose Clip is our #1 choice.
Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clip
⭐ Best nose clip for people who don’t like the wire option
The classic wire nose clip isn’t for everyone. That’s where Speedo stepped in and created an alternative—the Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clip—that some swimmers will find more comfortable for extended wear.
Made with a bendy nylon material, and with soft rubber tabs on the inside for comfort, the Liquid Comfort is a great alternative to the standard nose clips.
Speedo offers them in a few different colors, including bright blue and black, giving you more options than the standard beige of your typical nose clip.
They are also super inexpensive, with a single set and carrying case costing around $6.
FINIS Nose Clip for Swimming
I’m a big fan of FINIS swim gear, from their Tempo Trainer Pro to their Duo waterproof MP3 player.
Their nose clip is brightly colored (so you might lose it a little bit less than the clear or beige ones that disappear into the depths of your swim bag or even worse—the bottom of the pool), comes with a carrying case, and I’ve found that they require little adjustment once you put them on your face.
Sporti Nose Clip II
⭐ Best budget nose clip for swimmers with smaller faces
Looking for an inexpensive nose clip for your next swim? Or want to buy in bulk without breaking the bank?
The Sporti Nose Clip II costs just $2.25 per set, and has the same general design as the Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clips.
I do find that these particular nose clips run a little small, so if you are an older kid or adult these likely won’t be the right nose clips for you.
But for younger swimmers and people with small faces/noses, the Sporti Nose Clip II is a killer choice thanks to the budget-friendly pricing, contoured bridge, and pads for a comfy fit.
(Note: Sporti is online swim retailer Swim Outlet’s in-house brand. As a result, the Sporti Nose Clip II’s are available exclusively at Swim Outlet.)
The Benefits of Using a Nose Clip While Swimming
While plugging your nose might seem like the last thing you want to do when you are already gasping and huffing for air while at the pool, the nose clip can do some pretty cool stuff for your swimming.
After all, they can:
? Stop water from going up your nose.
Water has a sneaky way of wanting to get all up inside your head. Whether you wear earplugs while swimming and/or a swimmer’s ear band to protect your ears from water, or you get water up your nose while swimming, water getting into the nasal cavity is a pain in the butt.
Water getting up your nose can happen in a few different instances: when you aren’t exhaling properly during a flip turn, while swimming backstroke, and as I’ve experienced on more times than I care to admit, when wearing a swimmer’s snorkel.
A nose clip is particularly beneficial as a piece of swimming equipment for beginners as it helps you with breath control, something that a lot of newbie swimmers struggle with as they learn to work out breathing patterns and doing a flip turn without water streaming up their nose.
? For snorkel use.
When I first started out using a swimmer’s snorkel in practice things didn’t always go very smoothly. I struggled purging the water properly, and when I was tired water would often leak into my nostrils because I was too fatigued to maintain proper air pressure in my face holes.
The result was usually getting a fair amount of water up my nose and into my sinuses.
When this happens you end up sneezing and sniffling usually for the rest of the day while the chlorinated water runs its course.
Putting a nose clip and a snorkel on at once can be a little nerve-wracking for the first timer, so ease into using both pieces of swim equipment at the same time by beginning with floating in the pool, swimming, and eventually graduating to doing flip turns.
? Nose clips make it easier to extend your underwater dolphin kicking off the walls.
Everyone wants a faster underwater dolphin kick—but there’s a reason so few swimmers master it: holding your breath repeatedly for enough time to get enough reps to improve is difficult.
A nose clip will help you hold your breath (avoiding oxygen from leaking out your nostrils when on your back), and even help make the transition into your breakout smoother.
As head coach of the University of Wisconsin Badgers swim program, Whitney Hite asks his swimmers to perform eight dolphin kicks off every single wall in swim practice and in competition.
Using a nose clip helped the swimmers hit that target more often in training, and consequently, in races too.
And for those of you who worry that wearing a nose clip will feel awkward and weird? The learning curve is quick.
“We took two or three days to ease into training, but then it started becoming natural to me as well as the others I train with,” noted Badger distance swimmer Jenny Holtzen .
More and more often we are seeing NCAA sprinters use them as well—wearing a nose clip makes swimming a 50-yard freestyle with no breath much easier when you don’t have to worry about air leaking out at the flip turn.
? Helps you maintain buoyancy.
Most swimmers don’t think about the air in their lungs providing a benefit to their swimming, but there is a huge one.
Go to the pool, hop in, and exhale completely. Off to the bottom you go, right? Take a big breath and hold it, and you will notice that you float.
By keeping that air in your lungs with the help of a nose clip you are helping your body stay more buoyant in the water.
With more buoyancy usually comes less drag (you are skimming across the surface of the water, after all), you explode to the surface faster, and your body position is generally better in the pool.
? Awesome for backstrokers.
There is a reason that nose clips started their invasion into the upper echelon of swimming with backstrokers. The nose clip helps them seal off the exit of air when they are kicking out off the walls.
Unless you have the impressive and rare ability to plug your nostrils with the top of your lip, air is going to bubble out of your nose when you are kicking on your back under the surface of the water.
The Bottom Line
The right nose clip can make a big difference in your swimming, whether that means keeping water out of your nose (and sinus) or helping you to manage your air outtake when swimming.
To recap our top choices for the best nose clips for swimming:
⭐ The Speedo Swim Training Nose Clip is the original with a wire frame and beige pads that stay in place while you swim up and down the pool.
⭐ The second-generation nose clip, the Speedo Liquid Comfort Nose Clips, are a great alternative to the old-school classic clips.
⭐ And for those looking for maximum dollar-savings, the Sporti Nose Clip II are almost half the price as our top choices.
Choose the right set for you and hit the water in comfort, ready to perform your best.
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The 7 Best Goggles for Swimming. Confused about what kind of goggles to get? Here’s a breakdown on the best swimming goggles for fast swimming.