Swimming fast on race day means being equipped properly. Here’s a look at the best racing swim goggles.
Swim goggles are one of the most essential pieces of swim gear you bring with you behind the blocks.
The right pair of swim goggles helps you see clearly while in the water, which is critical for nailing your turns, judging the finish, seeing your competitors, and even swimming with proper technique.
Racing goggles have a lower lens profile that helps to reduce drag in the water. With less resistance, you swim faster. Pretty much that simple!
When choosing the right swim goggles for you, there are many things to consider.
Gasket composition, customizing the width of the nose bridge (or nose string/strap), tint, anti-fog, UV protection, lens depth, strap material, and of course, price.
Over the years, I’ve tried just about every racing goggles there is.
Below is a detailed breakdown of the best goggles for competition, including key features, price points, and where to buy.
Let’s dive right in.
Best Swim Goggles for Competition
We’ve tested hundreds of swim goggles over the years and narrowed down the best ones for racing to those with a hydrodynamic goggle lens, durable straps and gasket design, and drag-reducing features.
Here are the fastest swim goggles in the water:
- Best overall for fit and hydrodynamics: TheMagic5 Swim Goggles
- Best for looking like an Olympian: Speedo FastSkin LZR Pure Focus Goggle
- Best budget-friendly racing goggle: Speedo Speed Sockets 2.0
- Best antifog racing swim goggles: Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggle
- Best Swedish swim goggles for racing: TYR Socket Rocket
Next, we will look at each goggle in more detail, including pros and cons, tips for using them on race day, and more.
Magic5 Swim Goggles
⭐ Best overall swim goggles for racing
The Magic5 Swim Goggle is a one-of-a-kind goggle.
When you order the goggles through their website, you download an app that performs a face scan, and a week or so later, a custom molded swim goggle shows up on your doorstep.
The result is a racing and training goggle that is uniquely shaped and designed for the contours of your face and eye socket.
The goggles sit snugly in your face, creating a waterproof, leak-free fit that doesn’t require tightening the head straps like a vise to keep water out of your swim goggles.
The customized design of the goggles also makes them excellent swim goggles for training (as they remove the headaches and raccoon eyes typical of ill-fitting swim goggles).
Beyond being comfortable, these are extremely fast goggles, with the thinnest lens profile on the market (just 0.5”, which is tied for the thinnest goggle lens with the Arena Cobra Ultra Swipes).
A slim gasket design is perfect for race day as it reduces drag and ensures the goggles stay in place when diving into the water.
Just how thin are the lenses on TheMagic5 compared to other racing goggles?
Here’s how it compares to other fast swim goggles:
|Magic5 Swim Goggle
|Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe
|Speedo Speed Sockets 2.0
|Speedo LZR Pure Focus
|Speedo Vanquisher 2.0
TheMagic5 are available in a range of colors and tints, with mirrored lenses (perfect for racing outdoors and for looking like a badass on race day) and dual silicone head straps to keep the goggles extra firmly in place.
The goggles also have side arms that prevent the head straps from folding over and generating even more drag on race day (hey, every last little bit helps!).
Ultimately, the Magic5 Swim Goggles are the coolest and fastest swim goggles in the water.
Like most premium swim goggles, they are on the pricier end of the spectrum, retailing for around $70 to $95 depending on tint (Tip: order in bundles to drive the price down). TheMagic5 backs them with a leak-free guarantee, as well.
The only downside to these goggles is that it takes 1-2 weeks to get them after you submit the face scan, so if you have a competition this weekend, you will be out of luck.
Speedo LZR Pure Focus Swim Goggle
⭐ Best racing swim goggles for looking like an Olympian
The Speedo LZR Pure Focus Goggle is Speedo’s fastest and most premium swim goggles, designed primarily for speed on race day.
The LZR Pure Focus has an extremely thin goggle gasket that sinks deeply into the face, removing any drag or resistance from the water.
(According to Speedo, the LZR Pure Focus reduces drag by 5%1 compared to Speedo’s other premium swim goggles, the Speedo Hyper Elite Goggles.)
The goggles have fit point markers on the head straps that help you place your cap and goggles on straight before racing, the extra-wide lens gives you exceptional peripheral vision, and the LZR Pure Focus goggles have extended lenses that create more stability.
The Speedo LZR Pure Focus comes with three nose pieces for a custom fit, head straps made of durable silicone, and three bright color combinations.
These swim goggles are about $80, which makes them ideal for competition, but not ideal as a daily driver swim goggle for training.
But for the swimmer looking for the best of the best, the Speedo LZR Pure Focus Swim Goggle is your top choice for racing like a pro in competition.
Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 Goggles
⭐ Best budget-friendly racing swim goggles
You might not be able to swim as fast as 7-time Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel, but you can wear the same racing goggles that he does!
The Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 goggles have long been Dressel’s swim goggles of choice (plus now that Speedo sponsors him, he likely gets them by the bag for free!) and are excellent multi-purpose goggles that are durable, comfortable, and can be used for both training and competition.
The goggles have a low profile, which helps reduce drag, making them ideal for racing. The straps are made of long-lasting silicone and are easy to adjust to the circumference of your head. And the vision through the goggles is excellent with superior peripheral vision.
Speedo offers these in various colors and tints, including mirrored, clear, smoke, and more.
And the best part of these racing goggles?
The price—at around $35 (check SwimOutlet for current pricing and deals), makes them one of the most affordable competition-grade swim goggles on the pool deck.
Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Mirror Goggle
⭐ Best antifog racing swim goggles
I am a huge fan of Arena gear in general, from their tech suits to the Arena Cobra Ultra swim goggles.
The most recent edition of the Cobra Ultra takes things to a new level with enhanced anti-fog, a slimmer profile for minimal resistance in the water, and nearly a dozen color combos and tints.
The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Swim Goggles ship with five different nose bridges, ensuring that you will get a custom and leak-free fit.
Dual silicone straps keep the goggles firmly in place when you dive into the water on race day. And the polycarbonate brackets wrapping around the side of your head help to cut down friction in the water even further.
The main selling point of the Swipes has to be the extended anti-fog properties.
Unlike most other goggles, whose lenses lose their anti-fog coating when you rub them, the Cobra Ultra Swipes are specifically designed to be gently swiped on the inside.
The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipes is an excellent racing goggle that is low-profile and will help you see clearly even on the last race event on the last day of the Big Meet.
Being Arena’s premium racing goggles, it’s priced as such, with retailers offering them for around $60-70, putting them at the top end of the pricing range when it comes to racing goggles (check SwimOutlet for current pricing and deals).
TYR Socket Rocket Goggle
⭐ Best Swedish swim goggles for racing
The TYR Socket Rockets have been one of my favorite goggles over the past few years.
Even though I don’t compete anymore, they were a pair of goggles that I felt comfortable wearing on race day as well as during my day-to-day training.
Why do I like these swim goggles so much?
The Socket Rockets are an excellent blend of the old school Swedish goggles combined with the recent advancements in goggle technology, including silicone straps, soft gaskets and both string or strap nose bridges for a custom fit.
Other key features include a wide variety of colors and tints, 180-degree peripheral vision, and a low-profile lens for reduced drag when churning towards a new personal best time in competition.
The Socket Rockets are also exceptionally cheap, the cheapest racing goggles on this list, at less than $20 per set (check SwimOutlet for current pricing and deals).
Mizuno GX Sonic Eye Swim Goggles
Mizuno is better known for their racing suits, but they also make a solid pair of racing goggles with the GX Sonic Mirrored Swim Goggles.
The lenses are made of strong polycarbonate that has an anti-fog layer for clear vision in the pool. The profile of the swim goggles is very low, on par with the Cobra Ultras, and the straps have a low-profile adjustment buckle for a custom fit.
While not as popular as the other goggles on this list, they are a solid pair of racing goggles if you want something that is unique.
Mizuno offers these goggles in a couple of different color options, and they retail for $45 (check SwimOutlet for current pricing and deals).
Swim Goggles for Racing – FAQS
What are the best Speedo racing goggles?
Speedo is arguably the top swim brand when it comes to making swim goggles.
When it comes to blistering speed in the water, the Speedo LZR Pure Focus Swim Goggle are Speedo’s fastest swim goggles. The Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 Swim Goggle is a more budget-friendly option that is also a hybrid version.
Do racing swim goggles make a difference?
The right racing swim goggles help you swim with confidence thanks to the low-profile design, leak-free fit, and peripheral vision that allows you to time turns and the finish perfectly.
The mirrored lenses of a competition swim goggle can also provide a great psychological edge in the moments before your race.
What are the differences between training and competition swim goggles?
The key difference between training and racing goggles is in the lens thickness. Competition swim goggles are thinner, reducing drag and resistance.
The reduced drag is also beneficial because it helps the goggles “sink” into your face, reducing the probability the goggles will leak or fall off when diving into the water.
Here’s an extreme example to highlight the important of a thin goggle profile: Consider the difference between diving into the water with a swim mask, and the amount of surface area it slams into the water with, compared to a low-profile swim goggle.
The result is a significant decrease in the likelihood your goggles will leak or fall off when diving into the water.
The Bottom Line
A lot goes into performing your best on race day. All of those early morning workouts, attention to diet, nailing the taper, and performing a nick-free shave down on the night before competition.
The swim goggles you choose to race with should give you the confidence to focus on swimming your best instead of hoping the goggles stay in place when you launch yourself off of the blocks.
To recap our top choice, it’s TheMagic5 Swim Goggles thanks to its extra hydrodynamic lens design, customized gaskets, excellent peripheral vision, and diamond-shaped mirrored lens that look like you mean business in the water.
Choose the best racing swim goggles for you, race with confidence, and smash those personal best times in style!
More Swim Goggle Resources
Looking for more swim goggle resources and guides?
I’ve put together a few other reviews and round-ups for swimmers looking for the right pair of goggles for their swimming.
12 Best Swim Goggles for Every Kind of Swimming. Not sure about what kind of goggles to get for your swimming? Here’s a detailed look at the best for lap swimming, open water, juniors, and more.
6 Best Prescription Goggles for Swimming. Ready to take on the pool, but want to be able to take your prescription with you? Here are the best prescription goggles for swimming.
6 Best Goggles for Open Water Swimming and Triathlons. Ready to dominate your open water race? Here’s a breakdown of the best swim goggles for open water swimmers and triathletes.