Confused about what kind of swim goggles to get? Here’s a breakdown of the best swimming goggles for every kind of swimming.
The swim goggle is one of the most critical pieces of swimming gear.
It allows you to properly see the walls, backstroke flags, and other swimmers and also keeps your eyes from getting red and irritated.
Based on 25+ years of experience in the pool, below are my best swimming goggles out there for competitive swimmers.
They are separated into two categories, training and competition, but these are only suggestions based mainly on price, as competition goggles can quickly get pricey.
Additionally, there is a detailed guide at the end that lists all of the major things to look for when choosing the right swim goggles for you.
Let’s dive right in.
The Best Training Swim Goggles
There are hundreds of different types of goggles for swimming laps. They come in all shapes and sizes, and over my years churning around the black line I’ve had a chance to try just about all of ’em.
Here are my top picks for the best goggles for swimming laps and training.
1. Swedish goggles
⭐ Best overall training swim goggles
Swedish goggles, or Swedes, are among the most popular swimming goggles for competitive swimmers, and for good reason.
The pro list for these goggles is long: They are highly customizable. They provide a terrific field of vision. They are among the cheapest swim goggles on the market. They are comfortable, once you get used to the plastic eye socket. And they make you look like a bad-ass in the water.
On the downside, they aren’t ready to plug and play out of the box unlike some other goggles (some assembly required), and the latex straps do degrade rather quickly compared to goggles with silicone straps.
The Swedish goggle is available in a variety of different shades and tints, with Speedo selling a two-pack that includes a set of mirrored goggles and a pair of clear blue lenses for less than $20.
- Excellent peripheral vision
- Ultimate customization for nose bridge
- Inexpensive (a set of two goggles cost less than $20)
- Clear vision even after months of use
- Looks badass
- Available in mirrored, colored, and clear lens
- Requires assembly
- New swimmers won’t like the hard plastic on the face
2. Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Swim Goggles
⭐ Best all-purpose swim goggles
Speedo is one of the superpowers when it comes to equipment for swimmers. Over the years they have had countless Olympic and World champions in their roster, from Michael Phelps (his very first sponsorship), Nathan Adrian, Missy Franklin, Florent Manaudou, and many more.
The Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 is their most popular mid-range goggle, and the first time you put them on you understand why. The rubberized gasket ensures a very comfortable fit. The silicone straps are basically indestructible. And the adjustable nose bridge means you get a leak-proof fit.
These Speedo goggles also come ready to wear. Put em over your head, adjust the strap, and it’s go time.
The two things I don’t like about these goggles: the mirrored tint edition of the Vanquishers are very dark. This becomes a problem once the anti-fog begins to fade, especially if you go for a dark lens and swim indoors. The second issue is that the peripheral vision isn’t as good as the Swedes.
That said, the Vanquishers are among the most popular swimming goggles in the pool for their durability, comfort, and the fact that they’ve never leaked water on me while swimming with them.
(They are also available in a prescription version.)
- Ideal for both training and competition
- Huge variety of colors and sizes
- Lens gasket is very comfortable
- Ready to go out of the box
- Comes with five nose bridges
- Mirrored lens can be really dark when anti-fog wears off
- Peripheral vision not as good as Swedish goggles
3. TYR Socket Rocket Goggles
The TYR Socket Rocket goggles have earned a place in my rotation of goggles based on the fact that they’ve combined some of the best features of the Swedes and the Vanquisher.
They feature a sleek look that is reminiscent of the Swedes. There is an adjustable nose piece that you can use with the packaged string and silicone tube, or you can use the goggles “as is” with a piece of strap for the nose bridge.
The goggles are also lightly rubberized on the gasket, like the Vanquishers 2.0, which make them comfortable and also leak-proof.
- Silicone head straps (last far longer than latex straps)
- No assembly required
- Look awesome
- Durable enough for competition and training
- Gasket on the lenses
- About twice as expensive as Swedish goggles
4. The Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 Swim Goggles
⭐ Best swim goggles for practice AND racing
There aren’t many truly hybrid goggles on this list, but the Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 (fully reviewed here) is one of them. It’s equally at home in training and competition.
The Speed Socket 2.0 goggle has been well represented in international competition, with sprint phenom Caeleb Dressel wearing them, most notably during the FINA World Championships in Budapest in 2017 where he won 7 gold medals. This goggle was formerly worn by Michael Phelps in competition before he moved on to his own brand of goggles.
The goggle has a slim profile, but unlike the Vanquishers, has better peripheral vision. The Speed Socket and the Vanquisher share a lot of features that I really like, including silicone straps, different-sized nose bridges, and a rubberized gasket that helps to suction your goggles to your face for a leak-proof fit.
The Speed Sockets are durable goggles that are excellent for extended use in practice while also sporting a slim profile that makes them ideal for race day as well.
Speed Sockets are also priced super reasonably (especially compared to some of the high-end racing goggles) with the Sockets half the price of its more expensive older brother, the Speedo Fastskin Hyper Elite Goggles.
5. FINIS Smart Goggles
⭐ Best smart swimming goggles
Technology in the pool has come a long way in the past few years, and nowhere is this most apparent than with the first generation of smart swimming goggles.
The FINIS Smart Goggle is a game-changer for swimmers, with a heads-up display that sits in the corner of your swim goggle that tracks time, intervals, how much rest you have taken, number of laps, splits (per lap and per repetition), and more.
There are a couple of reasons the FINIS Smart Goggle is currently the best type of this swim goggle on the market.
For starters, when the goggles eventually wear out, you only need to replace the goggles (FINIS sells them for $35) and not the HUD unit, which can be detached from your old goggles and plopped into the new set.
This is a major benefit compared to its main competitor, the FORM Swim Goggles, which were the first smart goggles to hit the pool and require you to re-buy the whole set (at a cost of around $200).
Additionally—and this is a personal preference—the HUD doesn’t dominate the full goggle lens. Unlike the FORM goggles, which perpetually have a digital display on the goggle lens, with the FINIS Smart Goggles, you simply look to the left with your left eye to catch a glimpse of the digital display.
I like this “choose when to see the info” approach as I can spend more time focusing on my technique than reading numbers.
The FINIS Smart Goggles are certainly not for everyone, especially at a price tag of around $235, but for swimmers who train on their own, want to track their swimming (the app for the goggles is excellent), or who want the added push that comes from seeing your pace, these swim goggles are an awesome long-term investment in your training.
The FINIS Smart Goggle comes in two different tints (blue and smoke), a carry case, charging cable, and six different nose bridges for a custom fit.
- HUD doesn’t take up the whole goggle lens
- Goggles can be switched out (saving $$$) without replacing HUD
- Three color combination and tint options
- Extremely intuitive app that tracks everything
- Fully customizable HUD settings (splits, stroke count, intervals, etc)
- A bit pricey for the recreational lap swimmer
5. Sporti Antifog S2 Swim Goggle
⭐ Best swim goggles for beginners
Sporti is a relative newcomer on the scene when it comes to swimming gear. They are owned by Swim Outlet, the leading swim online retailer on the planet, and their equipment is made at the same facilities and factories overseas as many of the top swim brands.
The Antifog S2 is a well-built swim goggle that covers all of the bases for the beginner swimmer.
It’s got the standard anti-fog coating, a tough polycarbonate lens, and silicone head straps that will withstand hours and hours of exposure to chlorine and other pool chemicals.
The price tag is the best part of this swim goggle—a set costs less than $10, making your first foray into the world of swim goggles an inexpensive one.
- Available in around 10 color combinations
- Two silicone head straps to keep goggles in place
- Multiple nose bridges for custom fit
- Best option price-wise for recreational lap swimmers
- Less nose bridge options compared to other similar goggles
The Best Competition Swim Goggles
1. Speedo FastSkin Hyper Elite Goggles
⭐ Best swim goggles for racing like an Olympian
One of the biggest fears competitive swimmers have is of their goggles springing a massive leak off the dive of an important race. It happened to Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly at the Beijing Olympics, leaving the champion swimmer effectively blind for the final 150m of the race.
? Want even more racing goggles for swimming? I’ve put together a comprehensive of the best swimming goggles for competition and racing here.
Speedo, and the latest generation of their Fastskin Goggles, have sought to quell this particular anxiety with something they call IQ Fit 3D, which is something they came up with after scanning thousands of faces and heads at their research facility in the United Kingdom, fittingly called Aqualab. The result is a seal that hugs the socket of the eye, giving it a tight, comfortable fit.
These goggles are also designed with a slim profile, have silicone straps that won’t slide around under your swim cap, and are designed to be a part of the FastSkin racing system, including Speedo’s elite tech suits.
The Speedo FastSkin Hyper Elites are definitely a premium goggle, costing over $70 (check SwimOutlet for current deals and pricing) and come in your choice of three different colors.
- Slim profile for maximum drag reduction
- Silicone gasket for leak-free fit
- Extremely comfortable
- Developed with Olympic swimmers
- Pricey ($75)
2. Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggles
⭐ Best goggles for anti-fog
I love the look and comfort of these goggles. (See also: 5 Reasons I Love My Arena Cobra Ultra Goggles.)
They are mega low-profile to give you a hydrodynamic edge in the water. The lenses are made with hard polycarbonate for durability, and they come with silicone straps, which means that they will last for a long time while also providing a very secure and comfy fit on your head.
Because of the low profile design of the goggles, and this is a common issue with these types of goggles, including the FastSkin goggle, is that swimmers with particularly long eyelashes will find them brushing against the inside of the lenses.
The latest version of the Cobras feature an anti-fog technology that takes anti-fogging to another level. As the goggles fog, wipe or rinse the inside of the lens and the anti-fog coating will reactivate.
For once, the bad habit of rubbing the inside of your swim goggles can actually be a benefit!
The Cobra Swipes come in a huge variety of colors and tints and retail for around $50-70.
- Best goggles for eliminating fog
- Slimmest swim goggles on the market
- Arms on the side for strap stability
- Silicone head straps for a custom fit
- Did I mention the anti-fog technology? Wild!
- So slim that your eyelashes will brush the lens
3. MP Michael Phelps Xceed Goggles
When Michael Phelps and Speedo part ways in 2014 you just knew that the GOAT would come out with a product line of his own. The following year he partnered up Aquasphere and launched the MP line, featuring a snorkel for swimmers, swim fins, and yup—swim goggles!
The MP Michael Phelps Xceed Goggles are the high-performance goggle offering from the MP brand and were the same goggles that Phelps wore during his final Olympic performance in Rio during the summer of 2016.
Major features of the goggles: they have an awesome field of vision, which is handy during those really busy meet warm-ups, and for checking on the competition mid-race without turning your head. They are also available in a wide variety of colors and lenses.
Tips for Choosing the Right Pair of Swimming Goggles
Swim goggles are surprisingly simple when it comes to what we want to be able to do with them.
To be able to see while we are swimming.
But there is a surprising number of factors when it comes to choosing the perfect set of swimming goggles.
Here are the biggies:
? Gasket vs no gasket.
Most popular swim goggles have a rubber gasket on the ocular lens. The Vanquishers, Speed Sockets, and so on all have these silicone folds that buffer your eye socket and the goggle.
The reason for this is two-fold.
First, rubber or silicone gaskets are more comfortable on the face than hard plastic (old-school Swedish goggles have a hard plastic that can leave your face feeling a little sore).
Second, the gasket also compresses slightly into your skin, creating a suction that keeps water from seeping into the lens.
? Silicone vs Latex rubber.
Not too long ago, most swimming goggles transitioned to silicone for the head straps, and soon after, the goggle frames and gaskets.
Silicone is a hypoallergenic material that is soft and extremely durable. Compared to latex rubber, silicone doesn’t degrade and fade when exposed consistently to chlorine and the sun.
While a majority of today’s swimming goggles are primarily built with silicone, there are a few hold-outs that use latex, including my favorite training goggles, the old-school Swedes.
? Head straps.
A dual-strap is helpful for getting a leak-free experience when swimming, allowing you to set the straps to a height and angle that keeps your swim goggles firmly in place.
Some head straps split in two at the back of the head, while others have two straps all the way around.
Choose a head-strap that will make you feel comfortable and secure so that your goggles don’t move around and spring a leak when swimming.
? Nose pieces.
We all have different-sized faces, which means that goggles need to be adjustable!
Generally, popular swim goggles ship with up to five different nose bridges, while others have string so that you can set the distance between the goggle lenses to your liking.
Swim masks and some open water swimming goggles have a one-piece goggle frame that doesn’t give you this adjustability.
? Lens tint.
A major consideration is the tint of your swim goggles.
Swimmers who do laps in a darker pool will want to lean towards a lighter lens tint to maximize sight, something that becomes especially important when the interior of the goggle lens fogs up during strenuous swim workouts.
Darker tints and mirrored lenses are best suited for outdoor pools to protect your eyes from the sun and keep you from squinting like crazy from the glare on the surface of the water.
? Lens size.
The main function of swim goggles is to help you see in the water! Seems super obvious, but this basic point can get lost in our search for stylish swim goggles.
Competitive swimmers will want a goggle lens that is smaller, low-profile and allows them to see clearly to the front and to the sides.
Open water swimmers, and more casual swimmers, might be more comfortable with a larger, wider lens that broadens vision.
Racing goggles, with their slim profile, are at the high end of pricing, with top-tier goggles costing $70 or more.
Most swimmers will be pumped on a hybrid goggle like the Speed Sockets 2.0, which are an excellent balance of low profile, comfort, and price.
What is the best brand for swim goggles?
There is a TON of excellent swim gear companies that make goggles, but Speedo has to be the champ when it comes to variety, history, and brand recognition.
Speedo makes goggles for every kind of swimming, from open water to elite competition. Speedo goggles come in a wide range of tints, colors, and even sizes, with both junior and adult goggles. They even make goggles for more recreational uses, including for toddlers and swim masks.
Speedo is also one of the very few big swim equipment companies that make prescription swim goggles.
Other brands that make swim goggles that I would happily recommend include Arena, TYR, and FINIS.
What brand swim goggles do Olympic swimmers use?
Olympic swimmers count on their swim goggles to perform as well as they do on race day. The right goggles stay in place and help swimmers see clearly from when they fly off the blocks to when they hit the touchpad to see that #1 up on the scoreboard.
Here are some of the most popular swimmers on the planet and the swim goggles they use:
? Katie Ledecky. Ledecky has been dominating the pool since 2012, and during that time she’s worn a few different swim goggles. She rocked Speedo goggles for a few years before signing on with TYR. At the Tokyo Olympics, she swam wearing the TYR Black Hawk Mirrored Swim Goggles.
? Caeleb Dressel. Multiple Olympic gold medalist Dressel lit up the Tokyo Olympics wearing the Speed Sockets 2.0. He’s been rocking these goggles for a while and even partnered with Speedo to release a limited-edition Caeleb Dressel X Speedo Socket 2.0 goggle (that’s now been unfortunately discontinued).
? Michael Phelps. The greatest swimmer of all time wore Speedo Speed Sockets (the original, not the 2.0) for years in competition while he was sponsored by Speedo. He moved on to his own line of goggles and wore the MP Xceed’s in his final Olympic performance in 2016.
Most Olympic swimmers wear Speedo goggles (and tech suits, and swim caps, and so on), but there are swimmers who race and train with TYR, Arena, FINIS, and even Nike Swim goggles.
Other Swim Goggle Guides:
Didn’t find the goggles you were looking for in this fancy-pants little list?
Welp, I’ve got ya covered.
There are a few other serious swim goggle guides on our website that cover every kind of chlorinated goodness, from you open water swimmers to the best goggles for kids and toddlers.
Here they are:
5 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.
8 Best Swimming Goggles for Kids. Looking for the best pair of swim goggles for kids? From backyard splashing to competition, we break down the top goggles for kids to splash around in the pool in 2019.
5 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.
5 Best Anti-Fog Sprays for Swim Goggles. Extend the life of your new swimming goggles with an anti-fog spray to help you keep your vision crystal-clear and fog-free in the water.