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9 best adult swimming goggles for every event from open water to triathlon

We swam a serious amount of lengths to find you the best protective products

Having a comfy pair of goggles that don’t leak is the biggest requirement, especially for regular swimmers ( The Independent/iStock )

When picking a pair of swimming goggles, you need to think about what kind of swimming you’ll be doing. 

Open water and triathlon goggles tend to have bigger lenses and offer a wider peripheral vision. And they will often have a mirrored or polarised lens to protect your eyes from UV rays, prevent poor visibility and the distraction of sun glare bothering you while you swim. 

Mirrored lenses are good at reflecting light away from your eyes on bright days but can give a dark view on duller days, while polarised lenses cut out reflected light but give a normal view on darker days.

Racing goggles are smaller and sit snug in the eye socket, while the fitness category for recreational swimmers tends to be somewhere between the two. 

Anti-fog tech has come a long way and all of the brands tested boast it in some capacity, though it will wear off with regular use. Some of the goggles on test also have anti-scratch lenses for added durability.

Having a comfy pair of goggles that don’t leak is of course the most important consideration, especially for regular swimmers.

Sometimes that will come down to individual face fit, but some of the goggles on our test, such those from Speedo, Zoggs and Vorgee, are designed to be soft for all face shapes while staying firmly in place.

These goggles were tested at an indoor swimming pool and in the sea.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent. 

Speedo futura biofuse flexiseal female goggle: £20, Speedo

Suitable for: Fitness/open water
Protective case? No

These were incredibly comfortable goggles to wear. Even after a long pool session, with lots of racing dives and strong pushing off the wall, they held in place yet left no marks on our face. A button system made it easy to adjust the goggle fit and they didn’t come close to fogging up. These goggles feel like a sturdy product at a good price point that would hold up to repeated use. They have no hard, protective case, but do come with a handy mesh bag. There is a men’s equivalent product and a slightly more expensive triathlon version, though we found these fine for open water swimming.

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Aqua Sphere kayenne goggles: £15.99, Pro Swimwear

Suitable for: Competition/open water
Protective case? Yes

These are a lightweight, hard-wearing pair of goggles at a good value price. The straps were easy to adjust and quite comfy to wear, spreading the pressure around your face rather than just in the eye socket. The goggles also had an impressive field of vision. They felt more suited to open water swimming, even in choppy conditions, than pool use where the goggles sometimes dislodged during dives and strong pushing off the wall on tumble turns.

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Nabaiji 900 b-fast swimming goggles: £17.99, Decathlon

Suitable for: Competition/fitness
Protective case? Yes

The b-fast from Decathlon’s swim division Nabaiji is a good contest goggle for the price. They sat well in the eye socket, with a strong seal, that held during racing dives and tumble turns. The goggles felt comfy enough during a pool session, though did leave slight marks when we wore them super-tight. We liked that you could adjust the nose bridge to tweak the fit, and we didn’t notice any fogging up during use.

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Zoggs podium titanium goggles: £25, Zoggs

Suitable for: Competition/fitness
Protective case? No

We were impressed with these contest goggles from Zoggs, designed for more serious swimmers. They were easy to adjust with a double strap feature at the back and felt snug and streamlined while we pounded up and down the pool. These type of goggles can put pressure in the eye socket after prolonged use, but we didn’t find that a problem. The seal held well during dives and tumble turns, and we didn’t encounter any fogging up during our swim. The titanium lenses would help protect your eyes in bright conditions, and these come with adjustable nose bridges.

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MP Michael Phelps XCEED mirrored goggles: £29.99, Pro Swimwear

Suitable for: Competition/fitness
Protective case: Yes

We found these goggles branded by record-breaking Olympian Michael Phelps to be comfortable and lightweight. They stuck well to our face without pushing too much and the straps were quick and easy to adjust, especially compared to the other competition goggles. The lens shape is streamlined for speedy swimming, but we also found they had one of the best angles of vision of the pool-specific goggles. They come with a choice of nose bridges, so you can further tailor the fit. These goggles have a mirrored lens to reduce glare in bright conditions, a feature suited more to outdoor than pool swimming, which has pushed the price up a little.

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Swans SRX mirrored goggles: £28.99, Swans

Suitable for: Competition/fitness
Protective case? Yes

We liked these racing goggles from Japanese-brand Swans. We found the straps quite fiddly, but they fitted snugly in the eye socket with a streamlined shape and good suction that held in place with all but the most forceful of dives. In contests swimmers sometimes wear swimming hats over their goggles to avoid this happening. The SRX reduced sun glare in our local pool and gave the world a pleasant lilac hue. The lenses have anti-scratch properties and they didn’t come close to fogging up on test. A top-quality pair of goggles that are also available with a prescription lens.

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Vorgee vortech max goggles: £23.99, Mail Sports

Suitable for: Fitness
Protective case? Yes

Vorgee is a popular Aussie swimming goggle brand that’s recently been making waves over here. The vortech max goggles are one of their best sellers especially amongst the growing older swimmers’ market, thanks to their comfy fit and great peripheral vision. From our testing we’d concur that they does both those things well, while staying in place nicely during dives and tumble turns. The goggles felt robust but lightweight and didn’t fog up. A good goggle choice for a great price.

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Zone 3 attack goggles: £29.50, Simply Swim

Suitable for: Open water/triathlon
Protective case? No

These well-priced goggles with polarised lenses from British triathlon brand Zone 3 did a great job at dampening bright light on sunny sea swims. They had a wide field of vision, which you need for open water swimming, and they were easy to adjust. But we found we needed to wear them quite tight, especially when diving and pushing off from tumble turns in pool swims. The silicone seal was soft though, so that didn’t present too much of a problem. A good choice for triathlon or open water swimming.

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Zoggs predator flex original tint goggle: £30, Zoggs

Suitable for: Fitness/Open water
Protective case? No

The predator flex are bestsellers from Zoggs and it’s easy to see why. The fit was soft and comfortable, and even when tightened it left no obvious mark on our face. There was a generous angle of vision, which is especially important for open water and triathlon swimming, though we found these were good for the pool too. There was no misting up and the tinted lenses was impressive, keeping the light outside not too bright but in an indoor pool on a dull day, it didn’t feel too dark.

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The verdict: Adult swimming goggles

Our best all-round buy are the Speedo futura biofuse flexiseal goggles as they are a good-value, high-functioning, comfortable product. We also rated the Vorgee vortech max for fitness, the Zoggs podium for contest swimming, and the Zone 3 attack for triathlon swimming.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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