It took me 28 years to figure out that swimming prescription goggles existed. No one ever told me! Once you know about their existence, there are still a couple of things you need to know before buying a pair. Here are 7 things to consider:
1. WHAT ARE PRESCRIPTION SWIMMING GOGGLES
Prescription swimming goggles consist of two corrected lenses and a standard goggle frame. It allows swimmers and triathletes with poor eyesight to have a better vision of their environment.
2. THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRESCRIPTION GOGGLES
You can buy those goggles as a set with a predefined correction for both eyes or buy each element separately if you need lenses with different diopters. Some websites will also make it simpler where you can customize the set directly.
3. LENSES RANGE FROM -10 TO +8
I have seen lenses going from -10 to +8 in generally 0,5 increments. If you don’t know which strength you have, it is probably a good time to go to your optician :).
If you are between two strengths, the general recommendation is to round down to reduce strain on your eyes. Example: pick -1.5 if your prescription is -1.75.
4. THE FIT WILL BE A HIT OR MISS
The choice of prescription goggles is extremely limited compared to standard goggles. I have personally never seen a pair in a shop. As you can’t try them on before, the fit of those will be a hit or miss.
I had a first pair that didn’t fit me and got lucky with my second pair. After that time, I simply bought the same lenses.
5. PRESCRIPTION GOGGLES ALSO EXIST FOR CHILDREN
The title says it all 🙂
6. PRESCRIPTION SWIMMING GOGGLES ARE NOT THAT EXPENSIVE
I was actually surprised when my optician told me the prices of prescription goggles. When you are used to paying well above $700 for your prescription glasses, investing “only” $80 didn’t seem too bad.
You will often see goggles for around $30 and 10 to $15 for each lens if you search online.
When you can’t customize the goggles directly, buy a set with lenses that correspond to one of your eyes and buy only one lens for your second eye.
7. WHERE TO BUY PRESCRIPTION GOGGLES
One option is to go to your local optician. The chances are quite high that they will be able to order some models from the brands they are working with.
If you have to look online, there are a couple of good websites which offer some good filtering options. In the US, you can look at Swim Outlet, for example, and in Europe, you can look at Prescription Swimming Goggles (links to their website, no affiliate).
Swimming goggles are one of the 20 essential triathlon gear on our list for race day, have a look at this article to find out more about the 19 others.