There are many different types of goggles on the market why it can be a bit cumbersome to choose. You basically have to decide if you want to buy a comfortable pair with silicon, rubber or foam gasket, or a low-profile type that sits directly on your eye-socket. Also, if you’re going to use them for racing or only training.
There are pros and cons with all types.
At the end of March, World of Swimrun (WoS), Swimrun France (SR-F) and Swimrun Germany (SR-G) teamed up in Marseille, France for the 1st ever international swimrun equipment test. During 4 days, the team tested and debated swimrun equipment from over 40 manufacturers, among them, 9 different types of swimrun goggles. Contrary to normal calm conditions in the rugged and steep terrain of Calanque de Sormiou, Marseille, the test was conducted in rain, storm-winds, huge waves, strong currents and sun.
Each gear item was tested by the crew and given a score of 1 (poor) to 5 (best) and if there were specific characteristics or features worth noticing, a comment was written down during the test.
Test results – Click to enlarge tables
Even though the different types serve different purposes, the overall test winner was the Huub Aphotic. The team consensus was that this goggle provided the best overall feeling and performance, both on land and in water. It fitted well on both the head and over the eye sockets. Treading closely (almost on par) was the colorful TYR Special Ops 2.0. It more or less carries the same features. The teams 3rd choice was a split between the Orca Killa 180 and the Head Venom. It’s safe to say that even though minimalistic goggles provide less drag in the water and are cheaper to buy, the testing team prefered the gasket type google.
If you’re concerned about budget it’s recommended to go for any of the minimalistic goggles like Malmsteen or Speedo. They however break and scratch up easily, but are cheap, why you can buy in bulk at a fair price.
Best performance in the water
If you want as low resistance in the water you should again opt for the minimalistic versions, but if you plan to swimrun in open water with waves and winds, the mask is an excellent option. It will protect your face and provide an excellent field of vision both in and under the water.
Easiest to run with
On this point the testing team hesitated. The gasket type goggles like Orca, Tyr and Huub were easy to take on and off, and mount on the head. However, carrying them around the neck did provide a feeling of something being in the way at times. The minimalistic type did not provide this sensation, partly given its size but also weight. But here the looseness of the strap made them more difficult to mount on the head and to take on before a swim stage.
Best fog resistance
No goggle could resist fog. It was just a matter of time before they all fogged up. Here Huub took the longest time.
Without doubt the mask was the most comfortable. It provided a great and smooth suction when mounted, without bothering your eyes.
It is difficult to buy goggles given that there are many options available. Not only by type, but also in terms of which lens to choose, how important the water and running performance is, the price and the purpose for which the goggles are going to be used, i.e. training or racing. We always recommend that you try before you buy, but if uncertain, go for any of our top 3 choice.
We also want to thank you to all manufacturers that helped us by providing equipment for our test:
|Rando Running Marseille
We also want to extend a BIG thank you to www.randorunning.com for helping us with the logistics, Fix parents for housing the testing team, and last but not least, all you swimrunners who have and keep on interacting with us, asking so many intelligent questions.
By swimrunners – For swimrunners
På återseeende – Tschüß und Auf Wiedersehen – Entendre en arrière – Until next time – Zbogom!
/The WoS Team, Swimrun France & Swimrun Germany