Prescription goggles

 

The BBC published an article recently (see here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-39568781) about a lady losing her sight in one eye after an eye infection. There was some advice about contact lenses and swimming was mentioned:

‘a rare but serious eye infection caused by a micro-organism that’s common in tap water, sea water and swimming pools’.

All people who I swim with who need glasses either wear contacts as standard or switch to contacts and normal googles for swimming. I’m the exception as I generally wear prescription goggles apart from when I’m racing.

Admittedly, initially my main reason for this wasn’t protecting myself from infection (more to avoid having to faff around putting contacts in and ordering contacts) but as a result I have tried out a lot of the prescription goggles on the market.

Here are some I have tried / some I have seen recommended by several different people on DYST / OSS but if you have any feedback on the below or other recommendations then please put in comments.

View

View

The View Platina are my go to favourite. They are cost effective, last well and come in black or blue lenses so suitable for all pools and all weather. You can buy the matching strap and nose piece but I have always just used an old one I had.  You order individual lenses so you can have different prescriptions for each eye if needed.  A lot of sites only offer the black version but Jackson Sports have both and are run by a friendly team who will check stock etc for you.

http://www.jackson-sports.com/en/View-Swim-Goggles-Platina-VC510A-Lens/m-2976.aspx

1 x Lens cost: £8.00 (current price at Jackson Sports)

Total goggle cost (2 x lenses and brand specific strap and nose piece): £24.50 (current price at Jackson Sports)


Speedo

2017-04-20 05_58_36-Prescription Swimming Goggles _ Optical Goggles _ Speedo

I originally used the Speedo Pulse prescription lenses which are very similar to the View ones.  They then seemed to stop doing them so I tried out their Mariner googles, which are their cheaper* pair and you have to have the same prescription for both lenses.  These didn’t work well with me and leaked badly.  The good news is the Pulse ones are back on sale on the Speedo site, along with a couple of new prescription goggle options, but are more expensive than the View for what I believe to be the same lenses, so I think you are better off purchasing the View lenses.

*cheaper short term but not long term if you have to keep buying the full pair of goggles at £20 rather than just buying replacement lenses when needed.

http://www.speedo.com/uk/en/goggles/prescription-goggles

Pulse:

1 x Lens cost: £11.00

Total goggle cost: £33.00

Mariner:

1 x Lens cost: n/a

Total goggle cost: £20.00


Aquasphere

download (2)

I really liked the look of the Eagle as they appeared very similar to the Zoggs Predator Flexes that I am a massive fan of and give you an increased field of vision unlike the standard prescription goggles available.  I just didn’t find these comfortable on my small(ish) head but lots of people love them.

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/aqua-sphere-eagle-goggles-prescription-lenses.html?options=cart

https://www.proswimwear.co.uk/aqua-sphere-eagle-goggles-blue-clear.html

1 x Lens cost: £9.49 (current price at proswimwear)

Total goggle cost: £35.00 (current price at prescription swimming goggles)


High street alternatives

Boots and Specsavers do offer prescription goggles, however I can’t find anything on their site. Prices sounds comparable, if not cheaper than the above, based on what people on OSS/DYST have advised so always worth checking them out.


Other places to buy:

http://www.prescription-swimming-goggles.co.uk/swimming-goggles.html – this site sells the View, Speedo, Aquasphere and lots of others, however you have to buy the whole goggle (2 lenses and kit) from them so you might be better off sourcing elsewhere if you only want the lenses.

https://www.mailsports.co.uk/goggles/prescription-goggles – sells the Speedo, View and Aquasphere, as well as Sable and Swan.

http://shop.swimmingwithoutstress.co.uk/sws/swimming-goggles/prescription-lens-goggles.shtml – stocks the Aquasphere Eagle and View Platina.

https://www.simplyswim.com/departments/AdultGoggles/Prescription.aspx  –  stocks the View, Speedo and Aquasphere.

Essential pool kit

Unfortunately for us from the end of October…ok maybe beginning of October to April, cold water swimming just isn’t possible due to the distance we need to train so we defect to the heated pools of London. Here is the essential bits of kit we use.

Swimsuit

There are many a name, Bathers (Guernsey), Togs (Australia), costume (a theatre somewhere?), for the piece of material that adorns you whilst bathing (I knew bathers was the correct one), likewise there are many an option for cossies.

Manda: Due to the long distances we are often covering in training, I prefer a thinner/softer strap to avoid chaffing. One of my favourite brands is funkita, an australian brand that is often loud and colourful.

Katie: Now I am less a fan of the colourful costume so go more for the black, navy, grey colour pallet when picking costumes. Often I do not have the luxury of choice though as I am quite often know for forgetting my costume and then having to buy one at the pool. This has led to quite a few colourful additions to my swimming wardrobe. In terms of brand I normally go for speedo endurance material as I find they really do last for ages – no more having to wear two costumes like I did when I was younger and they went all baggy!

Evidence of a hard days swimming

Goggles

Pool goggles are often different to open water goggles, you don’t need such a range of visibility and you don’t need tinted lenses. You should always try out your goggles pre race but that doesn’t necessarily mean wearing them for every session in the pool as this could lead to you losing the anti-fog, so should be saved for best.

Manda: I wear glasses during the week and don’t want to be putting in contact lenses just for a swimming session so I wear prescription goggles. View are my current choice after I didn’t get on with the latest iteration of speedo’s prescription goggles.

Katie: I wear my contact lenses all the time so I just use the same goggles for pool swimming as I do for open water. My favourite are the Zoggs predator flex. We often refer to these as the ‘team goggles’ as loads of people we know race in them. I agree with Manda though, even if you wear the same type of googles in the pool and in open water, best to save a newish pair for race day.

IMG_1898

Cap

A cap is essential kit for keeping your hair out of the way (and for co-ordinating with your costume).

Both: the Team Mermaids cap!

We both have quite long hair and one question we were asked recently is how do you keep your hair under your hat. Now we both have different techniques for this.

Manda: I tie my hair up in a low bun and then put my cap on over this.

Katie: I leave my hair down, put the cap on and then twist my hair into two pigtails and tuck it under. This generally works for me apart from the time that my hat nearly came off in a race leaving my hair flowing behind it. I wish I has used the bun approach that day!

Watch

You can have a watch that is multi sports that covers GPS for open water swimming and does laps but often they are bigger than a pool/lap watch so better to slim down for winter training.

Manda: I currently wear a garmin swim. For ~£100 I think it is an absolute bargain. It counts my laps, which is most definitely needed when I am in front of the lane and have no idea how many laps I’ve done.. I literally push off the wall and lose count.

Katie: Not everyone trains with a watch preferring either not to know or to use the pace clock on the wall. I lost my latest watch (I have been though about four in the last couple of years) at the swimathon in April and therefore I have been swimming without one over the summer. Part of me has enjoyed the freedom of not knowing how fast or slow I am especially as the answer was generally slow. However, as I am getting more back into shape I think it is time to return to using one so I can more accurately track my progress. I have always used a cheapish ironman timex watch (c.£30). These have pretty basic functionality but I can time my laps and rest which is all I really need. After my last watch left me though Manda has persuaded me to invest in a garmin swim. I will need to take better care of this one!

Hydration

Manda: Nuun. Lemon and Lime if I have to be specific. I used to suffer badly from cramp in sessions, especially those at the end of a day or after a run, but nuun has knocked that on the head.

Katie: I’m a fan of Nuun as well although drinking too much can make me a little queezy. My favourite flavours are fruit punch and citrus fruits but I am also partial to Lemon and Lime as well.