Swimming is the oddest mix of natural and unnatural of any sport I know of. On one hand, a person needs to get almost completely naked or at least get very streamlined. And while the human body may not have the optimum shape, appendages, and motion dynamics for water movement, most bodies are capable of some combination of floating and gliding that makes swimming useful. There is the inconvenient inability to breathe under water, but balance and rhythm can overcome this significantly. In my experience, the biggest challenge is seeing where one is going.
Whether it be in a chlorinated pool, a natural body of water, or my own naturally sanitized swimming pool. I don’t like water on my eyeballs. Either the chemicals, the dirt, the temperature of the water, or just the pressure of the water are beyond unappealing to me. So I have tried quite a few goggles over my 20 year history of swimming several times a week. I have had some decent ones, but up until now, I have never had one that combined comfort and function to the level of these goggles.
I was mainly shopping for new goggles because the anti-fog coating on mine had worn out. I like to be able to glance at my underwater timer (that my engineer husband designed for me) every 5-10 minutes while I’m swimming. Maybe a bit more often toward the end of my swim. Of course, comfortable water seals around the eye sockets are important. Unfortunately with other goggles I have tried, this tends to go out the window as comfort increases. Not so with these goggles. They are like dream goggles: comfortable, water-tight, easy to adjust, and give clear vision. (click on any photo to enlarge)
Water in the ears is only a problem for me intermittently, but when it is, it is highly uncomfortable. A friend introduced me to moldable silicone ear plugs. (Don’t be confused. These are NOT the earplugs that come with the goggles as a bonus.) Admittedly, I have never worn any other ear plugs swimming, because when I have used regular, above water earplugs, I really didn’t like the pressure on my ears. Yeah, I know. I’m like the princess and the pea. But he convinced me to try these and I have used them a few times now.
To use them, you mold a part of the silicone to fit comfortably in the outer ear canal. I’m sure I can get better at this, but what I have been doing has worked. Then, the rest of the silicone can be pressed into the outer ear spaces, working it a bit into the curves to help hold it in place. My swim cap tends to go part way over them, as well, and then the goggles are holding the swim cap down. My friend does not wear a swim cap and he has worn his pair of ear plugs so long that they are yellowed.
Getting them out was a bit freaky the first time. It was hard to tell if they were going to come apart and leave pieces in my ear, but they didn’t. I ended up grasping them around the base of the long section that was inserted, then pulling gently until suction was released and all came sliding out. There was a small issue with some hair sticking into one of them, but that was pulled out without hurting me. That is the same basic method I have used all the other times, too.
Having these two improvements in my swimming gear has made it possible for me to relax more thoroughly when swimming. I should remind you that I am swimming against a machine generated current, so if the earplugs stay in and the goggles don’t take on water in those conditions, they should be very good in a regular swimming pool situation for sure. I am tempted to stock up on them.