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  • Mar

    Top Competition Goggles Compared - The Julie Stupp Review

    By Julie Stupp, NCAA & Olympic Trials Finalist

    In anticipation of the 2017 Tech Suit Review, I had the opportunity to test out a selection of top race goggles that I selected from this month to go with the suit review coming out next week giving readers a 1-2 punch when it comes to race gear: goggles & suits.

    This is the first goggle review I have done since I reviewed a selection of open water goggles back in 2014 and I was quite impressed.

    I reviewed six different pairs from various brands and found that overall there are only slight differences from one goggle to another. There is just really good quality and design out there today across the board.

    The best way to determine which race goggle you’ll like the most really comes down to preference of details, comfort and confidence in what you're wearing. Some details that make a big difference in fit and feel are the amount of cushion around the eye sockets, range of peripheral vision, tint and strap construction. Think about these things when you are researching the right pair for you. Now let’s dive into the race goggle review.

    MP XCEED ($39.99) 

    The MP Michael Phelps line of tech suits and race goggles designed by Aqua Sphere do not disappoint. The Xceed ladies race goggles are very comfortable and are made with a thick eye cushion that can be worn for any race distance. I loved that feature. They have a smaller, thin lens that wraps around the side of the eyes. Unfortunately, the goggle doesn’t allow for the greatest peripheral vision among the test due to a shorter lens which is important in seeing where you are in a race, but the sturdy strap construction leaves you confident that the goggles will stay snug on your head throughout the start and turns. Phelps helped in the design and production of these goggles, so you will certainly have the confidence going into your race that your product has the feedback from the best ever!

    TYR STEALTH ($17.99) 

    The TYR Stealth race goggles have a flashy look with their wide mirrored lenses and bright orange eye socket cushions. The Stealth are very comfortable due to the thick wrap around eye cushioning. The orange cushioning sits on the outside of your eyes near the middle of your temples giving you full coverage and excellent peripheral vision. They also have thin straps that are great for any swimmer looking for less drag. The only downside to the Stealth is the film on the inside of the goggles wore off rather quickly and made it a little blurry to see underwater during my test. This is a great goggle for anyone looking for a more comfortable race goggle and the price point is on the lower end of the scale among race goggles.

    SPEEDO VANQUISHER 2.0 ($21.99) 

    The Speedo Vanquisher is a classic race goggle – one of the most popular swim products in the past decade – and the 2.0 is just a recent update on this classic style. The smaller profile goggle has rounded lenses that sit just over the eyes. They have a thick rubbery eye cushioning that helps the goggles to stay firmly in place while racing. The thin strap construction gives swimmers the option to wear the goggles under or over their swim cap. The only thing I have found with the Vanquisher that I don’t like is trying to switch out the nose piece. The plastic wears down over time and gets easier to pop in and out but it can be a bit sticky at first. This goggle is great for younger athletes in particular.


    The Speedo Speed Socket reminds me a lot of the old Swedish goggles in that it’s all about the super minimalist design. They have a very thin and rigid eye cushion that mimics the hard-plastic feel of Swedish goggles. They also have a smaller profile lens very similar to the Speedo Vanquisher’s that sits just over the eyes. But the Speed Sockets have one clear undistorted lens that provide excellent peripheral vision. The Speed Socket mirrored goggle is not quite as dark as I would like, that’s my one draw back. I definitely noticed the brightness while swimming backstroke in the sun. This is a great goggle for indoor meets or early morning outdoor races – or anyone that wants a minimalist feel with less cushion and more rigidity around the eye socket.


    The Speedo Fastskin3 Elite goggles are the goggles primarily worn by the top pros this past year and in Rio. They have a very hydrodynamic design. The sleek, flat lenses wrap all the way around the side of the face to the hair or cap line of the head. They provide excellent peripheral vision and have a very comfortable eye socket cushion. The Speedo Fastskin3 Elite goggles have a more intricate goggle strap construction than most race goggles. You can measure the exact circumference of your head and adjust the strap size accordingly because the straps have the numbers printed on them. This is a terrific race goggle, but I wouldn’t wear it for long periods of time because it is very fitted. And you can’t sneeze at the prize – triple or quadruple some of the other goggles in this test.

    FINIS VOLTAGE ($18.99) 

    The FINIS Voltage is much fuller race goggle that has a more robust build which sets it apart in this test. It has a secondary plastic strap piece on the side of the goggle that connects the lens to the actual rubber straps. This piece provides extra durability and confidence that the goggle will sturdily stay in place through any race. The Voltage doesn’t come with an adjustable nose-piece, it is more of a one size fits all type of goggle. It is very comfortable with well-padded eye sockets and thick straps. The Voltage is a great goggle for open water racers, triathletes and masters’ swimmers because it can withstand quite a bit of wear and tear. I generally use FINIS more for their training products and I think the Voltage would also be a great training goggle. 

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    2 years ago.
    SPEEDO VANQUISHER 2.0 ($21.99)

    Changing the nose piece is VERY difficult. I was afraid I would break the plastic trying to insert the nose pieces on both sides.
    3 years ago.
    I have two complaints. Firstly, my goggles cause a circular mark on my eyes making me look like a raccoon. Is there a goggle to prevent this?
    Secondly, Once the lens become cloudy what can I use to eliminate this? Someone had mentioned saliva would be a solution. What do you thinik? Would really appreciate answers and recommendations for both questions. Thanks!
    2 years ago.
    Goggles make rings around your eyes. Accept it. Use the Spit anti-fog goo to prevent fogging...use only a spec. and don't get in your eyes! It's like getting dish soap in there...not good!!
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