Swim Goggle Showdown

Posted: August 1, 2016 in Equipment, Swim

A few weeks ago, I was in the middle of my weekly swim workout when suddenly my trusty pair of TYR swim goggles snapped mid-interval.


I’ve had this pair for the past four years and, really, four years is extremely long in the tooth for a pair of swim goggles so I can’t really complain as by this point they really owed me nothing.  Fortunately, I always carry a spare in my swim bag so it wasn’t a big deal and, besides, being the lazy ass I am, I just tied up the broken straps on the goggles and carried on to the end of my workout as I didn’t have much longer to go.

See what a clever monkey I am?


Of course, this was only a temporary fix, meaning that I would have to acquire another pair eventually but for the time being, the band-aid fix was good enough.  As luck would have it, a few days later, Tri-Boutique, where I got this original pair featured an online sale so, of course, I clicked on the link, selected the exact same pair of goggles and proceeded to the check out.  Except this time they wanted an arm and a leg; $49.99 for the goggles themselves and then another $19.99 just to ship them to me.

That’s almost $70.00!

The first time I bought my TYR goggles I was using a coupon that I won from a race so I only had to pay for shipping and, really, $20.00 for a pair of quality goggles is a bargain indeed.  Except now, Tri-Boutique was only willing to offer me a deal if I spent more than $100.

Fuck that.

Sorry, Tri-Boutique.

See ya.

I am a cheap fuck, I admit it (click HERE  for more “Tightwad Triathlete” posts).

I opted then to go down to the local TrySport Niagara in Port Dalhousie, which specializes in triathlon and swim equipment figuring I could find the same pair minus the shipping costs.  However, when I walked into the shop I was dismayed to find that they didn’t carry my precious TYR brand.

Shit x 2.

You see, I am a helpless creature of habit in that once I find something that fits me and works well I tend to stick with it at all costs; I am loathe to change anything.  Call me obsessive-compulsive, I don’t care, I am loyal to what I like…sue me.  So when I realized that Trysport didn’t carry my brand I almost walked out then and there.  But, still, I needed new goggles and my imminent cheapness wasn’t about to let me spend 70 bones on them elsewhere so I reluctantly continued browsing.

At TrySport they only carried the Speedo brand.  Now, I have nothing against Speedo, don’t get me wrong – my swim trunks are Speedo as are some of my other swim equipment – however, I have never used Speedo goggles  before and that, to an obsessive-compulsive creature of habit such as I am, is scary business indeed.  The immediate good news was that the goggles were cheaper than the TYR’s would have been through the Tri-Boutique website, and that wasn’t even taking the shipping costs into account.  That basically equates to a savings of almost $40.00 right there.  So I bit the bullet and bought a pair of the most basic, inoffensive pairs of Speedo’s they had on the rack; skeptical as I was.

Today I tested those new Speedo’s.


TYR:  They fit well, but they tended to give me those temporary black eyes after long workouts.  I realize that I could have fixed the problem by loosening the straps a bit but I like my goggles on the tight side, what can I say?  After four years, they fit (ie. seal) just as well as they did the first day I used them.  Yes, they were old, moldy and scuffed up as all get out but they never – ever – let in so much as a single drop of pool water.  Ever.

Speedo:  Damn, these things feel amazing.  The goggles are smaller than the TYR’s and fit directly into the eye sockets, and thanks to the soft silicone gaskets around the lenses they are about as comfortable as you will likely ever get.  It’s like having your eyes protected by little rubberized clouds.  Only time will tell though if the seal remains as good as they did with the TYR’s.


TYR:  At the beginning of the workout, the TYR’s are great.  You can see though the goggles clear as day and underwater, you could find a tiny earring from the other end of the pool as there is minimal distortion (and once, I did).  However, as the workout progresses, they began to fog up badly (As most goggles do) so that after every interval I had to do the ‘ol “Spit n’ Rub” to clear them up again.  This happened so regularly that I even considered listing this routine in my actual workout as I did it as much as I did any intervals.  It had become habitual through the absolute necessity to continue seeing clearly.

Speedo:  Similar to the TYR they are perfectly clear above water, however, they did distort my vision beneath the water.  I found this kind of troubling given the clarity I had become accustomed to with the TYR’s (assuming, of course, that I had just done the “Spit & Rub”).  However, after 60 minutes, there was literally no fogging whatsoever.  Like none.  In fact, I just left them on between intervals as there wasn’t really any need to remove them.  Of course this is likely just because they’re so new but, hopefully, the anti-fog coating will last longer than they did with the TYR’s.




They make me look like Bono back in the 90’s (click HERE).  Booooooooooooooooooooooring.  That look (and U2 for that matter) stopped being relevant eons ago and nobody much cares anymore.



Oh yeah, that’s some total Mark Spitz level kind of coolness going on right there.  Minus the million dollar ‘stache, of course.  Dare I say it:  I actually look faster.

I mean, really, you can be the ultimate judge, of course, but my vote is still for the slick looking Speedo’s.

So, for the time being, it’s so long faithful TYR goggles and hello Speedo’s.  May you serve your job as well as your predecessor’s…or else (click HERE).

  1. Saskia Holditch says:

    Hi Terry. Yes, I totally agree you ARE a clever monkey. To add to your goggle review, last month my goggles were too gross to use anymore, so I grabbed a Speedo goggle I’d bought on sale at Sportcheck a while back. I had been happy with Speedo til now, this pair? Strap would not stay tight! I had to chuck them and bought a pair of Finis locally (one of the every few brands that were affordable here, you don’t want to know how much sports gear costs here). Love ‘m. I’m just very surprised and disappointed with my Speedo experience!

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