What To Look For
Look for ski goggles that fit your particular needs. If you are a skier who travels at high speeds, full eye goggles with a retention band are recommended. If you primarily need to protect your eyes from sun and glare, you can probably make do with lightweight skiing sunglasses. The most important thing to look for, however, is comfort. Just like with shoes, if something bothers you a little initially, it will be much more annoying after 8 hours.
Buying the wrong lens color can make your goggles virtually useless. For example, dark lenses, such as gray or green, are designed for skiing in high-light situations. In low-light conditions or night skiing, dark lenses simply make it hard to see. Amber lenses, which are good for enhancing contrast, work well in cloudy conditions, while pink- or rose-tinted lenses are designed for low-light skiing.
Where To Buy
A specialty outdoor sporting goods store is the best place to buy ski goggles. REI has a wide selection and it is easy to find a knowledgeable employee. Specialty equipment stores, such as The North Face, also stock their own brands, including goggles. Generic sporting goods stores, such as Big 5 or The Sports Authority, carry goggles, but don't have much of a selection.
As with many types of sports equipment, you get what you pay for. A long-lasting, comfortable pair of goggles likely will cost around $100 in 2010. Interchangeable lenses will cost more. Bargain goggles can be found for as little as $50--if you shop carefully.
When trying on goggles, check the peripheral vision. Some goggles offer more coverage on the sides of the face. Goggles designed to reduce excessive brightness have smaller visual openings than low-light goggles.
Don't forget to get anti-fog treatment. Anti-fog treatments are available in sprays, rub-on goo and pre-moistened wipes. Treat your goggles before you hit the slopes to ensure clear visibility.
Rent before you buy. Shops like REI will let you borrow or rent equipment before you purchase it. The ski shop on your favorite slope may also rent goggles. This is an excellent way to decide what you like and don't like.