Swimming is not only a great sport for staying in shape, but a great way to see wonderful and varied ecosystems underneath the waves. Whether you're exploring a coral reef on a tropical island or swimming laps at the local Y, having the right swim goggles can make your experience more comfortable and more rewarding.
Durable, long-lasting and most especially comfortable goggles are essential for the recreational swimmer, whether you're putting in laps to get in shape or diving for coins with your children. Goggles made primarily for recreational use typically have a little more padding around the eye sockets, and a slightly wider field of vision than you'll find in competition or racing goggles.
Be sure to look for goggles that have an anti-fog coating, and choose a tinted lens if you'll be swimming outside in the sun. Your eyes will thank you!
If you're toeing the starting block at a swim meet, you don't want anything slowing you down, and that includes your goggles. Competition swim goggles look a lot like recreational goggles at first glance, and in fact, some brands of goggles are advertised as racing/training goggles. But a good set of competition goggles is typically a little smaller than a recreational pair, with smaller lenses and a more restricted field of vision. They're designed to fit tightly against your eye sockets, for minimal drag when you're powering through the water.
Swim masks are much larger than recreational and competition goggles, providing the user with the best possible view when they're in the water. While some swimmers like the improved comfort of swim masks when swimming laps or competing in triathlons, they're most often used for snorkeling and other water sports where visibility is very important.