A swim cap and swim goggles are two fundamental swimming essentials, but there can be some controversy over how these items are worn. Whether you choose prescription swim goggles or just standard goggles, it’s important to make them comfortable. A recreational swimmer typically puts their swim goggles over the swim cap to make them easy to adjust and for some extra comfort. Competitive swimmers usually put the goggles under the swim cap to reduce drag and help hold the straps in place. Whether or not you should wear goggles over or under the swim cap is based on personal preference, and there are some advantages to each option.
Swim Goggles Over the Swim Cap
Casual and recreational swimmers usually put the swim cap on first and then add the swim goggles. This style is considered the norm for swimmers, not in any sort of formal competition. For these swimmers, the swim goggles can be adjusted as necessary and removed quickly. There is no need for the swimmer to take off the swim cap in order to fix the swim goggles. Some swimmers make a habit of moving their swim goggles around between sets. This could be if a swimmer doesn’t have the right size swim goggles, the lenses fog up quickly, or they experience discomfort while wearing the swim goggles. Whatever the case is, it’s convenient to have the straps over the swim cap in order to make those adjustments. Wearing the swim goggles over the swim cap can also be more comfortable. If the swim goggles are under the cap, they are locked in place by the tightness of the swimmer’s cap. When the swim goggles are locked in, it can feel constricting, especially if the straps have already been over-tightened. Recreational swimmers may just swim this way since readjusting everything by taking the swim cap and swim goggles off can seem like too much work. Swim goggle straps can pull or tug at the hair since there isn’t a protective cap layer between them. For this reason, long hair swimmers may put the swim cap on first to avoid problems.
Swim Goggles Under the Swim Cap
Competitive swimmers tend to do the opposite and wear swim goggles under the swim cap. When the swim goggles are under the cap, it locks them in place and prevents the goggles from moving around. This is a significant benefit for competitive swimmers since they can’t waste any time adjusting goggles when racing. If you watched the 2020 Tokyo games, you saw an American swimmer’s swim goggles slip, which likely cost her a medal. Swim goggle straps will move when a swimmer dives into the pool, so it’s even more important for a competitive swimmer to have straps secured. Not only does this placement hold the goggles in place, but it also cuts down on underwater drag. To maintain optimal speeds while swimming, the crown of your head should be kept as smooth as possible so that the water will be able to glide off the surface. The more wrinkles, folds, or bumps, the more area there is for the water to slow you down. This is why many swimmers wear swim caps to begin with. The difference in drag isn’t that noticeable to a recreational swimmer, but it’s easy to notice this subtle change for a seasoned swimmer.
Wearing Two Swim Caps With Swim Goggles
When wearing two swim caps, most swimmers choose to put on the first swim cap, then the swim goggles over that one, and then another swim cap on top to hold it all together. This is the best of both worlds for most swimmers. Many competitive swimmers choose this method to wear their own personal swim cap and the uniform swim cap used for races.
Which Swim Cap Style Suits You and Your Swim Goggles?
There really is no correct answer, and it’s about your long-term swimming goals, along with personal preference. If you are new to swimming, feel free to experiment with the different combinations until you find what works best for you. As you become more advanced with swimming, you may decide to change it up if you choose to become a more competitive swimmer.
Swim goggles can do more than just protect your eyes from the chlorine and can also allow you to better see under the water when you get your exact prescription added to them. Made-to-order prescription swim goggles will add much more to your swimming, no matter how you wear your swim goggles and your swim cap.