What Are Swim Goggles Made Of?

What Are Swim Goggles Made Of?

Posted by Goggles N More on 17th Sep 2019

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It's important to know what material swim goggles are made of since the protection is provided the by the lens and the seal that surrounds the edge of the lens.

The materials for swim goggles today are much improved from what was developed in the past.  Swim goggles in the 1960s were so uncomfortable that they could only be worn for a part of the workout. The eye pieces would dig into the eyes and the rubber straps made grooves in the swimmers head and face. Today, the materials used for swim goggles help with durability, comfort, and speed.

Different Materials to Choose for Goggles

The lenses are typically made of polycarbonate. While this material is shatter proof, it’s not necessarily scratch resistant. Polycarbonate lenses are shatter proof and provide UV protection, which makes them a great choice for swim goggles. Polycarbonate lenses can be a good choice for prescription goggles since they don't add any thickness but still correct the vision and minimize any distortion. It’s a lightweight material with plenty of protective features. Polycarbonate is 10 times more impact resistant than regular plastic lenses or glass. The lenses can be easily scratched so some do come with a scratch resistant coating to keep the lenses clear for as long as possible.

The seal is either made of silicone, foam, or hard rubber. Silicone can be a great material to have for your goggles because it’s wear resistant, comfortable, and easy to clean if necessary. The plastic is non-toxic, there is no smell, and there is no harm to the skin. There is no deformation or cracking either so it ensures comfortable long-term wear. 

Different Types of Swim Goggles

Most  swim goggles will include the lenses, gasket, straps, and case. The lenses will help provide clarity in the water and can be optical grade. The lenses can be clear, tinted, or mirrored. Tinted and mirrored lenses can give some UVA and UVB protection and can be a good choice for those who spend time swimming in outdoor pools. The gasket choice will be driven by comfort and personal choices. Foam may not last as long as silicone or rubber but can feel more comfortable at first. Straps can be made of either silicone or rubber.

The strap style is another choice you will have to make for your swim goggles. Bungee straps are the most popular of the squeeze to adjust straps and give a secure and comfortable fit. Many swimmers will upgrade to this type of strap because it keeps the goggles in place when diving. These straps can be the most expensive. Many goggles come with a double or split strap to keep them in place. Not all split straps are made equal. Those with the large slit through the middle will stay in place better than those with just the two holes in the strap.

Swim goggles can come with a polyester case that is soft or hard sided in order to protect them from being scratched when not being worn. Since you want to protect your swim goggles, for long-term wear it helps to always keep them in the case when not in use.

Choosing the Right Swim Goggles

Since faces come in different sizes there are different types of shaped goggles out there. Fit and comfort are important since the goggles you pick will be strapped to your face for hours at a time. When choosing a par of goggles, try to find ones with an adjustable nose piece or multiple nose pieces of varying lengths so you can find the right fit. 

Whether your swim outside or inside will matter when it comes to the lens color you are choosing. Dark swim goggles may look cool but if you are swimming indoors you could soon be swimming blind. Swim goggles do tend to lose their anti-fog over time so the dark lenses goggles do get darker. 

Why You Should Wear Swim Goggles

Goggles can help you see better underwater.  Prescription swim goggles will allow you to see without the need to wear contacts in the water, which can be damaging to your eyes. Goggles also protect your eyes from the irritation that can come with the chemicals the pool is treated with and the materials in the water.

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