Tried & Tested: Sight for sore eyes

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The Independent Culture
Swimming goggles can be more trouble than they're worth: misting up, leaking, rimming your eyes with welts. Always try before you buy because every face is a different shape, and remember to adjust the straps. We tested a range of styles, from Speedo's best-selling basic silicon model through to an all-in-one mask, aimed at elite swimmers but apparently admired by the fetishist fraternity. Special features included foam padding (TYR Femme T-72) and sheer trendiness (Maru Hydro Anti-Fog). Our panel of regular swimmers included short-sighted Nick Allen and his mother Joy (70, swims 40 lengths a day), John and Viv Kendall and their nine-year-old son Harry, Alex Drummond, Lynda Simmons, Katharine Anderson and Penny Karsch. The clear winner was Zoggs Sonic Clear Vision goggles


Zoggs pounds 5.99

Katharine: `All those horrible men in the pool were freaked out by the hologram "eyes" on the lenses. It was great! But the goggles were too tight. Not very surprising if they're meant to be for kids'

Harry: `These are cool, I like the "Jaws" hologram lenses best'

Penny: `In France they wear these in clubs. If they only wear them on top of their heads, like sunglasses, it wouldn't matter if they're too small'

Zoggs 01276 855880


Zoggs pounds 9.99

Kendalls: `They are designed to improve underwater vision, but they make an indoor pool look fab too- bright and yellow. You can spot a Band Aid floating on the bottom at 20m'

Penny: `They're comfortable, leak-proof and seem to fill your life with sunshine'

Nick: `I normally use prescription goggles but I could see almost as well with these. They seem to fill the water with light, and yet protect your eyes from the sun. Excellent'

Zoggs 01276 855880


Maru pounds 8.99

Penny: `I definitely looked cooler in these, though the fitting is like a bra strap: lots to fiddle with and get tangled in your hair'

Lynda: `Maybe I had them too tight but they didn't mist up, which my Speedo ones normally do about every seven or eight lengths. And they didn't leak water at all'

Katharine: `I liked the straps, they look like licorice. But really, who cares what you look like underwater?'

Mailsports mail order 01784 432247


Speedo pounds 39.99

Nick: `Makes you look like an executioner without the axe. I only put it on when the pool was empty. But it does work. If it hadn't distorted my vision and made me feel sick, I would have said it was all right'

John: `I felt like an idiot, basically, and remote from reality. I might wear it for a triathlon, but not down the local baths'

Speedo 01159 167000


Speedo pounds 8.99

Joy: `There's no fuss, they have a good seal, they're comfortable to wear and the biggest bonus is the hard plastic box to keep them in. Otherwise the lenses get scratched'

Nick: `I didn't like the fiddly clip adjustment system for the head strap at the side, a fold-back method would be perfectly adequate'

Katharine: `Everybody I know wears these. They're fine, and they last for ages'

Speedo 01159 167000

.... FEMME T-72

TYR pounds 10.99

Penny: `They're like a big, super-comfy armchair for your eyes, just what I've been looking for ever since a beautician told me goggles can cause broken veins'

Joy: `These are a godsend when you're my age'

Alex: `I normally prefer foam gaskets anyway, so I'd wear these. I don't think they're especially feminine'

Brand International 01628 536 400