Looking for a set of fast swim goggles for race day? Here’s a look at the best swim goggles for competition, how to choose the right ones for you, and more.
Swim goggles are one of the most important pieces of swim gear for racing fast.
Not only do they protect the eyes from chlorine and other chemicals in the pool, but they also improve visibility and reduce resistance in the water. The right racing swim goggles allow you to time your turns properly, see the competition, and finish on a full stroke.
With so many options on the market, choosing the right pair of goggles for racing can be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve researched and tested some of the best swim goggles for racing to help you make an informed decision.
From lens technology to fit and comfort, we’ve considered all the important factors to comprehensively review the top swim goggles for racing.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned athlete, read on to find the perfect pair of goggles to enhance your performance in the water.
Let’s jump right in!
Best Swim Goggles for Competition
Here is a quick overview of our top choices for swim goggles for crushing it on race day:
|Primary Rating / Price
For a more detailed review of our top choices, read on for the pros and cons of each type of racing swim goggles, a guide to picking the perfect swim goggles for competition, and more.
The Magic5 Swim Goggles
⭐ Best overall racing swim goggle
The Magic5 Swim Goggle is a truly unique type of swim goggle and is our top overall choice for racing swim goggles thanks to the individualized gasket shape, thin lens, antifog protection, and sidearms for maximum drag reduction.
The goggles are custom-made using a face scan that is done with the Magic5 app from your smartphone. It literally scans the unique dimensions of your face, sending the results back to Magic5 headquarters where they 3D print an individualized goggle gasket.
One to two weeks later, your custom set of racing swim goggles, complete with a goggle case to protect them, shows up on your doorstep.
The polycarbonate lens is diamond shaped, giving you excellent peripheral vision, making them an excellent goggle for keeping an eye on the competition while racing to a new personal best time.
Now, what makes the Magic5 Swim goggles so great for racing?
For starters, because they don’t have to be worn super tightly (they are designed for your face, after all, creating a leak-free fit without having to tighten your goggle straps to the point that they cause headaches and racoon-eyes), they can be worn for extended use.
Distance swimmers, in particular, will love that they can race for longer stretches of time in comfort.
Additionally, because the gasket is the thinnest of any swim goggles on the market, it gives you an awesome 1-2 punch of reducing drag and also reducing the likelihood that they will fall off or fill with water when you dive in on race day.
In sum, TheMagic5 swim goggles are not just a cool set of swim goggles—what’s cooler than having a one-of-one swim goggle, after all—but perfectly built for high-performance swimming on race day.
|Custom shaped to your face
|A bit pricey
|Thin gasket for hydrodynamic fit
|Tons of colors and tints to choose from
|Comes with a goggle case
|Awesome for long swim meets
Speedo Pure Focus Swim Goggles
⭐ Best swim goggles for racing like an Olympian
The Speedo Pure Focus Swim Goggle is the legendary swim company’s fastest swim goggle. With a wide, slim gasket for excellent peripheral vision, reduced drag, and multiple colors and tints, the Pure Focus is engineered for maximum speed on race day.
When it comes to Speedo swim goggles, the Pure Focus is the “fastest” of the bunch, with a drag profile that is 5% lower than Speedo’s next fastest goggles, the Fastskin Elites.
In terms of comfort, the Speedo Pure Focus Goggle lives up to the hype, with adjustable head straps (that have numbered fit points so that you can line it up perfectly with your swim cap), five nose pieces, and a soft silicone socket that keeps water out when you are churning across the length of the pool in pursuit of a new personal best time.
Speedo offers the Pure Focus in seven different colors, and in my experience testing these goggles, found them to be more than comfortable enough for daily use.
All that said, these swim goggles are not for the financially faint of heart. They are the most expensive non-tech swim goggles I’ve ever purchased at $85 or so dollars.
For the swimmer who wants the racing swim goggle that the best of the best wear, there is no substitute for decades of Speedo testing and the Pure Focus Swim Goggle.
|Fastest Speedo swim goggles on the market
|Exceptionally slim profile for reduced drag
|Multiple color options and tints
|Upgrade on the Fastskin Elite goggles
|Comfortable—great for daily training, too
Arena Cobra Ultra Swim Goggles
⭐ Best antifog racing swim goggle
The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggle are a big breakthrough in swim goggle technology. One of the long-standing complaints swimmers have is the goggle lenses fogging up.
The Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe Goggle solves this with its “swipe” technology that literally resets the anti-fog coating inside the lens with a gentle swipe of the inside of the goggles, making them the best antifog swim goggles on the pool deck.
In terms of racing performance, the Arena Cobra Ultra Swipe knocks it out of the park with an ultra thin gasket and lens that is extremely hydrodynamic, a curved polycarbonate lens for excellent peripheral vision, and bladed side arms that reduce drag from folded-over goggle straps.
What I liked most about swimming with these is that you really felt like there was no way the Arena Cobra Swipes are going to come off when you dive into the water on race day. (The Arena Cobra Swipe is also available as an open water swim goggle.)
Arena offers the Ultra Swipe in about a dozen different colors and tints, includes each set with five different nose pieces for a perfect fit, and retails for around $70.
|Ultra slim gasket design
|Long-lasting antifog design
|Multiple color and tint options
|Five nosepieces for a leak-free fit
|Bladed sidearms for reduced drag
|Available in an open water version
Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Swim Goggles
⭐ Best training and racing swim goggles
The Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Swim Goggles have been among the most popular swim goggles for competitive swimmers over the years. They are remarkably durable, come in a HUGE variety of colors, and they are very budget-friendly.
The Vanquisher 2.0, although typically seen in the training pool, is a great choice for racing thanks to a low profile gasket (it’s almost as thin as its much more expensive older sibling, the Pure Focus) and excellent durability.
I’ve had a few pairs of Vanquishers over the years, and the only reason I swapped them out was because I wanted a different color and tint. The silicone straps, polycarbonate lens, and silicone socket last forever.
Just drop a little antifog spray into the lens on occasion once the factory antifog coating melts away, and the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Swim Goggles will last you the full season with ease.
Additionally, the Vanquisher 2.0 comes in more color combinations than I can count, a Jr and women’s size, and even a prescription version for swimmers who don’t want to wear contacts to the pool.
|Best training and competition swim goggle
|Antifog coating can melt away relatively quickly
|Tons of color options and Jr and women’s sizing
|Prescription goggle available
Other Racing Swim Goggles We Tested and Liked
Still haven’t found what you are looking for?
Below are several more TheSwimList.com-approved swim goggles that are excellent for competition.
Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 Goggle
⭐ Best for wearing the same swim goggles as Caeleb Dressel
The Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 Swim Goggle is another mid-range swim goggle that can pull double-duty at the pool, both in practice and competition.
The Speedo Socket 2.0 has a slightly thinner gasket compared to the Speedo Vanquisher 2.0 Goggles, mirrored lens for blocking out the sun’s glare, and an easy-to-adjust head strap for that custom fit.
If you fancy wearing the same swim goggles that Olympians wear, you are in luck with the Speedo Speed Socket 2.0’s. These swim goggles are also the preferred google of for one of the best swimmers of all-time, Caeleb Dressel, who has been rocking these goggles for years.
TYR Black Ops 140 EV Mirrored Swim Goggles
⭐ Best for people looking for a budget-friendly racing swim goggles
TYR is one of the top swim brands on the planet, making a wide range of gear for aquatic athletes, from tech suits to swim paddles.
The TYR Black Ops 140 EV Mirrored Swim Goggle is a budget-friendly swim goggle that doesn’t sacrifice on speed.
The reason for the name “140” is that the goggles offer an extra wide peripheral view of 140-degrees, giving swimmers a wide range field of vision while racing.
The TYR Black Ops 140 EV has all of the comfort features you’d expect, including four nose pieces for a leak-free fit, a low profile gasket, and silicone gaskets and head straps for maximum durability.
Racing Swim Goggles – FAQs
What should I look for in swim goggles for racing?
When choosing swim goggles for racing, it’s important to consider factors such as lens technology, fit and comfort, and durability.
Look for goggles with a low-profile design to reduce drag, anti-fog and UV protection for clear vision, and a secure and comfortable fit. Outdoor swimmers should choose goggles that have UV protection and polarized lenses, which eliminate glare (reflection of the sun off the surface of the water).
A low-profile swim goggle is also important as it helps reduce friction with the water when you are diving in at high speeds, reducing the likelihood of the goggles leaking or outright falling off your face.
Can I wear any swim goggles for racing?
While you can technically wear any swim goggles for racing, not all goggles are created equal.
Racing goggles are designed with specific features to enhance performance, such as hydrodynamic design, anti-fog and UV protection, and a comfortable and secure fit.
Do swim goggles for racing come in different sizes?
Yes, swim goggles for racing come in different sizes to accommodate different face shapes and sizes. It’s important to choose a pair of goggles that fit snugly but comfortably to prevent leakage and ensure optimal performance.
For swimmers who want the ultimate in a custom fit with swim goggles, consider TheMagic5 Swim Goggles, the only truly custom swim goggle.
Can I wear prescription swim goggles for racing?
Yes, you can wear prescription swim goggles for racing. While there are not as many optical swim goggles on the market, some of the more popular swim brands make prescription swim goggles.
The Speedo Vanquisher are a prime example. TYR also makes an optical version of their popular Black Ops swim goggles, allowing athletes with vision impairments to compete comfortably and safely.
How do I care for my swim goggles for racing?
To prolong the life of your swim goggles for racing, rinse them with clean water after each use, store them in a protective case, and avoid touching the lenses with your fingers.
Additionally, you can use anti-fog spray or drops to prevent fogging and increase visibility.
Beau Cormier is a former NCAA I swimmer, US Open National finalist, and swim nerd. When not swimming or working for a data company, you can find him running the trails of the Pacific Northwest with his wife and dogs.