Product Review: Speedo Polarized Goggles
Recently Speedo announced the release of a new goggle this fall. They have created what I would consider the first true open water goggle. A fully polarized, mirrored, Speed Socket. (There’s a bunch of people who claim to have an open water specific goggle. I will tell you that until now, the best open water goggle is the one that fits well and doesn’t leak.) Using their most popular elite racing goggle, Speedo took 2 lenses and sandwiched a polarization in between. This way a little bump or drop won’t scrape off the polarization like that of the $5 sunglasses you get at the gas station. They are finished with a super slick looking gold mirror. They look flat out fast, but I questioned whether they would make that much difference. Now, keep in mind these goggles weren’t made specifically for lakes and oceans. They’re designed for outdoor swimming in general. Looking back, I’m surprised this wasn’t done a long time ago. Just this past August, the National Championships were held in an outdoor pool in California, and I remember all those summer practices squinting while I swam in the afternoon sun. So there has definitely been a need for this.
As promised, on first inspection they are a Speed Socket top to bottom, so if you’re curious about fit, swing by your local swim store (tri shops and general sporting goods stores won’t carry these. They are elite level racing goggles) and try a pair on. If you’re used to Vanquishers, then this won’t be much different. Might even be a little more comfortable. If however, the larger sized goggles or swim masks are more your bag, then they might take a little getting used to. Being a swedish goggle man myself, this was more goggle than I’m used to, but for me they are considerably more comfortable than the Vanquisher.
The real beauty is what you see. Everything. It surprised me at first. I didn’t realize how much glare in a goggle messes with you. Now there’s something to compare it to. The vision is crystal clear and it cuts the glare wonderfully. I almost felt like I was on one of those Blu-Blocker commercials while I swapped back and forth. Now, admittedly I haven’t used them in open water just yet so I can’t give you a play by play on swimming into the sun and how they cut that reflection off the water. What I do know is that they are going to be 100 times better than my smoke goggles I’ve been using.
So who needs these goggles? Someone who trains outdoors and those who swim in open water, whether it be triathlons or open water races. If you have sun hitting your face, you are going to want these goggles. If you train indoors and compete in indoor pools, then skip it. I don’t see any advantage to swimming under fluorescent lights with these things. With a glowing review like this, there’s got to be a downside right? Well, there is the price. The Speed Socket Polarized sell for $65. That’s quite a leap from what we come to expect from goggle pricing. Then again, this is quite a leap from what we come to expect from goggle vision too. If you find yourself squinting during a swim, it’ll be worth every penny.