Better than Betty Davis’ Eyes!
Ever since the first grade I have been wearing glasses, but a few years before that I was wearing goggles as my mother had me swimming at the age of three…so I know a little bit about eye-wear, both underwater and on land. Fortunately my eyes aren’t so bad that I have to wear prescription goggles which can limit your options and the thickness of your wallet.
There are numerous different styles of goggles for the different types of activities. I wear a specific pair of goggles for short distance races. For endurance races and long training sessions, I wear the Speedo Baja Goggle.
The most notable difference between the Speedo Baja and your standard goggle is that it is over-sized, but the oversize is subtle. It doesn’t look like a snorkeling mask, it is just slightly bigger than most standard goggles. The oversize allows for a comfort fit which is critical when in an endurance race. Short distance racing goggles will typically start to dig into your face after a while, this has never been a problem with the Baja. The oversize also allows for greater vision and a decent peripheral view. This has been critical for me as I have ventured into the open waters of triathlons. It is nice to be able to see the swimmers, who can’t swim a straight line, coming at you. Speedo states that the goggles have a “curved lens technology allowing for extended field of vision.” I think it works great.
The goggles are made with a soft flexible one-piece frame. This means that it doesn’t come with an adjustable nose piece. This could be a problem for some who may need to adjust the bridge to fit their face properly. The Baja also has the SpeedFit™ Headstrap System. The Speedo website states that the system allows the swimmer to easily adjust their goggle straps for a precision fit. What I like most about the system is that the straps do not seem to loosen over time. It can be extremely annoying when you have to pull your straps after every 50 yards to tighten your goggles. The Baja works as promised. The goggles are also Latex free which may be important to many as well.
Speedo also built the Baja with anti-fog and UV protection. The UV protection is great for those who train a lot outdoors. The anti-fog will continue to be the demise of all goggles across the land. When new, the Baja performs spectacularly as the anti-fog works great, but be warned, if you don’t take care of the goggles they will start to fog overtime. Be sure to rinse them off every time you get out of the pool, and the anti-fog will last longer.
The Bottom Line ~
Goggles are a critical piece of equipment, especially for the longer distance triathlons, because you never want to have to worry about leaking or other issues when swimming with a thousand other friends in open water. I have completely bought in to the over-sized goggles for endurance events. They are far more comfortable and any drag due to larger eye-wear is largely negligible in the grander scheme of things. The Speedo Baja is a great goggle that retails around $20. I will continue to buy the Baja until I can be convinced there is something better…and remember to sufficiently train with any pair of goggles before race day, even if it is the same brand, because you don’t want any surprises.
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