5 Common Goggle Issues and How to Fix Them

Written By: Chevron

While goggles might seem like more trouble than they’re worth, most common swim goggle problems are easy fixes. So before you ditch your goggles for good and give up on them, try some of these fixes. You might find that all you needed was a simple tweak!

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1. How to Fix Leaky Goggles

Tighten the Goggle Straps

One of the most common reasons for leaky goggles is due to the straps being too loose.  Tighten your goggle straps a bit at a time to find the right adjustment for you. This will keep you from tightening them too much and they end up too small to put on your face 🙂

Some swimmers use bungee straps to replace the straps that are provided with their goggles. They’re easier to tighten and loosen. And you can adjust them with your goggles still on.

Check the Nose Piece

If your goggles still leak after tightening the straps, you should check the nose piece next. Some goggles come with interchangeable nosebands to better fit the bridge of your nose. If the nose piece is too large for your face, it might not create a good seal on your face and the goggles will leak. 

Try switching out the nose pieces to find a better fit.

Bad/Old Seal

In some cases, the seal around the goggles themselves might be causing your goggles to leak. If you find that the seal isn’t connected to the goggles themselves, it’s time to get a new set. You could try to fix it yourself with some glue or other type of sealant, but we don’t recommend it.

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If the seal isn’t pulling away from the goggle itself, try gently pushing around the hard edges of the goggles to create a tight seal against your face. Some goggles need that extra push to get a good seal to stick to your face. 

Right Size Goggles

Do you have the right size goggles? This might sound silly but goggles that are too big or small for your face won’t fit properly. You can either resize them by changing the nose piece and see if that helps. Or, you’ll have to get new goggles that fit better. 

Make sure you didn’t pick goggles that are labeled as ‘Jr’ or ‘Youth’, which are best for kids. Or, if you’re looking for goggles for your child, ensure you get goggles specific for kids

2. Goggles Hurt or Give You a Headache

Goggle lens/sockets come in several sizes and most people find that their goggles hurt when the lenses sit too close to the eye. The closer to your eye socket (orbital bone) the goggle is, the more uncomfortable it might be.

Consider goggles that fit further away the eye, such as Aegend, Zionor, or Speedo Vanquishers. Goggles that fit wider around the eyes help disperse the pressure for a more comfortable fit.

You may want to also check how tight you’re wearing your goggles. If they’re too tight, your goggles might press uncomfortably into your face and can cause a headache. Loosen up your goggle straps so there’s a bit more give in the strap. 

You may also need to check the nose piece. If it’s too small for your face, it could cause pinching on the bridge of your nose. See if you can’t change it out for one that’s a bit longer. Or consider a different pair of goggles that fit your face better. 

3. Foggy Goggles

New Goggles

Almost every goggle comes with anti-fog film to help prolong fogging. Keeping that film long-lasting requires a few tricks and breaking some old habits. Follow these tips to help extend the life of the anti-fog film.

  1. Don’t rub the inside of your goggles with your fingers or towel. Rubbing may clear out the fog but it also removes the anti-fog film and can scratch the inside of your goggles
  2. Instead, dunk them in the water whenever you need to clear out some light fog
  3. Dry off the outsides (but not the inside) of your goggles after use
  4. Let them air dry away from the sun or heat
  5. Store them in a goggle case or your bag for the next time you’re at the pool

It’s important to note that even new goggles can fog on their first day of use. This is somewhat common, especially if you’ve had them for a while before actually using them. Just give them a dunk or two in the water to clear the fog and they should be good to go. 

Tinted goggles (top) vs non-tinted goggles (below)

Old Goggles

Short of buying new goggles, there’s not a lot you can do to stop your goggles from fogging up more. Some of this is due to the anti-fog film going away with time. And some is due to usage and also scratches that build up.

You can slow the fogging down though so they don’t fog up right away. Try some of these tips to help at your next workout. We will make a disclaimer that these tips vary in success by each person. 

  1. Spit in your goggles. It’s an old trick but for some goggles, it does work! It doesn’t take a lot (thankfully) and you can swirl it around or rub it in your goggles. Make sure you rinse them out before wearing them!
  2. Baby shampoo also has claims to stopping goggles from fogging up. It’s also more gentle on your eyes so if you don’t rinse your goggles out well enough, it shouldn’t irritate them too much. Much like the spit, you don’t need a lot. Rub the shampoo in your goggles and then rinse well before use
  3. Anti-fog spray. Some will say it’s a waste of money and others swear by them. Over the years, these sprays have improved but results still seem to vary by person. It’s important that when using an anti-fog spray that you read the instructions and rinse well for best results

4. Goggles Keep Sliding Down

Some individuals find that their goggles keep sliding off their faces. This typically happens for one of two reasons:

  1. Goggles are too loose. When your goggles are two loose, the straps don’t have any way to keep your goggles tight and fit your face. It might seem like a simple fix but sometimes simple is okay! Give your goggle straps a tighten and see if it works.
  2. Lotion/skin product: Lotion and other types of skin products can make your skin slippery in the water. Depending on the type of skin product that you use, your goggles might not form a good grip and can start to slip. 

Related article: Why Does My Swim Cap Slide Off?

Even if your goggles are tight, the eyepieces themselves may slide down a bit. Give your face a good scrub before you get in the water if you wear face or skin products. Or try a new product. Oil of Olay works for me!

5. Fix Goggles Falling off on a Dive

Diving PSA: Most public pools don’t allow diving in certain areas. Check to make sure diving is permitted. And if diving into the water in lakes or oceans, always check that it’s safe to dive before doing so 🙂 

Some of the reasons goggles fall off when you dive into the water (or fill up with water) have to do with the entry into the water. If you don’t position your head just right, your goggles will fall off.

Related article: How to Stop Your Goggles from Falling Off

Try adjusting your head up or down on your next dive to see if this helps keep your goggles from falling off. This takes time, so stay patient with yourself. 

Another culprit may be that your goggles are too loose. Competitive swimmers typically wear their goggles a bit tighter during swim meets to help lessen the chance of their goggles falling off. Or filling up with water.

If they still fall off after tightening them as much as you can, we recommend looking at the type of goggle that you’re using. Some goggles fit your face better than others and better fit your dive style.

It’s a bit of trial and error. But when you find the one that works for you, it makes it all worthwhile to have that perfect dive!

As always, happy swimming!


Bonus Content:

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How to Stop Your Fins from Rubbing: Despite their benefits, fins have a nasty habit of rubbing and causing blisters on most swimmer’s feet. Try these tips to help stop your fins from rubbing.

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Chevron is a current competitive swimmer with almost 20 years of experience at the local, national and international level. A current USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming athlete, she’s committed to providing guidance to all levels of swimmers and believes that everyone should know how to swim.

2 thoughts on “5 Common Goggle Issues and How to Fix Them”

    1. wanderingswimmer

      Hi! It would honestly be better to get a new set of goggles. The tape will end up falling off your goggle when you swim and I don’t know how well glue will hold up in the water either. There’s also a chance that the glue may irritate your eye and could cause an infection.

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