7 Reasons to Wear Goggles When you Swim

Goggles may seem like a pain but their benefits far outweigh any frustrations that may come with them. So why should you wear goggles when you swim and are they that helpful?

Related article: What Equipment Do You Need to Start Swimming?

In speaking with leisure and competitive swimmers, most will say that they prefer to wear goggles. And they’re well worth the hassle. Not convinced? Keep reading to learn more about goggles and why you should wear them when you swim.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we earn a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase something through one of our links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Please check out our disclosure page for more information.

Image with a light blue background and a black border. White text reads: 7 Reasons to Wear Goggles When you Swim

 What are Goggles?

Goggles are pieces of eyewear that cover the eyes and are held in place with straps. 

They come in various shapes, sizes, and purposes. From snorkeling to competitive swimming, there is a large selection of goggles to select from. Each with its pros and cons.

Related articles: How to Pick the Right Swim Goggles

What do Goggles Do?

At their simplest, goggles keep water from getting into your eyes.  

While they might be uncomfortable for some, they provide several benefits to those that wear them. 

Can You Swim Without Goggles?

You can! If it’s your preference to skip the goggles the next time you’re at the pool, that’s completely up to you.

However, if you’re starting lap or competitive swimming, or trying open water, it’s a good idea to wear some goggles. 

Don’t believe us? Check out these 7 reasons why you should wear goggles!


Why You Should Wear Goggles When You Swim

Protects Your Eyes

Probably the most important reason to wear goggles when you swim is that they protect your eyes.

And it’s not just water that they protect your eyes from. It’s also the irritation that comes from chlorine (or whatever chemicals are used in your pool). And for some, it can be salt or lake water, depending on which open water you’re swimming in.

Related article: How to Fix Common Swim Goggle Problems

While you can probably skirt by not swimming with goggles in a pool, we don’t recommend it for the lake or ocean. 

You won’t need them for playing around in the surf or floating the river. 

But if you plan to swim or open your eyes underwater, you should probably use goggles. There’s a chance you could end up with an infection and it’s better to play it safe!

Keeps Water Out of Your Eyes

As mentioned earlier, goggles help protect your eyes. They form a tight seal around your eyes to help keep water from getting into your eyes. When you’re splashing around in the pool, a bit of water in your eyes isn’t awful.

But opening your eyes underwater or swimming with your eyes open can cause some pain/irritation later in the day. Especially if you’re doing this long-term.

For some kids, getting water in their eyes can be a large deterrent to putting their face in the water. And can also cause some fear of the water. Wearing goggles when they’re in the pool can encourage them to put their face in the water.

Related article: Quick Guide to Swim Lessons

We recommend that kids try on goggles for the first time at home, as it’s a safe and familiar environment. If you can, encourage them to wear the goggles in the shower or bathtub. This can help them realize that goggles help keep water out of their eyes.

And it can help them feel better about dunking their head underwater the next time you’re at the pool!

Prevents Dry Eyes

Pool water and seawater can dry out more than your skin. They can dry out your eyes too. 

Spend a day swimming without goggles and you’ll find your eyes red, dry, itchy, and irritated. They probably won’t bother you too much during your time at the beach or the pool, but you’ll feel it on the drive home.

And you’ll probably have a hard time seeing and driving when your eyes are irritated. 

To help your eyes recover, you’ll need some eye drops to help hydrate them and stop them from itching.


Wear contacts and plan on swimming? We highly encourage you to wear some goggles. 

You can prevent losing your contacts when you wear goggles the next time you go swimming. Goggles will help keep water from causing your contacts to fall out. Or roll up behind your eyes. 

Most optometrists will actually tell you not to wear your contacts when you swim. As you run the risk of getting bacteria in your eyes, which can lead to an infection. 

Another reason to consider wearing goggles when you swim is the potential damage to your contacts. 

Chlorine and salt water can dry out your contacts, making them extremely difficult to remove. If not completely ruining them altogether. 

If you do decide to wear contacts the next time you’re in the pool or another body of water, consider wearing goggles to help protect your eyes.

UV Protection 

One of the biggest challenges of swimming outside is swimming with the sun in your eyes. The sunlight can make it hard to see above or under the water. 

Certain goggles though are designed specifically for outdoor swimming. These goggles can help protect against UV rays and also reduce glare from the sun.

When looking for outdoor goggles, consider goggles that have the words ‘mirrored’ and ‘UV protection’. These will be the best options for outdoor swimming.

Some good outdoor goggles to consider are Arena Tracks Mirror and Speedo Vanquisher Mirrored Goggles.

See Clear(er) Underwater

While you can see underwater without goggles, wearing goggles makes things much clearer and sharper. 

In some ways, this is also a safety feature. 

When you can see better underwater, you’re less likely to run into something. Whether that’s another swimmer, a ladder or slide that’s in the pool, or something else in the water. Wearing goggles to see underwater can help keep you from getting injured.

Related article: How to Stop Goggles From Falling Off

Having a clear view underwater is also great for kids learning how to swim. They can see the bottom of the pool and their surroundings. This helps them feel more at ease and realize there’s nothing scary in the water.

And they can see any dive toys!

Prescription Goggles

If you only wear glasses or decide not to wear your contacts when you swim, prescription goggles can help you see better. 

These goggles can be customized to fit your prescription needs. Allowing you to see clearly whenever you’re wearing them. They’re a great alternative to potentially losing contacts or having blurry vision all day.

Of course, one of the downsides of these goggles is that you need to wear them to see. If you take them off between sets or take a break, you’ll go back to your uncorrected vision. 

To counter this, you can always keep a set of glasses nearby, such as on a towel or in a case.

Just be sure they’re well protected so they don’t break. 🙂

As always, happy swimming!


Bonus Content:

6 Reasons You Should Wear a Swim Cap: Swim caps are a necessary evil and swimmers love to hate them. But why should you wear a swim cap and what’s the point of them?

How to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear: Swimmer’s ear can be a painful experience if left untreated. Here are 4 options to help you prevent swimmer’s ear and enjoy your summer.

Want to Improve at the Pool?

Join swimmers and swim parents to receive my free newsletter and receive a free Swimming Glossary e-book as a thanks!

Every month you’ll receive tips and coaching to help you find success at the pool.

1 thought on “7 Reasons to Wear Goggles When you Swim”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *