Swimming goggles

8 Best Swimming Goggles For Competition

swimmer wearing competition swimming goggles in a race

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Swimming goggles have come to play a major part in the world of competitive swimming. Over the last few decades, we have seen massive improvements in swimming technology. Today we will take a look at the best swimming goggles for competition.

We have seen tech suits that helped professional swimmers break over 43 world records in a single week at the 2009 World Aquatic Championships in Rome. Since then swimming technology has just been improving, with new tech suits and competition swim goggles being released every year.

Yes, today there are strict regulations regarding tech suits and swimming goggles, yet swimming technology is still improving by the day with hundreds of skilled engineers working on designing better swimming goggles for competition.

Swimming goggles deserve more credit than they get and they probably play a bigger role in a race than you think they do.

Have you ever realized how easy they make it for you to spot the walls and time your turns perfectly so that you can get the maximum competitive advantage?

Or how they help you keep an eye on your opponents swimming next to you or even two lanes away, without even moving your head in the slightest…

We won’t even discuss how they keep our eyes protected from chlorine and splashing water, allowing us to focus on what we do best- Racing.

It is clear that swimming goggles play a big role in the sport, therefore you want to make sure that you can get your hands on the best swimming goggles for competition to give you that extra advantage in the water. With that being said let’s get to the best competition swimming goggles.


Here are the 8 best swimming goggles for competition-

1.) Arena Cobra Ultra Swimming Goggles

Competition swimming goggle- Arena Cobra UltraEveryone knows about the famous Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles. These are easily one of the best pairs of swimming goggles for competition out there.

I have had my own share of experience with the Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles and I can hands down say that I love them. (I even did a full review on them, you can read it here- Arena Cobra Ultra Swimming Goggles Review)

The Arena Cobra ultras are designed for racing, they have probably one of the lowest profile and hydrodynamic designs out there.

These goggles offer awesome peripheral vision, allowing you to see all around you without having to break your streamline.

The Cobra ultras are also really durable, I have had one of my pairs for nearly 3 years now and although they are a bit scratched up and I had to replace the head strap once, they still work just fine.

Personally, I really like the Arena Cobra Ultra’s, they are a great swimming goggle and are great for racing and competition.



2.) MP Xceed swimming goggles

MP Xceed swimming gogglesThe MP Xceed swimming goggles are the works of the famous Olympic swimmer- Michael Phelps, his coach- Bob Bowman and an entire team of engineers that helped design one of the best swimming goggles for competition and in general out there.

The MP Xceed swimming goggles are really comfortable and offer good peripheral vision in the water. The main reason for their luxury comfort is because they feature ultra-soft softeril gaskets.

These gaskets also allow for a nice secure fit and watertight design.

The MP Xceed swimming goggles are designed with a semi-rigid exoskeleton maximizing the structure, strength, and stability of the goggle.

Overall the MP Xceed swimming goggles are a really nice pair of swimming goggles for competition. They aren’t as low profile as the Arena Cobra Ultra’s, but are still a solid choice.



3.) Speedo Fastskin 3 Elite swimming Goggles

swimming goggle for competition- Speedo Fastskin 3 EliteThe Speedo Fastskin 3 Elite swimming goggles are the trademark racing goggle of Speedo. They have a very similar looking design to the MP Xceed swimming goggles.

Another cool thing to note is that they were designed as part of the world’s first racing system. an Engineered swimming cap, goggle (the fastskin 3’s) and tech suit, designed to work in harmony.

The Speedo Fastskin 3’s have a hydroscopic lens, allowing for a pretty nice field of vision in the water.

A Really neat part of this swimming goggle is the IQ fit goggle strap, this strap is a fully integrated one piece strap, allowing for dangling strap ends to be eliminated, reducing resistance in the water.

Overall, the Speedo Fastskin 3 swimming goggles are a great pair of swimming goggles, they are premium goggles, allowing for some good comfort, vision and durability.



4.) Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 swimming goggles

Best swimming goggles- Speedo Speed SocketsNext up we have yet again Speedo, with the Speedo Speed Socket swimming goggles. These are another really solid pair of swimming goggles for competition and swimming in general from speedo’s side.

Something cool to note about these goggles is that they were worn by the legendary Caeleb Dressel, during the FINA World Champions, where he had won 7 gold medals!

These goggles are quite comfortable, thanks to their sleek inner eye fit, hypo-allergenic comfort seals and silicone head strap. They have a lot of features similar to their big brother- The Speedo Fastskin 3 swimming goggles.

Their lenses are designed in such a way, allowing for a wide field of vision in the water.

Overall, a really solid pair of swimming goggles for competition, with some nice features.



5.) TYR Blackhawk swimming goggles

TYR Blackhawk gogglesAccording to breaststroke swimming legend- Cody Miller (Olympic gold and bronze medalist). These are his preferred swimming goggles for competition.

These swimming goggles are manufactured using 100% silicone allowing for a really durable swimming goggle. They have a really low profile design, allowing for reduced resistance in the water.

The TYR Blackhawk swimming goggles also offer really nice peripheral vision in the water and they include dura fast silicone gaskets, allowing for a really tight and comfortable goggle.

Overall, the TYR Blackhawk swimming goggles are an awesome pair of swimming goggles for competition and will get the job done, just perfectly.



6.) Arena Cobra Goggles

Arena Cobra swimming gogglesThe Arena Cobra Goggle is like the little brother of the Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles. These goggles are slightly less advanced but still, make for a solid racing goggle.

They offer a really low profile, hydrodynamic design allowing for reduced resistance in the water, ultimately making you faster.

They have awesome peripheral vision, allowing you to spot your opponents next to you.

The Arena Cobra Goggles also include a dual, silicone strap allowing for a really nice and secure fit and stability in the water.

In my opinion, the Arena Cobra goggles are another solid pair of swimming goggles for competition with a good set of features packed into them.



7.) TYR Socket Rocket Goggles

TYR Socket rocket swimming gogglesIf you are a fan of that classic Swedish looking, low profile swimming goggle design, then the TYR Socket Rockets are the way to go.

These swimming goggles offer a really sleek, low profile design, reducing resistance in the water. They have a silicone gasket allowing for a really comfortable feel to the face.

The TYR Socket Rocket swimming goggles are manufactured 100% from silicone, allowing for a really nice and durable swimming goggle.

Their optical grade polycarbonate lenses are also really durable and offer some insane peripheral vision in the water (up to 180-degrees!)

Overall, the TYR Socket Rocket swimming goggles are a really solid pair of swimming goggles, loaded with cool features. These will certainly be a good option.



8.) Arena Swedix goggles

Once again, chasing that classic Swedish swimming goggle design, we have the Arena Swedix swimming goggles.

The Arena Swedix swimming goggles are probably some of the most lightweight and low profile swimming goggles for competition out there.

They lack a bit when it comes to peripheral vision, but this is done on purpose. The goggles were designed with the idea of enhancing forward vision in mind, this will allow the swimmer to improve head and body alignment in the water.

All in all, this is a really nice pair of swimming goggles, that will completely fulfill your competition swimming goggles needs!



Here are some of the things I looked at when considering what are some of the best swimming goggles for competition-

  • Peripheral Vision

Peripheral Vision, meaning how wide your field of vision is in the goggles, is arguably one of the most important factors when choosing swimming goggles for competition.

You want to be able to spot your opponents in the lanes next to you, without breaking streamline and placing yourself at a disadvantage.

This way you will know when to speed up if you are falling behind. Ultimately it could help you win the race, by giving you that heads up to push just a little harder.


  • Secure Fit

We have all seen it, many of us have even experienced it ourselves. You are sitting at a meet watching some of the races and all of the sudden you notice that one swimmer in lane 3 swimming with his goggles hanging on his chin.

Not fun, not fun. This is going to make it really hard to swim a proper race, focused completely on what you should be focusing on. Instead, you are going to have to worry about being able to see your turns, whilst being heavily distracted by water splashing in your face the entire time.


  • Low profile design

Having a low profile design is a very important part when it comes to choosing the best swimming goggles for competition.

Competitive swimming is all about reducing resistance in the water as much as possible and going as fast as possible.

Therefore reducing resistance in every single way you can is very important. a Low profile goggle design will help to reduce resistance even more and help you to swim that tiny bit faster.


  • Comfort

Comfort is an important part of choosing a swimming goggle for competition. You want to be able to focus on your race, your turns, your stroke, breathing, whatever… You get the idea.

You’re not going to be able to focus with an uncomfortable goggle digging into your face. That is why a comfortable swimming goggle is important.

Then you will be able to focus on swimming your race, without being irritated by a hard piece of plastic around your eyes the entire time.


  • Durability

In case you haven’t noticed, competition swimming goggles can be a bit on the pricy side sometimes. Therefore you want a durable swimming goggle.

This will save you a lot of money and will protect you from running the risk of your swimming goggles breaking before or even in the middle of your race.


  • Tinted or Mirrored Lenses

This is mostly for the outdoor swimmers, especially the backstroke swimmers. In case you haven’t realized by now, there is a giant ball of burning gas above our heads for most of the day.

This giant ball of gas is named the sun, and it can be quite bright sometimes, making it hard to see what you are doing in the water.

Therefore a good pair of tinted swimming goggles might not be a bad idea since you will be able to swim without having to worry about the Sun’s bright rays shining in your eyes.



So there you have it, that is my complete list of the 8 best swimming goggles for competition. There is no doubt about it that swimming goggles have come to play a major role in helping us swim faster and better.

In my opinion, there is also a psychological benefit in having a specific pair of goggles for training and racing. That way when you put on your competition swim goggles, your mind will know it is go time and you are now ready to swim some fast times in the pool.

Here is a quick list of the 8 Best swimming goggles for competition again-

  1. Arena Cobra Ultra swimming goggles
  2. Mp Xceed goggles
  3. Speedo Fastskin 3 Elite swimming goggles
  4. Speedo Speed Socket 2.0 goggles
  5. TYR Blackhawk swimming goggles
  6. Arena Cobra goggles
  7. TYR Socket Rocket swimming goggles
  8. Arena Swedix Goggles



FAQ- Frequently asked questions regarding swimming goggles for competition.


  • How do I keep my swimming goggles from scratching?

Generally, with time swimming goggles will scratch no matter what. However, there are a few ways to make protect them from scratching and keep them in mint condition for longer.

1.) Invest in a protective case. Yes, I know this might sound a bit simple and basic, but this actually really helps with protecting your goggles in general, not just from scratching. Arena has designed a really nice one, I use it personally and I’m a big fan. You can check it out on Amazon- HERE

2.) When getting out of the pool after swim training, do not take your goggles off until you are outside of the pool. The reason being is, I see a lot of swimmers taking their goggles off before they get out.

Then when they get out by the wall, they will usually place their goggles face down and press down on them as they jump out, causing the  goggles to scratch

3.) Don’t swim into the lane ropes! Yes, I know this might sound a bit cliche, but I have actually seen swimmers who messed up their goggles quite badly by swimming into the lane ropes…


  • How long do swimming goggles last?

There isn’t really a specific time frame for how long swimming goggles last. Most of the time it all depends on how well you look after them. If you take good care of them, they will obviously last much longer.

It also depends on the quality of the goggle. Higher quality goggles, like the Arena Cobra Ultra’s and MP Xceed swimming goggles, will last longer than other less expensive goggles.

I would, however, say that most of these goggles should last you at least a year or two minimum.


  • Are mirrored swimming goggles better?

This really all depends on whether you compete indoors or outdoors. If you race mostly outside then you would probably be better off, swimming with mirrored goggles, since they will dim the light on the inside of the goggle and make it more comfortable for you to swim with.

On the other hand, if you compete mostly indoors then you might want to consider going with polarized lenses since they are better at filtering glare.


More Swimming Articles-

  • 8 Best Swimming Goggles For Laps– Didn’t I just mention it is a good idea to have two separate pairs of swimming goggles, 1 for training and the other for racing. That way your body will know it is time to race or train depending on which pair you are wearing. Our minds are weird, yet powerful.


  • Why ever swimmer should do pull-ups– Check out this article, where I discuss why all swimmers should do pull-ups! There are many benefits for swimmers in doing pull-ups, so why not find out what they are?


  • Arena Carbon Air Review– The Arena Carbon Air is easily one of my favorite tech suits. There are so many awesome things and features about it and it’s super light too! Check out this article where I do a full review on the Arena Carbon Air, you might just consider snatching yourself one up too!


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About the author



I am Benjamin, a competitive swimmer with many years of experience in the sport of swimming. I am very passionate about competitive swimming and love sharing everything I have learned about the sport. I specialize in swimming butterfly and my favorite event is the 100m butterfly with the 50m and 200m fly closely following.

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