First things first: when it comes to swimming goggles, I’m a Zoggs girl. I’ve tried a few since I started swimming and doing triathlon, but I’ve always come back to Zoggs because they fit my face best. This is one of the key issues when selecting goggles, much like with running shoes, it’s a very personal choice and what’s best for your friends may not necessarily be the most comfortable for you. That said, here are a few insights on what I think about my two go-to models for swim training and racing in the pool: the Zoggs Racespex and the Zoggs Fusion Air.
Profile and Fit
Both goggles are low profile and sit nice and snug in your face. They both come with exchangeable nose pieces so you can adjust the width of the eye gaskets to make them fit for you. The straps make them easily adjustable and generally, I don’t have to do a lot of readjusting from session to session. Over all the Zoggs Fusion Air warp a bit closer around your face which is mainly due to how and where the straps are attached to the goggles.
Field of vision
In terms of field of vision, the two pairs of goggles differ vastly. The Zoggs Racespex have a very straight field of vision, a bit like blinders which is due to the attachment loop for the straps. The Zoggs Fusion Air have a wider field of vision and you can easily see what is going on around you. Initially, I was slightly irritated by the limited field of vision of the Racespex, however, it made me realise how little I focused on what was going on with my stroke and what other people around me are doing. In a race situation, I found the straight view of the Racespex very useful because it forced me to focus on myself, my stroke and not get distracted and fussed over the other swimmers, thus allowing me to maintain technique rather than trying to thrash after other people. Lens colour choice is also interesting: my Racespex have gold mirrored lenses and that transforms even the drabbest pool into a bright swim. My Fusion Air have grey smoked lenses which is fine in any conditions and dims it down a tad if it’s really bright. Both models come with a wide choice of lense colours, mirrored and non-mirrored.
One feature of goggles that I find particularly important, especially if you are going straight to work from your swim is the extent to which they give you panda eyes. You know that ring around your eyes where the seal of the gaskets sucks on the delicate skin around your eyes. It’s not an elegant look and no make-up in the world is covering that one up. The Zoggs Fusion Air have air cushion technology built in, so that the gaskets sit more comfortably on your eyes and marking is limited. This is particularly useful for those with extremely sensitive skin. I have seen people go home after a swim who looked like they had been in a fist fight: the Fusion Air are made for them. However, while the Zoggs Racespex do not come with the same air cushion technology, they come with soft seal technology which moulds to the face and also has a minimally marking effect. The two pictures below are both taken within 5 minutes of finishing a 1 hour swim session, so you get an impression of the extent of the marking.
In terms of style and colour selection, the Racespex are the clear winner. They come in a range of funky sometimes clashing colour choices, which makes them the decidedly more fun line. If you are in the colour co-ordination game, then the Fusion Air maybe offer the safer choice, with a nice line of colours. That said, my Racespex work beautifully together with the colourful Zoggs swimsuits.
As I said at the start, I am a big fan of both models and although they are very different from each other, I like each for different reasons. I have worn both in races and they performed impeccably (any grumbling you’ve heard from me on Twitter or Facebook were operator error. Dive starts need practice). I usually have both of them in my swim bag and pick whichever takes my fancy on the day. I’ve lent my Racespex recently to one of my team mates who we recruited on short notice for a relay and she went straight to the shop an bought a pair.
At £12 the Zoggs Racespex come in slightly cheaper than the Zoggs Fusion Air at £18 if money is an object. They are both solid goggles suitable for training and racing and which ones you prefer for your swims will come down to personal preference.