There is a glut of goggles on the market all claiming to be different and special.
From the wide scuba like masks that claim 140 degree vision to the minimalist, old school socket rockets, whatever your preference/goal is there is a goggle for it.
Since everyone has different facial structures it is hard to rate one over another. However, we can give you our impressions on how to choose best goggle for triathlon and rank them based on what we find as universal traits that people look for in a goggle:
- Suction and feel
- Visibility in open water and pool performance
For the below review I will rank these goggles on a 5 point scale of 1-Worthless to 5-Awesome.
The Joci goggles, which are new this year, are one of the best rated and selling goggles on the Amazon market–which is a very good sample size when you look at the numbers and purchasing trends. Their Free Swim Swimming Goggles claim to fit a wide range of facial structures, from adults to kids.
They are similar in size and shape to the Special Ops 2.0 by TYR but are slightly bigger than the Speedo Vanquishers that I currently use. They are certainly not a mask though.
Overall, when it comes to looks, I personally like the “olympic swimmer” look of my Speedo Vanquishers slightly better than the Joci, but they are not bad looking especially when you throw a swim cap on. The gray lenses too are a nice touch and do give an intimidating “don’t mess with me” look. My score but this is personal preference: 4 out of 5
As far as fit, when I first tried these on, I immediately noticed the close fit that they had and the instant suction. Even without using the straps they fit snuggly into my eye sockets. However, maybe because of the close fit, I did get a slight “racoon” face after 90 minutes of practice.
The marks did disappear by the time I got to work, but the effect is worth noting. They certainly live up to their claim of fitting a variety of faces too. My wife who has a very different bone structure with narrower eye sockets also tried them on and they were just as snug on her as they were on me. Even with the tight fit though I could not feel them on my face. I would confidently give the Joci a 5 out of 5 for suction and feel.
The Joci also claim to be anti fog, a claim that held well. After two weeks of daily use including an open water race, the goggles did not fog up or leak once. They remained just as clear as the first swim. They get a 5 out of 5 in this category.
Now onto the most important category: visibility in practice and races. In the pool this matters less but is still important. Since they did not fog up at all nor did they leak, the Joci had perfect vision in the pool and I was able to see my “competitors” (i.e. the bloke doing laps two lanes down) fairly well. Even in open water I had near perfect visibility.
For the first half of my race, I was swimming into the sun and while the goggles were not mirrored I still could see fairly well both when I sighted and when I was swimming.
I think my mirrored Vanquisher goggles would have performed better when sighting but I would not have as much visibility when it comes to other swimmers and my place in the race. Overall, these get a solid 4 out 5. What would make them a 5 would be mirroring the lenses or having an option to do so.
Overall, I think the Joci are well worth buying or trying out especially if you like a snug fit and cannot find a goggle that does not fit your face. If you are more traditional than stick with your socket rockets.