I’m a bit of an equipment geek - probably in the hope that I can buy my way out of a lack of ability . . .
I had to get some new shorts at the weekend, and went to my local sports / chav-chic super store. Next to the counter, they had a large display of Arena goggles - all at 50% off. Well . . . I clearly wasn’t to blame for what happened next, was I?
For the last two years, I’ve had a pair of Speedo Speedsockets, which I bought in frustration at cheeper Speedos not quite fitting my face properly. These seemed a lot better, but still had a tendancy to start leaking at the most inconvenient times . . . like never in training swims, but in every race! Also, to keep them watertight at all, I was always left looking like a panda / someone who’d spent too long on a “What The Butler Saw” machines. No matter how I adjusted the nose and headstrap, this always hapened.
Like El Zappoman, I’m fairly thin skinned - especially when the cool kids are looking down on me. I’ve noticed that the cool triathletes are wearing goggles that look more like ski goggles these days. So when I saw some rather groovy Arena Cyclone goggles at only £9.99 . . .
These are a one-piece moulding, more like a diving mask, except they don’t enclose your nose. The material’s nice and soft, with dark lenses. I tried them on in the shop, and they passed the ’suction test’ with ease (i.e. press them into place without the strap and see if they stick).
I tried them out this morning in the pool, and found them better than traditional goggles for visibility, and 100% more comfortable on the fit. The only niggle was that I had to tighten the strap a little more than I’d have liked to prevent leaks when I wrinkled my nose or frowned. But again, although this did leave me with some marks on my face, it was much less pronounced than with the Speedos - by the time I’d showered, my face was back to it’s usual condition (fantastic good looks - a combination of boyish charm and weathered ruggedness . . . .)
So my overall rating . . . 8/10 - especially at less than a tenner, and definitely worth a go if you’ve got fed up with traditional two-piece goggles.