14 June 2022
Though I have always ended up quite quickly returning to my beloved Speedo Vanquisher goggles, if there's one piece of swimming tech that I seem to be a sucker for, it's newfangled goggles. For example:
Over the years, I've experimented with a number of different "open water" specific goggles that each promised a wider field of vision, all the better for sighting. While I still sometimes train with an early model of TYR's open water goggles, something even before, but close to this current model, I've found the extra vision field not sufficient value-add for the increased heft and dimension, particularly for racing as it's a far better race strategy to draft off and sight off other swimmers for the majority of the race, and no extra wide view is needed for that. So, I have still raced in my Vanquishers.
I fell for the "heads-up" display technology of the Form goggles, only to find the in-eye digital readout more annoying than informative, and the bulkiness of the goggles uncomfortable. I don't regret trying them, and I did swim with them over a number of workouts to see if I could find value and comfort, but, in the end, a pace clock seems to be all I need from a timing device. I passed them along to one of my swimming daughters.
But, I once again got enamored with the newest trend - customized goggles mapped to your particular face, eye sockets and head. I'm not sure if Magic5 was the first, is the best, or is just the most heavily marketed brand, but their marketing sucked me in!
Only this time, I figured I'd be smarter about this.
Rather than me being the guinea pig, I got my swimming father (still going strong in his late 70s) a pair as a gift for Christmas. After some shipping snafus where the company failed to ship his pair and then, while trying to get him one pair, shipped him two pairs, my father tried them out ... and LOVED them. He has reported that his swimming experience does, indeed, border on magical as he found the goggles exceedingly comfortable and that, because they fit his eye sockets perfectly, he did not have to keep the straps so tight. One very satisfied customer.
Based upon my Dad's ringing endorsement and an email coupon for a discount on their Purple Mirror Gold model, I decided to make the leap, ordering these in early May.
After wearing them in three workouts, I'll say this: I might have finally found my "goggle soulmate."
Just like my father, I find these goggles exceptionally comfortable.
While they are not marketed as an open water goggle, they do have a great field of vision in the pool. I suspect they are going to work equally well in open water.
They are quite sleek with a very low profile; I don't think that the drag of goggles is a noticeable factor in race performance, but they feel like the "flushest to my face" fit I've exer had.
I have two racing experiences this weekend, both outdoors, with a long course pool meet today and an ocean open water swim tomorrow. My plan is to check out how these goggles perform in both, but, after well more than a decade, I just might have found my new favorite goggle!
I will leave my small readership with a couple more bits of advice:
Lesson #1 - setup individual accounts for individuals. Maybe this is obvious, but, as I had ordered my Dad's as a gift for him, his face / head profile was associated with my account. I had assumed that, with each pair ordered, you would upload a new face/head profile, but that's not the case. After I checked out and paid, I nearly immediately got a message saying that my goggles were in production using "my" previous scan. I will say that the Magic5 customer service response was incredibly quick when I notified them of this: they sent me a new link to setup a new face profile, which was easy to do.
Lesson #2 - Anticipate some supply chain and/or shipping problems. Both my Dad and I experienced shipping delays or snafus. I will give kudos to Magic5's customer support, as they were very responsive and eventually did get us the goggles, but they seem to have some production to delivery issues. I described my Dad's issue above. For me, they said they shipped my goggles and DHL even noted they had been delivered, but I never got them. When I notified their customer support team, they quickly sent another pair, but both they and I were befuddled as to what happened to the first shipment.
I have no affiliation with the company, am not a shill nor do I benefit in any way, but I do recommend these for training. I'll follow back up after the weekend with my perspective on their performance as racing goggles.