It is common to see swimmers with goggle straps either under or over their swim caps. Personally, I wear my goggle straps over my swim cap, but am I right or wrong?
Whether goggle straps go under or over a swim cap depends on personal preference. Typically, competitive or triathlon swimmers will place their goggle straps underneath their swim cap to prevent their goggles from falling off when diving into the water.
There can be a lot of debate about how to wear your goggles, as some competitive swimmers swear that placing the goggle straps underneath their swim cap is essential to performance.
In this article I am going to look at:
- Why wear goggle straps under a swim cap? The pros & cons
- Why wear goggle straps over a swim cap? The pros & cons
- How do pro swimmers wear their goggle straps?
Why Wear Goggle Straps Under A Swim Cap?
|The Pros – Goggle Straps Under Swim Cap
|The Cons – Goggle Straps Under Swim Cap
|Stops Goggles From Falling Off While Diving
|Generally More Uncomfortable
|Stops Goggles Falling Off In Open Water
|Difficult To Adjust Goggle Straps Mid-Swim
|Keeps Goggles In Place For Races
|Tiny Gaps At The Edge Of The Goggles
There are many advantages to wearing your swimming goggles underneath your swim cap. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Stops Goggles From Falling Off While Diving
When a swimmer dives into the water, it is amazing how much force it places on the goggles. By wearing the cap over the goggle strap, it is possible for the goggles to be pulled off the face.
At the very least, the goggles will become dislodged if they are not tightly fitted and held in place with the straps.
This is one of the main reasons swimmers wear their goggle straps underneath their swim caps.
The swim cap will clamp the goggles and straps in place, reducing the risk of the goggles being pulled off the face or becoming dislodged while diving.
2. Stops Goggles Falling Off In Open Water
Open water can be very turbulent and the force of the waves on the face can cause swim goggles to become dislodged. This can be dis-orientating and inconvenient for open water swimmers.
In addition, if goggles fall off in open water, they are much more difficult to find.
Many open water swimmers will place their goggle straps underneath their swim cap to ensure their goggles remain securely in place, whatever the open water throws at them.
Triathlon athletes will typically wear their goggle straps underneath their swim caps for the following reasons:
- While diving into the water, the swim cap will help keep the goggles in place.
- While swimming in a pack at the start of a race, the water is very turbulent. This can cause the goggles to become dislodged. Wearing a swim cap over the goggles adds that bit of extra security.
- Open water can be turbulent and cause goggles to be dislodged. During a race, a triathlon athlete will not want to be adjusting their goggles. Placing the swim cap over the goggles’ strap can help keep the goggles in place.
3. Keeps Goggles In Place For Races
Many competitive swimmers will wear their goggle straps underneath their swim cap to keep the goggles in place while they dive in and to maintain a good goggle fit throughout the race.
A swimmer cannot stop to re-adjust their goggles during a race, so it is important to maintain a good goggle fit for the duration of the race for optimum performance.
4. Reduces Drag
The secret to swimming fast is to reduce drag.
As a result, professional swimmers will have specially designed swimsuits and pay close attention to the fit of their swim caps to ensure they are as streamlined as possible in the water.
It has been regularly stated that swimmers place their goggle straps underneath their swim cap to reduce drag.
The swim cap profile should be as smooth as possible and the goggle strap interrupts this smoothness.
Although in theory this is true and fits with the laws of fluid dynamics, to my knowledge there is not any published academic research that proves that this has an impact in reality.
If you know about any data that shows how placing your goggle straps underneath your swim cap decreases drag please let me know, as I think this would be a fantastic piece of research.
1. More Uncomfortable
Wearing your goggle straps underneath your swim cap is generally more uncomfortable.
If you have long hair, putting your goggles on first can be tricky and the straps can pull on your hair.
2. Difficult To Adjust Goggle Straps Mid-Swim
Once you have fitted your goggles with the strap underneath your swim cap, it can be very tricky to re-adjust.
I am always fidgeting with my goggles while I swim. This is just a bad habit, as I have a great pair of goggles that fit really well.
Sometimes, while taking breaks at the pool wall, I like to take my goggles off to chat with other swimmers or give myself a rest from the discomfort of wearing goggles.
When your swim cap is over your goggle strap, this is generally more difficult to do.
3. Tiny Gaps At The Edge Of The Goggles
When you wear your swim cap over your goggle straps, there will be a gap where the goggles and swim cap overlap.
For some people, myself included, this is really annoying as it is possible to feel excess water entering the swim cap at this point.
This can be avoided with a suitable pair of goggles that do not overlap with the swim cap.
Why Wear Goggle Straps Over A Swim Cap? The Pros & Cons
|The Pros – Goggle Straps Over Swim Cap
|The Cons – Goggle Straps Over Swim Cap
|Generally More Comfortable
|Goggles Can Move In Turbulent Water
|Easy To Fit
|Goggles Can Come Off During A Dive
|Can Adjust Goggles Mid-Swim
1. More Comfortable
Typically, it is more comfortable to wear goggle straps over a swim cap as the goggle straps are not pulling on your hair or digging into your skull.
2. Easy To Fit
It is easier to fit a swim cap first and goggles second.
A swim cap can slip onto your head and the smooth surface area of the swim cap allows the straps to slip on and find a good position to sit on without interfering with hair.
3. Can Adjust Goggles Mid-Swim
With your swim goggles over your swim cap, they are easy to adjust. You can easily take your goggles off mid-swim or readjust the fit in the water if needed. This is generally more convenient for the average swimmer.
1. Goggles Can Move In Turbulent Water
When swimming in turbulent water, there is a greater chance that the goggles will become dislodged.
2. Goggles Can Come Off During A Dive
While diving, there is a greater chance that the goggles will come off as the force of the water can cause the goggles to become displaced.
Placing the goggles straps underneath the swim cap can really help to prevent this.
How Do Pro Swimmers Wear Their Goggle Straps?
With all this debate about the best way to wear swim caps, it can be interesting to look at the swimming pros to see how they wear their goggle straps.
Given that the main reason to wear your straps underneath your swim cap is to keep your goggles in place while diving and to reduce the drag as you swim competitively, you would expect all top swimmers to wear their goggle straps underneath their swim caps.
The following lists some of the world’s top swimmers and details how they wear their goggles.
Typically, the vast majority of professional swimmers choose to wear their swim straps under their swim caps.
|Goggle Straps Over Or Under Swim Cap?
Both goggle positions have pros and cons, so if you are a competitive swimmer, diver or triathlete, it might be worth experimenting with your google straps underneath your swim cap to see if this option is of benefit to you.
Looking at the world’s top competitive swimmers, they mostly wear their goggles underneath their swim caps, as it will allow them to dive and race quickly without their goggles becoming dislodged.
At the end of the day, whether you place your goggle swim straps over or under your swim cap comes down to personal preferences and you need to pick the option that works best for you.