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Custom-made swim goggles from TheMagic5

They are expensive, but live up to the hype thanks to outstanding fit and comfort

We all know there’s nothing worse than a pair of ill-fitting goggles for any sort of swim effort – a race, workout or open water swim. Leaking is one issue, but the sheer discomfort of an ill-fitting pair of goggles can make what should be a fun experience, well, let’s just say, not fun.

For years here at Triathlon Magazine Canada we’ve suggested that the best way to avoid those issues is to head to a reputable store that offers a wide variety of goggle styles from different brands, then finding the pair that works best for you. The age-old test used to be to fit them around your eyes and, if their was enough suction and grab that they stayed without putting the straps around, you were probably in good shape. Most triathletes have gone through that process and come up with a style that works for them, and religiously stuck to those goggles for years.

TheMagic5 goggles start at $88. The protective case is an extra US$14.

Now, though, the process has been taken to an entirely new level through a company called TheMagic5. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, the company offers custom-fitted swim goggles that are designed to match the contours of your face.

Photo: TheMagic5

You use a mobile app to do a facial scan that captures the specific dimensions of your face so the nose bridge, gasket and other components of the goggles can be matched specifically to your face. The app process is easy and intuitive and, once you’ve gone through the process, it’s easy to order yourself some custom goggles. The crew in North Carolina build up your custom goggles and ship them to you directly in three weeks. (Our goggles arrived within a couple of weeks.)

On the website (themagic5.com) you’ll find lots of different lens tint options. We opted for the indoor/ outdoor package that includes two pairs of goggles, the Blue Magic geared for indoor or low-light conditions, and the Blue Magic Mirror Gold that’s more versatile and suitable for outdoor swimming. (Right now TheMagic5 is offering $20 off for that package, which is listed at $169 vs the usual $189. Shipping is included in the price, but the excellent hard protective case with specially designed drainage holes is not – that’ll set you back an extra US$14.)

Related: What equipment should be in a triathlete’s swim bag

We hear you – that’s a lot of money for two pairs of goggles, but these custom-fitted goggles are every bit as comfortable as the price-tag suggests they should be. Since the goggles fit so precisely, you can wear them more loosely than you would other swim goggles, which can be quite disconcerting at first. You do need to resist the urge to tighten them up, though, and enjoy the comfortable fit.  You’ll have no problems wearing them for the longest swim sessions, whether in a pool or open water. We were more than happy with our lens choices, but there are mirrored and clear options for darker or much brighter conditions, too.

With almost two months of regular swimming in these goggles they haven’t ever leaked and we haven’t had any issues with them fogging up, either. The lenses offer excellent clarity and a surprising amount of peripheral vision for the small size, making them an excellent choice for either pool or open water swims. We can’t comment on the longevity of the goggles after less than two months of use, but so far there’s been no sign of wear and tear.

Jan Frodeno. Photo: TheMagic5

Yes, it’s a lot of money, but if you are an athlete who has struggled to find comfortable goggles in the past, TheMagic5 goggles might just be the answer to your issues. Three-time Ironman world champion Jan Frodeno actually decided he was going to wear these goggles before he approached the company about partnering with them – a tribute to the quality of the product.