Form Smart Swim Goggles have been widely adopted by age-groupers and pros but what’s that first-swim experience really like in the pool?
We had the opportunity to try Form’s goggles alongside pro stars Kristian Blummenfelt and Skye Moench at the 2022 Collins Cup in Slovakia, giving us the chance for a first-swim verdict on the tech that’s taking tri by storm.
But first up, a quick explainer of how the goggles work for the uninitiated. Form Smart Swim Goggles feature a small screen built into one of the goggle lenses (you can wear them either way) giving a high-contrast display while swimming. This can include metrics like time, distance, pace, interval or rest details, splits, calories burned, heart rate (via a Polar sensor), stroke count, stroke rate and distance per stroke. You can even pair with compatible Garmin and Apple watches for use in open water.
With the onboard electronics taking care of stroke detection, turns and rest periods, this means a totally hands-off approach, allowing you to concentrate on your stroke or workout with instant feedback.
The swanky 50m outdoor pool at x-bionic sphere, the 2022 Collins Cup venue, provided the perfect venue for testing in harsh light conditions. Here, two of the Triathlon Vibe team got some solid time in the water with the tech alongside Blummenfelt and Moench, two of the top pros who partner with the brand. So did Form’s goggles live up to the hype? Let’s dive in and find out.
From the first stroke or two, any worries about the clarity of the screen were instantly dispelled by the crystal clear view despite being outside in bright sunlight. Another couple of lengths later and the display, which you can easily imagine being obstructive, proved to be nothing of the sort. It’s always right there when you need it, but look further ahead or at the bottom of the pool and it quickly goes out of focus without impeding your vision or distracting from the job at hand.
With all the measurements coming from the sensors on the goggles, we were intrigued to find out how reactive the goggles were to turns and rests. The answer was ‘very’. On every turn, the goggles’ display flashed up pace, giving a handy insight without having to show that field all the time. Meanwhile, stopping at the end of a length quickly triggers the rest timer, with no need to press a button. But if you do need to tweak anything mid-session, the Form goggles’ two-button operation is also a cinch to use.
Having the data right in front of you when you need it is the biggest winner with the Form Smart Swim Goggles. As you focus on one element of your stroke, getting instant feedback on everything from distance per stroke to your pace is so valuable for self-improvers.
Meanwhile being able to hone pace and desist from going out too hard during intervals is another benefit that’ll pay dividends when racing. One other unforeseen plus was that the display can make you more aware of your head positioning, helping to avoid unwanted head rotation.
In terms of accuracy, the Form goggles were the clear victor against our Garmin Forerunner 245. Not admittedly one of Gamin’s top-spec watches, but the total distance was correct on the goggles and short on the watch.
There’s a big practical element here too. There’s zero distraction from glancing at a watch face during turns, pressing buttons for laps or wondering if you’re on pace. That’s not only great while swimming, but means that during rest periods, you can concentrate on getting in deep breaths rather than fiddling with a watch.
In short, the Form Smart Swim Goggles take care of it all, letting you get on with the business of improving your swimming.