When it comes to mirrored, metallic, polarized and smoke-colored lenses, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what is what. Here is a concise explanation.
Metallic, or mirrored, lenses are dark-tinted outdoor lenses best suited for either frequent use or competition. If you swim at noon, practice every day, or have a big swim meet coming up, you might consider any combination of mirrored, polarized and prescription goggles. .
If you swim a lot of backstroke in an indoor pool, or even in the open ocean waters, metallic or mirrored lenses may be the best choice. You also may want to consider prescription swim goggles, mirrored or smoke lenses, if you do a lot of water aerobics. What we did discover was that it is quite possible to find swim goggles of every type, but that prescription mirrored polarized swim goggles are extremely rare. It is also possible to find polarized goggles without mirroring, but again, with a prescription, these are very hard to find.
Mirrored goggles are a form of metalized coating over tinted lenses. Mirrored goggles are preferred even indoors by some swimmers because regular goggles get the glare of the lights hitting the water, which can be very distracting, even dangerous. If you find the mirrored or tinted lenses make sure they offer UVA or UVB protection. These are the smart choice for all swimmers whether they are swimming in a pool or in the ocean.
The reason you see bounced light or refracted images is this:
Most polarized lenses in glasses are laminated with tiny vertical stripes like Venetian-style blinds that only allow vertically angled light to enter the wearer’s eyes. Glare is eliminated because the horizontal light waves cannot bypass the vertical filter. If you want versatile goggles, black or blue lenses are a good pick. These lenses don’t block the sun as well as metallic lenses, nor do they make the water look lighter. But they are fine for cloudy days, a casual swim, and indoor pools that are well-lit.
To summarize, any combination of mirrored, metallic, polarized or prescription swim goggles are probably going to be much more advantageous than just regular clear lenses.