Whether or not you require vision correction, sunglasses can add an element of comfort and enhanced performance to your activities, while helping you look great.
Whether you are out on the field, the golf course, the waves or the mountains, you want your sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and enhance your visual experience. Sports and performance sunglasses are more than sun protection, they need to be designed for optimal, fit, comfort, acuity and strength, based on the demands of the sport or leisure activity you pursue.
Each element of your sports eyewear needs to be designed for active wear and to stand up to the tests of extreme weather conditions, rough play, impact and of course the sun. If you are fishing for example, you need anti-glare protection in your lenses for when the sun’s bright rays reflect off the water, you need a broad frame to keep out the mist and wind and you need strong frames and lenses for impact resistance. Most importantly, depending on your sport of choice, your glasses should assist in creating an enhanced visual experience so you can see and perform at your best.
Performance Sport Lenses
The first consideration when selecting your sports eyewear is the lens. You likely want a lightweight, strong and durable lens that can withstand impact from debris, other athletes, balls or falls. The leading lenses in this arena are polycarbonate or trivex lenses which are made from highly impact resistant plastic that has built-in UV protection.
Glare can be an annoying and uncomfortable distraction in outdoor activities, which can reduce vision and have a negative impact on sports performance. Polarized lenses will help to reduce the glare that is reflected off of wet, icy or shiny surfaces. Lens tints and coatings (such as anti-glare or anti-scratch coatings) can also help to improve visual clarity and can serve to reduce glare and to enhance contrast sensitivity to improve vision and therefore performance in certain outdoor activities. Some sports sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses of different tints to allow you to choose the contrast that most suits the conditions you are playing in.
When selecting sports sunglass frames, the most important consideration is whether they have a comfortable and secure fit. Look for a pair that is strong and durable, yet lightweight and that doesn’t press into your face and cause discomfort at the temples or the bridge of the nose. For some sports like snowboarding, sports goggles might be the best option for the weather conditions and specific nature of the movement. Some frame options come with grips on the nose pads or temples to avoid slippage, particularly when you perspire.
Sports sunglasses are available in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes and the type that is best for you largely depends on the activities you participate in and what they demand. It is best to consult with your eye doctor or optician to get a full picture of your eye, vision and athletic needs in order to find the best pair of sports sunglasses for you.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors or driving in the car, and still need vision correction, prescription sunglasses are perfect for soothing the eyes. Since most prescription sunglasses manufacturers block 100% UV, prescription sunglasses are a healthy way to enjoy the outdoors (especially the beach) and driving using the darkest lenses available to protect against the brightness of the sun.
For reduced glare and increased clarity in your vision, a pair of polarized sunglasses can’t be beat. An invisible filter is built into your lenses—making images appear sharper and clearer while reducing the intensity of the sun’s glare. Make sure your polarized sunglasses block 100% UV, and remember that polarized sunglasses are available with or without a prescription.
It’s always handy to have a second pair of eyeglasses—why not choose a second pair that makes a real difference in the comfort and clarity of vision while doing the things you love most!
Special thanks to the EyeGlass Guide, for informational material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the EyeGlass Guide today!
Everyone should have a good pair of sunglasses. Whether you wear prescription eyeglasses or not, sunglasses are important for every age, race and gender. While sunglasses may be considered a must-have fashion accessory, even more importantly, they play a critical role in protecting your eyes from UV (ultraviolet) and other harmful radiation from the sun. They also shield your eyes from wind, dust and debris that could cause discomfort, dryness or damage.
Sunglasses should be worn in the winter as well as the summer and should be 100% UV blocking. This doesn’t mean that you have to pay a fortune for your shades. Even cheaper brands of sunglasses are made these days with full UV protection, so take the extra time to ensure you select ones that do offer full protection from the sun’s rays.
Sunglass frames are made in a wide variety of materials from plastics and acetates, to wood and natural materials to metals, such as aluminum, steel or titanium. Before you select a pair of frames, think about your lifestyle and what type of material will be most suitable for you. If you live an active lifestyle, sturdy and durable frames are a must. If you have sensitive skin, look for a pair made with hypoallergenic material that is light and fits comfortably. Make sure you select a pair that fits well, looks good and properly blocks the sun to ensure that you feel confident and comfortable when you are wearing them.
Sunglasses serve as a combination of function and fashion and therefore come in a plethora of shapes and styles. Sunglasses are often larger than eyeglasses to cover more surface area and prevent sunlight from entering around the lenses. While fashion sunglasses are made in all of the latest styles from aviator to cat eyes, round, square and oversized, sports sunglasses are generally more durable and broad, often in wraparound styles that prevent sunlight from entering from the sides as well. Wrap-around frames are a good option for athletes, fishermen and bikers that spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun.
Lenses are the most important part of any pair of sunglasses. As mentioned above, all lenses should block 100% UV rays but beyond that there are many options for sunglass lenses. Polycarbonate or trivex lenses are impact-resistant to increase safety during sports and outdoor activities. Polarized lenses help to reduce glare and are particularly helpful during activities on or near the water such as boating, fishing or beaching. Anti-glare and anti-scratch coatings are also beneficial to maintain your best vision in a variety of conditions.
For the fashion conscious there are a number of colors and reflective coatings available for sunglass lenses. It’s best to choose the lenses that allow for the most accurate color vision with the least amount of distortion to ensure they don’t obstruct clear vision.
While it’s important to choose sunglasses that you like from a style and appearance perspective, it’s also important to pay attention to comfort and fit. Here are a few tips for purchasing sunglasses that fit well for maximum comfort and sun protection:
- Make sure the lenses completely cover your eyes and provide extra coverage above and to the sides.
- The frames shouldn’t pinch at your temples or the nosepiece and should be wide enough for your face.
- Ensure that the frames aren’t too wide and stay in place when you move your head around.
Sunglasses for Prescription Eyeglass Users
If you wear prescription eyeglasses there are a number of options for sun protection. These options include prescription sunglasses, photochromic lenses (which turn from clear lenses to dark when you go outside), clip-ons, fitovers (which are sunglasses that go over your prescription eyewear) or wearing contact lenses with plano (non-prescription) sunglasses. Speak to your optician to determine the best option for you.
Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley was created for world-class athletes. The company is recognized as one of the most coveted brands in performance technology and fashion. Oakley has a passion that redefines what is possible for those who defy their own limits.
- Over 600 patents have been awarded to Oakley. Technologies transcend sports to enhance the lives of consumers,
- Oakley products are available in more than 110 countries.
- Products include premium sunglasses, goggles, prescription eyewear, apparel, footwear and accessories.
- The company’s optics brand portfolio includes Eye Safety Systems, Fox Racing, Mosley Tribes, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, and Paul Smith Spectacles.
Maui Jim started in 1980 as a small company selling sunglasses on the beach in Lahaina, Hawaii. Seeing a need in the market for technology that could combat intense glare and harmful UV, while bringing the brilliant colors of the island to life, they engineered the revolutionary PolarizedPlus® lens into seven new sunglass styles, including their Classic Collection which now has a cult following.
- Maui Jim is the fastest growing premium polarized sunglass maker in the world.
- The company continues to develop high performance design innovations that improve upon already outstanding acuity and adaptation to various light conditions including color enhancing treatments and precision prescription optics.
- Maui Jim prides itself on providing the most vivid and bright color enhancement available on the market, developed on site amongst the bright island colors.
- In addition to the classic, aviator style sunglasses many associate with the brand name, Maui Jim provides high quality sports sunwear for the active outdoorsman including golf, snow sports, fishing and marine, fitness and endurance, tennis and ocean wear.