Sunglasses can play a key role in not just protecting your eyes while you’re active and playing sports, but also in enhancing your performance. Choosing the right frames and lenses is critical, whether you’re a recreational or professional athlete.
First and foremost, it’s important to think about the activity or activities you need sunglasses for. Do you just need protection from the sun, or should your sunglasses protect you from dirt and debris as well? How important is your peripheral vision? How long will you be wearing your frames for at a time? Is your movement likely to cause your sunglasses to fall off? If you wear contact lenses, sunglasses can play an increased role in protecting from factors such as wind.
Each of these questions and corresponding answers provides direction as to the type of glasses you should be looking for.
Mountain bikers, for instance, need comfortable, durable glasses that will protect their eyes from sunlight as well as dirt, wind, and even insects. Given the propensity of mountain bikers towards big falls, scratch-resistance is also a plus. Tennis players on the other hand, can benefit from lenses that enhance yellow shades, thereby emphasising the yellow tennis ball. Glasses should be light and secure, never distracting the player from the task at hand, and enabling them to quickly capture minute movements all across their entire field of vision. Tennis players may also have to contend with more direct sunlight than mountain bikers, especially if they find themselves serving or hitting directly into the sun. Marathon runners and golfers both need frames that will remain comfortable for long periods of time.
Looking specifically at lenses, photochromic lenses will automatically adjust to different lighting conditions. Other frames offer interchangeable lenses, so you can choose lenses corresponding to the day’s weather. Prescription sunglasses are often available for those who do not wear contacts, and polarised lenses can help reduce glare. There are a myriad of options available, so depending on your priorities and price point, you should be able to find the ideal frames to meet your needs.
Finally, many do not want to disregard style for the sake of function, and with the wide range of frames on the market, it is no longer necessary to make this trade-off. While oversized Channel shades may not be the most conducive to rock climbing, stylish frames do exist that can satisfy your needs and wants at the same time.
The bottom line is to do your research, because choosing sports sunglasses is about more than just about staying within your budget and finding frames that fit your face shape. The right frames will keep you looking great and let you focus on the game or activity at hand, so you can perform your very best whatever the weather.