Why Sunglasses Are Essential for Sports

You're ready to hit the slopes, trails, or courts, but don't step outside without the most important piece of gear - sunglasses. The right pair of shades is crucial for outdoor adventures. Squinting in the glaring sun slows you down and strains your eyes. Protect your peepers and enhance performance with sunglasses designed for your sport. Learn how to pick the perfect pair to match your activity, from stylish specs for cycling to goggles for hitting the waves. Discover which lens features and frames are best for hiking, running, skiing, and more. We'll recommend top sunglass brands so you can score a durable and versatile pair to take on any bright-light challenge. With the scoop on specialty shades, you'll be ready to play all day in total UV protection and comfort.

Features to Look for in Sports Sunglasses

When you're active outdoors, sunglasses aren't just for looking cool - they're critical safety gear. Without proper eye protection, the sun's UV rays can damage your eyes over time and even cause temporary vision issues that impair your performance.

Shield Against UV Rays

The most important reason to wear sunglasses during sports is to block UV radiation. Too much sun exposure can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration, and other issues. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

Reduce Glare

Sunglasses also reduce glare from the sun, snow, sand or water. Glare can cause eye strain, make it hard to see, and lead to headaches. Polarized lenses are especially effective at cutting glare from reflective surfaces.

Protect Your Eyes

For sports where there's a risk of eye injuries from flying debris, choose sunglasses with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and a wraparound design. These offer the most protection for activities like cycling, skiing or watersports.

Enhance Visibility

The right sunglasses can actually help you see better during sports by enhancing contrast and filtering out visual noise. For example, yellow tinted lenses can help with depth perception and visibility in low light conditions. Mirrored or flash coated lenses reduce excess light and glare.

With so many options for sports sunglasses available today, there's no reason to be out in the sun without proper eye protection. Find a pair tailored to your needs and favorite activities so you can stay safe and perform your best.

Best Sunglasses for Cycling, Running and Hiking

When you're active outside, the right sunglasses are essential for both performance and protection. Look for sunglasses specifically designed for sports and outdoor activities.

The most important feature is impact-resistant lenses, usually made of polycarbonate plastic. These lenses can take a beating and are less likely to shatter on impact. They'll protect your eyes from anything from a squash ball to a tree branch.

You'll also want sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from the sun's harmful rays. UV protection is especially important at higher altitudes, like when skiing or mountaineering.

For most sports, polarized lenses are ideal. They reduce glare, allowing you to see terrain details and spot potential hazards. Polarized lenses are great for cycling, golfing, boating, and driving.

Wrap-around frames or side shields prevent light from entering at the sides. They keep your vision clear and help the sunglasses grip your head securely. Wrap-arounds are good for sports like tennis, running, and field sports.

Ventilated frames allow for maximum airflow, preventing fogging and keeping you comfortable. Look for tiny holes in the frames and lenses, especially for high-energy sports.

Finally, consider the weight and fit of the sunglasses. They should feel balanced and secure on your head without pinching or slipping. For some sports, you can get sunglasses with straps to keep them in place.

With the right features for your sport and activity level, you'll be able to maximize your performance and enjoyment while also keeping your eyes safe from the elements. Now get outside and have fun!

Sunglasses for Water Sports Like Surfing and Fishing

Cycling Sunglasses

When cycling, you'll want sunglasses that provide maximum protection from the sun and elements. Look for lenses made of polycarbonate, which is impact-resistant and blocks 100% of UVA/UVB rays. Wrap-around styles that shield your eyes from wind and debris are ideal. Popular brands like Oakley, Smith and Bolle offer models specifically for cycling with interchangeable lens options for different light conditions.

Running Sunglasses

For running, choose lightweight, aerodynamic sunglasses that won’t bounce or slide down your nose. Rubber nose pads and grips on the arms will ensure they stay put. Lenses should be polarized to reduce sun glare, and scratch-resistant. Models with interchangeable lens options are useful for low-light conditions. Revo, Under Armour and Nike all make high-quality running sunglasses with the features runners require.

Hiking Sunglasses

When hiking, sunglasses are essential gear. Look for rugged and durable frames and lenses that can withstand drops and impacts. Larger lenses, especially wraparound styles, offer the most coverage. Polarized lenses reduce glare and help you spot obstacles or wildlife. For variable light on mountain trails, choose a model with interchangeable lens options. Top outdoor brands like Costa Del Mar, Native Eyewear and Julbo are known for high-performance hiking sunglasses.

No matter the activity, the most important factors in sports sunglasses are complete UV protection, impact-resistance, and staying power. With the right pair, you'll be able to enjoy your favorite outdoor pursuits comfortably and safely in any conditions. Having options for different lens tints means you're ready for whatever comes your way.

How to Pick the Right Sports Sunglasses for You

When you’re out on the water, the sun’s reflection can be brutal on your eyes. Specialized sunglasses are a must for activities like surfing, fishing, kayaking, and more. You’ll want shades that are polarized, water-resistant, and provide maximum coverage.

Polarized Lenses

Polarized lenses block intense reflected light and glare from the water’s surface. They’ll reduce eye strain and allow you to see into the water more clearly. Look for sunglasses that specifically say they have polarized lenses.

Water-Resistant Frames

Water-resistant frames and lenses are essential for any water sport. Look for frames made of nylon, polycarbonate, or other water-resistant materials. Rubber nose pads and earpieces will also help keep water out. Some models are even fully waterproof and can be submerged without damage.

Wraparound Coverage

For the best protection, choose sunglasses that wrap around your temples to block light from all angles. Larger frames that cover as much of your eye area as possible are ideal for water sports. Shield-style glasses that cover your entire eye area provide the maximum coverage.

Other Considerations

For surfing and kayaking, choose sunglasses with straps to keep them securely in place. For fishing, consider sunglasses that come with interchangeable lenses so you can switch between polarized and yellow-tinted lenses depending on the conditions. Some water sports sunglasses also float in case they come off in the water.

With the right sunglasses designed for your favorite watersport, you’ll be able to enjoy hours out on the ocean or lake without squinting. Look for the key features of polarization, water resistance, maximum coverage, and a secure, comfortable fit. Your eyes will thank you!

Roger Sarkis