Many popular outdoor sports require clear vision and focus. Whether your passion is golf, running, tennis, cycling, or a water sport like fishing, boating, or kayaking, you need to be able to see well. That’s why athletes of all levels can benefit from owning at least one pair of high-performance sports sunglasses with the right lenses and style to fit their needs.
There are several brands well-known for their sports eyewear, like Costa Del Mar sunglasses, Oakley, and Nike. However, not all sports sunglasses are the same, which is why it’s important to shop around to find a pair that works best for you and your sport.
Lenses are the most important aspect of sports performance sunglasses, as they’re what protects your eyes from sun, sweat, and water spray. Here are a few elements to consider when choosing your sports performance lenses:
- UV Protection and Glare-reducing Lenses –
Athletes who take part in outdoor sports spent a lot of time in the sun. UV protection matters because UV radiation can damage the eyelid, cornea, and lens of the eye. Without sunglasses that protect against UV rays, athletes risk exposing their eyes to sun damage. This damage can develop into cataracts and contribute to degeneration.
Polarized lenses that reduce glare can also be a life-saver on bright days. These lenses are beneficial for water sports athletes, as they block light reflecting off flat surfaces like rivers, lakes, and the ocean.
- The Right Tint for Your Sport –
Finding the right tint for performance sunglasses depends on the sport, environment, and lighting conditions. For example, those playing golf and baseball benefit more from green-tinted lenses. This is because a green tint heightens contrast while preserving color balance.
Some other sunglass lens tints include:
- Yellow or orange: Heightens contrast in low-light conditions, suitable for indoor sports.
- Red, amber, or rose: Heightens color in cloudy conditions.
- Copper, brown, or dark amber: Blocks high amounts of blue light.
- Gray: Reduces overall brightness.
Impact-resistant lenses can significantly reduce eye injuries sustained during sports. When choosing your impact-resistant lenses, it’s important to understand that not all materials are equally effective.
Polycarbonate material is by far the best impact-resistant lens material on the market. It is thinner and lighter than plastic, making it a more affordable, lightweight, and low-bulk option for athletes. Polycarbonate is also shatter-proof and UV-protected.
The style of your glasses can also impact your athletic performance. There are many styles to consider, but here are the four most common:
- Wraparound Frames –
Wraparound frames are a very popular style for athletes in particular. These frames are designed to grip your face better for longer, providing slip-free performance. This makes them an excellent option for athletes partaking in cycling or dirt biking. Wraparound frames are also great for outdoor sports because they prevent UV rays from entering the front and the side of the eye.
- Shield and Visor Styles –
Shield and visor sunglasses are distinct due to their single-lens design. In shield and visor styles, one lens continues from one side to the other over the bridge of the nose, where two separate sunglass lenses would ordinarily be. These styles are another popular sports option because they present a smooth, uninterrupted view of the terrain. They are also prized for their lightness and simplicity.
- Large, Padded Nose Pieces –
Large, padded nose pieces can be crucial for comfortability and balance. Sunglasses with padded nose pieces help to balance the weight of the glasses securely on your nose. This style is perfect for running, as there is no risk of the glasses slipping or becoming crooked.
- Built-in Straps –
Built-in straps are more common for athletes partaking in water sports because the secure strap keeps the glasses in place while protecting the athlete even while they are underwater. This style is also convenient and protects your glasses by significantly reducing the risk of damage from drops.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball (or the Road, Water, or Lure)
UV protection and impact resistance will give you a leg up in any athletic pursuit and help you hone your game without worrying about glare or optical sun damage. There are dozens of options to choose from, meaning you can always find the lenses and style that fit you and your sport best. Take your game to the next level with a pair of sports performance sunglasses that are customized to meet your needs.
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