On sunny summer days in Utah, the must-have gear item is performance sunglasses. These sunglasses come from a wide variety of brands, but are designed to protect your eyes much better than a gas station pair, and look stylish to boot! So what should you look for when picking out a pair of performance shades?
Polarized lenses are the first important feature because they protect your eyes by acting as a filter between the elements and help fight glare. This reduces eye strain, allowing you to spend more time outside doing activities you love. Pleasure Ground (pleasureground.com) and Zeal Optics (zealoptics.com) offer some great options for stylish polarized glasses.
But if you’re looking to take a step up from polarized lenses, look for polarchromic lenses. These lenses offer the benefits of polarization along with photochromic light sensitivity. They adjust their tint to changing lighting conditions in about 10-25 seconds and offer optimal protection throughout the day. You can get glasses with these lenses from Smith Optics (smithoptics.com).
Also make sure that the glasses you choose offer 100% UVA and UVB protection to completely shield your eyes from the elements. Equally important is selecting glasses that are optically correct so there’s no distortion, which is important for seeing clearly.
If using your sunglasses for outdoor recreation, choose a pair that’s scratch resistant and shatterproof in case they fall off or you drop them. Sport specific glasses are also a great investment because the best lens type and frame shape changes dependent on the activity you’re participating in. You can find glasses designed for mountain biking, watersports and running from Julbo (julbousa.com). Another favorite for running sunglasses is adidas’ (adidas.com) new ones, the adiZERO, which are so lightweight and comfortable that you can barely tell you’re wearing them.
When picking out new sunglasses, don’t forget the kids! Their eyes are sensitive and absorb more solar radiation than adults do. So start protecting their eyes while their young and get them in the habit of wearing them. You can get great kids’ shades from MFS Eyewear (myfirstshades.com) and Julbo.
Worried about the high price of performance sunglasses? Don’t be! You can get a good pair of glasses from Ryders Eyewear (ryderseyewear.com) or Tifosi Optics (tifosioptics.com) and versions are available for casual use and sports. Most styles are priced below $40. For more information on performance sunglasses, check out our website: sportsguidemag.com.