Sports. Nature’s way of reminding us just how unlucky we are (and just how lucky our fellow competitors always tend to be). But if you can get over the crushing disappointment of failure, sporting activities can help keep you fit and healthy. But what about if we wear glasses? Obviously, anyone in a pair of spec’s shouldn’t expect to take part in a taekwondo match or a wrestling tournament. But for the indoor wall climbers and yoga enthusiasts (among other activities), there are some pointers for choosing glasses. 

Transition Lenses

Why choose transition lenses? There are multiple reasons that link transition lenses to sports (see transition lens glasses options). 

First, transition lenses are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Many people think that transition lenses are a quick way to cut down on the cost of sunglasses and are only useful outdoors. But that is not true. Indoor lighting levels can vary according to sunlight, especially in places like gyms and community centers with large windows. If your activity involves looking up or looking around, the chances are that the lighting level will change with the time of day and the sun’s position. 

Likewise, outdoor lighting levels are subject to change. Everything from a passing cloud to being active as the sun sets means that you could benefit from adaptive transition lenses. Instead of blaming your glasses each time you are caught out by a change in light intensity (where others are able to wear sunglasses, for example), choose transition lenses and ensure that you are ready for all types of issues relating to light. 

Photochromic transition lenses work by reactivating to UV light – they darken whenever sunlight shines on them, preventing you from being put off your game. If you think that your sports activities are going to be directly influenced by the sun’s presence, indoors as well as outside, transitional lenses could be the key to helping you to stay on top. 

UV Protection

Aside from choosing photochromic transition glasses, try looking for one that has UV protection. Wearing glasses that will block most of the UV rays going into your eyes is essential to eye protection. Find something that has UV400 coating. Check out the Running Sunglasses Collection by Goodr – one of these may catch your eye. One thing worth noting in choosing glasses is to find one that will work for your face shape since UV light can enter your eyes from different angles. Depending on your activity, you may consider using wraparound glasses, which can provide you the best coverage from both sides. 

Lens Material

Aside from UV protection, you should also consider the lens material and find one that is shatter-resistant. This is especially helpful in case you’re accidentally hit in the eye area by a ball or other objects.

There are various options including polycarbonate, glass, polyurethane, or plastic. Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Polycarbonate – Probably the most popular choice among athletes due to its lightweight and impact resistant characteristics.
  • Glass – Provides great visual clarity but can be heavy and can shatter, chip, or break.
  • Plastic – Provides similar visual clarity as glass but can scratch easily.
  • Polyurethane – Top-of-the-line material that’s as clear as glass without fear of breakage. They’re also lightweight and considered to have the highest quality of sunglasses technology. However, these glasses can be expensive.

Heavy frames are a bad idea

Heavy frames with thick arms are typically a bad idea when it comes to sports. The physics involved in understanding why we shouldn’t choose thick-rimmed glasses when playing sports is pretty simple. Once things start moving, they keep moving (known as inertia) until something stops it or slows it down. Big things are harder to stop than small things. This can be applied to the glasses on your face when you play sports. 

When you move your head, thick-rimmed glasses will want to keep moving in that direction. If the direction in question happens to be away from your face and there is nothing to stop the glasses, they will slide off your face like hot butter off an even hotter butter-knife.  

Basically, thick rims will fall off regularly. They will become the nuisance that plagues your enjoyment of whatever indoor or outdoor sport you have found that is suitable for glasses wearers (e.g., golf, ten-pin bowling, badminton). Best to stick to thinner rims that won’t be overcome with the need to escape your face quite so readily.