Interest in sports sunglasses has surged in recent years, along with participation in outdoor activities such as running, triathlon, mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating.
To meet the demands of both casual and competitive athletes, sunglass manufacturers are developing innovative new sports sunglasses that provide the best vision possible under extreme conditions. The results: lightweight, flexible, durable materials, no-slip components that do not fail in the heat of the moment and an array of lens choices.
Sports Sunglass Lenses for High Performance
Perhaps the most important elements of sports sunglasses are the optical quality and visual enhancement properties of the lenses. Many lens tints such as brown, green, grey, yellow and orange are now available, with each colour suitable for specific circumstances. Skiers in snow would want the high contrast provided by amber lenses, whereas grey lenses are best for preserving "real world" colours in bright sunlight. Clear lenses offer cyclists protection from unwanted foreign bodies hitting them in the face.
Polycarbonate lenses are the best choice for high performance sunglasses because they are lightweight, super strong and more impact-resistant than most other lens materials.
Polarised lenses also are in demand because they reduce glare from light reflecting off flat surfaces, such as water or a field of snow. However, debates continue about advisability of polarised lenses for sports such as skiing, because you may need to see sunlight reflecting from icy patches on the slopes to avoid accidents.
Though glass lenses have the best optical quality of conventionally produced lenses, they are not recommended for rugged activities because they are more likely to shatter on impact than lenses made of polycarbonate or other materials.
What Kind of Sunglasses do You Need Outdoors?
Each outdoor activity has its own specific visual requirements, and this has led to the development of sports-specific eyewear. Many frames and lenses also now specifically target the golfer, cyclist, boater, rock climber, etc.
For example, a certain lens tint may help golfers notice subtle changes in the direction of the blades of grass on a green that could affect the line of a putt. But a completely different tint may be best to help a hunter see the contrast of a bird against an overcast sky.
Also, a number of multi-purpose sunglasses now on the market feature interchangeable lenses with different tints for different activities and lighting conditions. In the Sundog Eyewear Range these include the Sundog Triathlon model and the Sundog Track Model
Another trend in outdoor eyewear, aimed at more brand-conscious consumers, is celebrity endorsement. Paula Creamer, Mike Weir, Melanie McQuaid, Josh Constable, Hunter Mahan and other high-profile sports personalities have signed endorsement deals with Sundog eyewear to increase brand awareness of the companies' sunglasses and goggles. Sundog are also the recommended eyewear of the UK Sailing Association, Ironman UK Triathlon and British Triathlon.
Tips For buying Ski Goggles
Shop before you get to the mountain, so you don't end up paying an inflated price. Insist on lenses that provide 100 percent ultraviolet protection, to shield your eyes from the sun's harmful UV rays. Look for anti-fogging features such as double lenses, anti-fog coating, and wide vents. Sundog Tremor Goggles provide all of these features at an affordable price.
Top Five Features in Outdoor/Performance Sunglasses
Changeable lens systems that allow the wearer to use dark lenses for sunshine, clear lenses for darker or in-the-woods conditions as well as simple protection from potential flying objects, or yellow and orange lenses for low light.
Lightweight and durable frame materials such as polyamide, which keeps its shape even under stress.
Styles that have both a performance advantage and sleek fashion styling.
Polarised lenses for glare reduction and better contrast, especially on the water.
No-slip temple grips and nose pads, often made of rubber, that keep the sunglasses in place even in the heat of competition.
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