Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eyewear for Runners

Prestige-sunglasses.Image via Wikipedia

What's the difference between running glasses and other sunglasses?

While some brands offer sunglasses specifically marketed for running, there is a wide range of running-oriented features that are used in other athletic sunglasses.

You may come across some models offered in running and cycling versions: Normally the cycling glasses are identical, but they'll have straight temples to make it easy to put them on and take them off while wearing a helmet.

What features should I look for?

Impact-proof and scratchproof material - Makers may use any number of trademark names, but they're all going to use some form of polycarbonate for the lenses and frames.

Wrap-around lenses - This provides protection from both sunlight and wind. As an added bonus, this design also blocks UV rays more effectively than standard sunglasses.

Anti-reflective coating - This can be either a mirror or polarized coating. Some companies put a mirror coating on the inside of the lens as well, reducing glare coming from sunlight behind you. Polarized lenses work by blocking light, much like a venetian blind, removing glare while letting normal reflective light reach your eyes. However, this can make some monochrome LCD displays unreadable. Before buying, look through the lenses at any timers, digital watches, or other devices you may carry on your run to make sure the display is still visible.

Removable lenses - Some frames allow you to change lenses to better suit the conditions you're running in. Some brands include lenses with the glasses, while others sell them separately. In some cases not all of the lenses will offer UV protection, particularly clear lenses, which are intended for low-light conditions. Whether or not it’s bright outside, there is still a chance of eye damage due to long-term exposure. Any lenses labeled “cosmetic” will not have UV protection.

Rubberized temple covers - These will help the glasses grip your head, keeping them on while you run.

Adjustability - Flexible frames and nose pads will help absorb shock, keeping the glasses in place while running on rough terrain.

Anti-fogging features - Anti-fogging lenses help, but most people overlook ventilation. There should be some airspace between the lenses and your face to keep moisture from being trapped.

How much do I need to spend?

Basically, you get what you pay for: All things being equal, a pair of cheap glasses will protect your eyes from UV light just as well as something costing five times as much. However, the more expensive pair will be more scratch and impact resistant, have more features, and stay together longer under normal use.

The cheapest usable sunglasses will start around $20. These will have set lenses and no anti-reflective coating. High quality sunglasses start around $60, with most pairs around the $120-$160 range. Add an additional $30 for each set of additional lenses. Prescription frames run from $80-$200; lenses will cost about the same as the ones in your regular glasses.

Sara Roberts writes for Just Eyewear, a discount eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses online retailer.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for the information! I searched these data for a long time, I just could not find the source of confidence.

    ReplyDelete

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