Sports sunglasses get a bad wrap.
There are a lot of sunglasses companies peddling imitation sports sunglasses, using junk marketing or sports sunglasses that at first glance look sporty but are just a "junk". the smart buyer needs to know what features to look for in a top quality pair of sports sunglasses.
Here are my top 10 features to look for.
1. ADJUSTABLE NOSE PIECE.
I have started with this one as it is easy to spot.
All the best sport sunglasses should have nose pieces that you can adjust in two dimensions.
Firstly, you have to be able to adjust the nose piece for the width of your nose. Secondly, you need to be able to adjust the nose piece to move the sunglasses close or further from your face.
2. ADJUSTABLE TEMPLE ARMS.
This feature is also easy to spot.
The temple arms should be able to be adjusted to size of your head. This means they will stay in place on your face or even when they are on your head. You don't want your sports sunglasses to move around during exercise.
3. SOFT RUNNER AT THE TEMPLE ARMS.
This is also easy to spot but frankly even some poor quality sports sunglasses have this feature.soft rubber on the temple arms and nose pieces means that the sunglasses are more comfortable. This is a useful feature and means the sport sunglasses are more comfortable during those long training sessions.
Cheaper sports sunglasses rubber tends to be harder than good sport sunglasses.
4. WRAPAROUND STYLE
This feature is number four as it's easy to spot.
Only sports sunglasses really wraparound the face. This useful feature means that they will block out 30% of the sun's harmful UV rays from entering the eyes from the sides.this is the key difference between fashion and sports sunglasses as fashion sunglasses do not wraparound the face.
5. FRAME MATERIAL
The frames of the best sports sunglasses will be made from TR90. TR90 material is strong and flexible and not easy broken when carelessly stashed in your bag or when you fall, and they smash on the ground.
Simple plastic polymers frames are very common but are have low tensile strength and can crack and splinter.
TR90 frame material is resistant to the UV sunlight and impervious to chemicals such as sun-tan lotions and hair products like hair spray and shampoo.Good sports sunglasses will have the words "TR90" written somewhere on the inside of the frame. If the frame does not include these words then the chances are it is not TR90.
It stands to reason that the lighter the sunglasses are the more comfortable they are.
Really good sports sunglasses should be about 30 grams and an ultra-light weight sports sunglasses should be around 26 grams.
7. SAFE LENSES
This is more difficult to spot and there is a lot of rubbish written on this subject.
The best sports sunglasses have thicker lenses that offer impact residence against stone and branches that may hit the lens. the best sports sunglasses lenses are 2mm thick polycarbonate or Grilamid NXT which have superb impact resistance. Avoid any other lenses type such as CR39 and any thinner lens material.
8. INTERCHANGEABLE LENSES
The best sports sunglasses give you the option to change the lenses. It's great to be able to switch the lenses to suit the environment and lighting conditions.
Top sports sunglasses brands will have a system which enable this to be done in a simple way such as the AMO "clip-lock" system.
9. LENS COATINGS
This is a great way to spot real quality sports sunglasses brands.
Quality sports sunglasses brands provide lenses with hydrophobic coatings (which shed sweat and water) or anti-fog coatings. If your sports sunglasses brand includes these special coatings you can be sure they are seriously good.
10. FIELD TESTED
You should choose sports sunglasses that have been tested and have not failed in the rigorous conditions of exercise.
Choose a sports sunglasses brand that is being used by athletes doing your sport or look for third party reviews of the brand.this can be done easily,by checking the webpage and social media of the brands you're interested in. It's easy to do a simple search such as "AMO third party review".
So be smart and look for these features. If you get to anywhere near all ten of these features then you're close to getting a superb sports sunglasses brand.
So these are my views. If you have any comment then please let me know your views.
Tim Hallworth is a triathlete, adventure racer and ultra marathon runner and with his wife Fenny is co-founder of AMO sunglasses.
There are also similar blogs and articles about sports sunglasses and mutisports on the AMO Webpage at http://www.amosunglasses.com/latest/blog.