Anyone who does sports regularly has a pair of sunglasses. Just as anyone has a pair of trainers (running shoes).If you're going on a trail run you use trainers because they are designed for the trail. They may have extra grip or be more permeable to wick away water. If you're going to the gym or running on the road this may be less important and you want something super lightweight and grip is not important.
When you consider your sunglasses what factors do you consider? The answer is probably you don't even think about it.
The reason is because you have a very limited knowledge of what makes authentic sports sunglasses.
Most of you are wearing the wrong type of sunglasses during your sports and because you've never experienced the right type; you don't know what you're missing. If you're serious about your sport, and I am sure you are then get serious about your eye wear.
This blog is not intended to be "hard sell" but just to give you some basic information that you should know about sports sunglasses.
1. Not all sports sunglasses are equal.
When you buy a pair sports sunglasses, think about function and the design. Certain sunglasses companies in the market have made a special effort to develop and design sports sunglasses especially for athletes.Choose a sports sunglasses brand - like AMO sunglasses - that really specialises in sports.
2. Don't be blinded by marketing hype.
Just because a sunglasses brand says it's provides sports sunglasses does not mean that it does.Check out the whole sunglasses range, does it produce a lot of different sunglasses types with only a few models that are sports sunglasses?
Often with large sunglasses companies provide sports sunglasses models that are just a "minor appendage" to the larger sports casual or fashion range. These are an afterthought and developed by people who have no idea about sports but are fashion focused.
Look at the origins of the brand. Are they a multi-million dollar company or a "niche brand" specialising in your sports.
In recent years, there has been a massive consolidation of sunglasses companies (with some larger groups "gobbling up" smaller brands but not really changing the original brand name). This is clever marketing and giving the consumer the perception of variety when actually they are all owned by the same groups of companies. It is also good business as it saves manufacturing and marketing costs.
The net affect is that their sunglasses (such as lenses and frames materials) are "standardised" throughout the sunglasses range.
The result is for high end products that are required to function in extreme environments (such as sports) the overall quality has been "averaged down" to the level of the fashion brands in High Street.
3. Look at function over fashion.
As an athlete are your sunglasses "eye jewellery" or do they serve a purpose?Most of you will say that they need to serve a purpose but studies have shown that intuitively you choose sunglasses as a fashion accessory.Be aware of this "hidden bias" when you choose your sports sunglasses.
Ask yourself (or the sales assistant) what features on the sunglasses are designed for you as an athlete. This is common sense but I will outline them briefly below.
4. Features to look for in authentic sports sunglasses.
I have written many blogs about this but I will summarise them as follows:
4.1 Comfort. Look for features which mean that the sunglasses will be comfortable when you wear them during exercise.This means soft rubber on the temple arms and nose pieces.
4.2 Adjustability and fit. Look for features which allow you to adjust your sunglasses when doing your sport and make them stick on your face. This would include adjustable temple arms and nose pieces.
4.3 Materials. Look for materials for sunglasses are made from, which are made to endure in the environments where you do your sports.
This should include (as a minimum) 2 mm thick polycarbonate lenses and Grilamid TR90 framing material.These materials are stronger, more flexible and more resistant to chemicals and UV than typical plastic materials that most common High Street or fashion sunglasses manufacturers use.
4.4 Lens coating. Look for sunglasses that have a lens coatings such as hydrophobic (water repellent) or antifog.
This will mean that your vision stays longer and clearer when you're doing your sports.
4.5 Lens options. Look for sports sunglasses which have a variety of lens options which would be suitable for your sport.
These would include photochromic lenses (which go lighter and darker depending on the UV intensity) and polarised lenses which reduced glare and are more comfortable to wear.
There is a whole wealth of information as to lens types and a good sports sunglasses company will provide you with the options and advice as to which lens type will be suitable for your support. Don't buy "off the rack" High Street sunglasses models.
If the sports sunglasses have an option to change the lenses depending on your sport and environment then this is also a plus point.AMO makes no bones about it. We want you to buy our sports sunglasses but the above points apply to any sports sunglasses brand.
We have made our case, if you disagree with any of the above and would like to make your case, then please provide your comments below.
Tim Hallworth is an endurance athlete and multiple ironman and the co-founder of AMO sunglasses.
Are you can find more blogs about sports sunglasses at the following web page http://www.amosunglasses.com/latest/blog