Sunglass Buying Guide by Activity
Sunglasses. They’re all constructed of frames and lenses. But depending on their purpose, sunglasses differ drastically in form and function. For example, while metal aviator sunglasses may be perfect for driving, a cyclist would perform much better with non-slip wraparound frames.
We welcome you to use this guide to inform your activity-based sunglasses buying decision. And as always, if you have any specific questions, please contact our expert opticians at 1-800-248-9427.
Whether you plan to spend time outside or not, you will most likely be on the road at certain times. Here are tips on reducing eye strain and improving vision for safe driving.
Lenses: For a glare-free view of the road, mirrored and polarized lenses are a huge help. Mirrored lenses help reflect light away from your eyes, while polarized lenses reduce glare.
Amber, gray, red/pink and yellow lenses are recommended for driving. Depending on the lens color, you can expect improved depth perception, contrast and everyday road visibility. Some hues help reduce eye fatigue and glare. Please refer to our Sunglass Lens Color Guide for a complete picture.
Shop all our driving sunglasses.
Plan on lying on the beach all day or hanging out poolside? Perhaps watching an outdoor sporting event? The right sunglasses will make your relaxing day even more enjoyable!
Lenses: Green and gray lenses are both great for general purpose use, as they provide true color perception. Your view of the sparkling blue pool or the sandy white beach will be even richer.
Frames: Plastic, lightweight frames are most comfortable for extended use, and they’re sturdy enough to keep up with you all day.
Want to get in on the action with sunglasses designed for your particular sport? Great! The main things to keep in mind here are the lenses you’ll need to maximize your performance and the level of impact your glasses might be exposed to.
Lenses: Our Sunglass Lens Color Guide offers a comprehensive look at lens colors for each activity. You also need to keep features in mind based on your activity.
Features: Playing rough? Polycarbonate lenses and nylon frames are highly impact resistant and conform to the wearer’s face.
For low-impact activities, glass or plastic lenses are adequate.
See all of our sports eyewear here.
Golf: Many golfers prefer a semi-rimless frame for complete clarity of vision below and in peripherals. Some prefer polarized lenses, while others do not. The choice is up to you!
Cycling: Polarized lenses block glare from the street, rain or shine, and different lens colors offer certain advantages in particular weather conditions. Some frames include interchangeable lenses, which is extremely useful for navigating in varying climates. Many cyclists look for wraparound frames or frames with wide lenses - particularly non-slip frames.
Mountain biking comes with slightly different sunglasses requirements than cycling. Frames are similar to cycling sunglasses, but a mountain biker might prefer yellow lenses for low-light conditions. If you are into both sports, opt for green lenses.
Water sports: Non-slip frames are essential for water sports as well, as dropping one’s sunglasses may mean dropping them in the water. Choose polarized lenses with larger frames that will block out adequate sunlight and protect the eyes from wind and debris. Hydrophobic lenses prevent water from sticking to the lenses, keeping them clear and clean so you can swim and play on the water without constantly cleaning your lenses.
Field sports: For optimal focus on the field, invest in frames with a non-slip silicone nose piece and wraparound cable temples. If you’re playing a contact or ball sport, choose a high-impact lens that will stay in once piece and protect your eyes from injury.
Running: Sunglasses for running and jogging should be lightweight and made of non-slip materials. We recommend green, gray or brown lenses.
Shooting: Give it your best shot with high-grade ballistic glasses and a curved profile to protect against debris. Shatterproof lenses are also a necessity. Many people choose frames with interchangeable lenses for changing light conditions. Make sure your frames meet American National Standards Institute standards before purchase. ANSI is an organization overseeing safety and health guidelines in many sectors, including personal protective and safety equipment.
Skiing: When gliding down a mountain, you’ll want lightweight frames that offer maximum UV protection on the snow. Look for wide lenses and a snug fit, along with polarized, mirrored lenses.
Opt for shatterproof, impact-resistant lenses that are wide for optimal viewing. You may even prefer goggles. LIke sunglasses for field sports, your sunglasses frames should be made of non-slip materials - preferably wraparound glasses.