By Troy Patterson
The best eyewear for sports and the outdoors not only offers protection from the sun, outdoor elements and the activity the wearer is enjoying, but it also takes into account customer wear and tear and fashion and style.
In today’s market, there are frames for just about every sports and outdoor activity, from biking, running and hiking to boating, fishing, volleyball and other high-speed and high-impact sports and activities.
“Sport eyewear tends to have a more wrapped face form and larger lenses for better coverage from the sun and better peripheral vision,” says Paul Sim, a licensed optician and member of the Opticians Association of Canada. “Licensed Optician Polarization and anti-reflection coating can be added to reduce glare. Polycarbonate material is the best option for a lighter, more impact resistant lens that provides protection against physical damage to the eye and surrounding areas.
Sim says some manufacturers produce various lens tints or colours that can enhance contrast with various colours, such as a yellow tennis ball or a white golf ball against green grass.
“If prescription is needed, a free form lens is ideal as the Rx is compensated based on wrap, vertex and pantoscopic angle, to achieve the sharpest vision and increased peripheral vision,” he says. “When playing any sport, the last thing you need is to be distracted by poor vision, which results in reduced reaction time.
Take Costa for instance, where more than 30 years ago, a group of serious anglers banded together to build a pair of polarized sunglasses with performance technology suited just for them – sunglasses that would cut glare, shut out sunlight and reveal the fish in the water more clearly.
“As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability,” the company says.
“Still handcrafted in Florida, Costa creates the highest-quality, best-performing sunglasses on the planet for those who live to be on the water.”
Costa’s co-injected frame TR-90 nylon frame material is fused together with Hydrolite, their proprietary, hypo-allergenic rubber, which prevents slippage. Costa’s sunglasses feature premium-performance features such as rustproof stainless steel hinges and no-slip Hydrolite nose pads and co-injected temple tips for an incredibly comfortable fit.
The brand’s sturdy nylon frames are comprised of a nearly-indestructible bio-based resin material sourced from the castor plant, a sustainable, hardy perennial. The bio-based resin produces increased durability, overall sunglasses weight reduction and the ability for the frames to hold shape from extreme heat to bitter cold temperatures, crucial for anglers out battling the elements.
“Whether it’s exploring uncharted territories or protecting the planet, one fishery at a time, Costa is committed to helping others see more clearly while seeing what’s out there,” the company says.
Smith Optics, meanwhile, has launched a blend of two proprietary technologies this summer to address the needs of elite athletes and endurance enthusiasts.
Smith’s performance Attack sunglasses are a series of interchangeable eyewear, with the Attack and the Attack Max featuring Smith’s new MAG interchangeable technology and ChromaPop lenses.
“Using a magnet-based innovation that enables fast lens swapping for varying light conditions with a simple click, the MAG system is built directly into the temple to allow for a vast field of view in a rimless frame design for invisible fit,” the company says.
“Additionally, the hidden interchangeability system reduces the stress and tension on the temples and lens structure to provide exceptional optics while offering a quick and secure connection.”
The Attack builds on the success of the brand’s best-selling PivLock franchise of performance eyewear, with a faster and more intuitive approach to lens interchangeability.
Each model is offered in one of three ChromaPop performance lens options – that reveal natural colour, enhanced visual clarity and greater definition of objects – and all include a secondary ChromaPop Contrast Rose flash lens for addressing low light conditions. The lenses have been crafted with a lowered-brow design for increased ventilation while the two-position adjustable nosepiece provides a perfect fit.
The nosepiece and temples are comprised of Megol which reacts to perspiration by gently adhering to the skin for a comfortable, no-slip fit at any velocity.
When it comes to Bolle, both the Aeromax and Flash styles offer wide horizontal and vertical fields of view.
Aeromax features B-Max technology, which offers a unique field of view designed for the same usage as cycling sunglasses but with an aerodynamic air flow design.
“AEROMAX sunglasses maximize comfort and airflow providing unique vision,” Bolle says. “The thermogrip temples and adjustable nosepads offer a perfect fit and stability on the face.”
The new model is also equipped with Bollé B-Clear lenses based on a Trivex NXT structure for unparalleled optical quality, featherweight lightness and maximum resistance to impact and the lens also offers hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings so that drops of water are dispersed and dirt and smudging are virtually eliminated. It’s also available with prescription lenses directly inserted into the shield.
The Flash model sunglasses are available with a large choice of flashy colours and are dedicated to cycling and/or running, which embody all of Bollé’s technology in a lightweight frame.
“Their wraparound frames offer optimal protection and air-flow for a great comfort and vision,” the company says.
And finally Wiley X brings to the market a variety of styles designed to protect from the short and long-term impact of the sun, to the dangers encountered wherever life takes the wearer.
“Not all sunglasses are created equal, and it’s important to ensure the glasses you wear provide true protection,” says Leslie Duprey, digital marketing manager for Wiley X.
Every pair of sunglasses made by Wiley X provides 100 per cent UVA and UVB protection and their sunglasses meet stringent ANSI Z87.1 High Velocity and High Mass Impact Safety standards, providing OSHA-grade protection for every type of activity.
Wiley X says people who wear Wiley X sunglasses can be confident that their eyes are protected from the sun, on the water, on the trail or whatever activity they’re taking part in.
“Wiley X is the only premium sunglass brand with this level of protection in every adult style it makes.”