Anyone who has been to a drugstore has seen the rotating racks of sun-protective lenses lined with round, square, plain, colorful, reflective and tinted options. Sun protection, indeed, comes in a beautiful variety. Life magazine estimated that only 30% of sunglasses purchases were made to protect eyesight-- most shoppers chose sunglasses for their fashionable qualities. Even today, you may think of sunglasses shopping as merely a matter of personal style, but think again. There is a whole world of sunglasses features designed for much more than aesthetics. From lenses optimized for sports and driving to styles made for different types of light, staying in the know can help you purchase a pair perfect for your particular peepers.
These shades are designed to sit far closer to the face than casual sunglasses, with long, slanted lenses to block light from all angles. Wraparounds are perfect athletic sunglasses, and ideal for fishing, boating, and other activities where vision is crucial to performance and where rays can come from multiple directions.
Gradient lenses start with darker tints near one edge of the eye that gradually lighten. The gradient can be darkest at the top of the lens, the bottom of the lens, or both, leaving the middle of a person’s vision clearest. Gradient lenses are excellent for drivers or winter sports, where brightness mostly comes from above and below.
- Unlike common glass or plastic lenses, some sunglasses companies offer specialized lens materials that are resistant to force-related damage. Shatter-resistant shades are helpful in contact sports and construction work or other fields where bumps and tumbles are frequent. Using unbreakable sports sunglasses not only saves you money by lowering the need for replacement, but they also protect your eyes from being injured by harmful shards when the break occurs.