Although sunglasses should be worn all year, the summer time seems to be the time that most people think of sunglasses. Are they all the same? Which pair is right for you?
UV protection is the absolute most important feature in a pair of sunglasses. Make sure that whatever pair you decide on, that it has full UV protection and blocks over 99% of all UVA and UVB light. The light comes in from all directions, so the larger the frame and the more wrap there is, the more UV protection that you will get from the lenses.
Polarization is another common feature to look for in sunglasses. Polarized lenses allow light to go through only from one specific direction. This eliminates a lot of glare. You will notice glare when the light reflects off from a surface like a windshield on a car or from the water when you are fishing. Polarized lenses are amazing for fly fisherman, allowing them to see more clearly through the water. Summertime isn't the only time that polarization is good.....the snow reflects light too, and the polarization helps significantly during our blue bird Colorado winter days.
The third question we get a lot about sunglasses is, "Which tint is best for me?" I hate giving an answer to anything that sounds like a hedge, but in this case it truly does depend. What are you using the sunglasses for? My favorite lens color is a brown lens. It is like my all mountain ski.....works well in most conditions.....not the best in any specific condition, but best for all around. That's the brown lens. Good in bright light and good in low light. A gray lens will be the best lens for you on those bright sunny days. It will filter out the most light. However, when our weather changes five minutes from now and it becomes gray and overcast, the gray lens struggles to let enough light in for you to keep them on. The sun still creates UV even when it is overcast, so that brown lens is perfect for those conditions.
We also carry a yellow based lens that works well in lower light conditions, but you will find yourself squinting if that sun peaks out again. There is a gray-green lens that Oakley makes that helps the grass on the greens pop when you are golfing. There is a rose/red based lens that I love when I go running or cycling.....it just makes me happy.....that old adage of looking at the world through rose color glasses.
Have you considered transition sunglasses for cycling? I've been pretty impressed with the Julbo glasses. They are extremely light, well vented and transition from clear to dark gray or they have a light pink to a dark red. I have been trying out a pair this summer and so far, they have been my go to set.
So, when you are looking for those summer shades, we know that style is important, but make sure to protect your eyes!! Stop by our office today for more tips or specific recommendations. We have a great selection of sunglasses from trendy to sporty from several different manufacturers: Oakley, Smith, Zeal, Costa, Julbo, RayBan, and Modo.