June 16, 2024

Although sunglasses are one of the most fashionable accessories we have, they also have to support an extreme lifestyle for sports enthusiasts. Don’t think for a minute, though, that these are mutually exclusive demands. We sporting fools just have to keep a few points in mind when choosing our sport sunglasses so we don’t look like a seventies throwback.

In the beginning sunglasses were more practical than fashionable. They were designed simply to protect our eyes from dirt, dust, direct sunlight and other nastiness. As we began to realize the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, sunglasses became a popular accessory, especially at the beach and on the slopes. Once these crowds regularly started donning sunglasses, the big designer brands got involved.

When athletes and people who play sports turn to sunglasses, they often look at features and consider design secondary. In fact, it’s easy to look goofy if you pick the wrong pair of sunglasses. The secret, of course, is to choose a pair that matches the shape of your face. As a rule of thumb, you should select a pair with the opposite shape than your face. For example, if you have a squarish and angular face, rounded sun glasses are probably a safe choice.

Extreme Sports Sunglasses

You might have noticed that since the mid-1990s many specialty manufacturers have begun marketing their “extreme” sports sunglasses to a broader market. Even the big designer brands began offering “sports” sunglasses. When you look at the variety of extreme sport sun glasses in the marketplace these days, it’s easy to see the numerous styles available. At the same time, however, the quality and number of features have increased. With the explosion in materials and manufacturing processes available today, sport enthusiasts won’t have to sacrifice quality to get their good looks. In short, now we can look good while we play hard.

The five most important extreme sports sunglasses to consider when making your purchase are Wiley X, Smith, Gargoyle, 7Eye and Bomber. These are established and reputable brands that have been dedicated to extreme sports for many years.

Wiley X make impact resistant lenses, polarized and mirrored surfaces — everything you need for great eye protection, no matter what comes your way. Sleek designs and a snug fit characterize the Wiley X Active series, as does their ability to turn heads during quieter moments.

Smith Optics is based in Idaho and was founded in 1965 with the creation of the first goggle featuring a sealed double lens and breathable vent foam. Smith products are sold worldwide through specialty and sporting goods stores. Their devotion to excellence, innovation and style has made Smith goggles and sunglasses a good choice of action-sport athletes worldwide.

Gargoyles is headquartered in Rhode Island and also has roots in innovation and sport technology. Gargoyles has developed pure design for functional purposes. This pure function collection was built on a tradition of their competitive DNA, combining leading technology and performance.

7EYE (formerly Panoptx) is dedicated to enhancing the customers experience. They use advanced lens technology to deliver great clarity and color management, and their patented frame designs feature Airlock, a non-air-permeable shield against wind, glare and airborne irritants that maintains a comfortable environment for your eyes.

Southern California’s own Bomber Eyewear was started by a world champion jet ski racer and holds the first ever patent for floating eyewear. These sunglasses are tough. Their ultra lightweight design, impact resistant frames, non-slip lining and polarized lens technology has made Bomber the best choice for extreme sports enthusiasts.

One last point is that extreme sport sunglasses don’t have be expensive. In fact, much of the price mark up in the most popular brands is simply to support their high marketing expenses. Do your homework and shop by feature and style; don’t pay more than you need to.

Remember, a good pair of sunglasses will last you forever, and will stay in fashion nearly as long.