Experience From -
David Hays , Dan Temianka , Gordon Chace , Dan Landry , Tim Lofton , Tim Erickson , Blake Wood , Chuck Zeugner , Yolanda Facio , M. Pate , Rich Schick , Celia Leber , Geoff Baker , Mike Erickson ,

David Hays

" I wear eye glasses and am in need of sun protection. Anyone know of any ultralight "clipons"?"
Clip-ons will be poor option at best. The clip-ons will add weight to a frame that is already not designed for running and won't provide adequate coverage for good sun protection. I would seriously consider one of the sports sunglasses that have Rx inserts. Two of the best are the Bolle' Solitary and the Adidas Gazelle. I wear both of them without the Rx insert. They are high quality and offer great sun protection. Each of them has an insert that can go behind the lens shield that holds prescription lenses. This insert can be removed for those that at times wear contact lenses or, like me, don't need a distance correction.

Both the Bolle' and the Adidas have shields of different colors. The Bolle' even offers a clear lens which is essential IMHO, for running trails at night. You don't want to get a stray stick in the eye. Adidas may offer a clear shield for the Gazelle now too, but didn't at the time I got one for preview.

For anyone that has to wear glasses and runs during the day, these are well worth the expense. Total cost, including the prescription lenses would be about the same as two pair of running shoes, yet you will use the shades for much longer than 400-600 miles.

Dan Temianka

I can vouch for the Bolle's, having worn them for years. They are the only brand I have found that can accommodate my extreme myopia (about -7 diopters) easily; the insert is not too thick. I always wear the pink shield for running & cycling, and the dark shield for casual daytime use. The curved design provides very good wind protection.

I have found that wrapping them in a handkerchief whenever I put them back in the case prevents scratching. Otherwise any stray grain of sand etc. will damage them.

Gordon Chace

Thanks to David Hays, the eye-guy, for the nifty idea of wraparound sunglasses that can insert corrective lenses.

Not knowing this soon enough, I had already done something that works well without being so elegant. I bought myself three pairs of conventional eyeglasses. I'm seriously nearsighted and also have a middle-age need for bifocals to read. So I have a clear pair that is the gradual bifocals. And for driving or for outdoor reading, I have a pair that is permanently dark as sunglasses and has the gradual bifocal optics.

For outdoor sports, I have a pair that has only my long-distance prescription, and the turn-dark-in-sunlight chemistry. I can't read very well with these, but there's not much to read on the trail and I'd rather have the lower view focused long for toestrike obstacles.

The turn-dark is admittedly not as dark as true sunglasses, but they lighten up almost completely for clouds, forest shadows, and they handle the sunsets and sunrises of a truly long run.

Re: glasses as goggles for trail hazards, yes and I also wear a baseball-style hat. The brim is additional armor for those hanging branches (I'm somewhat tall) and also helps with the fact that my glasses aren't wraparounds - the brim stops sunlight from coming over the top of my glasses. Also, I can do without sunscreen above my eyes thus I don't get eye irritation from sweaty sunscreen.

Dan Landry

I've purchased a pair of Oakleys from a local distributor and they submitted them to the Oakley factory to have prescription lens installed. I takes about a week. The optics are terrific. They have special optics due to the wrap-around effect and it takes a few minutes for you to adjust to them. They're the best sunglasses I ever had. The wrap-around prescription gives you a wide angle view unlike the tunnel vision of regular rx glasses.

I am having problems with the frames and have returned them to Oakley twice for warrantee replacement. It may be due to the prescription lens being a bit stiff and not allowing the frames to flex properly. My vision is 20/200 and 20/400. The frame generates cracks on the top of the lens area and will eventually split and the lens fall out. Hopefully, they can resolve this issue. We'll see what happens as they are at Oakley right now evaluating the problem.

The lens cost $60 and the lens rx with coatings... cost $150.

Tim Lofton

I'm soliciting for information regarding your experiences with sunglasses. I don't really do high altitude running but as summer and longer exposure to sunlight approaches, even here in the Pac NW, I would like to try and provide a little more UV protection. Not looking for a fashion statement, just something that works. Preferably with some sort of rubber or silicon nosepiece to help eliminate slippage.

I was curious if anyone has tried wearing glacier glasses for running as most of them have the curl-around earpiece. This seems like it would help stabilize them a little better as well as having the side shields to help eliminate more glare.

Tim Erickson

I would not recommend glacier glasses for several reasons:

  1. Lack of peripheral vision

  2. Usually pretty heavy

  3. Side shields will cause them to fog up while running.

I use a pair of Nike sunglasses made especially for running. They have a rubber nose piece so they do not slide at all. They are very light and even though they wrap around are very well ventilated. They still fog sometimes but not very often.

Go to your local running store and try on some sunglasses made for running. Nike, Asics, Oakley, etc. all make them. Campmor probably has better prices if you can find what you want.

Blake Wood

This may not directly address your situation, Tom, but here's what I do.

I wear prescription glasses all the time, so I use prescription sunglasses as well.

To keep them from slipping off when I start sweating, I dab a little bit of golfer's rosin on the bridge of my nose and on my ears where the earpieces ride. This keeps them on really well.

I cut side shields out of a 2" piece of velcro. You just slip the earpiece between the stuck together pieces of hook and pile, and give the velcro a slight curve to match the side profile of your glasses. Of course, you can't see through the velcro. This is not a problem for trail running, but I don't use them when I'm driving or running on a busy street where I need my peripheral vision. As long as I'm running, they don't fog up.

Chuck Zeugner

When you answer Tim's question, here's another one to go with it. Is it worth spending the extra $$$ on Oakleys or Smiths or some other high dollar sunglasses, or do you just wear the cheapest ones you can find with UV protection?

I've usually just bought the cheap ones. I've even worn the giveaways from Sunmart, but I'm beginning to wonder if the extra bucks would buy more durablility or lighter glasses or glasses that won't slide down my nose.

Yolanda Facio

I have to wear prescription glasses but I chose a pair of sports sunglasses that could accomodate a prescription and had them made. Point is they work really well. . . Adidas makes the frame, the arms snap in so that if you fall they are meant to pop out. The arms have a rubber sleeve over the end to help secure them to your head and keep them in place. The nose piece is not rubberized but they never slide down my nose no matter how sweaty I get. I had amber lenses made for preference. Now I can't say they are pretty. . . 'cause they aren't particularly. . . in fact I think they evoke anger in some . . . at least that is what my SO tells me BUT they work really really well. So hats off to Adidas.

M. Pate

I've found a product at REI that works great for keeping glasses from fogging up; it's called Neovue a handy tube with an antifog stick and polishing cloth. Not expensive and most handy.

Rich Schick

Subject: Foggy Glasses

In the right conditions glasses will fog no matter what you do. The humidity here in the southeast makes it especially a pain. The anti fog stuff helps to an extent. My own best solution is to wear small glasses. The ones I use have lenses 1 1/8' by 1 5/8' , made of an ultra light plastic. The frames are wire rimmed making them so light that bounce is never a problem. The small lenses allow maximum air circulation and worse case it is easy to look out over the top of them.

Celia Leber

I got a pair of Bolle Parole (or Vigilante?) sunglasses as a much hinted at Christmas present. I think they cost about $100. Before this, I've always worn $20 or less sunglasses. For me, these new ones are much, much more comfortable to wear. They also have interchangeable lenses, so I can wear them when cycling or backcountry skiing (eye protection activities) in low light conditions. They don't seem to bounce or slip at all when running. Of course, to me one downside of expensive glasses is that if you're running and it gets dark or they get too sweaty or whatever you might be loath to stash them in a pocket, at an aid station, etc. My solution to that is that I have a kinda comfortable pair of $15 sunglasses that I wear on days when I think I'm going to have to treat my sunglasses roughly.

Just my two cents.. No financial interest in Bolle or much of anything.

Geoff Baker

You might want to check out the Rudy Project line. These sunglasses are made for athletes. I have the Kerosene model and like them. They have a vent control system to reduce fogging. Interchangeable lens let you customize for different light. The best thing about them is that if a lens gets scratched, they will replace it for the cost of shipping.

Mike Erickson

This is one of my favorite topics, because I think the subject is muddied with a lot of misperception and marketing hype. let's just leave it with this...for every $150 pair of Oakley's that promise everything from 100% UV protection to enhanced sexual attractiveness (to say nothing of the almost unspeakable 'cool' factor), I can buy 15+ pairs of 100% UVA/B protection sunglasses at my favorite running boutique, WalMart. They offer very comparable cool and equal protection from the elements. Sex factor remains a lost cause.

Best of all I have the confidence in knowing I can just toss my glasses in my gym bag and not worry about them. If they break, too bad, I've got another pair in the bag and another two in the truck. Be a smart consumer...don't be duped by the marketeers.