Nonprescription sunglasses are universally popular, whether you are a celebrity in search of the latest fashion statement or an outdoor worker who needs the ultimate in sun and UVprotection.Choices of frames and lenses in this category are almost endless. You often have the option of having your regular eyeglass prescription incorporated into a sunglass frame. But many designer sunglasses that can be purchased “over-the-counter” are called “plano,” which means without prescription.While shopping for just the right sunglasses, you’ll find many options in styling, designer name and frame materials.
Options for sunglass frame materials include plastic (often called zyl), basic metal (usually a combination of a variety of metals) and specialty metals such as titanium, aluminum and stainless steel. Many sunwear styles today incorporate both metal and plastic into the design of the frame.The specialty metals have become increasingly popular in plano sunglasses because everyone is looking for lightweight options. Titanium, aluminum, stainless steel and even beryllium frames are a somewhat more costly investment, but offer the benefits of thinness and lightness as well as corrosion-resistance and strength.
Shopping for sunglasses
When shopping for sunglasses, keep in mind that the frame should fit comfortably on your face. However, if a frame is too large, or does not fit properly to your head, it can often be adjusted:
Metal frames can be bent slightly to better conform to your face and head.
Plastic frames can be heated and reshaped for a better fit.
The color and shape of the frame you choose depend on your personal style and preference. However, many sunglass aficionados say they like bolder styles, colors and details since they will be wearing them occasionally and only outside, as opposed to eyeglasses that are worn all day long indoors. Eyeglasses are considered “normal” eyewear, whereas sunglasses may be viewed as specialized eyewear, particularly for those who love the outdoors.
Interest in performance-oriented sunglasses has surged in recent years, along with participation in outdoor activities such as mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating. Durable and specialized performance sunglasses are needed also for certain professions such as the military.To meet the demands of both casual and competitive athletes, sunglass manufacturers are developing innovative new sport sunglasses to provide the best vision possible under extreme conditions.The results: lightweight, flexible, durable materials, no-slip components that do not fail in the heat of the moment and, of course, many choices in lenses.
Sunglasses lenses for high performance.
Perhaps the most important elements of effective sports sunglasses are the optical quality and visual enhancement properties of the lenses. Many lens tints such as brown, green, gray, yellow and orange are now available, with each color suitable for specific circumstances. Skiers in snow would want the high contrast provided by amber lenses, whereas gray lenses are best for preserving “real world” colors in bright sunlight.
Polycarbonate lenses are the best choice for high performance sunglasses because they are lightweight, super strong and more impact-resistant than most other lens materials.
Polarized lenses also are in demand because they reduce glare from light reflecting off flat surfaces, such as water or a field of snow.
However, debates continue about advisability of polarized lenses for sports such as downhill and mogul skiing, because you may need to see sunlight reflecting from icy patches on the slopes to avoid accidents.Though glass lenses have the best optical quality of conventionally produced lenses, they are not recommended for rugged activities because they are more likely to shatter on impact than lenses made of polycarbonate or other materials.