Having endured some eye procedures over the years, keeping them protected from the elements during outdoor activities — skiing especially — is at the top of my priority list. I’ve got a “system” dialed in for every activity, one that incorporates my Rx into the goggles and sunglasses I own that are designed for any number of outdoor pursuits, both on land and at sea. They come with lenses that adapt, both manually and automatically, to optimize visual clarity in all light levels, from low to high to everything in between.
Skiing and snowboarding — like being on the water — can be especially hard on our eyes, as the sun’s reflection off the snow is unrelenting and exposure from the wind irritating. Spring is particularly harsh for skiers as daylight hours extend and rising temps beckon us to bask longer in the sun. Exposure to UV radiation can be high even on cloudy days, and the risks increase in step with the elevation.
With the rising temperatures and extending days of spring, skiers and riders are ditching their bulky winter goggles for something more fashionable. Fortunately, most of today’s snowsports-ready sunglasses do a great job to mitigate the many risk factors, with Rx customization available, to boot. And the best part is that they do it not just with style, but with a statement. After all, making a statement is what spring skiing is all about.
So if you’re looking for something to say in your own unique way this spring, you might want to retire those old and tired goggles you’ve been trotting out since the Obama administration. It’s a brave new world out there and it’s time you got on board. You can combine function and style not just for the slopes but for all your other crossover outdoor activities all year long. Here’s a taste:
Bollé Graphite/ Bollé Cobalt
Bollé’s modern touch on the classic mountaineering-style, glacier-style of decades ago makes its Graphite sunglasses model versatile for all sorts of outdoor activities, especially adventures in high altitude, snow-covered mountains. With side shields attached, Graphites completely block out all light from all angles, including UVA, UVB and UVC, while shatter-resistant lenses deliver 100 percent protection from head on.
Anti-smudge, anti-fog and anti-reflective coatings deliver optical clarity demanded not just in snowsports activities, but when crossing over into other pursuits like cycling, boating, motocross, golfing, fishing, running, you name it.
Bollé’s Cobalt merges true mountain heritage with a modern shape. Key features include Phantom lenses (Cat.2-4), removable injected side shields and a bold style for a true hybrid product.
Made with Smith’s Chromapop lenses, Flywheels filter out two distinct wavelengths to enhance visual clarity. Two-position adjustable nose pads keep these glasses secure when you’re everything but sedentary, and TR90 frames offer a comfortable flex with wrapped protection that boosts security no matter what your outdoor use. Hydroleophobic lense coating repels those spring corn snow shots that you’re unable to dodge, as well as water, dirt and grease — because we all know that our favorite spring ski days often end with a slide right into the parking lot for an après tailgate.
Even without James Bond himself rocking the Glaciers in the 2015 movie “Spectre,” Glaciers are beyond reproach in style and grace. Highly technical and elegantly refined in typical French fashion, the classically unique Glacier model withstands time. With its iconic removable leather shields, the Glacier is just as comfortable on the summit as it is in the city as it is in the sun-drenched courtyards at your favorite ski resort.
Oakley Split Shot
One thing I don’t like about sunglasses, which I do all the time even though I don’t like it, is attaching a leash to the temple tips (the part that wraps around the ears), to tether your sunglasses around your neck in the event that they’re suddenly dislodged from your face, like in a spring yardsale. Leashes also come in handy when transitioning from light to dark situations, like when walking into the bar for another round. I don’t like them because I have sensitive ears and the added rubber material in that location bothers me.
Enter the Oakley Split Shots. There’s a compartment built into the temple tips that open for attaching an integrated leash system. No added material pressing into your ear, only added security. Prizm lenses and high wrap design maximize protection from exposure, whether on the open waters or on the open slopes. These sunglasses also are designed with hat compatibility in mind by featuring a slight curvature at the top browline, allowing them to seamlessly partner with all your favorite hat brims.
Blenders Saturn Cloud
These wraparound sunglasses, the first in the Blenders line, merge the functional and stylistic elements of the activewear and lifestyle worlds — hence the company’s name. Today, Blenders boasts a full eyewear line that includes ski goggles, sunglasses, prescription glasses and non-prescription, blue light readers. But the Saturn Clouds are a natural for the skiing community, delivering full face protection and polarized lenses for enhanced clarity, along with half-transparent clear frame, two-tone temples, and glowing orange lenses to make them shout out in the lift line or the fall line.