In categories nearly as varied as eyewear itself, sport eyewear ranges from models for everyone from weekend warriors to professional athletes, from kids in organized leagues to adults who just want to look “sporty.”

Features abound to improve performance and include sweat management, air control, and interchangeable lenses and temples. Frame materials are designed for durability and eco-friendliness, while lenses offer polarization and photochromic technologies for varying light conditions.

Fitting patients with sport eyewear can be as challenging (and fun and rewarding) for ECPs as the activities their patients are pursuing when wearing these professional recommendations.

For 2018, Smith has launched its Who We Serve platform, dividing its products that meet at the intersection of life and sport into five categories — Velocity, Water, Land, Ridge and a fifth category so new it was unnamed at press time — with styles that provide all-out high-speed performance to technologies hidden behind streetwise looks.

“This year is our greatest release of new products, innovations and designs within a single year,” said Eric Carlson, global brand director at Smith. “But what’s more important than the volume, is our focus. In really defining five user categories, and their needs and expectations for eyewear performance, Smith targets and defines who we serve more than ever, and we’re building product within each category with purpose-filled intent.”

Outlier 2 (right) and Ember (left)

Moving forward, all Smith eyewear will be defined and developed under the new Who We Serve categories:

Velocity (“designed for performance at full speed”) blends two proprietary technologies to address the needs of elite athletes and endurance enthusiasts. Offered in two sizes, the Attack and the Attack Max feature proprietary ChromaPop lenses with Smith’s new MAG interchangeable technology, a magnet-based innovation that enables fast lens swapping for varying light conditions with a simple click.

Water (“purpose built for advantage on the water”) features the re-imagined Guide’s Choice originally designed in the early ‘90s. The larger facial coverage with 8-base lens curvature and wide temples reduce glare off the water. Providing 100% UV protection, they come with either Techlite TLT glass lenses or Smith’s proprietary ChromaPop polarized lenses. The lightweight yet durable frames are composed of proprietary Evolve eco-friendly material.

Land (“crafted for all-purpose action”) mixes performance features for versatile athletes as they transition from the streets to the mountains, including two new frames — the Outlier 2 and the women’s specific Ember. The Evolve eco-friendly frames feature newly integrated no-slip megol temples for a slimmer design and added comfort.

Ridge (“modern classics”) features the unisex Lowdown 2 and the women’s specific Caper. Eco-friendly Evolve frames with no-slip megol on the nosepads join additional features including auto-lock hinges and Rx compatibility.

[Category Five] (“designed for the front edge of outdoors style”) debuts with The Comeback flat top and Crusader styles. Both are Rx compatible and made with Evolve eco-friendly material exclusively with ChromaPop lenses.
SMITH   888.206.2995

ROKA’s new Advanced Performance for Extreme Conditions (A.P.EX.) line of eyewear comes in five styles with up to ten Carl Zeiss Vision lens tint options so athletes can completely customize their eyewear. The A.P.EX. line consists of three frame options with multiple height configurations. An adjustable titanium core is lightweight and offers a customized fit. ROKA’s patented GEKO technology on the nosepads and temples ensure a snug fit. Lenses are standard with hydrophobic, oleophobic, anti-scratch, anti-fog and anti-reflective coatings.
ROKA   877.985.7652

If they have two eyes or if they have one eye or if they are a patient, the majority of people are appropriate candidates for sport eyewear. A lot of people are active and wear different shoes for different activities, so every time they change their shoes they should also change their eyewear because nothing is more important than the eyes. First and foremost they need to know that sport eyewear is available, and we as an industry don’t do a good enough job with awareness. So many people are out there snowboarding or mountain biking, and it’s what makes them happy, it’s what makes them look forward to Saturday or their vacation, so it’s ridiculous and our fault as an industry that they are not aware of available sport eyewear. What’s amazing about ROKA is that it doesn’t compromise performance or aesthetics, so it looks good and works equally well.
— Rob Tavakoli, VP, Sport RX, San Diego

Known for its polarized performance sunglasses handcrafted in Florida, Costa’s four new styles in its Core Sunglass Collection (Montauk, Cape, Tide and Bayside) feature a sweat management system with temple vents that improve air circulation and reduce lens fogging, channels along the temple that enable cooling airflow and wick sweat, thinner bottom eyewires that drain moisture from the bottom of the lens, and Hydrolite nose and temple pads that help manage sweat and heat while providing a secure fit and comfort. Costa   800.447.3700

I live in Florida, so basically everybody needs a good pair of sunglasses whether or not they actually play sports. It’s really about the lens. I usually show them a nice polarized pair and a tinted pair, and most people can see the difference and the need for a polarized pair. Beyond that they’re looking for protection, coverage and fashion.
— Kate Schamroth, Mollega Eyecare, Miramar Beach, FL

There are three ways to play with Hilco’s Leader ProX Rx sports goggles — 1) frame with adjustable strap, 2) frame alone and 3) frame with strap-adapt. The temple release quickly changes temples to strap-adapt with the touch of a button. Hilco Vision   800.955.6544




We ask a lot of questions to make sure we are meeting patients’ needs: ‘So tell me about your typical day, the activities you enjoy.’ Whether they’re children, teenagers, adults, male or female, asking questions helps find out if there’s something we can provide for them. In most cases, the answer is yes. Obviously, safety and comfort are what they are primarily looking for. Then we make sure it fits under their helmet if it’s for baseball or bike riding, for example. A lot of patients like them to be Transitions for use in both indoor and outdoor sports. We switched 98% of our business to Hilco for their sport goggles, particularly because the end of the temple is adjustable and really comfortable, and you can remove the temple and replace it with a strap.
— Denise Finch, Newton Optica, Newton, MA

Tifosi Optics’ Swank, a new style for spring 2018, features Grilamid TR-90 frames, hydrophilic rubber nosepads, an integrated hinge and polycarbonate lenses. New Tifosi Glide technology helps Swank slide on easily without pulling hair and ensures glasses stay in place.

Tifosi Optics’ new Alliant for summer 2018 combines Grilamid TR-90 frames with polycarbonate shield lenses. Comfort results from adjustable ear and nosepieces, hydrophilic rubber on all contact points and four lens vents and two temple vents. Alliant is offered in four colorways with three interchangeable options and one Fototec option. Tifosi Optics   866.310.0996

Through conversation you can gauge what your patients’ needs and budgets are. I like to offer three different levels of pricing. In business for 20 years I’ve matured as an optician and learned to be as up front and honest with them no matter how much money they have or don’t have; everyone is equal. Tifosi is competitive for someone who wants a back-up pair but doesn’t want to spend a lot of money. I have a whole variety of active clientele who enjoy golfing, biking, running, or who just want a casual sporty look. With Tifosi you get a whole array of products.
— Daniel Torrez, ABO, Olson Eyecare, Madison, WI

Standout styles in the Revo collection include the Huddie and the Windspeed. The gold Windspeed model features the new Spectra Serilium lens, a new addition to the Revo Light Management System. The Huddie is shown in Sea Breeze with Revo’s signature Blue Water Serilium lens, to enhance the wearer’s experience on the water. ClearVision Optical Co.   800.645.3733.

To determine who would be appropriate for sport eyewear, I talk, talk, talk, ask questions and then listen to see if they are active in any kind of sport. Think of a sport and it’s done here in Minnesota — cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking — they bicycle year-round here. What they are looking for in eyewear is optimum performance, a lens that will give them what they need throughout the day from dawn to dusk in terms of brightness, polarization protection and the various lighting conditions.
— Kat Leek, LDO, Kat’s Eyes Optical, Duluth, MN

Replacing traditional plastics with plant-based polycarbonate Ellume Polarized lenses and Z-resin for frames, Zeal Optics sport eyewear is both lightweight and impact resistant. The lenses block 99.9% of glare and filter 95% of HEV light to reduce eye fatigue. Temple tips and nosepads of ProFlex rubber ensure a firm grip. The company shares its lab with Maui Jim, where its lenses are produced. Zeal Optics   888.454.9325

Everyone’s very active in Boulder, so most of our customers are candidates for sport eyewear. It’s the power of their lenses that makes the difference because sometimes the Rx is too strong for a wrap frame. They’ve made great strides in lenses as far as prism thinning and compensation, but there are a lot of variables to consider. Zeal has a copper color lens that provides high contrast for low light conditions, better defining the edges of things. The gray lens is neutral and doesn’t change or distort colors. Some people are super sensitive to light such as a blue-eyed, nearsighted person, so sometimes dark gray is the only way to go. A good fit is also important with sport eyewear. Everyone here is real careful about fit, having long enough temples and fitting well on your nose; that’s why you shouldn’t order online. Zeal offers a lot of designs with a sport grip on the bridge and temples; the more you sweat the more they grip. And they are lightweight and eco-friendly.
— Chris Merciez, ABOC, Envision Boulder, Boulder, CO


Marchon Eyewear   800.645.1300


Anyone who is active is a candidate for sport eyewear. As Nike used to say, ‘If you have a body, you are an athlete.’ Patients are looking for function and fashion, something that will meet their needs without an impediment. Some, such as those who don’t need correction, who wear contact lenses or who have had laser surgery, might just need protection. Others, such as athletes over age 40 who are still active, might need multifocals to see near targets such as a GPS or a speedometer on a bicycle. Nike has a very expansive line of both frames and lenses. For sport active, you need a frame that does what it’s supposed to do, fit right and doesn’t jostle around on the face. We talk a lot about fit and encourage the patient to bring in their helmet to make sure it fits perfectly. Sport safety frames do all that but can also take an impact, such as Skylon. My son has been wearing Skylon Jr. for seven years; it ups the cool factor but is very safe. Nike’s expansive lens line includes Max Optics, which features less distortion in the periphery even with higher prescriptions in a wrap frame. Then when you add tints, the lens offerings become more expansive with tints for golf, outdoors and high speeds for picking up contrast on the trails to see sticks and rocks.
— Keith Smithson, OD, Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry; Chairman, AOA Sports and Performance Vision Committee; Team Optometrist, Washington Redskins, Wizards, Nationals, Mystics, Spirit and DC United; Visual Performance Consultant, Washington Capitals

Liberty Sport’s Helmet Spex Series is designed to fit under helmets and features a strap that contours over the ears for comfort. Soft rubber endpieces mold to the face and provide additional cushioning at key contact points, and venting grooves in the eyerim increase airflow and prevent fogging. Liberty Sport’s Sport Shift Series can switch from temple to goggle strap formats. Both come in extra large sizes. Liberty Sport   800.444.5010

Most of the time the doctor starts the conversation about sport eyewear. She will ask the probing questions, making sure she talks about safety vs. regular glasses, which can’t be used for sport. Then we show them a smashed pair and go over the stats, that basketball is the number one eye injury sport and in baseball they can get their nose broken. For some patients we prescribe safety glasses for sport. Personally, I like that Liberty Sport is available in enough sizes to take kids from 8 to 14 years old because most kids are loyal to their glasses brand. The rubber nosepiece makes them comfortable and helps with fogging too. We have a lot of kids into martial arts who do well with Liberty.
— Nicole Finigan, FNAO, ABOC, PD Optics, Livingston, NJ

MauiJim, Inc.   888.666.5905

With all the different styles of sportswear available in the market, most active patients are candidates for this type of eyewear. The vast majority of today’s patients are looking for sports eyewear to be comfortable, durable and


fashionable. They want their frames to grip and not slip so that it will meet their activity needs. Maui Jim has a large array of sports eyewear that allows patients to receive the comfort they are looking for because of the strong and lightweight frame materials that also look great on. Patients appreciate the details that Maui Jim puts into their frames such as high performance rubberized pieces on the end of the temple and vented rubberized nosepads. Patients like the diversity of the MJ Sport shapes and sizes the frames are made in, in addition to the selection of lens colors that are available both in plano and prescription. Regardless of the sport or lighting conditions, Maui Jim’s PolarizedPlus2 lens technology provides a competitive advantage by eliminating 99.9% of glare. The result is a lens experience that patients will love.
— Ethan J. Brown, Optical Manager, The Optical Shop at Greenwich Ophthalmology, Stamford, CT



Born on the battlefield and developed in relationships with the U.S. Armed Forces and Special Forces units, Wiley X performance sunglasses meet the ANSI Z87.1 safety standard for High Velocity/High Mass Impact, bringing ballistic technology to civilian markets, including sport hunting and shooting, motorcycle riding, fishing, hiking, biking and various extreme sports. Wiley X, Inc.   800.776.7842


Because we only do sport eyewear, it’s the only reason people are coming to see us, but if they still need convincing we tell them that 90% of eye injuries could have been prevented with safety eyewear. Generally they are looking for lenses that work in varying lighting conditions and non-slip nosepads and temples.
— Shannen Knight, Sight for Sport Eyes, West Linn, OR

Crocs Eyewear from A&A Optical combines stainless steel, acetate, hypo-allergenic silicone rubber and flexible polymer in its new male and female adult and junior styles. Combination frame CF4338 features an acetate front and stainless steel temples with ombre color effect. CF4338 is available in 20RD (black front with black to red fade temples), 40BN (brown front with brown to sand fade temples), and 80BE (gunmetal front with blue fade). Combination JR6021 offers a splash of vibrant color with gradient color harmonies. The acetate frame is available in 20GN (black front with green gradient temples), 30GN (translucent turquoise front with gradient hues of teal, blue and lime green), and 35PE (purple front with gradient shades of purple and green).
A&A Optical   800.492.4465



A surprisingly high percentage of patients are candidates for sports eyewear. A thorough case history regarding a patient’s lifestyle will often reveal one or several activities that would benefit from sports eyewear. As an eye doctor, my first thought is safety, but honestly I think durability is the number one thing patients want out of their sports eyewear, and safety comes second. People spend hard earned money and don’t want to see their investment in pieces. When you think of sports glasses, people picture big, thick, and not so attractive eyewear. My head optician agrees that Crocs are popular for our office because it has a sporty design and fun colors with the durability and two-year warranty that appeal to patients’ practical side.
— Matthew Greene, OD, Urban Optics, College Station, TX

O’Neill eyewear has aligned itself with a campaign (the O’Neill Blue Campaign) to eliminate beach and ocean plastics. This season’s frame collection has elements of ‘Natura’ Bio-Acetate, a material sustainably manufactured from plant-based cellulose that is 100% biodegradable and decomposes more quickly than standard acetate.


Scott (106 in gloss navy horn) features bio-sourced acetate construction, natural wood temples and driftwood finishes. Jake (006 in matte navy) combines stainless steel, TR-90 and rubber; fuses together triple color-coded materials; and features comfortably soft Techfit rubber temples with textured tops for maximum grip. Talulah (061 in matte purple) has a stainless steel front, TR-90 and acetate fused temples, featuring Summerflo and wildflower prints that capture the beauty and color of nature.
Inspecs USA   844.771.7710


Leave A Reply