Eyeking’s UA Core S model, powered by Switch, allows the athlete to customize sunwear easily and quickly as light conditions change.

Several elements make sports performance sunwear effective and useful to athletes and sports enthusiasts.

While everyday ophthalmic eye-wear and fashion sunwear may be in style, it usually isn’t suitable for sports. Performance sunwear must offer cool and useful features that benefit wearers so they can be on their game. Here’s an overview.

There are times when sunglasses need to be placed in front of the wearer’s eyes and times when they need to be removed. For instance, when an outfielder is in play, the sunwear needs to be in place. When the player is hanging out in the dugout, the sunglasses may be removed.

Gargoyles Eyewear has an ideal sunglass product for sports-minded folks including baseball and field hockey players. The Rover model is designed with a flip-up lens system for convenience. Just grab onto the extended endpieces attached to the lenses and flip up and down. The sun lenses are highly impact resistant and block out harmful ultra-violet (UV) radiation. In addition, the head strap is adjustable, enabling a custom fit. These combined features protect the wearer’s eyes and allow the sunglasses to perform better.

Athletes need to be comfortable in their sunwear and shouldn’t need to question if what they are wearing is safe. Whether they’re running a marathon or skiing downhill, durable frame materials matter.

Smith’s Terrace water-resistant material gently grips the skin and keeps the frame from slipping.

Oakley, Inc.’s Radar Edge is made of stress-resistant O Matter frame material that is super lightweight and safe to wear. This women’s style is streamlined in design and meets all ANSI Z87.1 standards for high-mass and high-velocity impact resistance. And the Three-Point Fit brings about all day comfort—O Matter material is durable enough for stellar performance sports.

Nothing grips quite like rubber. This soft, pliable, yet strong material can be placed strategically on sports frames so the wearer need not worry about slippage. Ice skaters, inline skaters, and racquetball and paddleball players definitely benefit from non-slip features offered today.

The Extended Size Padre by Columbia, from L’Amy America, is a great example of this. These classic, navigator-style sports temples are made of extremely lightweight H-90 material with bi-injected Gripol rubber. The bi-colored temples feel soft against the skin and are aggressive enough for almost any outdoor pursuit. The Gripol rubber adds extra grippage for the in-motion outdoor

ENGAGE THE PATIENT Sales consultants will tell you to engage the patient in order to enhance the customer experience. A good way to do this is with hands-on displays and internal marketing. After all, seeing is believing and applying is understanding. Why not use interactive marketing throughout your practice? Use demos that introduce patients to the benefits of polarization, selective absorption, lightweight and flexible nylon-based frame materials, non-slip nosepads, and more. These elements of sunwear draw in the consumer, and because they’ve discovered something on their own, they’re far more likely to buy it.

Perspiration can be a real issue when it comes to sunwear, and Smith Optics has a great solution. The Terrace is action-inspired and features both hydrophilic Megol nosepads and hydrophilic temple pads. Placed at the nose and on the temple tips, this water-resistant material gently grips the skin and keeps the frame from slipping. Hydrophilic material’s gripping power also increases as moisture increases.

If you’ve ever ridden a bicycle on a hot summer day and come to a stoplight, you can relate to this: your lenses begin to fog because you’re not in motion and the outdoor temperature is higher than your own. This fogging phenomenon also happens during indoor sports in a cool environment while the wearer is heated up. This fogging is not only distracting—it can be dangerous.
Check out the Bollé Diablo within the new 2012 Bollé Alpine Series Collection by Bushnell Performance Optics, Inc. To increase airflow, designers incorporated two vents, located on the temporal sides of the sunwear. This vented system keeps just enough air moving for comfort and helps to keep the lenses from fogging on a hot sunny day.

Another alternative to the fogging phenomenon are lens ventilation systems. When a certain amount of air is needed to surround the eyes while in slow motion, the wearer needs sunwear that promotes airflow and reduces fogging. Tennis players, bicyclists, speed walkers, and cross-country skiers truly enjoy this feature.

Gargoyles’ Rover model is designed with a flip-up lens system that’s highly impact resistant.

Nike Vision’s Road Machine by Marchon Eyewear is ready to tear up the street! This 6-base, custom split-shield running frame reduces visual interference and features a vented lens design that allows for streamlined air to flow, reducing the chance of fogging. Road Machine’s secure wrap temple arms and nosepieces are enhanced with rubberized grip pads for added stability and comfort. Like all Nike performance sunglasses, Road Machine has Nike Max Optics® for maximum coverage to ensure precise visual information from all angles.

The Extended Size Padre by Columbia, from L’Amy America, features temples made of extremely lightweight H-90 material with bi-injected Gripol rubber.
Nike Vision’s Road Machine by Marchon is a 6-base, custom split-shield running frame.

Mother Nature has endless beauty to offer, yet she can also bring on harmful conditions. There are times when it’s crucial to keep airborne debris like sand, insects, rain, and wind from creeping into your eyes.

Wiley X Eyewear’s WX Gravity is high performance in design with a patented, removable soft Facial Cavity Seal. This protective seal is made of soft foam material placed onto a removable insert that fits perfectly along the inside of the frame front, so the wearer’s orbital eye socket is surrounded by the comfortable seal. And it’s removable for when she is just lounging around outdoors by the pool. The WX Gravity is like getting two pairs of sunglasses for the price of one.

Varying weather conditions are always a possibility. Marathon runners, cross-country runners, and golf buffs can relate to the inconvenience of weather changes during their all-day outdoor sport. Changing conditions demand changing technology and the easier the better.

Eyeking’s UA Core S model, powered by Switch, within the Under Armour Performance Eyewear Collection, makes this task easy. High-strength magnets embedded in the lenses and the frame allow athletes to customize sunwear easily and quickly as light conditions change. UA Core S uses an incredibly fast interchange lens system, allowing the wearer to switch out the lenses for various sporting activities.

Many of the sports frame features athletes enjoy can cross over to cover them for several types of activity. So the next time someone asks you to recommend sports sunwear, you’ll know what to do.

Jackie O’Keefe is a licensed optician and writer, lecturer, and consultant in the Virginia Beach, VA, area.


800-905-2240 ext. 1009 •

Eyeking LLC
800-905-2240 ext. 1069 •

Gargoyles Eyewear
800-905-2240 ext. 1022

L’Amy America
800-905-2240 ext. 1029 •

Marchon Eyewear
800-905-2240 ext. 1035 •

Oakley, Inc.
800-905-2240 ext. 1043 •

Smith Optics
800-905-2240 ext. 1086 •

Wilex X Eyewear
800-905-2240 ext. 1077 •


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