With 300+ days of sunshine here, sunglasses are a must for year-round protection and comfort. (And to maintain your cool factor, of course.) But with snowy, wintery conditions around, your visual needs for sunwear may be quite different than under blue, sunny skies.
Whether you’re playing in the mountains or wanting the best clarity around town, here are some considerations for sunglasses and snow:
Polarized Lenses – Sunlight reflects off of snow like thousands of tiny little mirrors, creating incredibly loud light that bounces all around. Polarized sunglasses are by far your best choice to absorb that glare. They will eliminate both direct glare from the sun as well as reflected glare off of snow, greatly reducing your need to squint. When driving through sunny, snowy mountain roads, polarized lenses are your safest choice to insure clear vision.
Lens Color – On gray snowy days, you’re dealing with a lot of flat colors – lots of gray and white. A high contrast lens such as brown, amber or rose, will increase contrast between colors to brighten up your surroundings. This increases depth perception and color differentiation, and can be incredibly comfortable on a flat light day. Most of these colors are available in polarized as well. Yellow lenses also heighten contrast in very low light conditions, like at high altitudes or in very snowy conditions. Yellow lenses however can alter colors that you see so they are not recommended for driving. Several sunglass manufacturers offer interchangeable designs (even in prescription) so you can carry all the lenses you’ll need for your day.
Hydrophobic Coatings – In wet conditions, a hydrophobic coating is what helps keep water off your lenses. These lenses are treated so that water beads up and slides off quickly, rather than sticking to the lens and smudging to block your vision. The coating also helps repel oil and dirt, keeping your lenses cleaner in all conditions. You can view a demo here to see Oakley’s hydrophobic coating in action.
Sport-Design Frame – A wrapped sunglass design will give you all the protection discussed above, with extra coverage to protect against peripheral glare. A wrapped design will also protect against wind and snow. A snow goggle can give the best protection during snow sports, but a well-designed sport sunglass can give you many of the same benefits. For prescription wearers, a sport sunglass is your best option.
We carry all the top gurus of sport sunglasses for your winter gear – Oakley, Revo, Kaenon, Maui Jim, Switch, and more. If you have any questions about the best options for your winter play, it would be our pleasure to help you out.
Optique of Denver