Our guide to ski sunglasses and ski goggles

Planning on hitting the slopes this winter but confused about buying sunglasses or goggles?

To get the most out of the snow, experience has taught us that a good pair of sunglasses or goggles is just as essential as the right pair of boots. But what should you consider when choosing you ski eyewear?

Ski Glasses or Goggles?

When choosing a pair of ski glasses or glasses, your choice will be influenced by the weather conditions you expect to encounter as well the particular performance characteristics you need. Comfort will also be a factor while the degree of safety they provide will be critical.

Fashion is, of course, another vital element. While functionality should take the upper hand on the slopes, we understand that style is also important around town and during après-ski.

So should you opt for sunglasses or goggles?

While many skiers prefer sunglasses for all but the most extreme weather conditions, goggles are becoming increasingly popular. Essential wear for snowboarders, a growing number of skiers now also choose goggles for their performance benefits.

Nonetheless, the choice will come down to personal preference and there are no hard and fast rules.

Some sports eyewear manufacturers, including Adidas, now make adaptable sunglasses with interchangeable sides and head-straps as well as detachable foam adaptors to hug the cheeks and create a more goggle-like fit. These include the Terrex Pro A143 and the award-winning Elevation Climacool A136 with interchangeable lenses for different light and weather conditions.

Lens options

When browsing ski sunglasses and goggles you will come across a number of lens options.

Polarised lenses are excellent at absorbing glare. However, if you will be skiing or snowboarding in icy conditions polarised lenses can make it difficult to discern ice from snow.

Mirrored lenses, on the other hand, help to reduce brightness without totally cutting out all glare so ice can still be spotted. If opting for mirrored lenses, anti-reflective coatings are also recommended to reduce back reflectance.

Photochromatic lenses remove the need to adjust lenses in different light conditions as they will automatically darken in bright sunlight and lighten in reduced light.

Anti-fog features, including anti-fog coatings, vents and double or treble lenses, are invaluable to help avoid fogging.

Lens colours

Confused about which lens colour to choose? Forget fashion: each lens colour is designed for particular conditions.

Grey is a great all-weather tint and the most common colour. Grey and grey-green tints block out glare without disturbing colour perception.

Brown, amber or rose are best for identifying bumps and ridges: brown is best for sunny conditions while amber and rose are better for cloudier days.

Yellow, meanwhile, is best reserved for poor weather conditions such as fog, dense cloud and low light.

If you are unsure what conditions to expect, opt for glasses or goggles with interchangeable lenses so you can adapt your lens tint accordingly.

Spectacle-wearing skiers

If you need prescription lenses, we would recommend looking for models of ski glasses and goggles with clip-in prescription adaptors – we have a number which are available to try in our eyewear studio including the above mentioned Terrex Pro A143 and Elevation Climacool A136  as well as the Adidas Yodai goggle . You can also buy goggles that fit over your glasses but these may not be as comfortable as sunglasses or goggles with prescription adaptors. Bear in mind that an anti-fog spray may also be necessary to keep them fog-free.

Another option is to be fitted with contact lenses ahead of your holiday, allowing you to choose from a wider range of sunglasses and goggles, including those that are not compatible with prescription lenses.

More information

For more advice please call us on 01473 240400 or pop in to see us before you set off!