Do Eye Need to know about Sports Lenses?

The Optical Journal - Optical News With Independent Views

Do optical consumers really need specific sports lenses as well as other specific lenses? If in doubt depending on your own specific sports activity, ask yourself these questions:

  •  If you are a golfer do you wear running shoes when you play golf?
  •  If you are a swimmer do you wear ski goggles to swim in?
  •  If you are a runner do you wear court shoes when you go running?
  •  If you are a biker do you wear running shorts to bike?

Funny how these questions seem silly spoken aloud yet I find many eyecare providers are uneasy about asking their patients about their sports activities and recommending sports specific eyewear as a second or third pair.

But most optical consumers who are into sport, especially those that need prescription eyewear will be grateful to know that they can enjoy their sport even more with personalized lenses and frames. They might not want to buy them then and there but maybe later especially if you give them an incentive to come back. It is also easier if you take advantage of the marketing available from expert sports performance optical vendors. Here are a few examples beginning with sunglasses for now:

Costa’s Rx program is really gaining momentum. Costa has a very loyal customer following and many of them are baby boom generation anxious to have their favorite sunglasses available in Rx. Costa is a very marketing savvy company and has really focused on a very targeted market, sports fishing and water enthusiasts.

Costa Rx

Seiko® Sportswear Transitions® SOLFX™ sun lenses, the latest product in the Transitions SOLFX line of performance sunwear. Specifically optimized to improve color recognition, contrast and depth perception in varying lighting conditions, the lens is designed for a wide variety of outdoor sports and related activities, including running, hiking and walking.

Wiley X Digital was developed to provide sport-designed lenses tailored for the active enthusiast and does it with brilliant color contrast, texture and enhanced depth perception. The system brings extended prescription ranges, and optical performance that has the capacity to adjust the design away from the optical center, achieving perfect peripheral optics even in high wrap frames. With innovative digital surfacing techniques, Wiley X’s new approach for prescription glasses provides pinpoint accuracy and lets the wearer take themselves to the limit, no matter how aggressive or extreme the sport gets.

Switch Vision’s Boreal was reviewed in Explore Magazine, one of the top magazines for outdoor enthusiasts: “Most removable lenses take some futzing before they’ll sit in the frame properly, but Switch uses magnets on the lens and frame to keep it simple. The lens pops out with a firm push from behind and the replacement snaps back in almost on its own. It’s the easiest system we’ve tried, and doesn’t interfere with the look of the shades. The Boreal frame is an attractive wraparound design that blocks out most of the light.”

Switch Vision Boreal Review - Explore Magazine


Sports related magazines with features on sports eyewear are good to have in the waiting area, they can help the optical consumer be in the right frame of mind to ask questions about their sports optical needs.

Make sure you are on store locator websites of the premium sports lens providers, especially for Rx.

WileyX Dealer Locator Page

NXT Lenses are available for Rx and the material of choice for many different performance sports sunglass brands. Athletes all over the world wear NXT lenses to give them a visual edge over their opponents. Their marketing materials are an excellent resource.

Do Eye Need to know about Sports Lenses? We think so but have only talked about performance sun lenses here, next we will discuss clear sports lenses.

What are some of your experiences with sports lenses?  Please let us know, we would like to hear from you.


NW77th Eyewear - The Optical Journal