Finding prescription sportswear sunglasses that protect your eyes AND look good can be a tall task. Fortunately, there are specialty dealers who offer the perfect combination of form and function, and a great selection to boot.

Before deciding on a pair of sports sunglasses, think about the sports you most often play outdoors. If you play multiple, you may want to consider purchasing a few different pairs of sports sunglasses; every sport requires different features for optimal performance.  

Here’s a look at what features to look for when buying different sunglasses for different sports.

Golf sunglasses. Specialty golf sunglasses can improve depth perception and your ability to read textures on the green, which both lead to a lower score. Copper, brown, rose or green lenses can make a huge impact on your performance because they provide a greater contrast between your ball and the golf environment. For golfers with especially sensitive eyes, gray lenses are the best option. All golfers should opt for the polarized variety if you want to reduce the glare and have a sharper contrast.

Cycling sunglasses. Cyclists need sunglasses that are comfortable for extended use and that provide protection from harmful UV rays. They also need to protect the eyes from all angles and offer extra definition while on the road or on the trail. Make sure sunglasses have an anti-reflective coating (AR coat) on the back of the lens. This will help prevent the sun from getting in the eyes.

Running sunglasses. The most important factor, aside from beauty, that runners should consider is how much the sunglasses weigh. They need to be as weightless as possible for the best possible running experience. Find sunglasses that offer extended protection from UV rays and a contrast that gives you a better view of the road or trail.

Buying Prescription Sunglass Lenses

If you’re looking for prescription sports sunglasses, look into free-form lenses. “Free form” refers to the advanced manufacturing process used to create these lenses and reduce aberrations. Free-form lenses are made from eyeglass prescriptions using advanced manufacturing equipment (also called surfacing equipment) that is much more exact than your typical tools. Other customized features of free-form lenses include the angle between the eye and the back surface of the lens when looking in different directions, the frame size and the position of the pupil within the outline of the frame.

Because high definition lenses are about as specialized as they come, opticians will typically have to gather additional information when you select your eyeglass frames. Oftentimes a proprietary measuring device will be used when ordering a specific brand of free-form, high-definition glasses.