I once had a friend called The Fonz. My friends and I first gave him this nickname when we first discovered that he never left the house without his leather jacket and a pair of sunglasses. In fact, he rarely attended an event, day or night, summer or winter, without his trusty Ray Bans. We holidayed in Ibiza; naturally, he sported sunglasses throughout the duration. We holidayed in Prague over Christmas; again, he wasn’t without his shades. That was ten years ago. Ten years ago, when I (and maybe the rest of the world too) were less educated about eye health. But today, my friends and I realise that maybe The Fonz had it right all along…
You see, eye protection is just as important in the winter as it is in summer. Not only because it will improve your vision when you are doing something important (such as driving or sports) and keep your eyes from going dry in the harsh conditions, but also because it will protect your eyes from damaging and harmful UV rays.
If you are shopping for a new pair of winter sunglasses, here are a few things to consider:
Polarized vs. Non Polarized
If you intend on spending a lot time outdoors in the winter time, it may be a good idea to consider buying sunglasses with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are designed with a special coating which means that ultra violet rays can’t penetrate through your glasses. Although this is something that should be considered all year round, the sun can be much more dangerous in the winter months because it sits much lower in the sky.
Brands and Designers
Whilst our friend The Fonz never left the house without his favourite branded eyewear for style reasons, we believe that brand names are extremely important in this day and age when it comes to protecting your eyes from the sun. Brands such as Ray Ban, Oakley, Bolle, Cebe, Vista and Smith Optics are known for using the latest eyewear technology to develop sunglasses for sports – and these are the most trusted brands for people who spend a lot of time being active outdoors.
Lens Shape / Size
In winter, glare from ice and snow can cause difficulty in seeing at various angles. For skiing trips abroad, winter holidays or just a white Christmas here in the UK (we’re hopeful), the sun sitting low in the sky can cause problems with eyesight. So when it comes to choosing lenses, go for a decent size and shape that gives you great coverage. Aviator shapes can help to prevent snow/ice reflections and wraparound styles (such as the Oakley OO9263 TURBINE POLARIZED) will stop light from penetrating from the side.
Lens Colour / Tint
Brands such as Ray Bans have been renowned for their endless selection of mirrored lenses. But these tinted lenses do much more than just look awesome. Different tints have different strengths so make sure you pick sunglasses with the right tint for you. For example; light yellow is best for low lighting conditions, orange or red lenses are best suited for sunny or partly cloudy days, coppers and browns are best for intense sun, and green or grey lenses provide the best contrast and colour accuracy (making them best for sport).
For a pair of tinted and polarized aviators, we recommend the RB3025 Aviator Large Metal Polarized Flash Lenses.
So next time you go to snigger at someone for wearing sunglasses in the winter like I did with Fonz, step back and consider what you’re doing to protect your eyes at this time of year too.