Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce glare from flat surfaces like water, roads, and glass
Photo courtesy of Oakley
Before getting into the technicalities of polarized sunglasses, let’s first look at the basics. Polarized sunglasses are designed to reduce glare from flat surfaces like water, roads, and glass. This is the glare reflected to you as the sun hits a solid surface, which could be dangerous and annoying.
These types of sunglasses can protect you from glare as these are made of polarized film that blocks reflected light. This chemical filter then allows you to see with more clarity, depth, and color as well as improve comfort.
The benefits in sports
Polarized sunglasses are best used for winter (ice hockey and skating), sand (beach volleyball), and water (surfing and rowing) sports because these require heightened levels of eye protection. Performance brands like Oakley, for example, produces its own polarized Prizm lenses to enhance the color of the environment and make details sharper and more vivid to increase visual comfort.
For instance, wearing these sunglasses in autocross blocks the reflective light of the sun while still allowing a clear view of the obstacle course—an important requirement for every driver.
Oakley marketing manager Louren Lacanlale says that the materials used in their sunglasses are game-changing. “Plutonite lens is shatterproof, has high impact protection, and is very lightweight.”
Choosing the right polarized sunglasses
When buying polarized sunglasses, it’s important to consider the shape of the frame (or how it covers your eyes) and the color of the lens. This is because with sports like golf and baseball, you need yellow and amber tints to reduce the impact of the blue light from the sky.
Meanwhile, brown- and copper-tinted sunglasses are best for autocross sports since they provide visual clarity. Ultimately, however, the best types are those equipped with high-quality polarized film.
Are they worth the extra money?
Aside from sports, Lacanlale says that polarized sunglasses are also ideal for activities like going to the beach. One thing to remember though is that this type of sunglasses don’t work as well when it comes to viewing LCD screens because it reduces the screen’s visibility.
But if you’re looking for a pair that reduces glare, provides clearer vision and better color perception, and prevents eye fatigue, then consider polarized lenses.