When spending time on the slopes, protective eyewear is a
necessity, not only for maximizing your performance but also for your safety.
When it comes to protecting your eyes, you have two main options – goggles and
sunglasses – but which is better? We explore the advantages of goggles versus
sunglasses on the slopes.
The Advantages of Wearing Goggles
Many people will tell you that goggles are a must-have on
the slopes. There are many safety advantages to wearing them. Let’s take a look
at some of the best arguments put forward.
Most goggles offer UV protection and are tinted in a rose or
yellowy hue, these contrasting hues allow skiers to see objects and bumps more
clearly in the snow. Many people do not realise the full extent of the dangers
associated with too much sun exposure while skiing or snowboarding – the sun’s
rays are much more powerful when reflected off the snow at a high altitude, and
it is too much of this exposure which can lead to painful sunburn of the eyes.
Goggles block 100% of these rays.
Goggles cover a larger area of the face, creating a seal
against the skin that traps heat and keeps your face warm. This seal also helps
keep out ice crystals from getting into your eyes and protects them against any
branches or obstructions. Sunglasses can be hazardous if you fall over, whereas
ski goggles also come with a strap that keeps them tight against your face,
even if you fall down. Although those who are pro-sunglasses may argue that
goggles can be bulky, it is actually this robust design that helps to shield
the entire upper part of the face from the elements. Ultimately, goggles will
protect your eyes from bad weather, snow blindness, snow, ice and debris.
Goggle lenses are farther away from the eyes, meaning that
there will be a wider range of vision compared to sunglasses. One of the major
advantages to wearing goggles is that they provide unhindered peripheral
vision; as skiers travel at high rates of speed, it is essential to keep your
vision clear at all times.
Goggles are designed to fit comfortably, and usually still
fit well even if you’re wearing a helmet – many helmets have brackets to hold
your goggles in place. And regardless of their size, goggles should fit snugly
around the eyes, blocking out snow and ice, which is harder to prevent when
wearing shades. Goggle frames are made of softer and more flexible materials
than traditional sunglass frames – nylon and rubber being the most popular
because they hold their shape well. As mentioned earlier, most goggles will
also have a large strap designed to keep them in place, no matter how fast
you’re going down that mountain!
There are a wide range of goggles out there, many with
excellent safety features such as 100% UV protection, anti-fogging and some
models even include inserts for prescription lenses that can be made to your
individual specifications and placed between the goggle lens and your eyes.
The Advantages of Wearing Sunglasses
As has been discussed there are numerous reasons for wearing
goggles, but they are not always everyone’s first choice. We take a look at the
best reasons for wearing sunglasses on the slopes.
Ideal for beginners
Sunglasses are ideal for those who are just starting out in
snow sports, and are also ideal for skiers who don’t ski too fast. The weight
and comfort of sunglasses can be beneficial when navigating the mountain. As
sunglasses are typically lighter and more comfortable, it can make the
transition from going down a mountain to then walking to your next location
As sunglasses are an item that most people already own, it
is convenient to take them to the slopes and it’s also typically easier to find
prescription lenses for them than it is for goggles. Some sports eyewear
manufacturers now even make adaptable sunglasses with interchangeable sides and
straps, as well as detachable foam adaptors to create a more goggle-like fit.
Although functionality is hugely important when it comes to
snow sports, fashion also plays a part too – especially around town and during
après-ski. As previously mentioned, goggles can be too inconvenient for some
who choose to opt for more discreet glasses. The bulkiness of goggles can make
them uncomfortable or incompatible with some ski helmets. In addition, if
goggles don’t have anti-fog features, they can commonly fog up, especially if
they are regularly taken off.
Good weather conditions
Your choice of either goggles or sunglasses will also be
influenced by weather conditions. While many prefer goggles in extreme weather
conditions, sunglasses may be preferable when the sun is shining. And at least
you’ll avoid those panda eyes!
Which do you prefer on the slopes, goggles or sunglasses?
Let us know in the comment section!