The right sunglasses for sport

Three factors come into play in order to pick the right lens for the application at hand: colors, treatments and shapes.

How to choose the right lenses for sport sunglasses

Our eye­sight plays a fun­da­men­tal role in how we see the world around us. With our eyes we look, we ex­am­ine, we un­der­stand, we get ex­cit­ed, we love. Its im­por­tance must not be un­der­es­ti­mat­ed when it comes to sports. For out­door sports, pro­tect­ing our eyes from the sun’s harm­ful UV rays is es­sen­tial. But we also need to pro­tect our eyes from oth­er ex­ter­nal agents.

What does Sports eye­wear need to pro­tect against? Sport sun­glass­es must pro­tect the eye from athm­pos­pher­ic and en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions like UV Rays, Wind and Rain and from ex­ter­nal phisi­cal agents like Bugs, Sea wa­ter and Dust.

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So, how to choose the right lens­es for sport sun­glass­es? When choos­ing sports eye­wear, first of all it is nec­es­sary to dis­tin­guish the dis­ci­pline prac­ticed, based on en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics.

We can di­vide sports into 3 cat­e­gories:

  • Out­door Sports: Cy­cling, golf, run­ning, moun­taineer­ing, ten­nis, climb­ing, horse­back rid­ing, archery, hunt­ing, shoot­ing sports, hik­ing, etc.
  • Win­ter Sports: Ski­ing, snow­board­ing, moun­taineer­ing, climb­ing, moun­tain bik­ing, etc.
  • Wa­ter Sports: Fish­ing, kite­board­ing, wind­surf­ing, beach vol­ley­ball, sail­ing, wa­ter ski­ing, wake­board­ing, etc.

To car­ry out each of these cat­e­gories of dis­ci­plines, dif­fer­ent vi­sion char­ac­ter­is­tics are re­quired. For ex­am­ple Lens­es for Out­door Sports need to pro­tect the wear­er against a range of light­ing and oth­er en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions while en­sur­ing op­ti­mal clar­i­ty of vi­sion.

Lens­es for **Out­door sports **there­fore re­quire the fol­low­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics:

  • VI­SU­AL - en­sure per­fect eye con­tact with the wear­er’s sur­round­ings.
  • SAFE­TY - in the event of ac­ci­den­tal im­pact with ob­jects or ob­sta­cles.
  • COM­FORT - for the eyes af­ter ex­po­sure to bright light or pro­longed stress.
  • ANTI-FOG - dur­ing out­door sports lens­es can be sub­ject to fog­ging.
  • PRO­TEC­TION - the right lev­el of pro­tec­tion from UV rays.
  • DE­SIGN - er­gonom­ic and in­no­v­a­tive to en­sure the high­est pos­si­ble lev­els of per­for­mance.

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Lens­es for Win­ter sports are sub­ject­ed to the most ex­treme en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions and need to pro­tect against wind, snow and the in­tense sun­light typ­i­cal of the moun­tains. Lens­es for Win­ter Sports there­fore re­quire the fol­low­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics:

  • VI­SU­AL - to en­sure min­i­mal hin­drance to vi­su­al per­for­mance.
  • DURA­BIL­I­TY - need to be strong and shat­ter re­sis­tant.
  • ANTI-FOG - snow and cold mean lens­es are sub­ject to fog­ging.
  • PRO­TEC­TION - UV rays are much more in­tense at high al­ti­tude.
  • ANTI-GLARE - snow in­creas­es glare by up to 90%.
  • DE­SIGN - padding and per­son­al­iza­tions for a per­fect fit.

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Glass­es to be used in Wa­ter sports, on the oth­er hand, must have char­ac­ter­is­tics that al­low for an ex­cel­lent re­sponse against wear and dirt:

  • DURA­BIL­I­TY - must be strong, light­weight and shat­ter re­sis­tant.
  • PHO­TOCHROMIC - need to adapt to vari­able light­ing con­di­tions.
  • PRO­TEC­TION - against UV-A and UV-B, esp. on the beach and out at sea.
  • FORM FIT­TING - frames that en­sure a good fit that blocks the wind and stays in place.
  • ANTI-ABRA­SION - need to be treat­ed with a salt­wa­ter-re­sis­tant coat­ing.

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What col­or should the lens­es of the sports glass­es be?

Three fac­tors come into play in or­der to pick the right lens for the ap­pli­ca­tion at hand:

  • COL­OR - col­or is of great im­por­tance in cer­tain sports.
  • TREAT­MENTS - to en­hance lens per­for­mance or tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics.
  • SHAPE - choose a lens or shield in clas­sic or cre­ative shapes. (the mask is more pro­tec­tive be­cause it com­plete­ly en­velops the face)

Col­or in a lens is very im­por­tant to our abil­i­ty to see clear­ly in var­i­ous light­ing con­di­tions and in or­der to elim­i­nate glare. In gen­er­al, we can sum­ma­rize the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the col­ors as fol­lows:

  • Brown: high de­f­i­n­i­tion and clar­i­ty
  • Or­ange: depth and sat­u­ra­tion
  • Grey: anti-glare
  • Green: vari­able light
  • Vi­o­let: neu­tral­izes green
  • Blue: com­fort and anti-glare
  • Yel­low: in­crease con­trasts
  • Pink: clar­i­ty

In ad­di­tion to the col­or it­self, its in­ten­si­ty must also be tak­en into ac­count, as this de­ter­mines its cat­e­go­ry of pro­tec­tion, which ranges from cat­e­go­ry 0 to cat­e­go­ry 4.

Ac­cord­ing to these prop­er­ties, or­ange and yel­low are rec­om­mend­ed for moun­tain sports, run­ning, sports at sea or on the beach be­cause they of­fer depth of field and in­crease con­trasts, ide­al char­ac­ter­is­tics in open spaces in poor light­ing con­di­tions. In­stead gray and brown are per­fect on sun­ny and very bright days.

The blue and green are per­fect for wa­ter sports in medi­um-light con­di­tions but also in high moun­tain win­ter sports such as ski­ing, climb­ing or snow­board­ing thanks to the anti-glare char­ac­ter­is­tics and the abil­i­ty to adapt to vari­able light con­di­tions. Pink lens­es are rec­om­mend­ed in low light con­di­tions, in beachvol­ley or cy­cling. The vi­o­let, thanks to its abil­i­ty to neu­tral­ize greens, is wide­ly used in sports such as golf be­cause it neu­tral­izes greens and of­fers a bet­ter view of the field.

How to choose the right treat­ment for Sport sun­glass­es?

Coat­ings ap­plied to lens­es can serve to pro­tect both the eye­wear it­self and the wear­er. We can cat­e­go­rize these treat­ments as ei­ther func­tion­al or tech­ni­cal based on pur­pose of the giv­en coat­ing.


Lens­es can be cus­tomized for func­tion­al pur­pos­es based on the needs of the ap­pli­ca­tion con­cerned, in­clud­ing:

  • PHO­TOCHROMIC - to dark­en or light­en based on ac­tu­al light­ing con­di­tions.
  • PO­LAR­IZED - to in­crease con­trast and en­hance vi­sion qual­i­ty.
  • MIR­RORED - Mul­ti­lay­er coat­ings re­flect light off of the sur­face of the lens.

The pho­tochromic treat­ment is rec­om­mend­ed in Out­door Sports, in vari­able light con­di­tions such as moun­tains, horse rid­ing or run­ning. In win­ter, in hock­ey or moun­tain bik­ing or on a boat or beach. The po­lar­ized treat­ment is ap­plied in­stead in all wa­ter sports in ski­ing, cy­cling or in pre­ci­sion sports such as shoot­ing or hunt­ing thanks to the fact that they im­prove vi­sion. The mir­rored treat­ment, or Mul­ti­lay­er, is ab­solute­ly ide­al in all sports per­formed on very bright and sun­ny days.


Tech­ni­cal coat­ings are there­fore ap­plied to lens­es to en­sure over­all vi­su­al com­fort, in­clud­ing:

  • ANTI-RE­FLEC­TION - to re­duce glare.
  • HY­DROPHO­BIC - re­pels liq­uids from the lens.
  • OLEO­PHO­BIC - keeps away dirt and grime.
  • ANTI-FOG - pre­vents lens­es from fog­ging up.
  • SEA­WA­TER - pro­tects lens­es from sea wa­ter.

The anti-glare treat­ment, also wide­spread on pre­scrip­tion lens­es, is rec­om­mend­ed for all types of sports be­cause it im­proves vi­su­al com­fort by re­duc­ing glare and im­prov­ing light re­flec­tion.

Hy­dropho­bic and oleo­pho­bic treat­ments are also rec­om­mend­ed for all sports, both out­door, wa­ter and win­ter.

Anti-fog, on the oth­er hand, is es­sen­tial in all win­ter sports where tem­per­a­ture changes can cause the cre­ation of steam, in cy­cling and run­ning.

The col­ors and treat­ments are just rec­om­mend­ed. Each prod­uct may be cus­tomized and adapt­ed to the needs of the ath­lete.

Di­v­el Italia de­signs and pro­duces hel­met shields, lens­es and masks for Sport.

View the col­lec­tion here: https://www.di­veli­­ucts/sun/sport/sport-op­ti­cal-mask

All prod­ucts are sub­ject to min­i­mum or­der quan­ti­ties.