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Wearing glasses during skiing?

If you are like us then you enjoy going out there and experiencing nature on your skis. The thrill and adventure you get while skiing is unlike any other sport. In terms of equipment there has been a big evolution recently, also for people with glasses looking for the perfect skiing holiday. Protecting your eyes on the ski slopes is really crucial. There are many factors that could harm your eyes (snow, wind, cold, sun and glare). Next to that it is important to protect your eyes from the harmful UV-light, since you will be exposed to it because of the glare from the snow and the elevation. Proper eyesight is also a major contributor for having a safe vacation on the slopes.

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So before we investigate which prescription options there are, let’s see what typical issues there are for skiing while wearing glasses.

Difficulties for skiing with glasses

The most annoying one is obviously fogging. The glasses are exposed to a lot of moisture (from breathing) and a big difference in temperature (outside the goggle vs. inside). Also when taking a gondola or going in to a restaurant your glasses or goggle will fog up instantly.

What can you do to avoid fogging?

  1. One of the things is to avoid moisture coming into your goggle. When you keep the foam of your goggles dry they will not fog up as easily. This is because once the foam becomes wet the moisture percentage in your goggle goes up and they will fog up much faster. Especially wipe snow from your goggles/foam because it will melt and creep into your ski goggle and fog up.
  2. A second element is keeping your breath away from your goggle, because it will add both heat and moisture to the environment in the goggle. This effect is clear when wearing a buff tucked into your ski goggle. Instead of buff we recommend a ski mask with breathing holes for minimum fogging. When trying to avoid fog it is all about keeping the moisture and temperature of inside the goggle the same as outside.

Fogged up goggles/glasses are unsafe as they will reduce the visibility and therefore increase the chances of a crash or collision with other skiers. Secondly you will not be able to perceive how fast you are going since we rely on our surroundings passing by to know how fast or slow we are going.

The second issue that comes with skiing with glasses is the discomfort of wearing your glasses underneath the ski goggle. The goggle puts pressure on the glasses and they push on the bridge of the noise or on the temples at the side. Besides these pressure points the goggle can push the glasses upwards towards your forehead. The frames can also be damaged by the goggle, especially on the sides and breaking your 500€ glasses is something nobody wants.

Third issue is the safety risk of crashing while wearing your glasses. When crashing on the ski slopes while wearing your glasses it can be very dangerous. The frame and glass can break and end up in your eyes. That is also why it is strongly advisable to not have mineral glasses and instead have a carbon-based material. They are more ductile and will not break as easily as mineral glass.

What are the options for people with glasses on the ski slopes?

Contact lenses

The first one is to wear contact lenses. Unfortunately there are many people that do not like wear to contact lenses, especially while skiing. Contact lenses can cause the eyes to dry out, especially in cold conditions. This effect is only amplified during skiing.  Other people are just not confident/comfortable with wearing contact lenses; it can be a big hassle to get them in and out every day. However, for people who are used to contact lenses it is a good option.

Skiing with glasses under goggles

The second one is to wear over-the-glasses (OTG) goggles. What you need to check is that you have glasses that can go through the wear and tear of doing sports with them. If they don’t stay fixed on your nose while moving quickly or making sudden movements then they are unsuitable to wear during skiing. Therefore good glasses are a must, this can require an added investment. Furthermore it is likely that either your glasses or your goggle will fog up. This is because glasses are closer to the body and will therefore heat up quicker and as mentioned before; avoiding heat and moisture is key. During a crash it might be unsafe as the frame and/or glasses might end up in your eyes and it is really not worth injuring your eyes.

Ski goggles with glasses insert

A third option is to have an insert into your goggle. Inserts will fog up slightly less than the OTG solution as they are a bit further from the face but this will only be an incremental improvement. They are also not attached in the goggle and therefore don’t have a fixed focus point (distorted view). Furthermore not all inserts are universal. Meaning that there is chance they don’t fit inside your ski goggle, which means you might need to invest in a pair of goggles and insert. Finally not every optician is willing to fill them with your glasses if you didn’t buy them at their store. So make sure when purchasing an insert your optician is able to attach the optical glasses.

Prescription ski goggles without inserts?

The fourth and final option is integrated prescription goggles. These are a new kind of product and were developed by SnowVision. Integrated prescription goggles provide the benefit of less fog since they are operating as a double lens system. Instead of a plane second lens it is used a holder for optical glasses. In these holders any kind of glasses can be installed, we don’t use mineral materials as this is dangerous during crashes. The reason why these goggle fog up less is because of an isolation layer between the outside and inside of the goggle and therefore controlling the difference in temperature. On top of that an anti-fog coating is applied on the prescription glasses.

All of SnowVision’s goggles are custom made to any prescription between -8 and +8. It’s extremely straightforward; send in your prescription from your eye doctor or the optician and SnowVision will produce your personal goggle.

What are photochromic lenses?

Photochromic lenses are lenses that use a special coating that will make sure the lens will become darker in sunny conditions and clearer during cloudy conditions. Photochromic lenses offer full UV protection and optimal light conditions, best of both worlds! SnowVision’s prescription snow goggles are available in three different colours (green, red and blue). All three of the lenses are photochromic.

How do I order prescription goggles without inserts?

Go over to our shop section, pick your colour and make your choice between unifocal, bifocal or multifocal glasses and you are ready for a perfect ski holiday!

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