Sunglasses are synonymous with the sun, which means that most of us only think about wearing them on a bright summer day. So when the winter weather boasts gray and gloomy skies, the last thing you say before heading out the door is, “Wait a minute, let me grab my shades.” Am I right?
Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this sort of sunny-day mindset is a serious issue — especially when it comes to winter safety. Did you know that UV levels are nearly the same on a cold, cloudy day as they are on a warm, clear one? That’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important to take proper shade-y precautions year-round. Read on as our eye experts give you the lowdown on all things polarized, during the not-so-sunny season.
Why Polarization Matters
Pssst .. be sure to use this test to see if your sunglasses are already polarized!
Whether you’re headed to the skating rink or hitting the snowy slopes, be sure that you’re wearing polarized eye protection. Here’s why:
- With all of those icy roads, slushy walkways, melting snowmen, and sparkling scenic fields and mountains, glare is a BIG issue during the winter months. Glare is the result of the sun’s rays reflecting off of a solid or watery surface, which causes it to magnify and reflect directly into your eyes.
- What can glare do to your eyesight? It will alter your vision, reduce your depth perception, distort color, and cause side effects like temporary blindness.
- Polarized sunglasses work to reduce the glare on winter’s reflective surfaces, while still blocking harmful UV rays. Polarized lenses contain filters made of a chemical film that blocks glare by allowing only vertical light to pass through. This special type of lens offers better visibility for a healthier, active outdoor lifestyle during the winter months.
- For more information on polarized sunglasses and how they work, check out this article and this really cool diagram.
Types of Polarized Sunglasses
Whether you’re driving to and from work, riding your bike, or snowboarding, there’s a specific polarized pair for every winter-day activity.
Battle the slush with a pair of polarized fashion sunglasses! If you’re driving in the car, doing some holiday shopping, or ice skating with friends, you might be looking for a pair of glasses that are as stylish as they are functional. Polarized glasses don’t always have to be sleek and sporty; they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors! With retro, rockstar, celebrity, oversized, and aviator polarized sunglasses, it’s easy to look on-trend and protect your eyes from winter’s glare, too.
If you’re biking year-round, going ice fishing, or running outside, a pair of polarized sports sunglasses are perfect for your active winter days. Make sure to choose a pair that offers full UV protection for your eyes, shatter-resistant lenses for kicking up unexpected ice and rocks, and a wrap-around feature that keeps your eyes safe from all angles and your frames snug to your face. And most importantly, make sure they’re comfortable — we love styles that feature nose pads and no-slip grips!
If you’re snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling — or around blowing snow — make sure you find a pair of cozy, polarized ski goggles. These are vital in preventing snow blindness from the reflection of those winter-white slopes! Try goggles with an anti-fog coating and wide vents to prevent dangerous lens-clouding, as well as scratch-resistant coatings for skiing through the brush. For more on ski goggle safety, be sure to read this article!