Everyone who spends a good deal of time outside needs a pair of sunglasses. It’s obvious to anyone who likes to get out there that sunglasses increase your comfort in the outdoors, cutting back on the squint factor and enabling you to better enjoy your time out there.
Sunglasses with UV protection can also be highly instrumental in preserving your well-being. The regular use of sunglasses, especially those that offer a high level of UV protection, will help reduce the likelihood of sun-exposure-related damage to your eyes and may be able to protect you against conditions such as cancer and macular degeneration. Sunglasses also physically protect your eyes from sand, snow, and other wind-driven particulate matter.
Yet the value of a quality pair of sunglasses can extend even further beyond this. You may have heard of the term “polarized sunglasses,” and if you haven’t yet, it’s high time to discover them. Everyone who spends a good deal of time outside will benefit from a pair with polarized lenses - there’s a night and day difference between them. First, though, what exactly does it mean for lenses to be polarized?
What Is Meant by the Term Polarized Sunglasses
Polarized lenses are actually treated with a special chemical that selectively filters light through the lens, preventing some light from passing through while allowing other rays in. the lenses of polarized sunglasses are treated in such a way that only vertically oriented rays of light can pass through and reach your eyes. This means that rays of light that are not coming directly from overhead - that is, through the atmosphere from the sun - will not reach your eyes.
In other words, light that bounces off of the surfaces around you, such as off of water, waves, snow, or leaves and approaches the lenses at a more horizontal angle, will not get through and reach your eyes. What you can take this to mean is that sunglasses with polarized lenses cut back on glare, and they don’t just cut back on it marginally, they drastically reduce it.
Though the explanation is a bit dense and frankly boring, the effect it produces cannot be described as anything other than remarkable. We used the term “night and day” already once in this article and we’ll use it again. If you’ve never worn polarized sunglasses before and try them on, especially in a situation with a lot of glare, you will be amazed by the results. There are polarized lenses, and then there is everything else.
Who Will Benefit Most from a Pair of Polarized Sunglasses
Given the glaring (no pun intended) accolades that we have delivered to polarized lenses, you would be right in assuming that effectively anyone who spends time outside could benefit from them. This is true, but the following is a list of people who will benefit the most.
That is, everyone could use a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses, but if you call yourself by any of the following titles, you’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have a pair in your collection.
Fishermen perhaps more than anyone else on this list will benefit from polarized lenses. Fishermen need sunglasses anyway, and it’s not a good practice for fishermen to practice their sport without a pair because it leaves their eyes exposed. In fact, it’s advisable that flycasters in specific always wear a pair, just to protect their eyes from poor backcasts and false casting.
But there’s something else to note here. As fish live in water, fishing is inseparable from it, and water produces a heck of a lot of glare. Glare makes it difficult to see, and sight fishing suffers. Try this the next time you get a chance. Take two pairs of sunglasses out on the water, one with a pair of polarized lenses and the other without.
First, put on the pair without polarized lenses and look at the water. You should see beneath it, to a degree, and should be able to discern features underwater as well as maybe a fish or two that happens to be present. Switch to the polarized sunglasses and you will be amazed by the result.
You’ll be able to see very clearly, well below the surface of the water and possibly even to the bottom. Any presence of underwater life will stand out clear as day. You probably won’t want to switch back to the pair that isn’t polarized.
These traits are especially valuable for fishermen that sight fish, as being able to see accurately and with clarity is vital to making casts that count. It’s a simple statement but one that has to be made. If you’re on the water a lot and you like fishing, you’ll enjoy your time on the water and be able to see much more clearly and comfortably with the aid of a good pair of polarized glasses.
- Boaters, kayakers, and anyone else that enjoys paddlesports
Since water is a huge culprit as far as glare is concerned, it should come as no surprise that others who spend a lot of time on the water will be more comfortable and experience fewer adverse effects associated with glare if they utilize sunglasses with polarized lenses.
This includes boaters of all different sorts. Boaters who spend time on saltwater or on big open water with nothing to shade them will fight off glare all day long, even on deceptively overcast days. In fact, the glare has the potential to be as bad or even worse on partly cloudy days than it can be on sunny days.
But even kayakers, water-skiers, and others who enjoy paddlesports and watersports will benefit from a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses. When you’re on the water, any light that hits the surface of the waves will bounce right back off it and into your eyes. A good pair of sunglasses will help cut a significant portion of that glare.
- Surfers and beach-bodies
Water reflects a lot of light, which produces a huge amount of glare, so it isn’t surprising that boaters and fishermen should invest in a good pair of polarized sunglasses. You know what else has a high albedo, meaning it reflects a serious amount of light, producing insufferable glare? Sand does, and you know where you can find sand; at the beach.
If you spend a lot of time at the beach, or if you surf, a good pair of polarized sunglasses is a near necessity. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to see below the surface of the water or not. The light that reflects off the sand will make your eyes water unless you do something about it, and in that situation, polarized lenses are tops.
- Hikers and rock climbers
Hikers and rock-climbers might foreseeably go their whole hiking and rock-climbing lives without ever coming across a body of water. Yet these two categories of outdoor sports entertain a cohort of practitioners that will also benefit significantly from polarized sunglasses.
The reason for this lies in a word - albedo. Albedo, which is often referred to more properly as surface albedo, is given by an unnecessarily complex mathematical equation that can be relayed somewhat simply as how much light a surface reflects without absorbing it. In other words, it’s tied to the glare produced.
While it might not be surprising to you that rock faces (such as those traversed and tackled by climbers) can have a very high albedo, it might be somewhat more surprising that vegetation often has a very high albedo. You might not notice it because leaves tend to be dark, but they actually produce a lot of disorienting glare.
Now, while rock-climbing enthusiasts might not be around a lot of vegetation, the same can’t be said for most hikers, who spend a lot of time amongst the greenery. Both of these outdoor sports deserve adherents to invest in a good pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses.
- Snowboarders and skiers - anyone who enjoys winter sports or snowsports
Some leaves may exhibit fairly high albedo, but whatever reflectivity they exhibit will positively pale before that of snow and ice - no pun intended. Truth be told, most of the earth’s surface albedo is attributable to the ice caps, which are, wait for it - covered in snow and ice.
Snow and ice create glare like nobody’s business. Circumpolar peoples, who live in it and experience it every day, know this better than most. They didn’t have polarized lenses, so they created special goggles with very small slits that only allowed a little bit of light to get through.
Without protection for your eyes against the glare that comes off of snow, you can actually go snowblind. Snow Blindness is a condition that can occur when your eyes are exposed to too much harmful UV rays, which can cause a form of sunburn in your eyes. If this happens, you won’t be able to see. It takes some work to get to that point, but it’s not worth the experience.
Of course, you can just simply protect your eyes with a pair of quality sunglasses. All you need to prevent this painful condition is adequate UV protection, but that won’t do enough for reducing glare. To protect yourself and provide clearer vision by cutting back on glare and reflected light, polarized shades are tops.
- Anyone who enjoys backyard sports
Finally, anyone who spends a good deal of time outside, even just in the backyard having barbecues with friends and family, will be well-served by a pair of sunglasses with polarized lenses. Tinted lenses are cool but in this case, they just won’t cut it - although these things are not mutually exclusive.
In this recreational format, it’s more about comfort than anything else. When you spend a lot of time outside around a lot of glare, it’ll start to wear you down after a while. Get a good, reliable pair of polarized shades from our site and be better prepared - summer is just around the corner at this point.
What Else to Look for?
We’ve made our point - when it comes down to cutting glare, you just can’t beat a good pair of polarized sunglasses. They are tops for keeping you comfortable and eliminating most horizontal light waves (that is, glare) to improve your visual acuity outside in the sun.
But polarized lenses are not the only thing you should be looking for. Keep in mind that the following attributes can all add value to a pair of sunglasses, in their own way, and you can get them along with a pair of polarized lenses.
- Tough, scratch-resistant lenses
Many of our sunglasses are made with polycarbonate lenses, also affectionately known as polycarb. They’re tough, shatter, and scratch-resistant and will hang with the toughest situations you can throw at them.
- Resilient frames
You’ll be glad you picked up a pair of sunglasses with tough frames if you ever drop them or sit on them, and believe us, everyone has - especially those who enjoy outdoor sports.
- UV protection
Many of our sunglasses have lenses that feature UV400 protection, which means that they block UV light down to 400 nanometers. It’s an excellent rating of UV protection for your eyes. In more plain terms, this means they block 99% to 100% of UV light.
- A quality fit
Not everyone’s face shape or head shape is identical - really, everyone has unique dimensions. It takes a special pair of sunglasses to fit a wide range of face shapes, but ours do so admirably.
- Affordability would be nice too!
One more thing you should look for if you can find it is affordability. Quality in sunglasses should never break the bank, and since you’re already at Runaways, you won’t have to look too far for it!
- Last but not least: style
Finally, style should never have to take a backseat when you’re looking for sunglasses. To many people, they are a fashion accessory, and we pair form and function effortlessly, with unique styles, frames, and tinted lenses that you’ll love. Some even featured colored or mirror-finish reflective lenses!
Call Us for Details
Take some time to look through our unique designs to find what speaks best to you, but if you have any questions about our product specifics or features, make sure you give us a call at 619-736-5301. We’d be more than happy to help you find your next favorite pair of shades!