Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Welcome to our big sports glasses test 2022. Here we present all the sports glasses we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best sports glasses for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy sports glasses.




Summary

  • Sports eyewear allows you to protect your eyes from many external influences during different sports. The fit and the right properties for the area of use are particularly important.
  • Basically, there is a suitable pair of sports glasses for every type of sport that has exactly the right properties for it. Especially for outdoor sports, you should pay attention to the tint and UV protection of the glasses.
  • Sports glasses are also suitable for people with glasses and thus offer vision improvement and protection during sports. There are various systems available for this purpose, which can be used to incorporate visual acuity.

The Best Sports glasses: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying sports glasses

What are sports glasses?

Sports glasses are glasses with shatterproof lenses that have been formed for various sporting activities. In particular, these glasses are designed to protect you from the weather during many outdoor sports.

When climbing, sports glasses can be very helpful to avoid getting anything in the eye when looking up. They should be comfortable to wear and not slip, as you don’t have a free hand to keep adjusting them when climbing. (Image source: unsplash.com / Walther Luecker)

There are glasses specially made for many sports that are individually tailored to them.

According to the Professional Association of Ophthalmologists of Germany, there are about 300,000 eye injuries per year and about 3% of them occur during sports. Sports glasses could prevent and probably prevent these 9,000 injuries.

For whom are sports glasses suitable?

In principle, sports glasses are suitable for anyone who participates in sporting activities. There are special sports glasses for children, women and men, because the fit, as with all glasses, plays an important role. For sports such as water sports, running, winter sports, cycling or even ball sports, sports glasses can protect you from injuries and improve your vision.

What size sports glasses should I buy?

When it comes to size, a basic distinction is made between children’s, women’s and men’s glasses. In addition, you can find the dimensions of the lens width and the bridge width on some sports glasses so that you can orientate yourself on the width of your face.

How much do sports glasses cost?

The price of sports glasses can vary greatly. Depending on the brand, tint, filter colour, coating and prescription, the cost varies. This cost range can go from €3.00 to over €300.00. Basically, however, you should make sure that the material of the lenses is break-resistant in order to guarantee protection. Glasses around 3.00 € are usually not suitable.

What lenses are available for sports glasses?

If you wear glasses and need your sports glasses with your prescription, there are a few different ways to fit them in sports glasses.

It’s not a problem to use sports glasses with a refractive error, as there are both single vision and same vision lens options.

We have listed the options for fitting sports glasses with prescription here:

  • Clip-in system
  • Direct glazing
  • Adapter system

You can find out exactly what these systems are and which might be the best solution for you further down this page.

What alternatives are there to sports glasses?

Basically, you should always wear the shatterproof sports glasses that are made for this purpose when doing sports and not fall back on normal everyday glasses. There is an alternative to sports glasses for sports that require a helmet. In this case, you can use a helmet with a visor, which also protects your eyes.

Decision: What types of sports glasses are there and which is the right one for you?

If you want to buy sports glasses, it is important for which sport you want to buy them. You can basically distinguish between these sports glasses:

  • Swimming goggles
  • Running/biking goggles
  • Motorbike goggles
  • Ski goggles

These distinctions are basically about finding the glasses with the best features for certain sports activities. We will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type of glasses. The following section is designed to make your decision as easy as possible.

What are the features of swimming goggles and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Swimming goggles offer clear vision under water, protection from splashes and protection from eye irritation. Unlike all other sports goggles, swimming goggles sit directly on the face and protect against water entering through the silicone seal. With the help of a strap, these goggles are held on the head and are therefore safe from slipping.

Advantages
  • Protection against chlorine or salt water
  • Clear vision under water
  • Comfortable to wear due to the silicone rims
Disadvantages
  • Slips when jumping into the water
  • May tarnish
  • Marks after wearing

What distinguishes running/cycling glasses and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

When running and cycling, in addition to the right shoes, a good bike and breathable clothing, protection for the eyes is also very important. Especially when running and cycling, you should protect your eyes from flying insects, pollen or other dirt in the air. In addition, protection from the sun’s rays is indispensable.

Advantages
  • Protection from dust, insects, branches and dirt
  • Improvement of vision in case of defective vision
  • Protection from UV radiation
  • Lightweight and break-proof
Disadvantages
  • Possibly poor fit and therefore marks
  • Good quality can be expensive
  • Uncomfortable if you are not used to glasses

What distinguishes motorbike goggles and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Motorbike goggles are a very important and often fashionable accessory to protect the eyes from insects, stone chips, sunlight and wind while riding a motorbike. Especially with motorbike helmets without visors, motorbike goggles are indispensable.

Advantages
  • Eye protection
  • Wind protection
  • Firm and comfortable fit
  • Protection from sunlight
Disadvantages
  • Additional cost to helmet
  • Often limited visibility due to tint
  • Often uncomfortable

What distinguishes ski goggles and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Ski goggles not only offer protection from direct and indirect sunlight, but also from edged pieces of ice whirled up by other skiers. They also offer improved visibility by keeping out the wind, snow and rain. Goggles can also protect you from facial injuries in case you fall.

Advantages
  • Protection from sunlight
  • Protection from injury
  • Improved vision
  • Wide field of vision
Disadvantages
  • Risk of fogging
  • Often high price
  • Compatibility with helmet

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate sports eyewear

We will then show you which factors you can use to decide between the many possible sports glasses. These are the criteria you can use to compare the different sports glasses:

  • Frame
  • Protection level and tint
  • Filter colours
  • Ergonomics and fit
  • Coating
  • Prescription

In the following section, we will explain what the individual factors are.

Frame

There are different types of frames for sports glasses, just as there are for normal everyday glasses. These include:

  • Full-rim spectacles
  • Bar glasses
  • Frameless glasses

The different frames should offer the right fit for everyone and the right protection for each sport. The frame should also be made of shatterproof plastic to protect against injury.

You should never do sports with normal everyday glasses, because unlike sports glasses with prescription, they are not shatterproof and can lead to injuries. (Image source: unsplash.com / Elena Taranenko)

In addition to their protective functions, the different frames are also sold as fashion accessories. There are numerous colours, designs and different shapes to suit every taste.

Protection level and tint

Basically, you have to distinguish between protection level and tint, because the tint says nothing about the UV protection of the glasses. Since the darkness or colour of the lenses says nothing about the UV protection, there are different abbreviations on the inside of the temples that can provide information about this. The two most important markings regarding UV protection include:

  • CE mark (compulsory for all sunglasses)
  • UV-400

However, these signs are only very general, to indicate the UV protection more precisely the four EU categories are used. These are indicated in four digits, either Roman (I – IV) or Arabic (1 – 4). In the next table, we have tried to present the four EU criteria clearly for you.

Category Absorption of radiation Area of use
0 Not more than 20 % Running, cycling at dusk or in cloudy weather
1 20 – 57 % Motor sports, running, cycling at dusk and in fog
2 57 – 82 % Golf, motor sports, running, cycling – all day
3 82 – 92 % Golf, motor sports, hiking, skiing
4 92 – 97 % Mountain sports

In order to show you the difference to tinting, we have summarised the four categories of tinting and their areas of application and properties in the following table.

Category Light transmission Property and suitability
Category 1 43 – 80 % Lightly tinted – City
Category 2 18 – 43 % Medium tinted – Areas in spring, summer and autumn
Category 3 8 – 18 % Dark tinted – Southern regions and water
Category 4 3 – 8 % Very dark tinted – High mountains and glaciers

Filter colours

The filter colour of the lenses not only provides glare protection, but also changes the visibility conditions. Depending on the colour, contrasts are enhanced, attenuated and glare is also reduced. In the following table we have compared the different filter colours and their properties and effects.

Colour Properties Effect
Brown, reddish brown Brightening effect Stronger contrasts, improvement of visual acuity – the more the tint goes into orange
Orange Attenuation of blue components Even sharper contrasts and edges than reddish brown
Yellow, yellowish brown Brightening effect Sharpest contrasts even in grey skies
Blue Contrasts are softened Darkens
Green Does not enhance contrast Very dark and eye has more difficulty adjusting to greenish light
Red Red light filtering Bad for road traffic
Rose, pink Compensates for the blue component in the light Enhances contrasts
Grey Blue light is transmitted, uniform darkening of light and dark areas No contrast enhancement, effective glare protection

Ergonomics and fit

Above all, the fit is a decisive purchase criterion for sports glasses, so that the glasses do not slip and offer protection. The sports glasses must not pinch, but they must fit very snugly to keep out draughts.

Often there are adjustable temples, temple ends, nose bridges and forehead pads to adjust the fit as best as possible.

Visual acuity

As mentioned above, there are a few different ways to fit sports glasses with the necessary prescription. It doesn’t matter whether you need a single vision lens or a progressive lens. The clip-in system is one of the most variable and versatile systems, as most clip-in systems today also offer the option of changing the front lenses. This allows them to be perfectly adapted to changing light conditions.

The corrective lenses are incorporated into an adapter mould and can therefore be easily changed at any time as the prescription changes. Even if you wear contact lenses, you can simply remove the clip and use the glasses without prescription lenses Direct glazing requires the prescription lenses to be fitted directly into the frame, whereby no clips or adapters are necessary.

Due to the type of glazing, there is a wide range of refractive errors that can be corrected by this method. The disadvantage of direct glazing is that it is not possible to adjust the lens tint or the visual acuity to the respective situation. An adapter system is mostly used for sports glasses that have a fixed front lens that cannot be changed. The adapter system is usually fixed to the frame and offers the possibility of fitting the prescription lenses there. Finally, we have a video for you with useful tips on buying sports glasses.

Trivia: Facts worth knowing about sports glasses

What are the benefits of sports glasses with a strap?

Sports glasses with a headband generally offer a better fit and prevent slipping. Especially wide, individually adjustable elastic headbands ensure a particularly firm fit. Sports glasses with a strap are also very suitable for sports such as cycling, mountain biking and white-water kayaking, as they can be worn well under helmets. A headband is also particularly useful for ball sports and martial arts, as long as wearing sports glasses is permitted.

How do I keep my sports glasses from fogging up?

Basically, there is a special anti-fog coating for sports glasses that helps prevent the problem of fogged lenses. If you already have sports glasses without an anti-fog coating, we have researched and summarised the best tips for you. Washing-up liquid or soap prevents water vapour from settling on the glasses. Simply apply a little soap or dishwashing liquid to the lenses and polish them lightly to create a protective layer against fogging.

Be careful with glasses that are already coated, as washing-up liquid can cause damage.

Divers and swimmers in particular often use saliva to keep their glasses from fogging up. Because of the saliva, the water droplets in the moist air simply roll off. Another possibility is an anti-fog spray, which is applied to both sides of the lenses and spread with a soft cloth. The film left behind temporarily prevents the lenses from fogging up. Basically, an anti-fog spray lasts up to 72 hours and must then be sprayed again. Here we have included a video of an anti-fog spray test for you and hope that this will make your decision easier.

Picture source: pixabay / Simon Steinberger

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