Why sunglasses are essential for sports and outdoor enthusiasts

Whatever the season, your sunglasses are essential whether you’re behind the wheel of your car or having fun in the great outdoors. We’d like to salute the return of warmer weather and summer fun with some tips on what to look for when you choose your next pair of sunglasses to maximize your visual comfort and keep your eyes healthy.

Why it’s important to protect your eyes outdoors in summer or winter

Many people think of sunglasses as something for summer and the beach. There’s no doubt they’re a key accessory for pulling off that jetsetter look. But the actual point is that they protect your eyes from UV radiation, harmful blue light, and even the bugs and debris that come with certain sports and outdoor pastimes.

Image: Julbo 

Image: Nike

Image: Julbo


UV rays and blue light are a threat to your eyes all year round. The elements are a big part of it, and they can increase your exposure to UV radiation. Winter snow reflects 85% of the UV radiation—something to keep in mind if you’re into skiing, winter hiking, snowshoeing, or skating. If you’re out on the water in summer (boating, kayaking, jet skiing, and the like), the percentage of reflected UV can hit 100%.
As well as being linked to eye conditions and diseases like cataracts and AMD, UV radiation is also hazardous to eyelids and the skin around your eyes.

A full 20% of all skin cancers develop around the eye, and 10% develop on eyelids. Think of protective sunglasses like sunscreen—required whenever you’re exposed to UV radiation.

What to consider when choosing your sunglasses

Choice of frames

When shopping for new sunglasses, it’s important to consider the design and technical aspects of your frames, especially if you’ll be wearing them for a particular sport.

Our in-clinic staff will help you find what you need, including fit adjustment, weight, ventilation specifications, and anything else that might affect your comfort and performance.

Julbo‘s product line features frames with 3D adjustable nose pads, flexible and adjustable temples with a grippy elastomer, removable side shields, and even frames with an air bubble inside for flotation—just the thing for water sports enthusiasts!

By finding out about your needs and what you’ll be doing in your new glasses, our in-clinic team can suggest the best products to protect your eyes and maximize your visual comfort.

3D Adjustable nose

Eyeglass temple with suspension

Flexible temple

Choice of lenses

When you’re shopping for sunglasses, things like lens quality, colour, and coatings will give your new glasses their signature look while enhancing your visual well-being and keeping your eyes healthy.
The Xperio line of lenses from Essilor, for example, offers matchless depth and colour perception. This collection of durable lenses offers a variety of colours to mix and match with other Essilor treatments like Crizal Mirrors Sun UV coating, available in seven mirror colours from forest green to citrine yellow.

Our in-clinic experts can suggest the best colours for whatever you’re up to. Yellow, for example, might be good for things you do more in the shade, like hunting or fishing. They also accentuate things that are yellow making them ideal for tennis. For an idea of the best colours for what your needs, see your in-clinic team or check our Tint Table here.

Lens selection in clinic

Photo: Vision Line Barnabé clinic

Crizal Mirrors Sun UV coating, available in 7 mirror colours

Image: Essilor

After choosing a tint, the polarization filter available with the Xperio collection gives you the clarity, colour contrast, and visual quality for your outdoor pursuits.

By selecting a colour and style you like and adding an assortment of high-quality coatings, you’ll get clear vision, maximum protection, and a look all your own.

Prescription sunglasses or contact lenses?

You have two options for your next pair of sunglasses: prescription (with lenses adjusted to your vision) or nonprescription.

For the ultimate in comfort and the best protection, tinted prescription lenses are the all-around best option for enjoying the outdoors without compromising on vision quality. Various coatings can also be added, as with ophthalmic lenses, to make sure the world you see is sharp, clear, and free of glare.

If you opt for nonprescription sunglasses, disposable (single-use-daily) contacts like Acuvue Oasys 1-Day are a nice option. They let you enjoy your favourite pastime without compromising on vision quality or eye health.

And 1-day contact lenses need no care, because you throw them out after each use. You can wear contacts under your sunglasses whenever you want.

And there are even photochromatic ophthalmic contact lenses—contact lenses that adjust to ambient light levels. Acuvue Oasys with TransitionsTM have the best UV protection you can get in a contact lense. They provide the maximum level of comfort when you’re in the sun by darkening slightly when you’re outdoors to protect you from glare. For more on photochromic or Acuvue TransitionsTM lenses, don’t hesitate to ask your Opto-Réseau eye care professional.

Consider your needs for the right choice

Besides your tastes and lifestyle, our in-clinic optical stylists suggest the right sunglasses for you by considering your face and visual needs. Julbo’s JNeration line, for example, has frames like Fame, which are ergonomically designed for smaller faces.

And only does Julbo have a collection of junior sunglasses, it is also the first brand to offer sunglasses specifically designed for babies.

Fame 509 from Julbo

Sunglasses designed for babies


To find something that meets all your needs and explore the brands available at your Opto-Réseau clinic, plan a visit by booking an appointment online!