The need for sunglasses is instantly recognized by inexperienced runners who find themselves on trail ultramarathons among snow-covered mountain tops and hills. Not even necessarily on a bright sunny day. I’ll tell you how to choose goggles for running.
In general, running in the mountains without eye protection from the sun’s rays is a risky activity. At an altitude of 2.5 km, exposure to UV rays increases by 25%. Therefore, good sunglasses become a necessity and not just an optional accessory.
Ophthalmologists recommend that all runners without exception protect their eyes, because most of us train either in the morning or in the evening. This is when the sun is at low angles to the horizon and our eyes are most likely to be in contact with it.
Of course, trailrunners are at greater risk of mechanical damage to their eyes due to the conditions of their stay outdoors. However, in winter, when it gets dark much earlier, protective goggles will be just as useful in the city. In low light conditions, a face encounter with a tree branch is just as likely as a trail runner’s.
In this case, we are talking about clear safety glasses. But yellow and amber colored glasses would be the best solution because of their ability to enhance the contrast of the picture when visibility is poor.
Ignoring safety precautions on sunny days, and even in snowy mountains, sometimes results in damage to the structure of the eyes and adjacent areas. These are the most sensitive exposed areas, ranging from temporary corneal burns to cataracts and skin cancer in the eyelid area. But I won’t talk about the sad stuff.
Choosing goggles for running
All good glasses have protection against ultraviolet radiation in both spectra: UVA and UVB. That is, the full required protection for the eyes will be provided if the abbreviation UVA/UVB is listed in the description of the glasses.
High up in the mountains there is still added danger from the UVC spectrum, but still most of it is neutralized by the upper layers of the atmosphere. So it is less relevant for those who do not run to the summit of Mount Everest.
However, modern good sports glasses may not have such indications, because full protection is implied by the status of the manufacturing company, like Oakley. But many budget models of little-known companies have only protection against a small range of UV radiation and the corresponding abbreviation – UV.
In addition to basic radiation protection, lenses can have polarization to reduce the number and intensity of glare.
There are, of course, worse variants, when the sun glasses are bought from nowhere for pennies and which have only tinted glasses in common with normal glasses. In these variants the pupil will dilate and absorb the maximum amount of ultraviolet due to the total lack of protection. This case refers to those where running without goggles would be safer for the eyes than running with goggles.
There is nothing particularly bad about them, except for the aforementioned lack of complete protection in all UVA/UVB ranges. These sunglasses are sold, for example, in Decathlon and Sportmaster. Given the cost, they are not at all sorry to lose, but they do not last forever, unlike the well-known brands.
The fact is that in cheap models the protective properties are formed by a variety of external films and sandwiches. They irregularly peel off over time due to the aggressive environment of sweat, cold and heat, as well as scratches. Whereas in good glasses the protection is integrated into the glass material and is not subject to any external influences. It is true that glasses can also get scratched.
Talking about the glass of sports goggles for running is, of course, somewhat incorrect, because polycarbonate is now used everywhere as the most durable material. It provides safety when falling and has no tendency to break and injure the wearer.