What Contacts Wearers Need To Hit The Slopes
You’ve got your skis or board and your snowsuit. But there’s one more piece of gear you need if you are hitting the slopes this winter and wear contact lenses: goggles!
Yes, even if slope conditions are perfect, you’ll want to protect your eyes from the wind and cold when you are speeding down that straightaway. The way the sun reflects on a snow covered mountain top makes it incredibly difficult to see without some sun protection, too.
Did you know that most of the eye injuries that occur from skiing or snowboarding happen because of a bad choice in eyewear (or no eyewear at all!)? As a former skier I know all about running into trees (sadly). Just picture what a low hanging branch can do to your eye if you happen to fly into it without any protective eyewear on. Ouch!
Here are some tips for picking out goggles:
Look at the Lenses
Aside from finding a pair that make you look hip when you are waiting in line for the lift, you want a pair that is made with polycarbonate lenses. Both glass and plastic lenses will shatter into a million little pieces if you crash face first, but polycarbonate won’t. Plus, they don’t fog up!
The best goggles for winter sports have a rounded shape so they hug your face, wrapping around your eyes to keep out snow and wind. (Two things you don’t want beating on your contacts!) Wrap frames also block out bright sunlight that beams in from the side. This helps to minimize glare.
If it’s been a while since you’ve been on a snowy peak, let me remind you of just how intense the sun’s glare is off of the snow. This glare creates what they call polarized light. Regular sunglasses lenses (like the ones you may have cruised around in all summer) won’t provide enough absorption of the light and glare when you are hitting those moguls.
Lenses with a brown (or amber) tint (as compared with a gray tone) will provide the best contrast against a white background and are better for light fluctuations (like when you are in the shade). Another option is a photochromatic lens that will change color depending on the amount of light (or if you are skiing after dark).
Here are two super cool pairs of goggles that can be made to fit all the criteria above and will look great on the black diamonds or the bunny hills!