Sporty Specs!

It’s been an exciting summer of sports this year, with many of our favourite athletes and sporting stars coming out to play again, following the pandemic.

The Tokyo Olympics, Euro 2020, Tour de France, Wimbledon, and a Lions tour of South Africa have already had fans gripped and screaming at the telly, and we’ve still got the rest of the Paralympic Games to watch, as well as a whole host of other exciting events including, the return of the London Marathon and a Rugby League World Cup in England.

There’s no doubt that these sporting champs have been training hard to reach the standards expected of them at this level of professional sport. But alongside strenuous regimes, strict diets and gruelling routines, players and athletes must also consider the flexing of one of their most important, but under-rated ‘muscles’. For a gold medal performance, that is not only accurate but safe, you need an optimal view, delivered by one of your body’s most powerful tools – your eyes.

A pair of prescription sports glasses or lenses can be used to combat common visual impairments such as short-sightedness or long-sightedness, with frames and lenses easily adapted to the requirements of the respective discipline.

Whether in team contact sports, racing in marathons or swimming in a pool or in the wild, the eyes must be able to see the entire environment with every movement.

Poor vision results in slower reaction speeds and makes it more difficult to handle sports equipment with confidence.

At Duncan and Todd, we understand that the requirements of wearers differ from sport to sport and can offer not only a clearer visual perspective but also protect your eyes from nasty injuries or harmful UV rays.

Check out our handy guide below to what glasses you might need if you’re looking to get active and ensure your kit bag is always packed with the right eye wear to protect and improve your game!

Get a grip
To stop glasses slipping off your nose at that crucial match point, try glasses with special grips on the sides. For extra hold, try a snap-on sports band - an easy to adjust strap that will secure your glasses in place.

D&T recommends:
Depending on the style and what you require them for, there is a wide range of different sport style chains and bands suitable for all ages, such as Gorilla Grips and Leader’s rugged and sports line.

Wrapped for every direction

For sports that require a lot of head movements and changes in direction, you need to ensure your eyes are protected every step of the way. Try prescription glasses or sunglasses that wrap around the face, curving at the edges. That gives you not only an enhanced field of view, but protection from sun glare, wind and other hazards – ideal during impressive golf swings or when racing down hills on a mountain bike.

D&T recommends:
Check out Oakley’s special range of colour enhanced lenses to suit specific hobbies or adrenaline junkies, such as the Oakley PRIZM sport range and PRIZM everyday range of sunglass lenses. We also recommend the Oakley Flak Range, including the Flak Beta, Flak Draft, Flak 2.0 and the kids’ Flak XS.

The Sports Range lenses are designed for likes of fishing, golf, on-road, off-road sports and even skiing, while the Everyday Range lenses are engineered to fine tune individual colours, enhance clarity, contrast, and detail.

We also suggest trying the Leader C2 sports range and our own Caledonian Optical Trivex lenses.

Avoiding scratches and scrapes
For adrenaline junkies, sporting activities often take place in various types of terrain and in some cases, treacherous conditions – often resulting in dirt, stones, leaves and branches hitting your face. If your glasses don’t fall off your face and get damaged on impact, it’s very likely they’ll be scratched soon enough! We’d recommend a pair of scratch resistant glasses, as well as researching for a more durable range of frames that can bend and flex with you.

D&T recommends:
We recommend trying the Oakley range of ophthalmic ranges for both adults and kids, as well as Leader’s c2 range. This has a great design as the glasses have cushioning on the bridge of the frame to help with the impacts from playing sports - ideal for kids and also available for adults.

We also manufacture Trivex lenses and Caledonian Polarised lenses with our Intero coating for UV protection at our Caledonian Optical lab.

Life through a (contact) lens

Of course, for many sports including rugby, football and basketball – a pair of glasses aren’t going to do you any favours during a game when there’s a risk these could be smashed into your face! For those taking part in these types of contact sports, or if you’re just fed up with your frames slipping down your face if you’re sweaty, or bouncing up and down while exercising, contact lenses could be for you!

Not only do they reduce the risk of eye injury during rougher sports, they’re also a fantastic advantage for fast-paced sports that require you to be at your most agile. Contact lenses offer you the means for clear and focused vision throughout the entire field of vision, meaning you can play with complete precision.

D&T recommends:
Daily disposable lenses are fantastic for occasional wear. Speak with your optometrist about your suitability.

Under the see
Unfortunately, even our favourite frame styles above won’t last well when swimming or diving, and it’s safe to say that contact lenses and water don’t mix! Not only can they dislodge or come out, water-borne bacteria can attach themselves to your lenses and cause nasty eye infections. Instead, we’d recommend a pair of prescription goggles which can be fitted at your local branch. For those looking to go a bit deeper, prescription scuba masks can also be bought. These can be quite expensive, so if it’s a one-off purchase for an exotic holiday, we’d recommend wearing contact lenses under your non-prescription mask. Just be careful not to let water in when your contacts are in!

D&T recommends:
The Hilco Vantage swimming goggle range is available for adults and children and can be either non-prescription or prescription. We also recommend Hilco Dive masks.

For more professional or hobby specific sports such as diving, we can source diving masks with or without prescription inserts, which can be used for more accurate prescriptions. Just ask our experts in branch for more details.

Don’t let the sun stop you
While protection against potential impacts is important, it is the sun’s rays themselves that are a constant hazard for our eyesight. With so much time spent outdoors training or competing, it’s vital that you prescription sports glasses feature lenses with UV coatings to protect you from harmful rays.

For the best protection, try polarising lenses, which, unlike ordinary sunglasses, eliminate 99.9% of glare from horizontal surfaces, such as roads, water and snow. Great for marathon training, surfing and snowboarding!

For those who prefer contact lenses, ask your optician which brands offer UV protection.

To find out more about prescription eyewear for sports, or to book an appointment at your nearest branch, click here.