The Benefits of Antifog Running Sunglasses

The Benefits of Antifog Running Sunglasses
By Jack Stafford - Runner & Cyclist
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The Benefits of Antifog Running Sunglasses

The Benefits of Antifog Running Sunglasses


If you haven’t used sunglasses with antifog coating during your humid morning runs, then you simply haven’t lived. The other day, I laced up my running shoes, donned my sunglasses, and headed out for training session in the muggy early dawn.  As I started to work up a sweat, the lenses of my glasses, which were not treated with antifog coating, started to fog up, and I kept having to take them off and wipe them in order to be able to see clearly through them.  Eventually, I got annoyed and just gave up. 

Then, I remembered how often this happens to me: when I’m getting out of my air-conditioned car, when go from indoor to outdoor, etc.  But rather than seek out a solution, I’ve always just put up with it.  However, in that moment during my run, I realized that my training was suffering as a result.  Rather than be able to zone out and just run, I had to hassle with my sunglasses.  It was a nuisance.

This got me thinking: are sunglasses with antifog coating worth buying?


What is antifog coating?


Simply put, antifog coating is a treatment of the lens surface that prevents the formation of condensation.  Originally developed by NASA for astronaut space helmets during the 1960s Gemini Space Program, the treatment has since been adapted for use on ski and swimming goggles as well as for a host of other applications, including sports sunglasses.

The coating itself is applied during the manufacturing process and acts to absorb and disperse water vapor and humidity throughout the material.  This renders the surface hydrophilic, which means that water droplets are unable to form on it.  By preventing the accumulation of water vapor molecules, your vision stays clear and unobstructed.  This is a critical feature of the back part of the lens – the part that sits closest to your eye.

The front of the lens is a different story.  It is treated with an entirely different coating – a hydrophobic one.  This prevents saturation by shedding water rather than absorbing it.  You know those annoying large drops and water marks you get on your lenses?  No more of that with hydrophobic fronts.  Both sides of the lens – front and back – work together to make for clear, unobstructed vision, even in the foggiest of circumstances!


Do these sunglasses work? 


In a word, yes.  However, important to note is that the effectiveness of the coating degrades over time as the coating itself wears down.  However, there are certain things that you can do to prolong the effectiveness of your antifog sunglasses.  The use of detergents to clean the lenses might also erode the integrity of the coating, so definitely be aware of that when cleaning your glasses. 

Also, the proper storing of your sunglasses can help prolong their antifog life.  Avoiding use in rainy weather conditions will also help since rain and exposure to water will lessen the lifespan of the coating.  Other than that, common sense and proper care will go a long way towards making sure that you can make use of your antifog sunglasses for as long as possible.


Final Thoughts


Antifog sunglasses might be one of those things that you never knew that you needed until you actually try them out.  The thing about running sunglasses, as with any gear, is that you should never be consciously aware of them during your run.  You should be able to just forget that you are even wearing them and focus on your run.  When your glasses fog up, it brings your awareness back to your gear, and it interrupts the flow of your training.  If you are constantly having to take off your glasses to clear them up of fog, then you might just get fed up and ditch them mid-run like I did.

But with antifog technology, runners can optimize their experience with UV protective sunglasses without the annoying problem of fogging up.  Your vision stays free, clear, and unobstructed, and as a result, your run itself remains free, clear, and unobstructed. 

And what could be better than that?


August 19, 2020
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