What Running Conditions Call for Polarized Sunglasses?

What Running Conditions Call for Polarized Sunglasses?
By Lisa Simpson - Runner
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What Running Conditions Call for Polarized Sunglasses?

What Running Conditions Call for Polarized Sunglasses?


When you’re shopping for running sunglasses, the terminology might get a bit confusing. All that available lens technology is great for runners, but it can seem overwhelming when you don’t know what any of the features mean.

Chances are, you’ve seen the term polarized when you’ve been looking for suitable running sunglasses. We’ll get you up to speed on what that means and why you might want polarized sunglasses.


What Are Polarized Sunglasses?


Polarized is a fancy way of saying a filter has been applied to the lenses on your sunglasses. These lenses will filter light rays out better than non-polarized sunglasses will. That can protect you from more of the harmful rays that over time can hurt your eyesight, leading to conditions like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

Wearing polarized sunglasses doesn’t guarantee you won’t end up with these conditions, but it does decrease your risk. That’s especially important if you have a family history of these conditions or if you spend a considerable amount of time outside.


When Do You Get the Most Benefit From Polarized Sunglasses?


Since polarized sunglasses work well to protect your long-term vision, they’re a great accessory for everybody. But they can be pricier, so you might be wondering when they’re especially useful so you can justify the cost.

Here are some circumstances in which polarized sunglasses really shine.


1.      When You’re Facing a Glare


Runners routinely face glares while logging miles, although sometimes they don’t realize it because they’ve gotten used to squinting.

Surroundings that can cause glares include:

  • Water, such as running near oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams.
  • Running when there is snow on the ground.
  • Running past metal structures.
  • Sandy runs, such as ones on the beach or in the desert.


2.      When You Want the Scenery to Pop


Running can be one of the greatest ways to see some amazing sights. That’s especially true if you live in a gorgeous area of the country, or if you travel a lot and run in new places you may never visit again.

Traveling to participate in a certain race has become popular, with some runners setting goals to run a race in every state. Wearing polarized sunglasses can help you see those once-in-a-lifetime sights better than you would with ordinary sunglasses.

They can sharpen hazy areas, such as misty mountaintops. You’ll get a better look at your scenery. That’s important for runners because, as much as we love running, it’s not always fun. Anything that can distract us and make the run more enjoyable is always welcome.


3.      You Love Running Over Bridges


When you’re wearing regular sunglasses while running over a bridge, as you try to peer into the water, you generally get nothing but a reflection. With polarized sunglasses, more of the reflection is blocked, giving you an interesting look deeper into the water.


4.      You’re On a Long Run


Training for a marathon or half-marathon? Then you’ll be doing your weekly long run, which can stretch into hours instead of minutes.

Those long runs are necessary for marathon training, but you need to be smart about your eyes while you’re working your body. You need something that can block those UVA, UVB, and UVC rays 100 percent. Polarized sunglasses with wrap lenses or oversized lenses can.


Will They Be Hard to Get Used To?


Polarized lenses, while good for your eyes, may require a little adjustment phase as you get used to wearing them. They can impact how well you see your digital screens, like your cell phone you frequently look at while training. The screen can be harder to see.

Why does this happen? Polarized filters are meant to cut down on glare. A lot of phones have polarizing filters, and if your sunglasses do too, that can make it harder to see your screen. You still can – you’ll just have to rotate it a bit to get the optimal viewing angle.


Once you get used to it, it isn’t a big deal. It’s certainly not as bad as losing part or all of your vision someday.

November 18, 2020
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