People often don’t believe me when I tell them how bad my eyesight is. If I’m not wearing my glasses, I have difficulty recognizing faces even 5 feet away. I just can’t see without corrective lenses. This is a problem when it comes to competitive sports. For years as a skier I never wore goggles; it was simply too uncomfortable to wear them over my glasses, but this meant that on sunny days I was subjected to potentially damaging UV radiation. Finally a few years ago I found a site called SportRX.com, which sells prescription eyewear for a number of sports.
Unfortunately, it took a while for me to figure out the sorts of things that work and don’t work. What categorically doesn’t work for me is, predictably, the most common solution: A clip-on prescription insert in non-prescription eyewear. This just means there are twice as many surfaces to fog up or get dirty. For skiing I eventually settled on contact lenses, but this doesn’t work for me when I run. After an hour or so of heavy exertion, the lenses just pop out.
So, a couple months ago I decided to seek out prescription sunglasses designed specifically for aerobic exercise. This led me back to SportRX.com. They have a page of glasses recommended for runners. What’s particularly useful about this site is that it tells you exactly what prescription is available for each pair of glasses. In my case, since I knew I didn’t want a clip-on solution, there was exactly one pair that would work in my prescription: Rudy Project Horus glasses.
The site allows you to order directly, if you have a current prescription. I did not, so I went to my optometrist for a check-up. They told me they could order the glasses directly from the manufacturer and avoid the website. This also allowed me to apply my insurance discount to the glasses. In the end, the price was similar, but this way I supported a local business, so I decided that was preferable. After two weeks, the glasses arrived. Here’s what they look like on me:
Or rather, I should say that’s what they look like when it’s sunny out. I opted for a pair with transitions lenses, which are tinted in the sunlight and clear indoors or in in the dark. I definitely wanted to be able to wear these glasses for early-morning runs in the fall and winter when it can be very dark. There were several transition options, and I picked the option that was less-tinted in daylight and completely clear in the dark. Another option would have been to go from a light tint to a dark tint — there is no product that goes from completely clear to extremely dark tint.
I’ve now tried them out in a variety of conditions: Sun, dark, cold, rain, and I can say they work great. I can see perfectly, with a wide field of view, and they don’t generally fog up while I am running. On cold days, if I stop for a break during a hard run, they do sometimes fog up, but this typically lasts only a minute or so. Since they are perfectly clear indoors, I often wear them inside after runs while cooling off and surfing the web, and they work just as well as my regular glasses. It’s even possible to get these glasses fitted with bifocals. I’m holding out for a few more years before I get those, even though it’s already sometimes difficult for me to read my Garmin on dark morning runs.
There is no problem with the glasses sliding around or coming loose in any way during runs; they always stay exactly where I put them. I’ve even been complimented on their good looks.
I highly recommend them for runners who can’t use contact lenses and, like me, have extremely poor vision.