Q&A: How to Choose the Best Polarized Sunglasses

What’s the difference between one pair of sunglasses and the next? Don’t believe people when they tell you all that matters is how you look. What a lot of people don’t know is that not all sunglasses are created equal. There are important differences — even for polarized lenses — that you should know.

Photo: @yonder.bound

The truth is that shopping for a new pair of sunnies is more than just the right style and fit for your face. You need to think about the protective power of your glasses and even consider the color of your lenses. So just what exactly do you need to know?

We’re answering three common questions that will help you learn how to choose the best polarized sunglasses. From busting myths to finding the right color lenses, we’ll help you find your new favorite pair.

Question: Do darker lenses offer more protection for my eyes or is that a myth?

Answer: It’s a popular belief that the darker the lens, the better the sunglasses. But that’s not actually true. You could have dark-black lenses and be doing more harm to your eyes than good. Your eyes are the only internal tissue that’s directly exposed to UV rays, so without polarization and UV protection, you could be causing serious damage.

Q: What’s a polarized lens anyway? Is it the same as having UV protection?

A: Polarized lenses are great for all sorts of reasons. Using a unique chemical film coating, these types of lenses reduce eye-strain, glare and help you see more clearly. But polarization and UV protection is the key. Not all lenses include UV protection. So don’t rely on that to be your only sun-safety guard. Instead of looking just for polarization, check that your lenses are UV400, like this classic pair of floating lenses. UV400 means that you’re 100% protected against UVA and UVB rays. 

What’s the deal with polarization? Read more about polarization and how it got so popular in the first place. 

Q: So if lenses matter, does the color or shade make a difference too?

A: The color of your lenses don’t impact sun protection, however different tints can have some benefits! While just about all polarized lenses will help reduce glare and eyestrain, certain colors have different uses. 

  • Gray: Go on a run outside and enjoy a crystal-clear view. A neutral type of lens like gray is great for outdoor sports where you want to see clors clearly and without a glare getting in your way. Our floating Palmettos in gunmetal offer that glass-like clarity you might be looking for.
  • GreenAn all-purpose tint, green helps preserve color balance while evening out color perception. This shade is perfect for precision sports and fishing, so you can see the water clearly. 
  • Red: Have you ever heard of the saying “looking at life through rose-colored glasses?” It typically means that you’re looking at the world very optimistically — and it holds some truth. A red-tint is known for being soothing on the eyes and improves visual depth. Plus they look really, really good (just look at this pair of Wyecreeks if you don’t believe us).
  • Brown/Amber: Like green lenses, amber or brown can help improve contrast, especially against blue skies. Amber shades tend to offer a red element to improve depth perception, which can be particularly useful if you’re a golfer or a roadtripper.]
  • Blue/PurpleBlue lenses are stylish and often have that “mirrored” lens look and feel. But they’re also incredibly useful in snowy, foggy or misty conditions. They help reduce that bright white-light glare you see when you look at the snow or when you’re out by the pool on a sunny day.

Choosing the best polarized sunglasses is all about keeping protection, tint and style in mind. Just those three things can change the way you see the world, literally. At Rheos, all of our sunglasses are made for outdoor adventures, with 100% UV protection, a lifetime guarantee and they float in the water. The hardest part is just choosing the best look for your everyday activities. And with a wide selection, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality or comfort.