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When to Choose Polarized?

When to Choose Polarized?

XX2i Optics is well known for our 8k polarized optics – they provide the ultimate in protection with our trademark blue flash mirror coating, and polarizing filters to reduce glare and combat eye fatigue. But depending on your sport of choice, how do you know whether to go with polarized sunglasses or not? For #NationalSunglassesDay, we wanted to cover polarized lenses, and what advantages they pose for different sports.

Polarized lenses work to reduce glare when sunlight is refracted off surfaces like water, roads, and snow. This makes polarized lenses a must for angling and water sports. A long day out on the boat without polarized eyewear can lead to tired, irritated eyes, and can even cause long term damage. Another advantage of polarized eyewear means that with reduced glare, it’s easier to walk stream-side and spot pools and eddies where trout are lurking.

For land-based sports, like running, cycling, golf, tennis, etc, it can depend on your environment, the amount of sun you’re dealing with, and your activity to determine if polarized is the best choice. For example, golf courses don’t usually have glare in abundance, so polarized lenses aren’t necessary. Polarized lenses can also affect your depth perception and reduce contrast, another reason why we typically recommend that cyclists opt for non-polarized lenses. For road cycling in brighter climes, such as Arizona or Colorado during the summer, polarized lenses can be helpful for reducing eye fatigue, but you can also experience issues seeing wet or slick patches on the road. For those who are light sensitive, polarized can be the way to go. And for athletes that have trouble reading their cycling computer, phone, or watch, our polarized sport readers can be just the ticket.

For a mountain biker in a more overcast environment, our Pro Racing kits come with Racing Orange and Transparent lenses. Racing Orange lenses enhance contrast and allow for lower light conditions. On muddy, rainy days, the Transparent lenses are the way to go for eye protection and clarity. Polarized lenses might prove too dark for a wooded trail, especially on a cloudy day.

Off the trail, XX2i Optics’ polarized casual line is ideal for functional fashion – the classic styles can go easily from the bar to the beach, and provide the same level of protection as our sport polarized lenses.

In short, polarized lenses are ideal for those with light sensitive eyes looking to reduce eyestrain while outside in very bright sunlight. For sports that are depth-sensitive, like golf, or require a lot of contrast, like mountain biking, polarizes lenses tend not to be the best choice. But in all outdoor pursuits, XX2i Optics encourages you to wear high quality eyewear that protects 100% against UVA and UVB rays.

Happy National Sunglasses Day!


Images courtesy of Paul Cabigao, Jeff Dougherty, and Natalie R Starr.