Sports glasses buying guide: Which glasses are the best in 2023?

Linda Eigner

The fact is: If you don't wear glasses when doing sports, you're taking a risk. Especially when hiking, trail running or MTB riding, it is important to see the path with all bumps and obstacles. If this is not the case, then you risk a fall or endanger other athletes. In addition, the wind gets into your eyes more easily and they start to water. If we still haven't convinced you to wear sports glasses, here are three more good reasons to do so.

  1. Sports glasses protect the eyes: In addition to eye protection, the skull is also protected from injuries, dust, wind, flies, bright sunlight and UV rays.
  2. Sports glasses ensure good and stable vision: high-quality sports glasses score particularly well with a firm fit in all types of sports and long training sessions.
  3. Sports glasses are a fashionable must-have: there are now many different shapes, colors and sizes on the market and it is impossible to imagine doing sports without them.
Wearing glasses is especially important when running. The runner in the picture also wears sports glasses with red mirrored lenses.

Sports glasses in the test: why is it so important to wear them?

Too intense sunlight is not only annoying, but can also cause conjunctivitis or corneal inflammation. The rays that are not visible to us humans are particularly harmful. The so-called UV rays are very dangerous for outdoor sports enthusiasts and are divided into UVA, UVB and UVC rays. The wavelengths of UV rays are measured in nanometers (nm). When doing outdoor sports, you are particularly exposed to UV rays in the high mountains and at the lake or on the beach. You can find a detailed overview of UV rays here in this blog article.

💡Good to know :💡Did you know that UV rays become more intense the further south the region is? The further south you are and the closer you get to the equator, the more intense the UV exposure.

Sports sunglasses with tinted lenses: The best sun protection

Important tasks of sunglasses are that they reduce the glare of the sunlight and protect us from UV rays. This allows us to see contrasts better, which is why glasses are tinted. Sports glasses can have a simple color gradient or a bicolor (lighter towards the bottom) color gradient. When tinting, the lenses are immersed in the color and then evaporated until the desired shade is achieved. You can see the properties of the different tints in the table below.


Lens color


Suitable for


While clear sports lenses do not protect the eyes from glare from the sun, they are still a good alternative when doing indoor sports or when out and about at dusk or at night.

Colorless lenses are very suitable for indoor sports such as squash or when biking on trails in the insulation.



The brown/red-brown tint of the lenses ensures that the short-wave blue component of the light is filtered out and we perceive our surroundings as brighter. This makes contrasts easier to see. In addition, warm colors are emphasized.

Red and brown lenses are suitable for almost any weather and are therefore a good all-rounder for trekking riders.


Orange lenses have a similar effect to brown lenses, but offer better blue light attenuation and ensure that you can see the contrasts even better.

Orange lenses are particularly popular with mountain bikers and downhill bikers and are ideal for cloudy and dark views, fog or at dusk.


The purple-green tint of the sports glasses lenses is very contrast-enhancing. Compared to orange lenses, you can see contours even better.

Glasses with a purple-green tint are recommended, especially when biking in the forest.


A yellow tint also provides a brightening effect and filters out the blue light component.

Caution: sports glasses with yellow lenses are suitable for tours with a gray sky and less recommended in sunny conditions.


Blue lenses are characterized above all by the fact that they enable clear vision and the visual impression is richer in contrast.

Glasses with a blue tint are particularly suitable for mountain tours in winter or during activities with bright and glare conditions.


Green-tinted lenses are less contrast-enhancing than other tints, but they do an excellent job of reducing light reflections.

Sports glasses with green lenses are particularly popular among anglers because they reduce reflections and lighten shadows.


A red glass tint looks very warm and enhances the contrast. Red lenses also filter the blue light and ensure the best vision in many light conditions such as sun, clouds or snow.

Red lenses are very suitable for cycling in the countryside. Attention: Red lenses are not recommended in traffic.


Glasses with a black tint primarily offer a strong darkening effect. This is important for activities when the sky is clear and the sun is shining brightly.

Very dark glasses have similar properties to gray glasses and are less suitable for light-shadow conditions, but rather for very bright conditions.


Eyeglass lenses with a gray tint primarily transmit blue light. In addition, the glasses do not offer any contrast enhancement.

Gray tints, for example, are less popular among cyclists because the lenses are too dark for the light-shade alternation.


The cyclist in the picture is pushing his bike up the hill. He has a purple-green glass.

The tint level of sports glasses: what do I need to know about it?

The general rule is: the more tinted the lenses are, the darker the field of vision becomes. Therefore, the tint has a major impact on the field of vision. The degree of tinting of the sports glasses can be seen from the VLT% value (light transmission). The VLT% value shows how much light is being filtered out. For better orientation, the light transmission is given in categories (CAT). You can get a small overview of the exact classification from the table.

Category (CAT)

Light Transmission (VLT)

Suitable for



Clear lens



Suitable for cloudy and foggy days.



Suitable for sunny days with changing conditions.



Suitable for bright light conditions.



Suitable for very sunny days on the glacier or snowfields.


Want to know more about the filter categories? Check out our blog post about lenses for more info.

Don't make any compromises: sports glasses with self-tinting lenses

Did you know that there are glasses where the lenses tint themselves and adapt to the light conditions? This is particularly advantageous for outdoor activities with changing conditions, as the lenses automatically become lighter or darker depending on the influence of the light. Therefore, photochromic sports glasses are particularly popular with trail runners and cyclists, who often find different conditions.

Sports glasses with interchangeable lenses: Prepared for all conditions

Everyone who likes to be out and about in nature or do sports outside knows of course how quickly the weather and lighting conditions can change. So that you don't have to buy separate glasses for all circumstances, there are also sports glasses with interchangeable lenses. These are equipped with a simple changing system so that you can adapt to the external conditions in no time at all.

😎 NAKED Optics insider tip: 😎 We also prefer to wear one of our sports sunglasses The FALCON or The HAWK when biking, running or hiking. 6 different glasses with different tints are available for each of the glasses and are available in a bundle at low cost in the shop.


A man and a woman are riding bicycles. You are wearing sports glasses from NAKED Optics, which are equipped with interchangeable lenses.

Polarized sports glasses: what are advantages and what are disadvantages?

In recent years, sports glasses with polarized lenses have become increasingly popular and are gaining in importance. Polarizing sports glasses are finished with a filter layer. This layer reduces reflections from reflective surfaces such as water or a wet road. Polarization is so helpful because our eyes tire more quickly due to the glare and contrasts can be perceived less sharply. Sports glasses with polarized lenses, also called pole glasses, help us to see colors more clearly. In addition, light reflections are reduced. You can read exactly how the polarizing filter works here. Polarized sports glasses are particularly popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts such as hikers, mountaineers, water sports enthusiasts and anglers.

❗️ Attention: ❗️ Wearing polar glasses also has disadvantages. Sports glasses with polarized lenses filter not only vertically polarized light, but also blue light. This is problematic because it makes it harder to read car dashboards, smartphones or navigation displays.

Do mirrored sports glasses also have an effect?

The mirror coating of eyeglass lenses is often confused with tinting, but they are not the same. In contrast to the tint or the polarizing filter, the mirroring has no function, but only fulfills purely aesthetic purposes.

Sports glasses for people who wear glasses: what are the options?

It is particularly important for recreational athletes with ametropia to find the right sports glasses. If you don't wear glasses or if you choose a model without the appropriate eyesight, then you are taking easily avoidable risks. After all, the sports glasses market has the right product for all athletes, including those who wear glasses. On the one hand there are sports glasses with a prescription. On the other hand, insert clips are also available for some models. These clips can be adjusted by the optician to the individual eyesight. Are you wondering how much prescription sports glasses cost? This depends on the one hand on the ametropia and on the other hand on the quality of the sports glasses. For some models you have to dig deep into your pocket. Alternatively, contact lenses can also be tested. Daily lenses are ideal for sports and can be worn for cycling, running or even swimming.

Why can't I just wear my everyday glasses while doing sports?

It is true that optical glasses protect the eyes from wind, dust and foreign objects just as much as sports glasses. However, everyday glasses can not protect the eyes from harmful UV rays and bright sunlight. In addition, the optical glasses from everyday life do not sit as securely on the head as sports glasses. It is therefore possible that the glasses slip a lot and, in the worst case, fall on the floor and break. It is therefore important to put everyday glasses aside when doing sports and switch to sports glasses for people who wear glasses. 🥸

What is the option for spectacle wearers when swimming?

Prescription swimming goggles are also available. However, you should not order these online, but rather go to your trusted optician. In the case of swimming goggles with prescription lenses, you need a different lens strength than normal, since the refraction ratios in the water are different and the density is higher. 🏊‍♀️

A man is water skiing and is being pulled by a boat.


My sports glasses fog up. What can I do?

In some sports it can happen that the lenses of the sports sunglasses fog up and thus impair the view. This is not only annoying, but also a clear competitive disadvantage in sports. If you are often affected by this problem, then you should definitely check whether the glasses are sitting correctly or whether they fit perfectly with the helmet. If that doesn't bring any improvement, then you should definitely get sports glasses with effective ventilation . This prevents the glasses from fogging up. You can also get an anti-fog spray. With the help of the spray you can apply an anti-fog coating to the glass and repel water. This protects the glasses from fogging. Anti-fog sprays are particularly popular in combination with medical face masks (mouth and nose protection) and optical glasses.

In which sports should I rather not wear sports glasses?

Goggles are an important piece of equipment, but not for high-contact sports like boxing or judo. If you wore glasses during a fight, the risk of injury would be too great. In addition, sports sunglasses should also be avoided for ball sports such as handball or football.

Which sports glasses are the best?

With the large selection of sports glasses, it can be easy to lose track. We can fully understand that. Therefore, we are always there for you and will be happy to help you with your purchase decision. Simply contact our support team by e-mail: 🤝

📸 Credits:

Frank Wimmer
Florian Dorn
Matthew Gartner

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