Three Things to Consider Before Buying Sunglasses

See clearer and protect your eyes with the right lenses and frames.

Few items pair fashion with performance as much as a great pair of sunglasses. The good news is you don’t have to give up one for the other. Manufacturers build high-performance sunglasses that turn away the sun’s harmful rays and shield your eyes from glare inside great-looking frames with high-quality components. A rock-solid design that handles season after season of wear and travel can have all the style and flair you desire. When it comes to sunglasses, you can definitely have your cake and eat it, too. Here are three things to think about when you’re sizing up a few frames.

Loads of Colors

This unisex frame design has slightly larger lenses than the brand’s iconic Wayfarer. Ray-Ban

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It’s easy to get caught up in the cosmetics of how sunglasses look, but first, make sure they work. Look for 100-percent UV protection, for starters. As for lens type, glass is heaviest but the most scratch resistant. Polycarbonate lenses are a solid balance of weight and strength. Plastic lenses vary in quality and are often the cheapest but scratch the easiest.

Universally Flattering Shape

Pilot shades are classic, wire-frame meetings of form and function. Ray-Ban

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There are lots of frame design aspects to consider, but one of the most overlooked is how much protection the lenses place between your eyes and the sun. If you’re active outdoors, you’ll definitely want a frame that blocks rays from the front and peripheral angles, either with wraparound glass or wider temples.

Microbag Included

Designed for athletic use, these frames have a form-fitting taper. Oakley

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Sunglasses often fail at the hinges or nosepiece. Make sure the hinges are sturdy enough for your intended use. If you tend to be hard on your sunglasses, flexible-hinged glasses might last longer, and you might consider nosepieces integrated into the frame rather than nosepieces attached with wire that can bend or break.