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Sports Optical Rx Sunglasses Review

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Sports Optical Rx Sunglasses

Sports Optical Rx Sunglasses

In my younger years, I was always quite active in contact sports. As I have aged, and joined the ranks of the ‘Masters’ division, I’ve made the transition to the world of endurance sports. The ability to enjoy, compete, and push my body to and past its limits is at times painful yet oh-so-fulfilling. Being able to see and not have to worry about your eyewear is key. Like many out there, I do need a prescription, and Sports Optical has a multitude of solutions for all of your athletic and active outdoor endeavors.

First Glance on The Sports Optical Rx Sunglasses

Colorado boasts that the sun graces our fair State for over 300 days per year, and this does give its citizens a friendlier disposition. Having the proper eyewear for sun protection is quite important, and is something that requires some serious thought. I have taken these out for casual walks, while driving my car, running a fast 5k race, trail running, road riding, and mountain biking.

Sports Optical

Running the Alaska Coastline and jagged mountain range trails was invigorating, and with 20+ hrs. of sunshine, the Sports Optical Rx sunglasses came in super handy.

Sports Optical – The Shop

This is what you would call a boutique eyeglass shop with a wide spread network due to the uniqueness of their offerings. Prescription sunglasses can be had from many brands for sure! The unique handmade and custom options especially with the curved lens is something that sets them apart. No matter your preference, facial dimensions, or prescriptions, they can work with you to find something that suits you. The variety of activities you can find prescription eyewear for is unmatched. From flying, watersports, golf, ski goggles, running, tactical, and cycling, I’m quite sure you’ll be able to find something that matches your favorite sporting activities. Obviously, if you are in the Front Fange of Colorado, they’d love for you to stop by their boutique shop in Denver. I had that luxury, got the grand tour and friendly treatment to walk through their shop. Excellent and knowledgeable service were provided to line up a beautiful pair of prescription sunglasses. If you are not local, never fear, they work with customers from all over the world. Call them, and/or fill out a contact form to get started.  www.sportsoptical.com The owner, Bret Hunter has been making eyewear ever since his years in the service. He figured it’s something a lot of people do need, and when it comes to prescription sunglasses there was a really limited availability. Hence, ever since the early 90’s he’s been perfecting his craft and is a hands-on component of the business. He also has an impressive athletic resume which is why he can relate to many of his customers.

Sports Optical

This is what 300+ days of sunshine look like in Colorado – a “Blue Bird” sky.

Each and every Rx order is handcrafted and fully custom. They are made right there in the back of the shop. The unique advantage is that they can accommodate nearly any lens material, create tints for the lenses by hand, and custom shape the lenses. The behind the scenes level of detail pretty much goes unnoticed, but rest assured that every minutiae of detail gets addressed (frame angulation, lens curvature, frame adaptation, etc.). Even if your prescription is a strong one, Sports Opticals is confident in their ability to handle prescriptions nearly twice as strong as their competitors.

Sports Optical

Red Rocks MTB – my shades stayed put snuggly and securely even with some gnarly technical drops and bouncy rock garden descents.

The Rudy Project Ketyam Frame

I am sporting the Rudy Project Ketyam frame on my sunglasses. Now please take note that this is not a frame you can buy from Rudy Project anymore in regular or prescription. It’s an older style that Sports Optical still uses for their Rx offerings. Take note that there are a multitude of options for finding the perfect frame for you. Sports Optical pretty much bought out the remaining stock in this particular frame because it can accommodate a very strong prescription. It’s an open bottom frame which provides for nearly unlimited room to place in a lens that will accommodate a thicker lens. Mine is fairly tame in the scheme of things at roughly 2.50 for both eyes. Notice how it curves around on some of the detail shots. It widens as you get out to the peripheral curvature of the lens to allow for that vision out to the sides without really having to continuously turn the head. Without breaking out the protractor or anything that may measure the specific viewing angle, I’d say it’s only a few degrees shy of 180. In my every day glasses, it’s a cone of vision probably around the 90 -100 degree angle.

Sports Optical

Curvature and slightly thicker on the edges for enhanced peripheral viewing. Also there is some flex to allow for that secure fit.

This is quite a technical and performance frame. They give you that instant “cool” demeanor, and are constructed in a manner to provide a streamlined look and feel. The nose piece has a pliable rubbery feel to it, and can easily be adjusted to make for a good fit. I had to make a slight adjustment to push the frame a fraction further away from my eyebrows. The temples come equipped with internal sprung hinges which in its own right is nothing new, but allow for a customized fit no matter your facial features.

The High Quality Lenses of Sports Optical

One of the better features of these sunglasses is the high-index polycarbonate material. This keeps them super lightweight, thin, as well as safe. I am not testing out the shatter proof ability of these polycarbonate lenses, but it was mentioned to me that they will not shatter if you happen to lose them while going 30+ mph on the bike. A comforting thought!

Sports Optical

You can kind of see how far the lenses wrap around to provide that nearly 180 degree peripheral vision.

The Sports Optical sunglasses sport a base lens that is a Polarized Rose-Copper. It provides a reddish hue that has worked great to combat the bright sunny blue skies we experience here in Colorado. They also applied a Cobalt mirror to them. Mirrors play with the perceived color of a lens, for example if you put a blue mirror over a polarized rose-copper lens, the perspective will appear with yellow hues. With the Cobalt mirror over a rose-copper lens, the perspective stays pretty true to the rose-copper tone. At first I thought a really dark brown or grey lens is best to provide the best eye coverage, but this combination sees to work well with any kind of light and activity. I am super happy with my reddish brown shading because it combats the very bright sunny days as well as some intermittent cloudy weather or shady patches as I go into and out of the trees and mountains. I have put these through its paces, and they have been dropped……. I know, not a good thing, but these sunglasses have held up quite nicely. If there is concern, all the Sports Optical Rx sunglasses come standard with a UV-Block, an anti-scratching coating, and a 1-year warranty.

Sports Optical

Rubber temples for a comfortable fit.

Taking these out for a spin

I have been wearing glasses for close to 30 years now. Laser surgery seems to be something that will probably not happen at this point.  Sunglasses are now a critical part of my gear assembly, be it running (road or trail), cycling (MTB or road), or triathlons.  Contacts are ok, but having the chance to test out a pair of quality prescription sunglasses will really help determine if I can eliminate contacts altogether.

Sports Optical

One of those hot and hazy days, but these lenses worked perfect for getting me out of town to go play in the mountains.

A few days of walking and driving around town got me used to wearing these. Any minor adjustments were an easy fix with the flexible nose pads, so no need to go back to the shop to get the professional adjustment. Colorado with its claim of 300+ sunny days a year has been struggling to get a good start on that feat this year. April, May, and June have seen a steady Northwestern-like climate with steady rains, and intense thunder/hail storms thrown in. Hence, the opportunity to sport these for one of my marathon training runs or weekly group rides actually had to wait a couple of weeks. As we are into June and July and the days are long, the chance to take these out for a ride presented itself. These are early morning rides, and I have to be out my door by 5:30 to meet a group that can swell to 40-50 riders mid-summer. Although not intensely sunny yet as the sun was starting to peak over the Eastern Horizon, these Sports Optical Prescription Glasses were just fine to start out with. Being that our state is blessed with some Uber-Athletes even these rides can get quite grippy as some seriously talented riders mixed into the group. The ride starts out gentlemanly, but as soon as we hit the wide open plains, the peleton starts to pick up speed. You better be on your toes, and ready to take a pull up front. This is where the wrap around peripheral glass came into play, as I was drifting towards the back of the ride, I was able to spot the last rider coming through without having to really turn my head. I could move over swiftly to get into the slipstream to be able to get pulled along as I made my way up to the front.

Sports Optical

Riding to meet my Peleton group for some serious pace line riding.  The sun was starting to come up, and I was able to wear my sunglasses the entire ride even with a bit of early morning darkness.

Mountain biking is where I’d say the true test for staying on my face really came into play. As mentioned, the rains have deposited quite a bit of rain on our trails, but when I went the sandy red dirt was in perfect condition. The sweeping fast descents and technical rock garden sections provided plenty of fast speed and bone rattling shakiness. I tell you, I never even gave my glasses a second thought. They got sprayed with water and mud, but never moved from my face. I expected some movement as sweat would start to factor in, but the rubberized pads really worked well.

Sports Optical

High speed fun trying to maintain my line through the creek crossing.

Hiking/running a 14-er is something my wife and I have been actively pursuing this summer. I had the chance to take my specs up a quad-fecta (Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Bross). Fourteen-ers is the casual reference to the peaks that poke their summit over 14,000 of elevation. Depending on who you talk to, their are 54 official peaks that lay claim to that title.  In any case, I headed up the trail head around 9:30 (which is a late start, but I had to wait for my wife to complete the loop so she could watch our little ones). It was a Blue Bird Sky (a very common term in these parts) because of the intense blue sky and very bright sun.

Sports Optical

That’s what 14,238′ looks like. A very intense sun, and a rocky ascent/descent with lots of scree. My shades were a perfect match for this venture as they did not budge even with some seriously technical running.

The trailhead and campground lies at 12,000′, so there is no hiding as I was above tree line from the get-go. Pretty soon, the vegetation also gave way to just rocks, scree, and boulders. My heart rate quickly shot up, and I started to perspire. My Sports Optical Sunglasses stayed put, and I never had to give them a second thought. I did have some concerns initially because the downhills are fast, bumpy, and put my legs to the test. I was concerned that my glasses would bounce right off my face, but I was super impressed that they stayed put the entire time. No gliding down my nose. No bumping up and down. And no fogging up.  The focus needed to safely come down is intense, and the clarity of the lenses did not fail me. I hit some loose rock and scree which caused a slide or two, but I always had clear vision of the trail (or lack of trail at times) to get me down in one piece.

Sports Optical

So glad I had these Shades to keep my eyes and high altitude headaches at bay.

Available Frame Styles

Whatever your activity and style preference, Sports Opticals carries numerous brands to suit your need. Some quite familiar others are not, but please do take a look because they are all of high quality. Including but not limited to the following:

  • Smith
  • Spy Optic
  • Wiley X
  • Numa Optics
  • Oakley
  • Flying Eyes
  • Mt. Falcon
  • Sports Opticals
  • Randolph Engineering
  • Panoptix
Sports Optical

Couldn’t resist. The beauty of my glasses and a Columbine (Colorado’s State Flower) at 13,000+ ft. of elevation.

Final Eye Opening Thoughts on The Sports Optical Rx Sunglasses

The experience of going with a smaller custom ‘boutique’ shop is amplified with the personal attention and level of detail. Now, I have had prescription sun glasses before, but none like this. The focus on performance prescription sunglasses for the active person is what really sets Sports Optical apart from any other name brand out there. Other well-known brands only provide you with the frame, style, and lens. The Rx is something that has to adapt to that. With Sports Optical the prescription and your ability to see crisp and clear comes first with your specific activity a close second. The frame, lenses, coloring, etc. then falls into place to create a complete package. Your vision and ability to perform at a high level while enjoying your sport is key, and going through Sports Optical is totally worth it. MSRP: All dependent on frame, prescription, lenses, and options. I’d recommend giving them a call to discuss your specific need and find a comfortable price point. For more information, and a person to person discussion about your eyewear needs please visit: www.sportsopticals.com

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About Niels Oomkes

I am a multi-sport endurance athlete, and love to get out into the great outdoors to push the body to its limit. Most of my weekend expeditions, adventures, trips, or vacations are planned around running, biking, snowshoeing, camping, or anything else that will allow me to enjoy nature's exquisite beauty.

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