Unless it’s a blue-sky day, it’s easy to forget to wear sunglasses in the winter. That’s a horrible idea. Please swear to never, ever forget your shades in the winter again. Seriously, swear it. Your eyes will thank you.
:: Even When it’s Overcast?
Especially when the sky is overcast. Wearing sunglasses in the winter is imperative because the winter sun sits lower in the sky and at a more harmful angle. Yikes. Even though it may not seem as intense, the winter sun is often more harmful to your eyes than the summer sun. To add to the mayhem, the sun’s rays are like powerfully stealthy ninjas that can cut through haze, fog, and clouds. Don’t let overcast conditions fool you. Speaking of ninjas, snow reflects up to 85% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Alright, that has nothing to do with ninjas, but wearing sunglasses in the winter is kind of a big deal.
When the conditions are super bright, and there is snow on the ground, the glare is intense; however, most of the rays reflected off of the snow are not polarized, so polarized sunglasses will not work. In fact, they could make the glare worse. Non-polarized sunglasses and goggles are best when the sun is bright, and there is a layer of snow on the ground.
When winter conditions are grey and foggy, polarized sunglasses are ideal because they cut through the haze, especially on the horizon. That’s because polarized sunglasses cut horizontal polarized light and glare. It’s science. CLICK HERE to read more about how polarized sunglasses work.
:: It’s Not Just About The Rays
General winter conditions can also harm your eyes, and sunglasses can protect you from the following winter hazards:
- Sunglasses protect the delicate skin around your eyes, which is particularly susceptible to sunburn.
- Sunglasses protect your eyes from wind, debris, and snow.
- In colder weather, your eyes are more likely to become dry and irritated. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the elements that cause dryness.
- Glare causes squinting, which can damage the skin around your eyes and contribute to eye fatigue. Sunglasses will keep your eyes healthier and happier.
- Sunglasses always come with an element of cool, and who doesn’t want to look cool?
:: Which Sunglasses are Best in Winter?
It’s all about the lens. The following lens colors are best in winter conditions:
Grey lenses reduce the sun’s intensity without distorting contrast or color. They are great for outdoor activities that require a broad view, especially on blue-sky days.
Amber/Yellow/Brown lenses are good in hazy and overcast conditions because they enhance contrast, which makes them perfect for winter sports and driving.
Mirrored lenses are particularly good when skiing or snowboarding in high-glare conditions. This does depend on the color of the lenses, as mirrored lenses simply look badass, so some models are made more for looks than performance.