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Best for Skiing: Glasses versus Contacts?

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
Searched, didn't find much.


So, if someone happens to have glasses-friendly goggles already, and is faced with wearing glasses for the first time in decades or wearing contacts for the first time ever what do you recommend?

What are the pros and cons of glasses and contacts?

Aggressive skier - jumps, hucks, goes fast, all that. Will be getting new muti-impact helmet, which would have to accomodate glasses if chosen, I guess.

Thanks for the help!
post #2 of 71

About the only time I wear contacts is when I ski.

Pros and cons (make that cons):

- Glasses: They fog. They just do. Yeah, you can get big goggles with fans in them, but maybe they'll still fog, and now you've got big goggles with fans in them on your head.

- Glasses: Distort and interfere with peripheral vision.

- Contacts: They'll get loose if you get too much wind in your eye.
post #3 of 71
I've done both but prefer glasses, since I'm used to wearing them more often than contacts. I have OTG goggles that work fine. At the same time, if you wear contacts more often, then stick with contacts. It's really personal preference.
post #4 of 71
Pretty much the only times I waer contacts is when skiing and diving. I just buy a box of daily wears and when they get annoying at the end of the day, I just pull them out and flick them away.
It’s so much easier to get good googles when you don’t have to worry about the glasses aspect. You also get better pereferal vision.
If you do wear daily wears though, bring a couple of extra and put them in an inside pocket. I’ve had a big fall where a contact was jarred out and I needed another contact to put in. Not the way you want to end you ski day...
post #5 of 71
NO contest: contacts. I see you're from Vancouver. If the humidity is high or it's snowing and you get overheated from skiing hard, your glasses and goggles will fog. period. there's nothing worse (well ok there is of course) than trying to pick your way through steep trees and not be able to clear your glasses/goggles. It is such a pain.

I only wear contacts while skiing. use disposable type soft contacts that are breathable. The cons are that if you don't wear them all the time it takes a bit to get used to them and they can start to bug you by the end of the day, but the soft permeable ones stay pretty comfortable. buy good rewetting drops as eyes tend to get dry from the high altitude and wind. Wear goggles and they will stay more comfortable longer.
post #6 of 71
Each has it's own set of problems. I hate goggles and finally found a pair of sun glasses with interchangable lenses that allow me to ski fast with contacts. Many sun glasses will allow drying and/or lens flutter and distortion at speed. By interchangable, I mean from dark to clear for the changes from bright sun to overcast and flat light.

I did have laser not lasik in one eye and since that eye is a bit screwed up now, I wear a contact in my left eye and don't want to chance having any additional surgical correction ..... but that said, in case you start thinking along those lines, each time a snowflake or sleet hits my laser eye if feels like I am being stabbed with an ice pick; it is real sensitive to any movement even at slow skiing speeds so I constantly need some eye protection ..... with contacts, I could ski slowly down with a problem (goggle or glasses icing) .... but contacts on windy days can be an issue too?

I do keep a spare disposable in my jacket pocket so it's no major big deal.

Sometimes with contacts, water content of the brand and type is an issue and that will depend on how they adhere and are going to work for you. Explain this to the doctor and they can give you a few types to try. My kid hated contacts and would only wear them when he was racing till he found just the right ones and now he wears them all of the time ... so be patient, try a few brands and give them a chance.
post #7 of 71
Contacts easily wins. I pop em in at 6 in the morning and I don't even think about them until after dinner.
post #8 of 71
Yuki's right, the water content can make a huge difference. I wear contacts (59% water) nearly every day, and once they're in, I usually don't feel em at all.

I've never skied with glasses, so I can't speak to that, but skiing with contacts works well for me.
post #9 of 71
I've skied with both and prefer contacts. I've never had any issue with them falling out during skiing and I barely ever wear goggles.

Contacts give you better view.. you don't have to turn your head to see your periphery... You don't have to tilt head down to look down, you don't have to tilt head up to look up.... You have to with glasses.

I have monthly contacts.. wear up to 7 days straight, take em out overnight and back in the next morning.. If I ski a whole weekend and have had them in longer than 7 days they loose suction, but easy fix is to leave them out friday night, put em in saturday morning.
post #10 of 71
I wear Oasys contacts - fantastic. Only time I wera contacts is swimming, skiing and soccer. Fog issues are much reduced with contacts. They even give some protection from wind and weather. I can ski pretty fast without goggles with the contacts in, and by squinting, even in sleet and icing conditions that hopelessly glaze goggle lenses.
post #11 of 71


...after a childhood with glasses fogging, and an adulthood with contacts drying up and falling out, I went with Lasik and never looked back...joke, ha ha. Actually, what happened was I got zapped in the left eye with a bungy cord when one of my dumb s*** teammates let go at the wrong time, necessitating a lensectomy. The replacement lens was 20/25, the guy who did it did 20/25 Lasik in the other eye, and the rest is history...
post #12 of 71
Contacts. Skied for years with glasses and OTG goggles and never had a fog-free experience. Go to a good eye-doc and you can get a wide variety of samples to try. I use a daily disposable with a high moisture content. Try and give yourself a few days of use before you go up with them, though.
post #13 of 71
Contacts. I hate dealing with the fogging issues.
post #14 of 71
Contacts, they let you choose whichever goggle, helmet combination works best for you. Also nice to ski in sunglasses when the weather is right. Second the need to get used to contacts before heading to the mountains though.
post #15 of 71
Contacts are great. I originally got mine for skiing, tho I do occaisionally wear them for social events too.

I got the plan where they are supposed to be replaced monthly (I think) but since I don't wear them everyday they last pretty much forever. So I have multiple active pairs. When I go on a ski trip, I wear each pair one day and do a big enzyme session at the end.

If your eyes are fairly close, get the same prescription for both eyes -- it simplifies life a lot.

(On the other hand, my son has prescription goggles and they work pretty well, too. Much better than goggles over regular glasses - and they cost less than normal glasses, too!)

Added: I have pretty dry eyes, but rarely notice my contacts skiing. I do notice it if I leave them afterward till after dinner instead of taking them out right after skiing. When I wear them for day trips, and dont take them out at the mountain, the last hour of driving is often a problem.
post #16 of 71

But when I needed...contacts. Glasses made me feel like I was skiing in a fishbowl.
post #17 of 71
Contacts all the way, I know I'm not supposed to but for the past about 7 years I have had them, I leave them in for 2-3 months, no they don't pop out, they dont dry up, i dont take them out at night, I love my contacts and they must fit well. I hate goggles and always wear sunglasses when skiing and only move to goggles when the wind is blowing the snow in my face. I love my contacts and wouldn't trade them for anything.

post #18 of 71
Contacts. I only wear them for skiing and have extended wear. I put them in on the first day of skiing, leave them in overnight and take them out at the end of my trip, whether it be 1, 2 or 14 days.
Glasses in goggles always fog. Contacts at very high speed do require goggles though, since wind around sunglasses gets annoying on contacts. Most times it's not an issue since sunglass use is usually reserved for spring, when I'm not going that fast. but in that rare case, I'll revert to prescription sunglasses, which has it's own problem of carrying regular glasses for the lodge.
post #19 of 71
For me the winner is Contacts. Wear them for skiing and playing tennis. I got tired of my glasses fogging up. With contacts I've never had that problem and I ski in the East. I put them on when I get to the lodge. It's never been a problem wearing them. They're those one day lenses. Even when one fell out it was no big deal now I was both near and far sighted.
post #20 of 71
When i wore my glasses under my " over the glasses goggles " one of my eye glasses popped out. and well i have many other pairs but i wore my contact the other day and they were fine. contacts dont fog up ( glasses fog up under goggles ) ..
post #21 of 71
I'll add another vote for contacts. I normally wear glasses and own an OTG goggle in case of emergency but wear contacts whenever I ski. I used to wear disposable daily contacts but found my eyes got dry and vision blurred within 3-4 hrs. Now I have Accuvue Oasys high water content and can wear them 10 hrs plus if I need to ( worth the extra cost and maintenance). I prefer contacts and sunglasses to wearing goggles.
post #22 of 71
Wow, it seems like I'm the only one who prefers glasses to contacts. In my defense , I do treat my glasses with anti-fog and it works effectively for me. While it doesn't eliminate all fog, it does a very good job 90% of the time. It's a comfort thing (security blanket) for me I suppose.
post #23 of 71
If you can wear contacts comfortably, and get an adequate amount of vision from them, then they would be better than glasses due to the fogging issue.

As mentioned before, you might need to try a few different types of contacts until you find one you can wear. Either way you go, make sure to wear them around for awhile before you go skiing. Glasses especially, and to some extent contacts take a while to get orientated to. In other words you might get some dizziness and headaches at first - not good when skiing!

Personally, my eyes are too dry for contacts. I wear goggles with rx lens inserts and a turbo fan.
post #24 of 71
Contacts are better for every thing period. I have to wear corrective lenses since the third grade, I have horrific vision. At times I am forced to wear glasses due to an eye irritation or because I run out of disposable lenses, the loss in field of vision is so great that I do not even like to step out of the house for fear that I might trip or hurt myself.

At times my lenses have dried up while skiing fast, but I will take that chance rather than to try and ski with glasses on.

Contacts or corrective surgery are the only way to go, period.
post #25 of 71
Contacts. Surevue 2's are working good for me.
post #26 of 71
Wow, one more vote for glasses. I can't get contacts that are comfortable, I wear OTG goggles, and I have only rarely ever had problems with fogging (and I'm east coast.) If the googles have a good seal, you shouldn't get fog. You don't want your breath getting to your glasses...I suppose if you sweat a lot fog might be more of a problem too.
post #27 of 71
Hands down!! contacts!

I have glaucoma and had to have surgery on my right eye last year. normally this ends one's ability to wear contacts. I wore panoptx prescription sunglasses last seas on and Smith tirbo Goggles wotih the Ocular docking sytem. These both were comprimises compared to contacts. Fogging problems mopstly with the Ocular docking system and a lot of futisng around with antifog solutions and reapllying at lunch and having to carrying glsses with me when going in for lunch.

the Dr. decided i could wear contacts again for skiing only and the way my surgery was performed it left room for soft lenses.

I cannot tell you how releived and how fabulous it is comfort, vision and convenience wise again.

I am truly grateful to be able to wear contacts again! Don't even know I have them in when skiing!
post #28 of 71
I never wear contacts so I always ski with regular OTG goggles. They (glasses and goggles) are sometimes (rarely) fogging up and will automatically defog once i get some speed. Slighty reduced peripheral vision because of the big OTG.
post #29 of 71
Contacts by a mile!

The main reason: clear peripheral vision. I've tried skiing with my glasses, and it's no contest: contact are much, much better. I have an astigmatism, and the Accuvue Toric lenses work like a charm: no accidental fly-away, etc.

It did take a while to get used to the lenses. I was actually opening my eyes too wide at first (this was when I was 15 years old, mind you), and the wind would come through the goggle foam and I'd end up with the lens adhered to the inside of the goggles.

Since then, the goggles have gotten better (and a helmet helps stop a lot of the miscreant airflow), the lenses have gotten thinner, wider and more gas permeable, and all is well. Improved technology has worked wonders for contact lenses, and they're much better for skiing and athletics than ever before.

And if you really want to be cutting-edge, look at the Nike-developed contacts, which are amber tinted for better shadow perception. Sure, they'd be overkill with ski goggle tints, but... hey, they're cool.
post #30 of 71
Originally Posted by OldSchool View Post
if someone happens to have glasses-friendly goggles already, and is faced with wearing glasses for the first time in decades or wearing contacts for the first time ever what do you recommend?

What are the pros and cons of glasses and contacts?
Thanks for the help!
Contacts, Contacts, CONTACTS !

I've been skiing for the last three years with glasses under my goggles, and I've always hated it ! My former Eye Doc kept telling me that my eyes
needed a progressive lens and that contacts were out. Boy was he wrong !

My new eye Doc encouraged me to try contacts for skiing. I tried them once and will NEVER go back to the goggle-glass combo.

I don't want to be redundant and relist all of the valid reasons that everyone already gave for contacts, but I whole heartedly agree. No fogging and better all around sight in every way.

If you can tolerate them, go with contacts and never "look back" ;-)

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