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Eyeglasses while racing?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My eyes are getting worse, and I think I will need to wear my glasses while racing this year. Can anyone give me some tips on racing with glasses? What kind of glasses frame and goggles do you use? Do you like the goggles with the integrated glasses?


post #2 of 21
I've used Bolle goggles with a prescription insert for over 15 years, and they have worked well for me.  I've actually gone through 3 pairs of goggles, but I've still got the same prescription insert.  I update the lenses when I get a new prescription for my regular glasses.

I like the Bolle prescription insert because it is fairly large and I like the wide field of vision provided for skiing.  The goggles fit comfortably over my helmet.  The only time I've had fogging problems is riding the chair when it's mild & snowing heavily at the same time. 

Last time I saw the prescription insert on its own it cost about $25.  It can be used as is with some other goggles, and you could modify the tabs to fit a few more models.  I prefer the Bolle goggles myself.
post #3 of 21
I have some pretty low profile adidas glasses that serve me well under goggles in a pinch.  That said, get some disposable daily contacts.  They do not help with astig, but better than glasses.
post #4 of 21

If you have sensitive eyes, you may find sun glasses (no matter how aerodynamic) not being adequate. They do tend to dry up your eyes when you pick up speed.

Of course, there are OTG goggles. But, they usually aren't too sporty looking or tend to have lower quality lenses (in general of course). OTOH, race goggles do not typically fit over glasses well.

My daughter, who wears contacts, has been wearing Fuxi race goggles, which were made by Rooly. Rooly has now introduced their own line of goggles ( and will no longer supply to Fuxi. The old Fuxi model she had is called Olympia under the Rooly label. I tried them on last year over my glass just for fit and they seem to fit over my Oakley Big Square Wire (one the biggest wire frames you can find) and my big face just fine. Since I was looking for a replacement pair for her and a new pair with replacement lens for myself, I went and got myself one with an extra clear lens.

post #5 of 21
Last season was the first time I tried wearing my specs under my goggles when racing. I used the same specs I use cycling under a regular pair of non-otg goggles and they worked fine--with a little slow speed mild temp fogging--as previously noted. I dont have a real strong prescription but they do help me recognise people across a crowded lunch room! I think they may have helped a little in SL but I dont remember if I wore them in GS or SG!  All I can say is give it a go.
post #6 of 21
It's not clear from the original post whether contacts are an option. I was sort of assuming not (for some reason, such as astigmatism or some condition like rosacea), but if that assumption is wrong: go for the contacts.

In addition to fogging and the mechanical problem of cramming glasses inside goggles and making them stay put, there's a pretty significant peripheral vision issue. Sure, you still have peripheral vision around your glasses, but the image shift that glasses produce can make your peripheral vision not only unreliable but misleading. Of course, the image shift is an issue unto itself though, at least in theory, your mental perceptual apparatus adjusts to it, so that things really are where they seem to be (at least so long as you're seeing them through the glasses).
post #7 of 21
Scott Storm OTG.  Best OTG goggle.
post #8 of 21
Good point regarding the peripheral vision sjj. I notice the distortion a little when cycling and generally focusing on objects closer to me and at probably a downward angle of about 45 degrees but not at all when skiing and focusing much further away and almost straight ahead. No contacts--astigmatism.
post #9 of 21
 I've had great luck with Smith OTG's. The turbo model is slightly dorky but the fan does help in humid conditions.
post #10 of 21
I have astigmatism and use contacts - they've come a long way, and the toric lenses offered by many of the major contact manufacturers are a godsend.

Here are two things that would keep me from doing the glasses-under-contacts thing for racing:

1. I've seldom found wearing glasses (sunglasses, primarily) comfortable while wearing a race-oriented helmet (i.e. one with full hardshell ear protection).  The sunglasses in my avatar have very flexible arms - thus why they work with the racing helmet.

2. If you ever take a gate to the face, the goggles often take part of the hit.  The bridgepieces on glasses rest on fairly delicate bone structure, and I could see that getting very ugly, very fast.

So to those who have astigmatism and haven't tried some of the new-school toric lenses, you should: they make a world of difference.
post #11 of 21
I have astigmatism and tried contacts as a way to improve vision while racing. The biggest problem was in a tuck. My lens on my left eye, particularly, would wander out of place. I tried going mono-vision (ditched the left contact, which has better vision than the right) and that helped.

Another problem of OTG glasses is that in tucking, the deeper profile tends to having the top of the goggle get in the way of vision.

I might go back to my OTG goggles with glasses, not that I'm not racing. An impact to the face with glasses on worried me. Going slower, I'm less concerned.

BTW, the Smith Turbo gets great reviews from those that opt to go with glasses under goggles.
post #12 of 21
Originally Posted by songfta View Post

. If you ever take a gate to the face, the goggles often take part of the hit.  The bridgepieces on glasses rest on fairly delicate bone structure, and I could see that getting very ugly, very fast.

People lose eyes training because they don't wait for gates to stop swinging.  I've broken a few goggle lenses on gates.  No problems with the glasses.
post #13 of 21
+1 on the daily disposables. Cheap, fast, and easy. I prefer wearing my glasses day-to-day, but having the disposables for skiing (and sometimes for cycling and climbing) is a great backup.
post #14 of 21
 + 1 Scott Storm OTG. I added the Habervision battery powered fan late last season and it seemed to work well in those conditions when fogging is likely.
post #15 of 21
I don't race, but I went for Lasik surgery some years ago and it quite literally changed my life around sports. It is one of the few miracles of life where you go from being almost blind and having to constantly wear glasses to having the eyesight of a 7 yr old kid!
post #16 of 21
I like hearing all this good stuff about Lasik. Did you do both at once or one then the other?
post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MastersRacer View Post

I like hearing all this good stuff about Lasik. Did you do both at once or one then the other?
I had Lasik six years ago - both eyes at the same time. My eyesight was immediately better than 20/20. However, in the last two years my eyesight has deteriorated due to keratoconus. This is a bulging of the cornea that MAY be due to the fact that the cornea is made thinner during the Lasik procedure. It results in astigmatism that cannot be completely corrected, even with glasses.  It's not clear that my problem is due to my Lasik, but there is a statistical association. My eyesight is still better than it was before the operation, but I cant correct my current problem with soft contacs, so I wear glasses now, and have about 20/40 vision with my glasses. I dont mean to scare you, but this is a potential complication I had never heard anything about before my surgery.  Oh, and I was in extreme pain for about a day after the surgery, but I have never met anyone else who had the same experience.  I am clearly an outlier with my experiences, but you should know that there are risks.
post #18 of 21
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post

Scott Storm OTG.  Best OTG goggle.

+2  That was one of the best purchases I have made in a long time.  I have also had a lot of luck with Oakley A Frame over my glasses.
post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by Richr View Post


I am clearly an outlier with my experiences, but you should know that there are risks.


Absolutley understood. Thanks.
post #20 of 21

plenty of good comments here...  this is an issue w/seemly no solution, but someone has to have the $gadzillon answer, yes??  I’ve been told that I have a wicked astigmatism and for other reasons, can't wear contacts, and have been struggling w/eye ware whist racing for a long time.  The Bolle insert always fogged as it was too close to my forehead.  The Smith insert giggled around too much, but the turbo fan helped, however, the battery unit always seemed to get caught-up on the gate.  I thought the built-in lens of Uvex was the ticket, but after one gate bash, the lens kept popping out, err.    The Rudy insert was just too small for my script, yes, for some strange appeal, I like having my progressive lens in the inserts.  The Carrera & Briko over the glasses goggles have a huge profile and stink in a tuck.  Haven’t tried POC or Shred, but me’s think those will be thumbs down as well.  I’m finding success with a hill-billy solution:  modified a set of Anon goggles (cut the plastic frame @ the temple and lengthen the elastic strap.  On pow-pow days, I use the Harber OTG w/their fan system.   

post #21 of 21
You could go on forever on the up & down sides of the combos above.

I had LASER not LASIK ..... but ..... if there is any mention that you are near the borders for correction (they take measurements) ..... run like hell.

I was "near the border but would be just fine" ...... pure BS .... so I have a contact in one eye and a eye that is has some "halo" activity at night and now the right and left are not symetrical so the correction is a bit weird.  They do this on purpose to "balance" your vision out.

Snow flakes ........ are like getting hit with a hot spear in the corrected eye (Lasik may be different).

Try a few kinds of contacts (water content is important) .... and find sun glasses that have a real tight fit; for me, that was the UVEX Pro Sport.  They fit close around the cheek bones, bottoms and sides and let in very little air (that will dry contacts) ..... but enough that they never fogged.   Main reason I hated goggles ... but in extreme cold they ain't a bad idea.  Nice thing about the UVEX was that they came with like three colors and were very light (not dark) and ..... came with a set of clear lenses for overcast days ... and were pretty cheap too!

This will work for most lower league and NASTAR stuff where the speeds are down.  For the real deal .... all bets are off on the above and good goggles over contacts will be your friends.  Just remember to keep a spare lens (get the doc to give you a few "freebie" trial lenses to keep in a pocket and one of those half ounce hydration wetting bottles (itty bitty plastic) .... cause sooner or later one will dry .... I advocate "daily" types and they are cheap enough to toss if they start getting dry or itchy.
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