Unless you’ve been blessed with perfect vision or had LASIK surgery, you probably have to deal with the annoyance of corrective lenses every day. I usually wear contact lenses when I swim, bike, and run but there are times when my eyes are too dry to even think about putting in contacts.
Wearing my regular glasses in the pool isn’t very useful and I don’t like swimming blind. Fortunately, Speedo makes prescription goggles that are a lifesaver for early morning swim workouts (and they’re pretty darn cheap).
Finding a solution for cycling and running sans contacts was a bit more complicated than I expected. I went to my local Lenscrafters store to check out their selection of prescription sunglasses. My plan was to pick a style that would stay put during my workouts, but was fashionable enough to wear around town. I was quickly drawn to the purple Oakley Urgency sunglasses and patiently waited for someone to start processing my order. About an hour later, an associate was finally measuring my face and entering my information on the computer. During this process, another associate came by to help and quickly pointed out that those sunglasses couldn’t be made with my prescription. I left empty-handed and frustrated because I didn’t see any other sunglasses that I liked.
I started looking at various forums on the interwebz to see what styles of prescription Oakleys worked for other people. I found that many people thought they were a big waste of money, so I decided to expand my search.
I bought a non-prescription pair of of Smith Optics Pivlock V90 Max sunglasses last year and have been very pleased with them so I wondered if I could get a prescription lens for them. It turns out, they make a clever prescription adapter insert that’s compatible with the sunglasses I already have. There was surprisingly little consumer feedback online for the adapter, but I decided to give it a shot after finding it available with a good return policy at go-optics.com. I ordered the adapter for $45 with upgraded polycarbonate lenses for $57 (a grand total of $102) and waited for it to arrive.
Nine days later, the RX adapter was delivered. The kit consists of a special nosepiece and the prescription lens insert.
I tried it on with the clear lenses to illustrate how all the pieces fit together. Not the hottest look…
I usually ride and run with the mirrored lenses. As you can see in the picture below, the prescription insert isn’t visible to others.
My eyes usually take a while to adjust to a new pair of glasses, these were no exception. My vision became clear after an hour of use. (Note: this is a one-time process, I’m not walking around blind for an hour every time I wear these sunglasses).
This system passed the vision test, but they also need to be comfortable. The prescription insert adds 10g to the sunglasses, which are 28g. It’s still very light so the additional weight doesn’t bother me. I was also pleased to find that the prescription insert wasn’t too close to my face.
I wore the sunglasses with the prescription adapter during a 5 mile run and 65 mile bike ride to see how they felt in action. In both cases, the sunglasses were very comfortable and stayed in place. They slid down my nose a couple times when I hit some big bumps on my bike, but I think that would happen with most pairs of sunglasses.
I highly recommend Smith Pivlock sunglasses and the RX adapter, if you need prescription lenses. The sunglasses very light, provide great coverage, and come with several interchangeable lenses for varying light conditions.