Game Changer – Sport Prescription


Written by Bruce Barry, of Barry Optical

Can a pair of sunglasses actually help you enjoy your sport? It’s okay for your saddle to bark at you after a few dozen miles, however, your sunglasses should be seen but not heard. If they pinch, slip, or give you grief in any way, you have the wrong pair of sunglasses.

Almost everyone knows about the danger of UV exposure to the skin and to the eyes. Whether it’s premature cataracts or even cancer, UV exposure isn’t something to be taken lightly, but it’s not something that you need to live with. The brain reacts to the amount of light and tells your pupils to open or close depending on how bright conditions are, and your corneas absorb a lot of UV light (excess amounts of which can cause a condition called snow blindness). When you wear sunglasses that don’t protect 100% against UVA and UVB, the brain will command the iris to open up to let in as much total light as it wants into the eyes, which lets in all that nasty stuff (the term for this is ‘dialate and fry’ – you’re essentially letting in harmful UV rays while blocking rays on the visual spectrum). You’re better off not wearing sunglasses than to wear leaky sunglasses, yet that becomes a problem when you’re engaged in your sport of choice.

Take cycling for example – you’re screaming down a hill and you get bugs and dust in your eyes. You’re minding your own business and a vehicle kicks up rocks right at you as it travels past. Wind can actually push your contact lenses to the side leaving you with no correction to see with. You get the idea, let’s face it – you can live without all that.

Athletes and weekend warriors need eyewear that not only has a large panoramic field of view; they need to block out as much stray light as possible. Ever have trouble finding sunglasses that fit high enough for you to see through them rather than over them when riding in the drops or aero bars? What if you find a pair that sits high enough for cycling but when you hop into your kayak or put on a pair of cross country skis, you’re virtually blinded from the intense light coming at you from below? Tennis anyone? Golf? You need eyewear that you don’t even think about when wearing.

I had the pleasure of selling Rudy Project sport prescription eyewear to athletes and weekend warriors of all kinds. Personally I wear either the Rydon or Noyz. But Rudy Project has more than these two that can be customized in seconds to respond to the unique demands different situations require.  Not only can you change lenses for variable light, but you can adjust your frames (yes… YOU!) for a perfect fit as the need dictates. Their sport frames have a fully adjustable nose piece that lets you adjust for height and lets the frames sit comfortably off of your face to prevent fogging. For me, I adjust them very high when on the bike; so high that I’m not looking at the frame while on the road. I’m just cycling and giving no further thought to the sunglasses until I’m done. Then I’ll fit them lower for driving and general use. You can even dial in a perfect fit behind the ears with the flexible temple arms that come standard on their sport models. Cyclocross, mountain biking, tennis, golf, running etc… may require a snugger fit than paddle sports for example. Not only can the frames be adjusted up and down, but also fore and aft. Your activity might demand more space away from your face to minimize fogging or sweat dripping onto your lenses. You can do that as well as fit them almost as close to the face as you want when wind is an issue.

Rudy Project’s sport line accepts a high range of prescription lenses either built in (direct in frame) or removable inserts if you tend to also wear contact lenses. The days of wearing your everyday glasses while on the bike (or the raft or the run) are over, embrace the technology that allows you be even more focused on what you enjoy.

These truly are game changers. Not only do they block out almost all stray light, but their versatility is unparalleled and quality is uncompromising.

A Certified Dispensing Optician for 40 years, Bruce  Barry started his career in an ophthalmology clinic managing the optical department for ten years until launching out on his own. Being an avid cyclist, it was answer to years of searching for eyewear that addressed the needs of bicycling when he discovered Rudy Project approximately 25 years ago. Established relationships with regional high end bicycle stores proved to especially good for business, and helped many cyclists address their visual needs out on the road and track. That grew into the golfing, tennis, ski, and even hunting communities as Rudy Project diversified their product line. Bruce sold his business and retired in 2015.

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