Sports + Leisure

The best sunglasses for sports

What kind of challenges do athletes face when performing their favourite sport?

5. February 2020
  • The best sunglasses for sports

Many outdoor sports present our eyes with different type of challenges. Depending on the kind of exposure to sunlight, different kinds of athletic sunglasses are needed to perform sports at the highest possible level.

The best running sunglasses for instance ensure protection from sunlight but do not become uncomfortable to wear over time. Ski sunglasses must filter the snow's additional reflection of sunlight. Whereas tennis sunglasses or baseball sunglasses must provide protection and sharp vision while the wearer still has to be able to move freely and swiftly without losing their sunglasses.

In an interview with a passionate fisherman, ZEISS presents first hand experiences of a hobbyist who uses sunglasses to perform his favourite sport in the best way possible.

Dennis Sullivan, Director of Account Management for Retail and Managed Care with ZEISS


My name is Dennis Sullivan and I’m a Director of Account Management for Retail and Managed Care with ZEISS. I hold a 50 Ton Masters Captain's License and am an avid fisherman. I spend most of my time fishing the inshore and offshore waters of the US American Northeast with my son and friends. I have worked on the water from a very young age fishing both recreationally and commercially.

What kind of challenges concerning your vision do you face while fishing?

Glare off the water is the number one challenge most fishermen face. Being able to see down into the water column spotting potential fish or seeing a fish coming to gaff is essential. There are times when seeing a small reflection of a bait fish or a fin cutting through the surface can make or break your day. Having a quality polarized lens customized to the type of water you fish in will also help, offshore tends to lean towards gray and green polarized fishing sunglasses where freshwater lends itself to more amber or brown lenses.
Eye safety and impact resistant materials like polycarbonate or nylon are a must-have. Fishing hooks on lures or other sharp objects are constantly in play. Ensuring that you have the correct sun lens material to protect your eyes is essential. In many sports like fishing emergency care for an eye injury is not always close by. There are times when offshore fishing for tuna we are well over 100 miles to the closest port. Wearing impact resistant lenses like polycarbonate certainly helps avert or lessen potential injury.

What are your experiences with protective sunglasses while fishing?

Having spent 35+ years as an ardent fisherman I have always thought of polarized sunglasses as a must have no different than rods, reels or tackle etc. Having a pair of polarized sports sunglasses is essential for the pursuit of game fish but also while navigating to and from the fishing grounds. Whether running 10 miles or 100 miles offshore there are always obstacles in the water that can ruin your day. Having clear vision to see and avoid floating debris like logs or floating line can save you hours of delay and thousands in repairs.

Dennis Sullivan, Director of Account Management for Retail and Managed Care with ZEISS

Which qualities does the ideal pair of fishing sunglasses have?

The qualities I look for in sunglasses are durability, comfort and clarity. I am very demanding of both my frames and lenses due to the amount of time I fish and the intensity of usage. Both frame and lens need to be able to withstand being thrown around, possible impact situations and varying weather conditions, which is probably true for most of the best sports sunglasses. The frame and lenses should be lightweight and comfortable to wear all day. The lenses have to be polarized to eliminate glare and provide the clarity needed.

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