Eyeglasses for the Gym
December 4, 2004 11:54 AM   Subscribe

Eyeglasses and working out.

Do you have a special (or not-so-special) pair for this purpose? If so, how did you choose them? If not, what's the best way to clean sweat from your good pair, time after time, effectively and in a way that doesn't erode them significantly? I'm not talking extreme sports here, but my glasses are really important to me. In the past, I just rinsed them off with soapy water and dried them with kleenex, but that was an old, cheap pair. And anyway, it always felt wrong, in a way, to wear them both while exercising and not...like I was using part of the same outfit in two different and incompatible situations. I realize that this is partly psychological, but then, so is exercise. And I do like my glasses.
posted by bingo to Education (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bolle makes a nice pair of sunglasses with prescription inserts and replaceable lenses that I use for extreme sports. For most gym work (weights, basketball, fencing) I find I do better without lenses due to fogging issues and little need for focused vision. I wouldn't use my regular glasses for sport.

I can't seem to find a link for these glasses, got them from my regular optometrist. It was a spur-of-the-moment purchase but I wound up replacing them when I lost a pair. For cleaning I'm generally wearing a wicking shirt (feather capilene) which makes a nice soft cleaning cloth.
posted by Manjusri at 12:11 PM on December 4, 2004

I'm confused. What's the big deal about wearing your glasses to the gym? I just clean mine off with cloth & water. If you have sweat dripping down all over your glasses, perhaps a sweat band is in order.

I've been an eyeglass wearer and gym user (on and off) for years and never concerned myself with it. For snowboarding and sports where the glasses could get broken I wear my contact lenses.
posted by Salmonberry at 12:48 PM on December 4, 2004

Do you have to wear your glasses while working out? I start out on the treadmill with glasses on, but by the end of mile 1, they are covered with sweat, and I take them off for the rest of the workout. Lifting doesn't require perfect vision, either, so they usually stay off for that.

When I play racquetball, I use Croakies to keep my old prescription safety glasses on my head. I wear a headband so sweat doesn't get on the glasses in that case. I'm not picky, so the old glasses work fine for me.
posted by achmorrison at 1:08 PM on December 4, 2004

Nothing wrong with wearing glasses while exercising. Just ask Kurt or Kareem.
posted by Frank Grimes at 1:11 PM on December 4, 2004

I switch to contact lenses when sporting. Don't have to worry about fogging or the glasses falling off (or of them getting smashed and having jagged shards of glass pierce my ocular utensils).

Swimming, otoh, I just deal with my myopia.

As for cleaning glasses, I use isopropanol to clean, rinse with water, dry with a kimwipe. Does anyone have a good system of cleaning the *inside* surface of glasses on-the-fly?
posted by PurplePorpoise at 1:28 PM on December 4, 2004

I wear glasses when I work out, and it's not a problem. If I'm going to sweat heavily, I'll wear a sweatband. It makes me look a little like Bjorn Borg, but I can handle that.

You should ***NEVER*** clean your glasses with Kleenex, or any other paper product (unless it's lens tissue): there are often little bits of not-fully-pulped woody material that can cause a whole buncha tiny scratches, that, after a while, build up to a haze. Use a cloth or your shirt or something made of cotton instead.
posted by Dr. Wu at 1:39 PM on December 4, 2004

Yes, I do have to wear my glasses to the gym. My vision is so bad that if I try to walk across a room (gym or otherwise) without them, I will probably bump into something. Sure, on the treadmill or while doing actual reps, it's not really an issue, but just making my way from one machine to the other requires putting them back on. And if I take them off, that's just one more thing to keep track of in a situation where I already find my keys, towel, water bottle, and walkman obnoxiously cumbersome.
posted by bingo at 5:24 PM on December 4, 2004

I bought a little travel-sized container of eyeglass cleaner from my local drugstore. I'm too cheap to keep buying tons of those however (and I like to really spray my specs with it to make sure I get all the little crevices, which makes it go by pretty fast), so I've been buying bottles of rubbing alcohol as well and using that to refill it. I haven't noticed any discoloration, but YMMV depending on the type of frame you have.

But for things like wiping sweat off the nosepads, I just use my t-shirt.
posted by invisible ink at 6:00 PM on December 4, 2004

Go to a cheap glasses store and buy a cheap pair of wire-framed glasses with the plastic-on-wire nose pads and consider them part of your "working-out" kit.

Working out in Zyl or plastic glasses which don't have separate nose pads is annoying. Also, I do feel that the sweat is bad for the Zyl, though I may just be being paranoid about that.

I always wipe my glasses with a towel when/if I sweat into them. OTOH, the towels at my gym are so cheap and over-laundered that they're very very soft. If your gym has medium-quality towels, that might not be the move.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:08 PM on December 4, 2004 [1 favorite]

Not only do I wear my normal glasses to the gym, the idea of doing anything else never occurred to me. I did think about getting different glasses when I used to do aquafit, because the chlorine was really hard on the plastic covers on the ear piece, but then I realized new plastic covers every few months would be a damn site cheaper than a second (actually, third, because I do have separate scrip sunglasses) pair of glasses.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:40 PM on December 4, 2004

Sidhedevil, thanks for the interesting link...they actually let you enter your prescription online and they just take your word for it, I guess....not that anyone would be motivated to lie...but I thought of glasses scrips like medication scrips, that they had to come directly from a doctor. But I guess that's not true, since opticians aren't doctors. Anyway...

The glasses I usually wear are plastic, and they don't have nosepads...to be honest, I'm not sure that I've ever had a pair with nosepads. But there's a first time for everything.
posted by bingo at 8:24 PM on December 4, 2004

I have contacts that I pretty much only wear to the gym, because I have a hell of a time getting them in and they make my eyes feel like they are crawling with caterpillars when I first insert them and smoky air makes them unbearable. Luckily, no one smokes at my gym.

I got the contacts because I don't like having so many things strapped to my head (earphones, headband) and my glasses my my face feel like it got too sweaty. I can also identify with bingo's feeling of improper accessory. My glasses just don't look very sporty, although I'm sure bingo and I are the only people who would have noticed.

As for cleaning, before I got the contacts, I would just take my glasses into the shower with me, wash them w/ soap, and dry them with the same towel I used to dry myself.

(Oh, I was never comfortable working out without my glasses, either, because I was always afraid I would walk right off the side of the treadmill by accident.)
posted by jennyb at 8:27 PM on December 4, 2004

Bingo, slightly off-topic, but here in WA state glasses scrips are real scrips. I was utterly surprised by this when my glasses broke & I needed some new ones asap and apparently (by law) they're not supposed to take a scrip older than 2 years. However, they can "pull' the rx from your glasses and there is no limitation on this. Personally I think it's a scam law that optometrists pushed through to pump up business.

Back on topic, I want to buy some cheap glasses for the gym because I think that all of the sweat (not to mention possible physical abuse of, say, squash or falling off a treadmill) is wear & tear and ultimately it'd be cheaper not to wear my pricey good-looking frames to work out.
posted by Wood at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2004

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