What's the point of running with sunglasses, even at night?
August 22, 2004 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Why do runners and other athletes in the Olympics wear sunglasses? Orange-tinted glasses seem to be most popular, even when events are taking place at night. Is it because, in some cases, they're running under the glare of stadium floodlights?; do they somehow make them focus better?; or is it all a style thing?
posted by adrianhon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (8 answers total)
A lot of them are paid to wear the sunglasses. I was a volunteer at the Atlanta Olympics and passed sunglasses to some of the athletes who did not wear them during their race, but put them on for interviews after the race.
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:49 PM on August 22, 2004

I often wear sunglasses, even when it's gloomy or reasonably dark (although not generally at night!), simply to reduce everyday glare and haloing. I imagine being under the lights they're under makes the glare even worse, so sunglasses wouldn't be a bad idea. Also means no-one can see when you're crying at just missing out on the bronze ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 1:03 PM on August 22, 2004

Some may wear them to protect their eyes against bugs, dust, or whatever may cross your way, especially if they're wearing contact lenses.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 1:20 PM on August 22, 2004

Bugs are a great point. Highs of 98F and lows of 75F in Athens today :-) Even up here in chilly England, this year has been particularly bad for millions of bugs, wasps, and icky flying things. That's the last thing you need in your eyes on a 26 mile run.
posted by wackybrit at 1:26 PM on August 22, 2004

Take swordfishtrombones' comment one step further. Some, if not most, of the sunglasses use prescription lenses.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:35 PM on August 22, 2004

orange-tinted sunglasses will let you see better when it's dark.
posted by kenko at 4:58 PM on August 22, 2004

Also, pale yellow or orange lenses at night help you see. They cut down glare from the lights and help everything look a bit sharper and more defined. All my ski googles have always had orange lenses so I could see bumps in low light.

On the prescription tip, I recently learned most of Oakley's line can be had with custom factory lenses in your prescription. They're not cheap (a pair exactly like this were around $350), but you can get some pretty hip, curved frames in your prescription, with mirrored, polarized lenses. I would love to have a second pair for low-light conditions like night driving and cloudy days.
posted by mathowie at 5:02 PM on August 22, 2004

I have a pair of those Oakleys in prescription. They're fine glasses, but the extreme outer edges are a little out of focus. It took me awhile to get used to them.

The coatings are a bit fragile. Finding a hardshell case is a good idea, Oakley just gives you a cloth bag. Replacement lenses are half to two-thirds of the cost of the glasses.
posted by bonehead at 8:34 PM on August 22, 2004

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