The Battle Between Goggles and Sunglasses for Spring Skiing

Luke Guilford | | BrainsBrains
Goggles or Sunglasses
Goggles or sunglasses? Photo Credit: Bolle

As Spring inches closer, the weather will start to warm up and the sun will hang out a little bit more. Some of you might already be digging into your slush day gear, cutting down on layers, and replacing them with a little more style. Eventually, you ask yourself, “hmm, do I really need goggles?” “Would I like the extra wind on my face?” Well, today we’re going to try and help your answer that question.

Goggles are a skiing staple, a mountain necessity, and the technology that exists today is seamless. They wrap around your face, keeping the wind and snow from blowing into your eyes. Companies have dialed in the anti-fog capabilities and increased their field of view over the years.

Pros of goggles:

  • The strap wrapping around the goggles provides a snug fit so they don’t come off easily.
  • Covers more of your face, protecting you from the sun, snow, and other elements.
  • Typically more durable.
  • Seamless integration with the proper helmet.

Cons of goggles:

  • Goggles are typically bulky.
  • They can be too warm causing sweating and creating discomfort in the eyes for some people.
Ski Goggles
Goggles can have seamless integration with helmets. Photo Credit:

Sunglasses are perfect for skinning up the mountain, or whenever you need a little more ventilation. Sunglasses have also reaped the benefits of evolving technology. Over the years, we’ve seen sunglasses become tailored toward action sports, so now more than ever the debate about sunglasses or goggles has become more legitimate.

Pros of sunglasses:

  • Good for warm weather when you need the extra breeze to your face.
  • Applicable to many different recreational activities.
  • Easier to find prescription sunglasses than goggles.
  • More convenient to put away when not in use.
  • Lightweight and breathable for the skin track or cross-country skiing.

Cons of sunglasses:

  • Some sunglasses can slide off your face easily.
  • Snow and other elements can get in your eyes.
  • The frame can obstruct the view.
  • Typically more prone to shattering.

Choosing sunglasses or goggles is an individual preference, and the weather can have a large influence on your decision. Sunglasses can be an excellent choice for skin track and warm sunny days, whereas goggles can be ideal for mixed weather conditions. It’s important to stick with what you find most comfortable, so get out there and experiment. Maybe you’re like Zeb Powell who usually is riding without any eye protection (casually won an X Games gold medal wearing pink sunglasses).

Zeb Powell
Zeb Powell competing in the X Games Knuckle Huck in 2020. Photo Credit: ABC 13 News

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One thought on “The Battle Between Goggles and Sunglasses for Spring Skiing

  1. Good discussion of the pros and cons from a comfort perspective. However, there was no focus on eye safety. Goggles are the best choice from an eye safety perspective. In a crash sunglasses offer little if any protection to your eyes. On the other hand, goggles provide excellent eye protection. This is especially true if you wear contact lenses while skiing. Think of what could happen to your eyes when wearing contact lenses and sun glasses during a face plant onto hard pack snow.

    And goggles will do a very good job protecting your eyes from errant branches when skiing through trees. That is why I always wear my goggles even when the weather is warm and beautiful. I value my eyes over my comfort.

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