Macular Spectacular: Protective Eyewear We Recommend


When you think about it, it’s really pretty frightening how vulnerable our eyes are. They’re big, wet, squishy orbs, liable to suffer irritation from dust and sand, inflammation from allergens, and general pain and embarrassment from stooges with poking fingers. The wind and cold can sting them, and the sun blinds them.

So, what to do? Well, it’s National Preparedness Month, so we’re here to give you some pointers (no pun intended) on how to keep your vision safe. If you’re dealing with garden-variety stooges, lucky for you—you simply flatten your hand and hold it vertically in front of your face. If you’re dealing with the elements, though, B&H has an extensive selection of eyewear to keep your corneas clear. Let’s take a look.


If you’re buying sunglasses, you’re probably doing so to improve your vision in bright environments, protecting yourself from harmful radiation, or a combination of the two. If you’re just trying to see better, look for polarized lenses. Polarized glasses filter out horizontal light waves reflected from flat surfaces like bodies of water, reducing glare. To limit the radiation exposure that can cause problems for your eyes, go for a pair with 99/100% protection against UVA and UVB radiation. If you’d like to learn more about the science of how sunglasses protect your eyes, take a gander at this handy article, A Guide to Sunglasses and Safety Gear.

Tifosi Dea SL Sunglasses

SUNCLOUD OPTICS’ Aviator Sunglasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection and polarization, and can be ordered with brown or gray lenses and gold, silver, gunmetal gray, or tortoiseshell frames. Their slightly squared aviator shape looks good on most faces, with a classic look without being too retro.

SUNCLOUD OPTICS Aviator Sunglasses

A more modern look can be had with Smith’s Parallel shades, with a semi-wraparound design that helps protect you from light entering at the sides of your face. Available in black or brown, the Parallel comes with three sets of interchangeable lenses, which change thickness across the lens surface to counteract the distortion found in other curved glasses.

Smith Optics Parallel Sunglasses

For a true wraparound, the Jet and Jet FC, from Tifosi, combine sporty looks with a lightweight (only an ounce!) design and a range of frame and lens colors. Each features frames made from Grilamid TR-90, a nylon-like polymer material that offers low density and high bending resistance.

Tifosi Jet Sunglasses

Popularized by Ray-Ban and imitated by all, the Wayfarer look never goes out of style. The sunglasses in Smith’s Lowdown line protect against 100% of UVA and UVB rays, as well UVC rays, the most powerful (but least prevalent) UV rays of all. They’ve got impact-resistant lenses, recycled frames, locking hinges, and can be purchased in polarized or non-polarized versions.

Smith Optics Lowdown Sunglasses with Gray-Green Lenses

Protective glasses

Clear or tinted, polarized or un-, protective glasses up the ante on your standard sunnies with impact protection. These glasses are designed to withstand forces far in excess of what regular sunglasses will take, and can have additional features like scratch resistance, anti-slip nosepieces, interchangeable lenses, and anti-fog coating.

Smith Optics Aegis Echo II Eyeshield

The Smith Aegis Arc tics quite a few of those boxes: It meets MIL-STD 31013, ANSI Z87.1, and EN 166 ballistic eyewear standards, protects from 100% of UVA and UVB rays, and clear and gray swappable anti-fog and scratch-resistant lenses for work in dark and light environments. The temples are thin and moldable for a secure fit.

Smith Optics Aegis Arc Compact Protective Eyewear Field Kit

If you’re especially concerned about losing your protective glasses, you’ll want Smith’s Boogie Regulator. These wraparound eye shields sit flush against your face, with an elastic around the back for complete control. Like the Aegis Arc, the Boogie Regulators offer anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses with 100% UVA and UVB protection, but also have ventilation holes along the top that can be closed or opened, thanks to latches on the left and right sides. It conforms to the U.S. Military’s MIL-STD 43511D impact protection standards and can be purchased with gray or clear lenses.

Smith Optics Boogie Regulator Hybrid Goggle

For a more inconspicuous look, try the Gray Man Elite Tactical Sunglasses from Smith. With their slender temples and traditional bridge, you’d never know from looking at them that these glasses meet MIL-STD 31013 and ANSI Z87.1 impact standards or have anti-fog and anti-scratch lenses. Like the Parallel sunglasses, the Gray Man Elite lenses feature variable thickness to reduce distortion. Available in gunmetal or black, the frames of these glasses have a contemporary matte finish.

Smith Optics Gray Man Elite Tactical Sunglasses


If you’ve ever been skiing or snowboarding (or bobsledding, luging, snowmobiling or skeleton-ing), you know the effects that bright sunlight, cold air, high wind, and snowflakes can have on your vision. Eyesight being a fairly important thing to have while hurtling down a mountain, there is a wide variety of goggles out there that will keep the top half of your face warm and unobstructed. While most winter goggles are polarized to prevent you from being blinded from the sun’s reflection from snow, if you encounter a lot of ice on your runs, you may want to forgo polarization to better see reflective icy patches before you go over them.

Smith Optics Boogie Sport Hybrid Goggle

The Smith Scope line of goggles comes in a wide variety of models, with four frame and six lens options to fit your style and sport. Anti-fog coating and brow ventilation keep the Scope from overheating or clouding. The goggles are helmet-compatible and are best suited for medium-sized faces. A wide, silicone-backed strap holds them securely to your face with left and right adjustment.

Smith Optics Medium-Fit Scope Snow Goggle

For a modular system, the Smith I/O 7 is your best bet. These futuristic-looking rimless goggles come with green and red mirror lenses for varying light conditions that have an anti-fog inner coating and a hydrophobic outer coating that repels moisture, oils, and dirt, keeping your vision clear. A clip buckle helps you don and remove the I/O 7 easily, with a triple layer of face foam for an optimal seal.

Smith Optics I/O 7 Snow Goggles

We’re always looking out for your favorite eye protection tips, tricks, and recommendations, so be prepared to let us know in the Comments section, below.