Those of us stuck with wearing prescription glasses, or those who choose to wear them because contacts or eyesight corrections don’t work or don’t appeal, have a challenge when it comes to sun and glare protection for our eyes.
Clip-ons are OK, but that means often fumbling with your glasses and the clip-ons to ensure all is secure. Opting for a separate pair of prescription sunglasses is fine too, but that route is typically expensive. Plus, if you want several pair of sunglasses you’ll likely pay dearly. This also requires carrying two pair of glasses at all times. Then, there are prescription glasses that change color depending on the light. Frankly, these are pretty cool, but the technology has limitations – namely the lack of speed of darkening or lightening. If you’re moving too fast (either athletically or in a car) and need more or less light, you may not be able to see well during the transition. We don’t think that’s so safe. Those light-changing lenses also don’t work as well when the temperatures are cold, so you may have limitations if you are active outdoors in the winter.
Believe us when we say, we’ve tried them all. When we first heard of Fitovers, we frankly rolled our eyes a bit, likening them to those clunky and most unflattering glasses you see folks wearing after they’ve been to the optometrist. The concept reminded us of old people or folks with dramatic eyesight problems. We listened to assurances from the company that these glasses were very popular in Australia and that they were quite attractive, so a bit skeptically we ordered up a few pair for testing and hoped for the best.
The first thing you find out is that you have to accurately measure the width of your eyeglasses to ensure the Fitovers will, well, “fit over” your glasses properly. There are numerous sizes, and each fits a certain size-range of widths and lens shapes. One of our testers, even though his glasses were medium in sizing, had to opt for the largest-sized Fitover to accommodate the fashion design of the temples which extended out from the lenses.
The first thing our testers noticed was the ease of use. Even while driving it was a quick action to slide on a pair of Fitovers. The glasses sit directly over your existing glasses, and the nylon frame flexes as needed around the temples to ensure a sung and comfy fit. The wrap-around polarized lenses protected from front and side glare with no noticeable distortion – surprising since our testers were looking through two layers of glass (their own prescription lenses and the sunglasses).
One of our testers put his pair – the larger Navigator style -- through some hard-core paces, using them to work in the yard all day in a hot sun, on a long hike (also under intense sun), for several trail runs, and on a long road bike ride. In all cases he raved about the secure and comfortable fit. His only quibble was that since he had to wear a larger pair of Fitovers, they were a bit heavier perhaps than a smaller pair he would have preferred. Plus, the added weight on his glasses nose-bridge did begin to create slight, but noticeable, discomfort after wearing them all day.
One of our other testers, an older woman, found her pair – a slightly smaller Glides style -- so comfortable that at one point she forgot she had them on. For decades she’s been wearing two pairs of prescription glasses on neck cords – sunglasses and regular – so she just pops them on and off, letting one drop and pitting on the other. Well, it’s hard to break decades-old habits. After the first few hours of wear, she entered a building, pulled them off – and dropped them. She had forgotten they were sans neck cords. They slammed into a concrete floor but, in a tribute to durability, the Fitovers were no worse for the tumble. Although our tester loved the look, the stylish frame and how well they wrapped and protected her eyes, in the end she found she could not get used to not wearing neck cords.
All of that aside, for many people – especially if they are active outdoors – a pair of simple sunglasses that can slip right over the prescription glasses may be a saving grace.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.0 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $50, including case, neck cord and cleaning cloth
For information: www.fitovers.com