Skiing with Glasses

Skiing is an enjoyable and exhilarating sport that offers a sense of freedom and excitement unlike any other, which is why millions of us love to hit the slopes whenever we can. Today, there are so many pieces of equipment with cutting edge technology applied not just to your skis, but also to our gloves, pants, jackets and everything else.

Yet for those who wear glasses, when it comes to skiing, it becomes an issue to figure out how to best incorporate your eyesight needs into a fun day on the slopes.

The Challenges in Skiing with Glasses

When skiing, there are two main things that can be a problem if you are wearing glasses. The first is fogging.  Your dearn breath is going to fog up the goggles, or the glasses underneath, or both — especially if you are attempting to cover your nose or mouth due to cold.  The change in temperatures can make it even more of an issue.

The second is fitting the glasses comfortably under your goggles.  Most standard goggles do not fit well with glasses.  According to one skier we interviewed for this article, the two main pain points are pinching around the bridge of the nose, or the tendency for goggles to try to push your glasses upward toward the forehead.  The wrong goggles can also bend the frame of your glasses in some cases.  Happily, you can solve this with a pair of ski goggles that are designed to fit over glasses, and good goggles will help with fogging as well.

Your Options

One obvious solution is to use contacts while you are skiing, instead of glasses.  Many people, however, just do not like or are unable to wear contacts at all and need their glasses to be confident when on the move.   Furthermore, skiers we have interviewed suggest that the dry-eye that often accompanies contact lenses is made worse while skiing, because the mountain air if often dryer, and you are obviously skiing in cold temps which can also have a drying effect.

Before looking for suitable goggles, you need to make sure you have suitable glasses. That is, glasses that are secure when you do physical exercise and a lot of movement. If your glasses fall down your nose or move around when you turn around too quick, they are probably going to do the same on the slopes. That would not be very good for your comfort or your safety. Good fitting glasses should be the starting point for your ski preparations.

With that sorted, it is on to the goggles. There are in fact two options here, goggles designed to fit over your glasses, or prescription lens inserts for your goggles. Prescription goggles are both expensive and difficult to find, but exist.  However, we do not recommend them, because you will be faced with the issue of trying to see when you do not have the goggles on — while taking a break, having lunch, or finding your vehicle after a long day of skiing.

That is why most people choose the goggles and glasses combination. The aim here is to find goggles that both fit over the glasses and yet do not allow the two lenses to touch, as that can cause a lot of annoyance and possible safety issues. So, for these goggles fit is incredibly important.

Make sure, as well, that the whole system of goggles / glasses / ski helmet works well together.  Those three things need to be able to coexist without being an annoyance to you.

This is not just because of the need to stop the glasses bumping against the goggle lenses either, a good fit to your face can help minimize the problem of fogging, and obviously, your glasses fogging up is not something you want. Fogging is often mentioned as one of the big issues of skiing with glasses, but a good fitting set of goggles will help, and to improve things even further, keeping glasses spotlessly clean will almost completely eliminate the problem fogging entirely. A good clean before you head out and optional use of anti-fogging sprays and fogging worries will be a thing of the past.

Finding just the right goggles, though, is crucial. You want them to be a great fit, but also be comfortable for long periods. This is affected by the glasses you wear as much as the shape of your face, so when trying on these kinds of goggles, always make sure you wear the glasses you will be using when skiing to ensure the best fit possible.

There are quite a few suitable goggles on the market, here are some ideas for adults.  If are looking for kids ski goggles, we did a piece on that too.

Best Ski Goggles to Wear with Glasses

Giro Index OTG Goggles. Designed to fit over your glasses, they are available with a wide range of options including various lens types and tints, as well as 8 different colors for the polycarbonate body and strap. Cost effective, these are a great option for any beginner and offer a comfortable fit for most, yet do not sacrifice anything in construction quality to achieve their low price.  Find Here. 

Smith Optics Goggles. Smith has a range of OTG goggles designed to be worn with glasses. Instead of picking one out, it is worth looking at them all, as they offer options for every budget and all are of the same high quality. With several styles, colors and lens options for each, the Smith range is a popular choice for those skiing wearing glasses.  Find Here. 

Julbo Titan Goggles. These are at the expensive end of the market, but do offer more exotic lens colors and options, excellent fit and the highest quality construction. The foam cushioning around the face is particularly soft and compliant, making these the most comfortable goggles for prolonged wear and the silicon strap is again very durable and feels softer on the scalp.  Find Here.

As you can see, with careful equipment choice and some planning, you can ski wearing glasses. So, while some will claim you need to start using contacts, you can enjoy skiing in your glasses if you wish to.