Summer is here and I thought it would be a good time to talk about the 5 best sunglass brands in 2021. Now, before I get too carried away this is my opinion, but it is based on facts. The facts of what brands are selling best in the Broken Arrow, OK, Tulsa, OK, and Collinsville, OK areas out of my clinics and what the area frame reps have to say about their sales and trends as well. I am also basing some of this information off historical data like brand strength and reputation in the eye care industry.
Why do Eye Doctors recommend sunglasses so much?
Almost every Eye Doctor I know highly recommends sunglasses. Why is it that almost every Eye Doctor says these things are important? The major protection that they provide to the eyes. I have mentioned how beneficial sunglasses are in other posts, but today I am going to dive into this extremely and elaborate further. The short version though is UV protection and the fact that the eyes are rarely covered with sunscreen or clothes. So, the way to reduce that exposure is with sunglasses.
Why are sunglasses so important?
Like I said ultra violet light protection. UV exposure is one of the leading causes of cataracts, macular degeneration, corneal swelling, cancer around the eye, pinguecula, and photokeratitis. All of these things can have their occurrence in the population dropped dramatically by wearing sunglasses, and the younger the wearer the better. My 5 year old gets more benefit from the sunglasses than I do. The reason is because his eyes are younger with more cell replications still to occur. That means better protection now goes a long way for his future. While that protection was lost on my childhood it doesn’t have to be on my adulthood. I am rarely seen outside without my sunglasses on and read on to find out what brand I am almost always wearing.
What are good sunglasses brands?
There are lots of good sunglasses brands and most frame lines carry some sunglasses. So, if it is a good frame brand then it is probably a good sunglass brand. Here is a list of some noteworthy mentions for good sunglasses brands;
- Ray Ban
- Maui Jim
- Michael Kors
- Liu Jo
While the above mentioned are good brands of sunglasses
The top 5 brands for sunglasses are;
- Ray Ban
- Maui Jim
You can’t have a list of top sunglass brands without Ray Ban being on the list. They are the top selling sunglass in both my Broken Arrow and Collinsville clinic. They are beyond iconic of sunglasses and still a quality frame.
Oakley are the sunglass brand I wear. So, that should say something. Oakley sunglasses are all sold at the same price no matter where you buy them. If they are being offered at a lower price then you should either worry it is a fake Oakley, or maybe it is discontinued. When Oakley discontinues one of their frame lines then they release the price fix as well. Oakley’s prizm technology for lenses is pretty amazing and why I like them so much.
Costa took quite a few of the ideas from Oakley when they started the company. Much of their brain power comes from researching and utilizing people that were early in the making of Oakley. So, it makes sense that they would function similarly. Costa has the set price point like Oakley, but lacks the prizm lens technology. Costa lenses are still good quality lenses and they have some neat enhancements that they do with their lenses to amplify colors. These are mainly designed for and around Ocean fishing with their lab based in Florida.
20 years ago Maui Jim were the top sunglass. They had the Hawaii feel and vibes and make good lenses. Lens technology and quality of frames is pretty much identical to Costa. The thing I tell people when asking about Maui Jim or Costa is that Maui Jim is common in the 50 and over crowd whereas Costa is in the under 50 crowd.
Versace really came out with some neat styles for 2021. One particular style we have a very hard time keeping in store. It usually sells within about 5 days of arriving and has a fairly decent back order wait time. The frame quality is great and the lens quality is good. We can upgrade the lens quality in house pretty easily and affordably.
What type of lens for my sunglasses?
The reason you will almost always see me or my wife in Oakley sunglasses is because of their prizm lens technology. Oakley went out with light meters to a bunch of different outdoor settings like ocean, stream, baseball field, golf course, and highways. They then measured the levels of different wavelengths and brightness of different angles from the eye. Then, back in their lab they created lenses that worked best a neutralizing those wavelengths at those angles. This makes for a very comfortable visual world. These lenses are polarized which is a must in my book.
Why polarized lenses?
Light comes at us in a bunch of different waves. Not just vertically like you see with ocean waves, but also at different angles and sideways. What “normal” tinting does is decrease all wavelengths evenly, whereas polarized lenses remove 100% of the reflected light off water or pavement. That reflected light is typically the light that bothers us by giving us eye strain and headaches. While tinted lenses are good polarized lenses are amazing. They cut that glare and really relax the eyes dramatically.
I am not going to talk much about the online sunglasses because there are thousands of brands and versions. The one thing I will say is to make sure they actually have UV protection with them. Years ago it wasn’t mandatory to have UV protection in the sunglasses and we learned that it made the above mentioned diseases worse by wearing these. In short, the tint made the pupil larger which exposed the eye to more UV light. So, I would encourage buying from a reputable company and not a company that has been open for 3 months and probably will go out of business or shut down in the next year to get away from a bunch of people asking for warranty replacements.
So, the short version is the above mentioned frames are good with Ray Ban, Oakley, Versace, Costa, and Maui Jim being the best 5 sunglasses for 2021. Make sure to get the lenses that are polarized and have a great summer!