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How to Wear Ski & Snowboard Goggles with Glasses

Glasses and ski goggles are an age-old conundrum. About 64% of people wear glasses to help with vision issues, and for those people, skiing presents a unique set of difficulties. It’s near impossible to ski or snowboard without ski goggles, but it’s often challenging to get those goggles to work with prescription glasses - they have a tendency to not create a good seal, to fog, and to be uncomfortable. That’s why we’ve created this guide to wearing your ski or snowboard goggles with your prescription glasses. We outline the potential solutions to this challenge, as well as some other options.

Over the Glasses (OTG) Ski & Snowboard Goggles

OTG goggles are the most common solution for people looking to ski with glasses on. These goggles are specifically designed to work with prescription glasses underneath. Most OTG goggles will be marked as such, but here are some things to think about when shopping. Goggles have two important areas where they interface and create a seal: The most important is where the foam of the goggle touches your face, the second is the area between your helmet and your goggles.

OTG goggles are shaped specifically to give your glasses room to sit naturally on your face, without crushing them into your cheeks, or pushing them up your nose. That means their frames are generally more roomy than normal goggles, the lens is suspended a little further away from your eyes, and there is often slightly thicker foam padding on the edges so that they can create a seal around the arms of your glasses without crushing them. These changes mean that they should interface well with both your face, and your helmet. Some goggles that aren’t labeled as OTG may still work well with your glasses, so it’s a good idea to try on a selection of larger goggles as well.

But OTG goggles don’t just have to fit well with glasses, they also need to vent well to keep your glasses from fogging. There are several ways to accomplish this. This most simple is just having more vents around the edge of the goggles to allow your face to breath without fogging any of the lenses. This works just fine for most people, and is how most OTG goggle manufacturers solve this problem. However, if you happen to run hot, and have a tendency to fog your glasses or goggles when skiing, a more aggressive solution may be required. For those who have issues with fogging, some manufacturers make OTG goggles with a built in ventilation fan, with a small battery pack. This adds a little bit of weight to the goggle, and you have to remember to charge the battery, but if you consistently run into issues with fogging, this is the way to go.

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How to Keep Ski & Snowboard Goggles from Fogging While Wearing Glasses

While over the glasses goggles make a huge difference for skiers and snowboarders with glasses, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of them that you can.

The first is to make sure your glasses are optimized for skiing. Those classy looking large frames might look great at work, but are probably too stiff and chunky to wear under goggles all day. A slim, flexible athletic frame goes a long way toward making sure you can wear your goggles as comfortably as possible. It will be lower profile, and there will be less frame to get jammed into your face if you happen to crash.

Secondly, while you’re using the goggles, there are a few things you can do to help them keep from fogging. Fogging is caused by a temperature difference between the air inside, and outside of the goggles and glasses. So do your best to keep those temperatures equal. Don’t ever slide your goggles up onto your forehead, the sweat from your head will fog them up quickly and it’s hard to get them to level back out.

If you take your goggles off to go into the lodge, don’t put them back on immediately when you come back out. Instead, wait for a moment or two for your face and glasses to cool back down. Make sure your ski mask isn’t routing the warm air from your nose and mouth back up, into the bottom of the goggle, that’s a sure recipe for fog. Always take your goggles out of their bag and hang them somewhere warm and dry overnight. If you don’t dry them after every day of skiing they can develop a recurring fog. And finally, if your ski goggles do fog up, don’t ever wipe the inside of the lens when it’s wet. It’s possible to damage the anti-fog coating inside the lens, and can permanently damage it.

Prescription Ski & Snowboard Goggle Inserts

If OTG goggles sound like too much hassle, a prescription goggle insert may be the way to go. Eyewear companies have teamed up with opticians to develop insert systems that work with almost any goggle. These systems suspend prescription lenses just inside the ski or snowboard goggles and integrate them into the goggle system. They also have special coatings that make them much harder to fog up. That means there are no problems with fitting the goggles over your glasses, instead they’re just built-in.

Inserts are perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to deal with limited OTG goggle options. They can be used in just about any ski goggle, with any lenses, and they’re much less likely to fog. The downside is that it’s a little more expensive to get inserts than it is to just use OTG goggles with your glasses, and when you take your goggles off, you’re taking your glasses off too. So if you do go the insert route, it’s a good idea to always have a pair of backup glasses in your pocket.

Wearing Contacts for Skiing & Snowboarding

Contacts don’t work for everyone, but if your optometrist thinks they could be a good idea for you, they make skiing or snowboarding much simpler. Just put them in when you wake up, and wear any goggles or sunglasses over them that you want. It’s by far the simplest way to ski with less than perfect vision. However, contacts have their downsides. People with some prescriptions or sensitive eyes can’t wear contacts. And if you crash hard enough, contacts can fall out. So it’s a good idea to always bring a few extra lenses if you are skiing with contacts.

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This is evo. We are a ski, snowboard, wake, skate, bike, surf, camp, and clothing online retailer with physical stores in SeattlePortlandDenver, Salt Lake City, Whistler, Snoqualmie Pass, and Hood River. Our goal is to provide you with great information to make both your purchase and upkeep easy.

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