Ok, I’m on a roll. For the second time in a month I have come across a product that actually impresses me. But, some background first. I hope that some of you will relate.
I have been wearing prescription eye glasses since I was in the 5th grade. I got my fist bifocals at forty-something. I grew to trifocals at fifty-something. And now I hope there is no quadfocal in the next decade awaiting me.
I have been wearing sunglasses while running long before it was fashionable. For those of you who can remember, it was an unheard of thing to run with sunglasses through the 60s. Of course, there wasn’t a running boom and there was no such thing really as sports sun glasses in the fashion of Oakleys, etc. It wasn’t until the late 70s that changed.
I moved to Tucson Arizona in the August of 1976 (Great timing to move to the desert eh?). It was then that I realized that the southwest sun was more than hot. The brightness just about burned holes in your retinas. My face would cramp from squinting so hard!
It was in the late 70s and early 80s that a guy named Steve Scott came on the national and international running scene. Besides being the American mile record holder and someone who ended up running 136 sub-four minute miles (still the most ever by a single person); he was a tall good looking California guy who wore cool sunglasses while racing. He looked fast! It was around that time that I started wearing sunglasses while running and have never stopped.
Early on sunglasses worked fine and I could read my wrist watch without prescription glasses. All was well. The 40s hit and suddenly there were some issues with reading times. Easy fix – buy the watch with the biggest digits. It worked. I kept wearing my various sun glasses. I had everything from $10 ones to $80 Oakleys. I lost or broke all of them. I’ve driven away with them on the roof of the car. I left one pair at a national monument. So for the most part I stuck with cheapies.
Fast forward to the 50s and my trifocal era. Large digits don’t do it any longer. Without my tri’s – the watch is pretty much a blur. (Hell, faces from 20 feet away are a blur.) I now needed to run with prescription glasses if I wanted to see times. I did get prescription sun glasses but they were heavy and not comfortable at all for running. They were expensive ($200+) and still were NOT sports sun glasses. Those were ditched. For the past few years I have used my regular trifocals not wanting to put money into prescription sun glasses. I have tried running with regular sunglasses but forget reading a watch.
A few weeks ago I got the bug again to investigate prescription sun glasses. I found out my prescription is now so strong that it can’t be made into any curved sports lens. Damn! Then, after lamenting (ok – I was whining) my situation at an upscale sun glass shop the young lady almost as an afterthought shows me a pair of Maui Jim sun glasses. Not JUST sun glasses but get this – with a magnified reading lens in the lower portion (Maui Jim Makaha readers to be specific). It was like the non-prescription magnifiers just like those reading glasses you can pick up any where. But just like a bifocal, the lower section only was a 2.5X magnification.
I thought to myself – that is just dumb – and interesting. The sun glass age has caught up to the flood of baby boomers. What a market! So, skeptically I tried them on. They actually looked cool – like Steve-Scott-cool. And using the lower portion to look at my watch – damn if it doesn’t work! Clear as can be. Brilliant! Sold. ($219 – at that price they better last and I better not break them or lose them too!)
I’ve been wearing them only a few weeks but I have to say that they really work. They have the look and feel of sports sun glasses – light weight, enough wrap around design, and of course the usual polarized etc.. My eyes don’t strain to see. Having been a bifocal/trifocal wearer it was intuitive moving from the reading portion to upper portion of the lenses. So, for the bifocal, trifocal wearing runner out there – these are worth the try.
[One person’s opinion – non-scientific endorsement – no kick-backs yet from Maui Jim]