The last few months I’ve been happily testing out prescription sunglasses from SportRX in San Diego, California. SportRX makes custom prescription sunglasses out of frames from the top brands like Oakley, adidas, Nike, Bolle, Smith and many others. The pair I’m reviewing today is a set of prescription Oakley Flak Jacket XLJ sunglasses, in jet black.
First and foremost I need to see on the golf course. I’m near sighted, so working on the computer or looking at subjects a few feet away are no problem. But when the subjets get beyond 5-10 feet, they become more and more blurry. Seeing a ball finish at 180 yards on a par-3, or trying to track down a long drive of 275 yards with my naked eye is not going to work.
Not only are these Oakleys prescription, but SportRX also made the lenses with a transition feature. Transitions lenses darken as the sunlight gets brighter. See the photo above.
Why Sports Sunglasses?
For the last couple of years I’ve been wearing Ray Ban glasses with transitions lenses. They’re not sports glasses, but at least they acted as sunglasses and allowed me to clearly see long distances. The problem with them was the lack of coverage and lack of a snug fit. I could see the edges and sometimes in a big swing the glasses could slip.
By wearing sporty Oakley sunglasses, I get a full wrap in my field of vision with no edges. The glasses stay snug on my head, unlike the Ray Bans.
Sporty sunglasses also look more appropriate on the course. I look like a golfer now, not a librarian.
On The Course
The clarity and definition I see on the golf course with the prescription and the way the glasses process the light is fantastic. I can see all the undulations and details on the course, helping me to play better and make more putts.
Because of the fit and stability of the glasses, I often forget I’m wearing them.
A custom transitions prescription sunglasses setup like this is not cheap. By themselves the Oakleys in this review run about $150. Add the cost of an eye exam and custom transitions prescription lenses and the bill can be up over $500. For hell’s sake don’t leave these in the golf cart!
Optical insurance may cover some costs like the eye exam and part of the prescription.
The cost is offset by the benefit. Full ultraviolet protection, better performance, better vision, safer. There are a ton of reasons to go with prescription sports sunglasses.
I enjoyed working with SportRX. They know their trade well and produce a fantastic product.
I’m near-sighted (not short sighted!). Objects farther away than about five feet start to get blurry for me. That means with the naked eye I can’t really track a golf ball’s flight much beyond 150 yards. In the 2-3 years since I got some transition lenses on two pairs Ray Ban glasses, I’ve been able to happily see the ball as far as 250 yards or more. The problem with those Ray Bans is that they’re not sporty, or designed for sports. I can see the edges of the glasses, and they’re not well suited for the visuals one encounters on the golf course with regards to contrast, definition, contours, and subtle details like reading greens.
Thanks to SportRx out of San Diego, I’ve recently put some real sports sunglasses into play with my custom prescription. I’ve been using them for the last few weeks during golf rounds, driving around town, and doing other outdoor activities like hiking. SportRX can fit popular brand named sunglasses like Oakley, adidas, Nike, Bolle, Smith and many others with prescription lenses. This is such a great thing. I can now have a sports style and performance but not compromise being able to see!
As an added bonus, these prescription Oakley sunglasses have lenses which transition. The lenses start as a lighter yellow and go to a dark brown in direct sunlight.
I’m still testing out the glasses and will post a full review soon.