Reader To Reader: Running With Glasses

One RW member wears glasses when she goes running, but the rain is proving to be a problem. Here's what you suggested...


Posted: 2 December 2006
by Jane Hoskyn


A very practical problem this week: specs, running and rain don't mix. How do you get around the problem?

"I'm short-sighted enough to not be able to get around without wearing my glasses, let alone run without them. I'd rather not spend a fortune on contact lenses. How do other runners cope with this? I don't suppose anyone has found some little windscreen-wipers?"
RachieJ

Your best answers...

  • I wear glasses, and never go out without my cap if there's the remotest chance of rain. The cap doesn't keep it all off, but my glasses stay dry enough to let me see. I did the Baddow 10 a couple of months ago in what must have been the worst rain I've seen in years, and my vision was fine until I finished, when my specs steamed up! – Kazzaaaah
  • Definitely worth investing in contact lenses, even if you only get a month's dailies and just wear them for running in the rain. I visited the opticians a few years ago with precisely that agenda, but believing, from past experience, that I "couldn't" wear contact lenses. I was hooked instantly and have been wearing them full-time since. – Velociraptor
  • I eventually caved in and got daily disposable contact lenses. This was after (1) a 10K race chosen solely because it was in an area I knew from years back, and wanted to see again, but couldn't because of bucketing rain, and (2) narrowly missing running into a tree on a training run because my glasses were so steamed up. The lenses don't work out that expensive, because I only wear them for running in the rain – ie not very often. The main problem is that it takes ages getting them in and out, because I get so little practice. But it is really great being able to see in the rain, and I'm sure it has often been a deciding factor for getting me out of the door on a wet day. In fact I've found that my vision in contacts is better than in glasses, so I'm thinking I may wear them for my first marathon, whatever the weather. – Runner-bean
  • Try www.contactlenses.co.uk. They are much cheaper than from an optician – but you will need your prescription. – Rachel Singleton
  • Even without rain, I sweat so much I couldn't imagine running in glasses for a second. (My prescription is -5.0, so bumping into trees/dogs/dodgy pavement slabs would be a serious issue!) I'd recommend monthly lenses, which work out a lot cheaper than dailies. Have a look at www.getlenses.com. It works out about 30-odd quid for 6 months' supply. If you don't wear them every day they'll last even longer. – PhilPub
  • I had contact lenses for many years but dry eyes have precluded their use since. I use a baseball cap – a thing I wouldn't normally be seen dead in, but I make an exception when it comes to seeing where I'm going! After an old NB I got as a freebie, I picked up a rain-resistant Nike one in Sweatshop and have been using it ever since. – greyhound
  • A friend who's registered blind runs on her own around places she knows are safe (playing fields, quiet roads, cycle paths, tracks). It's probably a bit boring, sorry, but might sticking to routes you know well help alleviate the need for glasses? – Iron Duck Girl
  • I had Lasik surgery 18 months ago, after wearing specs since I was nine years old. I know it's not for everybody, but it is the best £800 I ever spent. I went from being pretty short-sighted to having 20/20 vision, and now I can do so much more in the way of sport, particularly things that involve water like surfing. If anyone's considering it, just make sure you do some research first, and remember the consultation process is quite lengthy. I didn't have any pain at all, just a mild discomfort during the procedure, but not even as bad as having my teeth scaled and polished. – kittykwic
  • Had to give up wearing contacts, so I had laser eye treatment. Cost a packet, hurt like hell for three days, and I would do it again any day. I've now got perfect long distance vision, the same as when I wore contacts. Being relatively old I still need glasses for reading, though that's normal. Always seemed bizzare, out running with contacts, then having to get the reading glasses out to read maps! The failure rate of laser eye surgery is much lower than some newspaper articles suggest – typical media hype. – Mak's friend
  • I've got some Adidas Evil Eye Pro glasses with the clip-in prescription insert, and I find these are brilliant for running or biking. The design sheds water, and gets better the faster you go. I do tend to wear a cap too, though. – Jan
  • Some options: (1) Wear a cap. This is the best thing unless, like me, you get very hot and then "steam up". (2) Wear a visor. (3) Buy contacts. You can get some really cheap ones now. Get the ones you clean yourself, then you're only paying for the initial lenses. The cleaning solution costs about £10 and lasts for 30 cleans. (4) Could you attempt to run without glasses? 4. Or like me, you’ve taken drastic action and booked for laser eye surgery! I’m booked in for 12 January. Unfortunately there is no easy answer for this question, so good luck. – AsFastAsASnail
  • Health Warning: If you're not using disposable lenses, make sure you have a really discliplined cleaning regime... aghhh. I lived in mine and was really bad at cleaning them. I went for a routine eye check-up, and it turned out I had an eye infection so the optician took my contacts away. Apparently if the scarring had progessed, I could have lost some vision in my right eye. You only get one pair of eyes! I use daily disposables for sport now, or for the odd night out. They work out at just under £1 per wear. The rest of the time I use glasses. You can't beat lenses for freedom: no misting, sweat/rain droplets, or forever pushing specs up your nose. – Craig Llewellyn
  • If you have an old pair of specs, smear them with washing-up liquid or shampoo to stop them fogging up. It's worked for me for years. Those little microfibre lens cloths work even when wet to wipe excess water off in heavy rain. – G.H.O.M.
  • My company makes a water-repellant spray for motorbike visors (Salclear TT-X). This could be used on your spectacles in heavy rain. For light rain and to stop fogging you should try Salclear Sport. In our testing programme I used prototypes of the products on specs and sunglasses whilst mountainbiking and running in all sorts of weather, and they proved perfect. I ran an ultra mountain race recently with the defog on my wraparound sunglasses. – Dave
  • Pick up one of the products used by bikers for putting on the visors of our bike helmets. "Shift It" is my product of choice. It's a blue liquid in a small spray bottle, and it's used to clean the outside of the visor (you tend to get a lot of bugs). It also causes rain to bead off the treated surface rapidly rather than staying on. You can also get similar products that prevent fogging. You can pick up these products from the accessories department of your local bike shop or online – they only cost a couple of quid and last ages. – Sally Williams
  • I'm short-sighted and I wear a pair of prescription Rudy Project shades which have an optical insert. The shaded part (of which the lenses are interchangeable) can be flipped up and these provide excellent raincover. In this year's FLM for example, I had no problem with the rain. – Mr Bump


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Discuss this article

Would like to pick brains...

I am short-sighted enough to not be able to get around without wearing my glasses (let alone run without them) and would rather not spend a fortune on contact lenses. With the winter drawing in I am likely to be faced with running in the rain on a regular basis so am looking for tips on how other runners cope with this? I don't suppose anyone has found some little windscreen-wipers or similar??

Would live to hear how other people get round this.

Thanks :->
Posted: 29/09/2006 at 22:59

I wipe my specs on my t shirt
and run blind
sorry
:(

a baseball cap has been said to help
Posted: 29/09/2006 at 23:01

I currently run with a cap on the rare occasions I venture out in the rain and it does slow down the rain-induced blur but I was hoping (probably in vain) for something that worked better.

Are there any bright sparks out there good at inventing things? Looks like a gap in the market...
Posted: 29/09/2006 at 23:21

I eventually caved in and got daily disposable lenses.
This was after:
(i)a 10K race chosen solely because it was in an area I knew from years back, and wanted to see again, but couldn't because of bucketing rain, and
(ii) narrowly missing running into a tree on a training run because glasses were so steamed up.

It doesn't work out that expensive because I only wear them for running in the rain, ie not very often. The main problem is it takes ages getting them in and out because I get so little practice. But it is really great being able to see in the rain, and I'm sure has been a deciding factor for getting me out of the door on a wet day more than once.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 00:36

Just read your profile, RachieJ. You sound similar to where I was at a couple of years ago, only despite good intentions I didn't keep running through that first winter after RFL.
I strongly advise, if you haven't already, get youself a couple of races to work towards over the winter, another 10K or 10 miler or even HM. Having something to aim at works wonders for the motivation!
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 00:41

I never go out without my cap if there's the remotest chance of rain. Doesn't keep it all off but they stay dry enough to be able to see. I did the Baddow 10 a couple of months ago in what has to have been the worst rain I've seen in many years, vision was fine until I finished when my specs steamed up!

Lenses aren't an option for me as my eyes are too dry.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 01:00

stockport 10 on december 10th is a good one to aim for, i wear contacts daily disposables they cost £25 a month...i want to get laser treatment as soon as my eyesight stops getting worse!
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 01:05

baseball cap
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 02:01

my company makes a water repellent spray for motorbike visors, the product is called Salclear TT-X, www.salclear.com

This could be used on your spectacles in heavy rain.

For light rain and to stop fogging you should try Salclear Sport.

In our testing programme I used prototypes of the above on spectacles and sunglasses whilst mountainbiking and running in all sorts of weather, and they proved perfect.

I ran an ultra mountain race recently with the defog on my wrap around sunglasses, without fogging up to half way through the race, (3hrs for me), when the sun went in and I took the glasses off.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 06:54

..baseball cap here, I can't wear contact lenses...and if it's lashing I just take them off...it's quite exciting running blind!

:0)


why not try lenses, you can get montly disposable from £6 per month.

Trying to work up the courage to have lasik!
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 07:26

I have lenses for inclement weather. A pack of 30 lasted nearly 2 years.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 07:57

Definitely worth investing in contact lenses even if you only get a month's worth of dailies and just wear them for running in the rain, Rachie.

A warning, though. I went into the opticians a few years ago with precisely that agenda, and believing, from past experience, that I "couldn't" wear contact lenses. I've been wearing contact lenses full time since then. I was hooked instantly.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 15:12

daily disposables for me as well


wear them to run/swim/bike and going out so a 3 month pack lasts me for ever and they are not expensive these days
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 15:15

I wear two weekly contacts. Like Vrap I was hooked instantly, they are fantastic.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 16:46

Had contact lenses for many years but dry eyes have precluded use since.

I use a baseball cap - a thing I wouldn't normally be seen dead in, but I make an exception when it comes to seeing where I'm going! After an old NB I got as a freebie - it was cotton and got saturated very quickly - I picked up a rain-resistant Nike one in Sweatshop and have been using it ever since.

Despite my inability to use contact lenses, they were very good for running - not so good for cycling, however - I always seemed to get blurred vision whenever I tried to look behind me.
Posted: 30/09/2006 at 20:09

I ran today in the rain. Glasses got fogged up kept having to use fingers to clean them as am so shortsighted I daren't take em off,(for the sake of the other 15+ thousand people behind me). I used to wear contacts but have really dry eyes and sight too far gone for LASIK and they don't do daily disposables for my presecription. (am nearly as blind as my nickname) so am taking the plunge. Got an appointment with local SIte for Eyes to see whats on offer. Had enough of steamy glasses. Would recommend the contacts though. I really loved them when I could wear them. They are not that expensive. Specsavers pretty reasonable.
Posted: 01/10/2006 at 23:57

Even without the problem or rain, I sweat so much I couldn't imagine running in glasses for one second. (My prescription is -5.0 so bumping into trees/dogs/dodgy pavement slabs would be a serious issue!)

I'd also recommend monthly disposable lenses which work out a lot cheaper than dailies.

Have a look at www.getlenses.com. This is where I get mine from and it works out about 30-odd quid for 6 months' supply. If you don't wear them every day they'll last even longer.
Posted: 02/10/2006 at 11:57

Phil - mine's in excess of -7.5 so am really blind as the proverbial!! Apart from the dry eye issue torric lenses for my prescription are still flipping expensive!!! ;o(
Posted: 02/10/2006 at 12:12

Can you swim in contacts?

I was going to look into lenses to save the the price of expensive custom sunglasses next summer.

It would be great if I didn't have to spend cash on opti-goggles as well.
Posted: 02/10/2006 at 12:17

definitely contacts .... try monthly or daily disposible

I swim in contacts ... but you must wear goggles!!
Posted: 02/10/2006 at 12:25

Yeah, I swim in contacts and an extremely comfy pair of Speedo goggles. I'm not sure what the professionals say about wearing contacts in chlorinated water and what-not but, s*d it, I've never had any problems.

An old teacher of mine used to swim in prescription goggles!
Posted: 02/10/2006 at 13:38

I put my lenses in today for a long run as heavy showers were forecast. I'd not worn them for so long that I had to phone the optician to check which one was for which eye (as one eye has special astigmatic lens). Then it turned out to be lovely and sunny!! The vision in contacts was still better than glasses. I think I may wear them for my first marathon on Oct 15th, whatever the weather.

You people who say you can't wear lenses because of dry eyes, etc, it may be worth double checking at the opticians if you haven't been recently. I thought I couldn't wear lenses after previously giving up with them years back but I am fine with a few hours wear of daily disposables:-)
Posted: 03/10/2006 at 00:10

Dave 0520 - thanks for the company plug on page 1. Ordered, received and tried with a matter of days - great service and product.

I prefer to run in lenses but wear my specs for cycling and riding [which is speedier and I don't like the wind rush in my eyes with lenses in]. The anti-rain product helps a lot.
Posted: 03/10/2006 at 11:24

Gosh - so many replies!

I used to wear contacts a few years ago (monthly disposables) but it was costing me around £40 a month for the privilege so I didn't really want to go back there. Never gave dailies a thought though as at the optician I used to go to they were even more expensive! Have compared a few prices now and have arranged a fitting with my new optician for some dailies - looks like the way to go. Thanks for all your stories/tips on this guys.

For those of you who swim in contacts - you have got to be really careful with that. The chlorine perishes the lenses (not so much an issue with dailies) but the main risk is little bugs in the water (not too sure which one precisely so forgive the term "bug"). If they get into your eyes they can get themselves established behind the lens and do all sorts of nasty things to your cornea. If you do use them in water, take them out and throw/clean them thoroughly rather than continuing to wear them all day. A chap I know is still being treated in an eye hospital 8 months after he got bug-carrying water in his eyes behind his contact lenses...

Runner-bean - thanks for the tip on carrying on running. I fully intend to stick with it :-> I started running in Feb (in the snow, dark & cold) and quite enjoyed it - I much prefered it to running when it was hot over the summer. Not sure I am fast enough yet for a "proper race" so will probably stick to the CRUK/RFL type stuff at the moment but my winter goal is to get my 5k and 10k times (currently 35 mins and 70 mins) down to something better so that will keep me busy :->
Posted: 04/10/2006 at 08:55

I swim in prescription goggles - you can get them for about £25 from High St opticians. And I refuse to wear (vanity) lenses so running in rain is an issue for me. Baseball caps can help but it doesn't completely fix the problem.

Might have a go at that anti-rain thing, just wish I'd read this thread before the LNM at the w/e.
Posted: 04/10/2006 at 16:29

Re Lasix: those considering might want to read this....

[(the second part!)]

Posted: 04/10/2006 at 20:41

Limper, glad to be of service. Dont really like plugging our stuff in the forum, but I'm a runner and when the discussion is biased towards what we do, I try and help.

I was the guinea pig in all of our product tests two years ago... lost 10kgs during the product development phase.
Posted: 06/10/2006 at 10:08

Contacts should be much cheaper than £40 a month - I pay about £14.

Otherwise a cap is the way forward.
Posted: 06/10/2006 at 11:32

Is laser treatment okay if you need glasses for distance and close up?

my monthly disposables are £24 for 3 months supply, and the solution is £9 a month

you can always use daily disposables on the days you swim then just throw them away
Posted: 06/10/2006 at 11:57

I've got some Adidas Evil Eye Pro glasses with the clip in prescription insert and I find these are brilliant for running/biking in. The design sheds water (better the faster you go). I do tend to wear a cap too though.
Posted: 06/10/2006 at 14:24

About a year ago I discovered contact lenses you could sleep in - brilliant. I have dry eyes and they are fine. You take them out once a week overnight and then put a new pair in once a month. They cost about £15 a month including regular check ups.
Posted: 25/11/2006 at 10:08


HM4
It has to be a base ball cap for me.

Posted: 26/11/2006 at 12:41

Had to give up wearing contacts, so I had laser eye treatment. Cost a packet, hurt like hell for 3 days, and I would do it again ANY time.

Perfect long distance vision. And same as when I wore conatcts, being relatively old, I still need glasses for reading, which is normal.

Always seemed bizzare, out running with contacts then having to get the reading glasses out to map read.

Greyhound's story, contains an element of truth, but the failure rate is much lower than the article suggests. Typical media hype.
Posted: 26/11/2006 at 13:38

Rachie, I’m so glad you asked the question, and I wait for some great ideas from RW peeps! Like you I’m short sighted, only last week it absolutely threw it down with rain, but it was warm so wearing my cap caused my glasses to steam up! Had to remove the hat and glasses and run ‘blind’…….result……..I tripped and hit a tree!! Who put that there!!!!

Anyway for what they are worth my tips are:
1 - wear a cap, this is the best thing unless like me you get very hot and then ‘steam up’!
2 - wear a part cap thingy (forget what they are called) but it’s the beck of a cap on elastic, you see people wearing them in summer.
3 - unfortunately its buying contacts. You can get some really cheap ones now, get the ones you clean yourself. Then you are only paying for the initial lenses, the cleaning liquid costs about £10 and lasts for 30 cleans so this should last you ages
3 - could you attempt to run without glasses?

Or like me, you’ve taken drastic action and ……….

4 - laser eye surgery!!! (I’m booked in for 12th January)


Unfortunately there is no easy answer for this question so good luck!

Posted: 26/11/2006 at 16:17

i wear a baseball cap (adidas climacool one) which is great. worked for me this morning when it was chucking it down. like you, I can't go without my glasses (can't see the end of my own nose without them.)
Posted: 26/11/2006 at 16:33

Further to Mak's friend. I did take the plunge and get lasik surgery 18 months ago, after wearing specs since I was 9 years old. I know it is not for everybody, but it is the best £800 I ever spent. I went from being pretty short sighted to having 20/20 vision, and now I can do so much more in the way of sport, particularly things that involve water like surfing (I couldn't judge the waves before as I didn't see em till they hit me!). If anyone is considering it, just make sure you do some research first, and be assured that the consultation process is quite lengthy. Personally I didn't have any pain at all, a mild discomfort during the procedure, but not even as bad as having my teeth scaled and polished.
Posted: 26/11/2006 at 19:18

I've found the part cap thingy to be the best solution. Brought mine at an orienteering event some time ago and it's good because the elastic keeps it on your head, and the peak is see-through.
Posted: 26/11/2006 at 20:58

Guys,

Health Warning - Make sure if you are not using disposable lenses you have a really discliplined cleaning regime... aghhh. I lived in mine and was really bad at cleaning them. I went for a routine eye checkup and had them taken out by the optician as I had an eye infection I wasn't aware of. Apparently if the scarring had progessed I could have lost some vision in my right eye. You only one pair of eyes!

I use daily disposables just for sport now or the odd night out and they work out at just under £1 per wear. The rest of the time I use glasses. If I am out on an evening run I'll tend to use my glasses but if it's not rain obscuring my vision then you can bet I am misting up especially if I wear a cap.

That anti fog/rain stuff sounds interesting. There is/was a product called RainX for car windscreens - that was fairly effective so the one for specs might be worth a go. I wear lenses for mountain biking but wear wrap around shades as the mud and debris kicked up can get in your eyes and cause irritation. Not to mention they offer great protection should I fall off or hit low hanging branches. I find they can mist up when it comes to hilly climbs.

You can't beat lenses for freedom, no misting, sweat/rain droplets or forever pushing specs up your nose. Having said that if I have had glasses on all day then I'll switch to my lighter sports pair for my evening run unless it's really lashing it down. I take my lad swimming in my lenses but don't swim as such myself. I have had the odd splash that has caused me to make sure it's seated properly before opening my eyes.


Posted: 26/11/2006 at 23:07

Hmmm...seem to remember there being something we used to spray on our visors when motorcycling in the rain - can't remember what it was now.

I train in glasses and don't really mind unless the rain is really heavy but I race in lenses and swim in lenses with my goggles firmly applied to try to prevent too much splash.

Fancy the eye surgery idea but have heard that night vision can be a problem.


Posted: 27/11/2006 at 11:49

I wear glasses but also have daily disposable contact lenses which I use for sports.

However, I would recommend that if you are planning to use your glasses in the rain that you pick up one of the products used by bikers for putting on the visors of our bike helmets.

"Shift It" is my product of choice. It is a blue liquid in a small spray bottle. It is used to clean the outside of the visor (you tend to get a lot of bugs) it also causes rain to bead off the treated surface rapidly as opposed to staying on.

You can also get similar products (used on the interior of the visor) which prevent fogging. I use it during winter - useful when you enter a pub on a cold night and your glasses instantly fog up.

You can pick up these products from the accessories dept. of your local bike shop or online - they only cost a couple of quid and last ages.

Hope this helps


Posted: 27/11/2006 at 14:13

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