Reader To Reader: Running With Glasses


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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