Do You Need Goggles to Ski or Can You Just Use Sunglasses?

Do You Need Goggles to Ski or Can You Just Use Sunglasses
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If you have spent time on a mountain skiing, then you know that certain gears that are absolutely essential not just for safety but also for your performance. One of these gears we are talking about is goggles.

We often get questioned whether do you need goggles to ski or not. We can tell you right away that ski goggles are important for protection and safety. They have a ton of benefits such as protecting you against the wind, light, and weather conditions.

Yet, isn’t a pair of sunglasses also capable of protecting you against these factors? With that said, which one should you settle for? To help you decide which is a better and safer option, we will talk about each of them briefly and list their advantages and disadvantages.

Do You Need Goggles to Ski?

Between sunglasses and ski goggles, the latter is always a better choice as it is created for that particular purpose. Hence, we will first emphasize on all the top reasons why you should be wearing ski goggles in the first place. After that, we will talk about sunglasses and its benefits.

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Five Reasons You Should Wear Ski Goggles

Below we list the top five reasons why wearing ski goggles can prove to be beneficial to you.

  • Reduced Glare 

When you are skiing or snowboarding, having clear visibility is of utmost importance so as to prevent any kind of accident. With the help of a specialized goggle lens, this can be achieved better.

For example, if you are using dark lenses or polarized lenses on a bright and an extremely sunny day, you know your eyes are well protected. They tend to minimize the reflected glare so that you do not end up squinting your eyes every time for better visibility.

Ski goggles that come with photochromic lenses are known to be even better. They have a tendency of being light sensitive and can also change how they block the light based on the amount of light that is presented.

  • Increased Contrast 

During the winter, contrast is important. This will help you to see all the slopes and the bumps ahead. Lens colors that can increase the contrast include rose, amber, and brown.

Amber lenses are an ideal choice of lenses to be worn during cloudy skies or on a trail that is dimly lit. Rose lenses are also great for cloudy skies and hazy conditions.

Brown lenses are considered to be the most versatile as they can be worn under several different kinds of weather conditions. It is capable of blocking a minimal portion of the sunlight during sunny and hot weathers. Furthermore, it can also improve contrast. It does a great job at filtering blue light waves, which, in turn, means more clarity and depth to shades of green, such as bushes and trees.

  • Debris and Cold Protection

Cold weather is known to cause soreness and irritation in the eyes. When you are skiing or snowboarding, you are constantly exposed to the wind for prolonged periods. By wearing ski goggles, you keep your eyes sealed from all the small particles and the cold wind from affecting your eyes. This will not deter you from seeing your path clearly.

During night time, you can also wear ski goggles that do not have any colored lenses. Clear lenses are good enough and will not alter your vision in the dark.

  • Piste or Trail Accident Protection

If you are a beginner, falling over or meeting accidents along the trails is surprisingly common. This mainly happens due to the lack of control over the directions and speed. This will end up with you hitting the twigs and the branches, which may end up hurting your eyes if they are not covered correctly. In such cases, having a pair of snug fitting ski goggles can be great as they will prevent any further injuries from occurring.

  • Protection That Does Not Fall Off

When you are skiing, it is quite normal to go at high speeds. At such speeds, it is natural for things to fall off if they are not secured properly. Having a good pair of ski goggles made from strong materials is important as this can withstand high speeds.

Furthermore, the frame should be soft and pliant so that it can follow the face’s contour. Lastly, the goggles’ elastic strap should be quite thick too so that they are always in place.

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Disadvantages of Wearing Ski Goggles

One of the biggest disadvantages of ski goggles is that they tend to be bulky, which means that they can get uncomfortable or even incompatible with your ski helmet. It is also common for goggles to fog up. However, most new-age goggles come with an anti-fogging coating.

On Wearing Sunglasses When Skiing

When it comes to comfort and weight, sunglasses are clearly a better option. Sunglasses tend to be much lighter and far more comfortable to wear, even for longer periods. Furthermore, it can make you easily transition from skiing to walking. Lastly, sunglasses do not fog up as easily.

With that said, there are several disadvantages to using sunglasses for skiing. To start off, they do not provide you with any seal around your eyes and against the face as ski goggles do. This leaves your eyes at a much higher risk for issues with ice, wind, and all the other hazards. Lack of the seal also means that your face will get extremely cold.

Additionally, sunglasses do not fasten to your head like ski goggles. This could mean that at high speeds, the sunglasses can fly off of your face since it is not secured. Lastly, depending on the type of helmet you own, wearing a pair of sunglasses under it can be quite uncomfortable.


So, when it comes to whether do you need goggles to ski or not, our answer is yes. While you can get away skiing with a pair of sunglasses, they can be highly uncomfortable and will not even offer half of the protection that a pair of ski goggles can provide you with.

Make sure that you do not cut corners buying a cheap pair of ski goggles as protection from several factors is one of its main jobs.

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