If like me you are short-sighted (or have other vision issues) and train in a grappling or combat sport then options to see clearly while working out are in short supply. Contact lenses would be an obvious first choice but not everyone can wear them (I’ve tried but my dry eyes won’t take to them) and even contacts fall out if the eye socket receives an impact. Laser surgery of course is another option, but for many (like me) it’s not a consideration. So sports protective goggles/spectacles offer an easy to obtain safe consideration. This is what I wear to class each time…
The brand I use is the Rec Specs Morpheus 2 I chose this brand and this model of spectacles mainly because I was impressed with how bendable there are. In the video below the person demonstrates by warping and bending the frames with quite a lot of force. I bought my pair from an online retailer.
Previous to this pair, I wore the Progear Eyeguard, which I had bought through my local optician and this pair lasted eight years before the frame started to crack and the rubber inserts began to peel away. Since I was due a prescription chance I figure it was a good time to buy a new pair.
It’s important to state: I do not roll while wearing my goggles. The reason is that for me, the goggles just get in the way during the close contact nature of grappling plus they get fogged up very quickly. I only wear mine when drilling techniques, when teaching my classes and for seeing my instructor when I’m visiting his club.
If you do want spectacles for rolling in, then your best option are the models that do not have rigid arms but have an elastic strap instead. (like this model). These close-fitting models tend to also have more rubber on the inside of the frame which can absorb impact better than just the rubber nose bridge which is what I have on my model. Me personally, I think you’ll always find these to be awkward to wear during grappling. If you can find a pair to try on before buying then that would be ideal.
The Morpheus 2 has rigid earpieces but still needs to be worn with an elastic strap that attaches to the ends of the earpieces. Without the strap, the glasses are just too loose to fit on me securely. It’s not a major hassle though, the strap is adjustable and once I put them on my head, they feel no different to wearing my regular pair of glasses. Sometimes the strap catches onto the back of my gi collar, but it’s only a minor irritation.
Sports goggles do a great job of helping me see things clearly while drilling and teaching techniques. Unfortunately, they’re just too annoying to use while sparring so I simply take them off and throw them to the side. Being made of very robust material I don’t mind if someone accidentally steps on them (see the bending video above).
You can buy frames and prescription lenses from your local independent optician (who may need to order them for you) or you can buy them online at various online spectacles stores. Personally, I think if you can try them on first then that is the best solution.