Sports require excellent hand-eye coordination, and we’re here to help you with optical half of that equation. The sooner and more clearly you see something, the faster you’re able to react to it. Performance requires the harmony of various parts, and your eyesight is a crucial component to performing at your highest level. Considering all the other gear you have, why would you not invest in your eyes?
Since 1993 we’ve been perfecting our craft making the best prescription sports lenses in the world. Back when we started there was no such thing as curved prescription sports glasses. We developed the formulas needed to put prescription into a curved sport lens without the distortion that is caused when conventional optical wisdom is used. Our customers’ initial reaction to their first pair of Sports Optical lenses is something along the lines of, “Wow! That is so clear, even all the way out to my peripheral vision!” These days plenty of other companies offer wrap around sports glasses in prescription, but nobody makes lenses the way we do with our proprietary formulas and exclusive Direct Lens Technology.
We craft the very highest quality product we can, so while we can put Rx lenses into just about any frame, we’d like to help you find the set-up which will give you the best optics in a style you like. This is our business, and we’re experts at what we do, so let us help you find eyewear that is perfect for you. We are an authorized dealer for Oakley, Rudy Project, Spy, Smith, WileyX, Numa, Randolph Engineering, Flying Eyes, Magpul, Julbo, 7eye, and GYST however we will gladly handcraft Rx lenses for your favorite frames. We also have our own line of safety rated frames under the brand TacticalRx. Check out the most popular styles from these brands and feel free to call us with questions.
If you don’t live in Denver, don’t sweat it. On a daily basis we get calls and emails from people all over the country and the world. Most of our domestic customers choose to call and chat, while with our international customers it’s often easier to exchange some emails. The best way to get started is through our contact form, through which we’ll respond to you promptly. In every case, having your prescription available (including your PD, which stands for pupillary distance) helps provide us the information we need to give you the best advice, recommendations and ultimately the best eyewear we can.
The home store in Denver is also known for its fashion eyewear, with attitude. We carry unique, stylish frames from some of the most innovative and creative designers in the world. Some of our favorite brands that we carry are: Ziggy, Spectacle Eyeworks, Paul Frank, Kala, Z’art, Sospiri, Cazal, Nowosad, Frieze Frames, Derapage, Tseegan, Fabulous Fannies, and Ovvo to name a few. Check them out at EXOTIC EYEWEAR!!
We make the finest prescription sport lenses available using our proprietary Direct Lens Technology. This allows us to put lenses directly into wrap around frames with high curvature that were previously thought to be impossible. Putting a lens in a curved frame is only part of the equation however. We’ve developed a unique formula that accommodates for the close fit and wrap of sports frames. Without this formula prism is induced and power is increased leading to eyestrain, poor depth perception, and poor vision. This formula is what allows our customers to see better with our lenses than with any of the other prescription sport lenses available today. We pioneered the technology to put prescription lenses into high curvature frames and we continue to offer superior lenses with higher quality vision than our competitors.
We are an authorized dealer for Oakley, Rudy Project, Spy, Smith, WileyX, Numa, Randolph Engineering, Flying Eyes, Magpul, Julbo, 7eye, and GYST, however we will gladly handcraft Rx lenses for your favorite frames.
We also have our own line of safety rated frames under the brand TacticalRx. Worn by the military, law enforcement, CIA, and FBI, if they are tough enough for them, they are tough enough for you and your active lifestyle.
While there are tons of great sports frames out there to choose from, these particular frames represent the best in terms of durability, style, and working well with prescription lenses.
TacticalRx Mt. Falcon
The Mt. Falcon, named after one of Denver’s local favorite hiking/bike trails, is designed to enhance your vision and protect your eyes. It features easily interchangeable lenses to accommodate variable conditions, an adjustable full rubber nose piece, and adjustable temple arms. All the adjustment ensures a secure and comfortable fit for a variety of head sizes. The frame also far exceeds ANSI z87 safety specs making it top notch in terms of durability and eye protection. Works great for prescriptions from +2.00 to -5.00. You can check out this YouTube video for a closer look at the Mt. Falcon.
Rudy Project Rydon
The Rydon blends cutting-edge ergonomic features with advanced materials to create a super-lightweight, versatile, high performance sunglass. The interchangeable lens design allows for easy lens swapping to suit conditions. Works well in prescriptions +2.00 through -6.00. A variety of frame colors are available including: black (photoed above), carbon, demi-turtle, crystal, graphite, gloss white, and tactical black. Check out this YouTube video for a closer look at the Rydon.
Numa Point Ballistic
Numa’s Point Ballistic is exactly what it sounds like, ballistic rated sunglasses. The Point fits most head sizes and provides an exceptionally close wrap to protect your eyes from the elements. The very thin temple arms also allow it to fit great under helmets and hats. Rubber on the nose pads and temple tips keep these glasses secure to your head. The Point works well for prescriptions from +2.00 to -5.00. Frame color availability is matte black only.
Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
The Flak 2.0 is the next evolution of Oakley’s wildly popular Flak model. The aggressive wrap allows for excellent wind blockage and a wide field of view. The taller “XL” lens shape is designed to follow your cheekbone contour and provide extra coverage. Rubber on the nose pads and temple arms provide a secure sport fit. The open bottom design allows for easily interchangeable lenses for different conditions. Works well for prescriptions from +2.00 to -5.00. Frame colors include matte black, gloss black, gloss white, brown camo, steel gray, silver, and more.
Spy Quanta 2
Spy’s very successful Quanta model has been further refined to produce the Quanta 2. The Quanta 2 meets ANSI z87 safety eyewear specs making it extremely durable. The frame also features an adjustable full rubber nose pad and rubber on the temple tips for maximum grip. The unique wind scoops on the sides of the frame help ventilate the close wrap to prevent fogging. The Quanta 2 works well with prescriptions +2.00 to -5.00. Available colors are matte black, matte graphite, or two tone matte black / realtree camo.
Wiley X Brick
Wiley X is widely known for their safety rated frames. The Brick is an excellent ANSI z87 safety rated sports frame that is loved by many because of the accessories that come with it. A removable foam gasket lines the inside of the frame creating a nice seal around the eyes which is perfect for keeping dust and debris out of the eyes. The Brick also comes with a strap that hooks into holes on the temple pieces so that they can be hung around the neck and kept close or held securely on the head. The Brick is best suited for prescriptions with a strength of +2.00 to -5.00. Comes in matte black, gloss black, and a crystal metallic grey.
Randolph Engineering Aviator
Randolph Engineering’s Aviator is a classic. Popularized by both pilots and astronauts, this frame is made to work well with many different types of helmets. The Aviator offers an excellent balance between form and function and looks great in almost any circumstance. Works well with almost any strength of prescription. Available in rose gold, gold, bright chrome, gunmetal, matte black, and matte chrome. Temple styles include bayonet and skull. Different frame sizes allow almost anyone to pull this frame off.
Flying Eyes Hawk
Flying Eyes specializes in frames made for pilots with ultra-thin temples, maximizing comfort with helmets or ear protection. The Hawk is a favorite frame because of it’s comfortable large rubber nose piece and temples that clip on and off. An adjustable strap is included that attaches where the temples are removed for an extremely secure, yet comfortable fit. Prescriptions with a strength of +2.00 to -5.00 work best in this frame. Available colors are matte black and glossy black.
Magpul is well known in the tactical industry for their high quality firearm accessories and gear. They have recently came out with their own line of safety rated frames and have delivered a great product. The Summit is a high performance frame that doesn’t sacrifice style or function to accomplish it’s purpose. Rubber nose and temple pieces ensure the frame stays secure on the head during even the most strenuous physical activity. Available in matte black, matte grey, and matte tortoise brown. Works best with prescriptions between +2.00 and -5.00.
Julbo Vermont Classic
The Julbo Vermont Classic is an excellent glacier glass that is made with snow sports and activities in mind. The removable side shields block out the vast majority of light not coming in through the lenses. Cable temples also guarantee that the glasses will stay comfortably behind the ears and won’t come loose unless you want them to. Frame color is available in gunmetal only, however the leather side shields and nose pad are available in white, brown, or black. This frame works well with almost any prescription.
Smith Outlier 2.0
The Smith Outlier 2 strikes a perfect balance between sporty functionality and casual style. It has an overall casual look but still offers a slight wrap that has plenty of wind protection and lens coverage. Rubber on both the nose and temple pieces ensures this frame will fit securely and keep up with an active lifestyle. This frame can be a good option for those with stronger prescriptions as it works well with strengths of +2.00 to -7.00. Available colors include matte black, matte tortoise, matte gravy, matte cement, matte charcoal, matte thunder, and matte crystal deep forest.
The Bora is popular among motorcyclists and tradesmen alike. The removable foam gasket behind the lenses creates a comfortable seal against the face in order to keep air, dust, and debris out of the eyes. This frame is also ANSI z87 safety rated, so it is sure to keep your eyes safe during any activity you might be using them for. Available colors include dark tortoise, glossy black, and charcoal. Works best with prescriptions of a combined strength of +2.00 to -5.00.
The Mormaii Floater is Sports Optical’s frame of choice when it comes to water sports. The Floater certainly lives up to it’s name by staying buoyant in water when knocked off of your head. This frame’s temple arms can also be removed and replaced with a strap, guaranteeing they will stay on during even the most extreme water sports. The lenses also have vents, which are essential for adequate water drainage and fog prevention. In addition to being a performance first water sports frame, it looks great and has a more standard sunglasses nose piece included for any other sports or casual wear. Available colors include black/grey, blue illusion, black/red, or clear metallic. Works best with prescriptions that have a combined power of +2.00 to -5.00.
The SG1-15 is a super versatile sports frame from GYST, designed for those who Get Their Sh*t Together! The lens is quite large both in height and width giving incredible field of view. They are rated to ANSI z87 high impact safety standards making them wearable as sports glasses in addition to safety glasses for work and all your other dirty jobs. The SG1-15 also features swap-able temple arms that can be worn instead with an adjustable elastic strap for superior comfort under helmets and an ultra secure fit. The glasses also include an optional foam facial seal gasket which is great for surfing and other water sports as it softens the impact to your face when you hit the water and allows for better ventilation and water drainage. With the foam gasket the glasses float in the water so they can be easily recovered should they come off your head. The available colors are matte black, matte black, and more matte black. This frame works well from prescriptions from +2.00 to -5.00 maximum combined power. Check out this YouTube video for a closer look.
Prescription inserts are the ideal solution for ski, snowboard, mountain bike, and motocross goggles. The inserts are much more comfortable than wearing glasses underneath your goggles or wearing contacts which can easily dry out your eyes at high altitude. Because they sit a bit further from your face than glasses they also don’t fog nearly as easy. Plus you can’t beat the price as the goggle inserts with basic single vision prescription start at just $99. We have several insert shapes depending on your google size and prescription strength. See those options below and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or to place an order.
For the vast majority of goggles and most prescriptions (+2.50 to -5.00) the “Outward Ant” shape works great. The Outward Ant insert is secured with antlers that compress against the top and bottom of the inside of your goggles and works great with most adult sized goggles.
For extra strong prescriptions (beyond +2.50/-5.00), smaller kids sized goggles, or even extra large goggles the “Ram-horn” insert is the best option. The Ram-horn has the flattest angle between the lenses giving the best optics for stronger prescriptions. The compressible ram-horns secure the insert in any size goggle and can also be trimmed if necessary for smaller goggles.
We are also known for our selection of funky and unique casual wear glasses. We carry unique, stylish frames from some of the most innovative and creative designers in the world. Some of our favorite brands that we carry are: Ziggy, Spectacle Eyeworks, Paul Frank, Kala, Z’art, Sospiri, Cazal, Nowosad, Frieze Frames, Derapage, Tseegan, Fabulous Fannies, and Ovvo, to name a few. When you get tired of the same generic frame selection at your standard optical, come see us and get glasses with attitude! Check out a small sample of our unique selection online at EXOTIC EYEWEAR or stop by our store just north of downtown Denver.
Using our exclusive Direct Lens Technology we craft a variety of custom Rx lenses to suit different conditions, uses, and personal preferences. We are happy to consult you on what choice of lenses will work the best for your purposes if you are not sure what you’d like.
*Please note that all light blockage numbers are estimates. They will vary slightly by individual Rx lenses and brands.
Polarized Sunglass Lenses:
Polarization is a filter that is embedded into the lens material. Its main purpose is to block glare from bright and distracting reflections. Reflections may come from water, asphalt, snow, or any other shiny surfaces. It also helps to reduce eye strain and fatigue. Below is a photo showing the benefit of a polarized lens cutting out the glare reflecting off a shiny blue car dashboard and windshield.
Polarized lenses are recommended for most athletes and activities including but not limited to: cycling, running, hiking, golf, tennis, skiing, water sports, shooting, and driving. Polarization is not recommended for extreme, icy conditions. It is precisely that glare which will let you know where the ice is. Polarized lenses can also interfere with the visibility of electronic screens to varying degrees. For instance airplane pilots who heavily rely on their electronic displays for navigation usually prefer non-polarized sunglasses for this reason. Usually this effect is minimal and for most people the benefits of polarized lenses far outweigh this potential downside.
Gray – The polarization blocks glare and has 85% light blockage. The neutral gray tint blocks light without modifying color allowing you to view your environment as it is. This lens is our most popular and suits most people the best for their sunglasses needs.
Super dark gray – Polarized gray saturated with extra gray tint. Brings the standard polarized gray up to 90% light blockage. This lens is for those of you who are light sensitive or just like their shades nice and dark.
Super super dark gray – We take the super dark gray and throw a silver solid mirror on top of it. Blocks 96%+ of the light. Only for extreme bright conditions such as high altitude adventures in the snow or very light sensitive people. Not to be used for driving.
Brown – Brown is a great all around, variable conditions sunglass lens. High contrast for better depth perception in bright light, yet light enough to wear when cloudy conditions arise. Has 80% light blockage.
Rose Copper – Slightly lighter than the polarized brown with a hint of red. Newest lens color, people are loving it! Has 75% light blockage.
Gray-green – Another polarized lens option that gives more contrast than gray. Originally developed for pilots in WWII for glare reduction. Color is similar to classic Ray-Bans. Has 80% light blockage.
Transitions / Photochromics:
Transitions and photochromic lenses are auto darkening lenses that are made with a special UV triggered material. Lot of folks want just one lens for all conditions and these lenses do a darn good job of that. Please note that all Transitions and photochromic lenses will take a minute or two to fully adjust darkness to your environment. For instance if you are riding your bike under a bridge or tunnel, Transitions will not clear up in time to adjust to the bridge / tunnel darkness, but neither will your regular sunglasses of course. If instantaneous low light visibility is of critical importance then a clear or light tinted lens would be a better choice than Transitions. Transitions lenses are also UV triggered, not overall brightness triggered. Cloudy days can still have a relatively high UV index, especially at higher altitude, which means that some people find Transitions to be a bit darker than ideal in those situations.
Transitions Signature – These are your classic Transitions lenses. They go from all the way clear to about 75% light blockage which is a moderate darkness sunglass lens. These are ideal if you need maximum visibility indoors or in low light, but you also want protection outside in the sun. These lenses will remain almost completely clear behind a car windshield (due to windshield blocking most UV rays) and are not recommended if you want sunglasses for driving. These are not polarized and therefore not recommended for activities where glare reduction is important such as water sports.
Transitions XtrActive – These are the Transitions that work the best for the most people. They go from almost all the way clear to a solidly dark sunglass lens and range from 15% to 85% light blockage. The clearest state only has a very subtle tint and is clear enough to be used indoors or at night while the darkest state is plenty dark enough for most people. While not intended to be driving sunglasses, the XtrActive will darken partway behind a windshield and give you more darkness than the Signature. These lenses are not polarized and not recommended when glare reduction is important such as water sports.
Transitions Drivewear – This is a polarized Transition lens specifically designed to fully darken behind your car windshield. It changes from a greenish/yellow in low light to a bright reddish brown in direct sunlight. They vary between 40% and 80% light blockage. It’s a great lens for variable daytime conditions and driving during the day. The clearest state is too dark for safe night driving however. The polarization makes it a great lens choice for water sports or other situations where glare reduction is important.
Lightest state / Partway dark on an overcast day / Fully dark on a sunny day
Transitions Infinite Gray – This is Transition’s latest polarized lens and is their darkest. The Infinite Gray is a good option if you want a variable darkness Transitions lens that is fully polarized and is able to turn nice and dark. Ranging from 65% to 91% light blockage, these lenses work in variable daytime conditions quite nicely and are polarized to block glare. Unlike the Drivewear these lenses are not designed to fully darken behind your car windshield and will remain a mild darkness in the car. These are also too dark to be used extensively at night, indoors, or in low light conditions. The polarization makes it a great lens choice for water sports or other situations where glare reduction is important.
Darkest state vs clearest state
Photochromic lined bifocals: While Transitions brand lenses are available only in single vision and progressive lenses, photochromic lined bifocals are available with a different type of photochromic technology. The photochromic bifocals function similarly to the Transitions Signature and go from clear to a moderate sunglass tint at 70% light blockage. These lenses will not darken behind the car windshield and are also not polarized, but a great option if you want the flexibility of photochromics with a lined bifocal.
Clearest state vs darkest state
Lenses can be tinted almost any color, and most tints are based on personal preference. Listed are examples of our most popular tint colors and the light conditions for which they are best suited. Mirrors to cut glare and add a “look” can be added to any tint color, and anti-reflective coatings can be added for clarity in low light conditions. Please feel free to contact us regarding these options.
Clear -This is a standard clear lens. Has 8% light blockage. Anti-reflective coating can be added for 1% light blockage. The AR coating will be great for driving, night cycling and any other darker activity especially with surrounding lights.
Yellow – Classic high-contrast yellow lens. Has 20% light blockage. Adding anti-reflective coating will make it better for night driving and shooting. It will highlight the shadows and cut glare from the residual lights. AR yellow will have 12% light blockage.
Rose – General “pink” lens. Good for medium to low light, but too dark for night. Has 25% light blockage.
Orange – General “orange” lens. Good for medium to low light. High contrast in certain conditions. Has 45% light blockage.
“All around” Red– A great all around lens. One of our most popular. It cuts glare in the sun while giving good depth perception & contrast of field in the shadows and low light. Our best selling non-polarized lens. Looks GREAT with a blue mirror. Has 60% light blockage.
Brown – Bright light high contrast lens. Has 70% light blockage.
Grey – Basic grey lens. Can be made as dark or as light as you would like, up to about 75% light blockage.
We can apply a mirror of almost any color to our lenses. Mirrors come in two flavors: solid and flash. Solid mirrors have an opaque look and add 5-10% light blockage. Solid mirrors look and work great on any darker sunglass lens. Solid mirrors are recommended for high altitude use as they reflect infrared light which is more prevalent at higher elevations, contributing to eye fatigue and potential eye damage. Solid mirrors are not recommended for clear, light tinted, or Transitions lenses that go clear because the backside of the mirror can throw distracting reflections back at your eye and decrease clarity of the lens. Flash mirrors don’t block much light and are mostly transparent, but they add a more subtle colored reflection to the lens and help cut glare. If you’d like a mirror on lighter tinted lenses or Transitions, then the flash mirrors are the way to go. Flash mirrors will also work great on darker lenses and add nice style without being too flashy looking.
For many athletes, we suggest they consider the wear their lenses will endure, because mirrors will show scratches more visibly than non-mirrored lenses, as well as potentially react with the sweat produced during sports. However they do add killer style and are proven to make you faster!
Solid Mirrors vs Flash Mirrors
Available mirror colors (in order from left to right, top to bottom in photos):
silver, blue, gold,
black (darker silver), cobalt (lighter blue), orange,
pink, green, red
Here are some of our personal favorite lens / mirror combos!
Transitions XtrActive with a blue flash mirror:
Polarized gray with a silver solid mirror:
Polarized rose-copper with a pink solid mirror:
Polarized brown with a blue solid mirror:
Anti-reflective (AR) coating: Anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for lighter lenses, such as clear, yellow, and the Transitions that go all the way clear. The AR coating will make the most difference for night time and indoor use, and will noticeably cut glare, halo spots and refection from surrounding sources of light. Below you can see the difference that AR makes. The center of the lens has AR and the outside does not. Taken indoors under our showroom lights, you can see how the AR greatly reduces the interference of reflections from lights and vastly improves the clarity of the lens.
Blue light blocking anti-reflective coating: In today’s digital world lots of time is spent in front of a phone / computer screen. Digital screens emit a significant amount of eye strain inducing blue light. Blue light has also been shown to influence melatonin production which in turn regulates you sleep schedule. Screen time late in the evening can make it harder to fall asleep and get quality sleep. There is also evidence that suggests that overexposure to blue light might increase the risk of macular degeneration. Clinical studies aside, we can all probably relate to spending too much time looking at a screen and feeling that eye strain and lack of focus. The good news is that a specialized anti-reflective coating is available which is designed specifically to reject harmful blue light and it is very effective at reducing eye strain from digital screens. As a result of the blue light being reflected, clear lenses will have a slight yellow/brown tint to them, just something to be aware of if you are considering this coating. You can see this in the photo below.
Anti scratch coating: Anti-scratch coat comes included and standard with all of our lenses, but if you are notoriously hard on your glasses we can optionally upgrade your lenses with a double layer of the coating for twice the scratch resistance power in addition to a 2 year, 1 time, scratch replacement warranty. Please note that the scratch coats are designed to prevent micro scratching from normal everyday use and cleaning. If your glasses skid against the pavement or get gouged with a screwdriver, they will scratch.
Ultraviolent (UV) protection: All of our sport and sunglass lenses absorb 98%+ of the UV light for ample eye protection and health.
Anti-fog: Fogging is mostly a function of your environment’s temperature / humidity, your body heat / moisture, and how close your glasses fit to your face. If you fog easily in glasses then the best solution is a more open frame that will provide better ventilation. However a hydrophobic coating can also be added to your lenses to both help water bead off the lens in wet conditions and also to increase the evaporation rate of any fog that may build up.
Glass Blowing Lenses:
Working with glass? We also make glasses with custom blue tinted and gold mirrored lenses that cut out sodium flare, UV, and IR so you can see the glass you are working on and give your eyes a much needed break as well! Non prescription glasses start at $199 and prescription glasses with the tinted lenses in a flip up piece start at $389. Give us a call at 303-455-3369 or stop by our store to order.
These Julbo mountaineering glasses are an excellent combination with the glass blowing lenses providing excellent coverage and wrap, but other frames are also available.
For prescription wearers the best setup is a pair of glasses with a flip up sunglass piece so you have a clear prescription lens to look through when the flame is off and then the tinted glass blowing lenses to easily flip down when the flame is on. These Metronome frames do the job perfectly with great style, but other flip up frames are also available.
These classic metal frames are also an excellent option.
The glass blowing lenses provide about 79% total visible light blockage and 98%+ UV blockage. The light transmittance curve before the addition of the gold mirror is shown below. We added a gold solid mirror for even greater sodium flare reduction and infrared light reflection.
Give us a call, stop by our store, or send us an email. For prescription orders please include your prescription details, including your PD (or pupillary distance), so that we have all the information needed to best help you.
Sports Optical Denver 5721 Logan St Denver, CO 80216
Open: Tues-Fri 10-6 and Saturday 12-5 Closed: Sunday and Monday