Should You Wear Goggles or Sunglasses for Skiing?

When it comes to snow sports like skiing, it is essential to wear eye gear for many reasons. One is because snow can reflect light up to eight times more than water and grass. Therefore, to minimize the effect of the glare of the sun, it is important to wear eye gear that has UV and HEV protection. It can help eliminate the amount of UV rays entering your eyes, especially that damaging UV rays can increase with every kilometer of vertical ascent.

Aside from eye protection, eye gear for skiing have polarized lenses that can enable you to see more colors vividly compared to when you are not wearing them. They can help you get a better perception, especially in light conditions. This means that wearing a pair of eye gear can help in preventing accidents and injuries while skiing because they can give you a better view of the terrain. They can also protect your eyes from the damaging cold, hard wind, and debris.

Now that you know why wearing a pair of eye gear is important when skiing, there’s another question we need to answer. Which is better to wear for skiing, or other outdoor activities like snow tubing, goggles or sunglasses? If you are going on a ski trip soon, but you haven’t decided yet whether you’ll be wearing goggles or sunglasses, we can help you decide by giving you what each option has to offer.

Ski Goggles

When it comes to snow sports, ski goggles, or also called snowboard or snow goggles are a popular choice. They are made specially to protect the eyes from the cold wind. They can also improve your vision as you slide down the slopes. This means that ski goggles typically offer more coverage compared to sunglasses. They also create a seal that allows heat to be trapped inside to keep your face warm while skiing.

But keep in mind that not all ski goggles are created equally. There are ski goggles that are created to provide you with basic protection, while some are made to enhance your skiing experience. In fact, you can also get prescription ski goggles if you normally wear glasses.

Advantages of Ski Goggles

Here are the other benefits that you can get from ski goggles:

  • Ideal for Beginners: Ski goggles are ideal for beginners because anyone who is learning to ski will want to focus on their form and not on having to fiddle with their eyewear. Most beginners will also want to wear something that will stay in place and keep them safe while they enjoy the slopes.
  • Wider Field of Vision:Ski goggles can wrap your face and give you a full panoramic view.
  • Less Fog:When skiing, you will definitely deal with foggy lenses because as you go down the hill, the air will hit your chest, and it will instantly go upward, passing in front of your lenses along with your breath, fogging it up. But if you go with goggles, you will deal with less fog because airflow is restricted. There are ski goggles that have vents, allowing air to pass between your eyes and the lenses to decrease fogging.
  • Snug Fit: Most ski goggles also feature an adjustable strap to keep them in place, and they can also fit over a helmet. It means that you don’t have to worry about losing them when you go skiing.
  • More Protection: Compared to sunglasses, ski goggles are sturdier and stronger. It means that they are more likely to survive falls and crashes when skiing.

Disadvantages of Ski Goggles

Even though ski goggles offer a lot of advantages, they also come with a few disadvantages. One is they are bulky, which can sometimes make them uncomfortable or incompatible with your ski helmet. Aside from that, they can also fog up, especially when you often take them on and off. But you can simply purchase an anti-fogging coating to solve this problem.

Ski goggles are sometimes difficult to remove, as well, due to the strap, which can also become an inconvenience. But other than these, there’s nothing bad to say about them. It will really just depend on your preference.

Ski Sunglasses

Ski sunglasses are simply sunglasses used for skiing. They are just like the normal sunglasses we wear when we go out on a sunny day. The only difference is that ski sunglasses offer wider coverage than typical fashion sunglasses. Just like ski goggles, ski sunglasses are not all created equally. If you are looking for optimal comfort, safety, and a flawless ride down the slopes, then you need a pair of ski sunglasses that have either photochromic or polarized lenses.

Polarized lenses can give your eyes UV protection and as well as reduce the glares that are inevitable when you are on the slopes. Photochromic lenses, on the other hand, can also do that with the addition of adjusting the tint of the sunglasses automatically to suit the level of light that surrounds you when skiing.

Advantages of Ski Sunglasses

Ski sunglasses can also provide a lot of advantages, and here are some of them:

  • Lightweight: The best thing about ski sunglasses is they are lightweight and comfortable to wear. They sit on your face comfortably, just like fashion sunglasses do.
  • Less Fog and Added Warmth: You can still get the advantage of less fog because ski sunglasses don’t create a seal on your face. It means that you don’t have to worry about them fogging up easily when you go down the slopes. Aside from that, they can also still give you warmth because they are wider and have decent facial coverage, as well.
  • Easy to Remove: Unlike ski goggles that have straps, ski sunglasses are just like regular glasses, meaning they are much easier to remove when needed.
  • Easier to Find Prescription Lenses: If you need prescription lenses for skiing, then opting for ski sunglasses will give you a much easier time finding prescription lenses compared to ski goggles.

Disadvantages of Ski Sunglasses

Just like ski goggles, ski sunglasses also come with a few disadvantages. One of those is they are not strapped to your face, meaning they can fall off if you take a tumble. This makes ski sunglasses more ideal for advanced or professional skiers. They also do not have the same seal around your eyes like ski goggles do, meaning there’s a risk of snow or ice getting into your eyes. But having no seal can give skiers more aerodynamic experience, which again, is great for professional and avid skiers.


Deciding whether to wear goggles or sunglasses for skiing really depends on your preference and your skills. If you are a cross-country skier, ski sunglasses are an excellent option for you. But if you often ride down snowy slopes, then snow goggles are more ideal. Ski sunglasses are perfect for avid skiers, while ski goggles are best for both beginners and pros.

Whether you go for goggles or sunglasses, the important thing is that you are wearing eye gear to keep your eyes protected when skiing. Choosing will depend on your style and which one will really cater to your specific needs and comfort when skiing.