Eyewear is replaying the 1980s and ’90s. Credit that era’s pulse-quickening neon fashions (or its amped up soundtracks), but designers of this winter’s snow sports goggles and sunglasses apparently rummaged through the vintage bins to find aesthetic inspiration from the past. Shields, glacier glasses, chunky goggle frames, and flamboyant colors are common design trends among 2022–23 styles. All seemed futuristic 30 years ago. Now, these old-school optical looks evoke a simpler age and offer a link to retro, carefree fun.
Fortunately, this winter’s retro theme dictates appearances only. Lens and frame technologies are aggressively forward-looking, with companies debuting 3D-printed frames, innovative anti-fogging materials, improved color and contrast tints, and smarter interfaces between goggle straps and frames.
So while this winter’s snow sports optics may look like blasts from the past, they actually advance new construction methods and offer unprecedented on-snow performance. And that’s key—because there’s nothing covetous about 1980s optics technology. With these sunglasses and goggles, you get futuristic technology with throwback good looks.
1. Obermeyer Rallye Sunglasses
Skiing icon Klaus Obermeyer invented mirrored lenses back in the 1960s, and now, his skiwear company celebrates its 75th birthday with this update to the original mirrored ski sunglasses. Made of ultralight, plant-based acetate and mineral glass lenses, the Rallye is built using 700 minutes of hand-on shaping involving 300 separate steps. Removable leather side shields protect eyes from high-altitude UV rays, and the mirrored finish (on black, navy and clear frames) enhances the glare-diffusing powers of the polarized glass.
2. Dynafit Ultra Evo Sunglasses
Modern materials make these shield-style sunglasses lighter and more sweat-resistant than 1990s originals. The grilamid frame and polycarbonate lenses trim weight to just 31 grams, a silicone nosepad stays in place through sweaty efforts, and high-contrast lenses increase definition on snow. Plus, the neon colorways match the sky-high energy levels required for ski mountaineering (the sport these frames were built for).
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