Do you have trouble reading your watch while you're running? I do. It's a problem because I like to check my pace and mileage in real-time.
I invested in a couple of pairs of bifocal sunglasses. They can be expensive, so it hurts when I lose them. And yes, I lose them.
Readers are cheaper but don't work well for running. I know this because I ran several half marathons with a pair of readers. Ugh.
Turns out, upgrading my sunglasses is easier than I thought. The best part? It's a DIY project you can do at home.
Keep reading if you want to learn how to turn your favorite shades into bifocals.
Stick-On Bifocal Lenses
Step 1: Choose Your Sunglasses
Stick-on bifocals let you upgrade any pair of regular sunglasses without permanently altering them. Turn a favorite pair into reading glasses so you can read the small print, like your running stats on a watch.
I bought these Knockaround Navy/Mint Premium Sports for running. The frames are rubberized and super lightweight. There's a nonslip rubber nose guard. The polarized lenses are impact-resistant and offer UV400 protection.
Step 2: Pick Your Stick-On Bifocal Lenses
Determine what magnification you need. Figure it out with a diopter test to choose the best magnification for your eyes. Another option is to try on Readers in IRL at a physical store.
There are several brands of stick-on lenses available on Amazon. I bought Blue Merlin lenses. You can see them in the photo below. The Optx brand has good reviews, too. Both brands come in +1.00 to +3.00 magnifications.
Step 3: Prep the Lenses and Glasses
The stick-on bifocals are easy to apply. They're also easy to remove. If you change your mind later, you can move your bifocal lenses to a different pair of sunglasses.
Make sure there isn't any dust or dirt on your glasses. Clean them with spray lens cleaner if you have it. Wipe both sides with a lint-free cloth to remove all residue. FYI: Knockaround protective pouches are lintless lens cleaner cloths.
Clean both sides of your bifocal lenses with clean water and NO soap.
Step 4: Stick On The Bifocal Lenses
The lenses are a half-moon shape. Pay attention when you remove them from the protective case. You'll see which lens fits naturally on each side of your sunglasses.
After soaking in warm water the lenses are pliable and soft. No adhesives are needed.
Find a workspace that won't scratch your sunglasses. Place your glasses with the lens down.
Take the first bifocal lens and put it onto your glasses with the curved part at the bottom of the frame.
Position the lenses about 2.5 inches apart. Use a ruler to figure out the correct positioning. Repeat with the other bifocal lens.
Look through the lenses during the application. If you stick them on backward or flipped, you'll know when you look through them. The lenses work, so if your vision is distorted they're in the wrong position.
Take your time and reposition them until they work best for your eyes. It took me a couple of tries until mine were right.
When you're happy with the location, press out any air bubbles with care. Use a lint-free cloth to dab away excess water.
Let the glasses sit for 12-24 hours to dry before wearing them.
Step 5: Go For a Run in Your Bifocal Sunglasses
I waited a full day before running in my new bifocal sunnies. I ran 5 miles on a hot, sunny day.
Man! These were perfect for me. The sunglasses have dark polarized lenses which I already love for running in Florida. Add in the bifocals, and I was one happy runner.
I ran hill repeats to celebrate. It also gave me another reason to check my watch often during my workout. I could see everything on my watch with ease.
How to Remove or Reposition Stick-On Bifocal Lenses
Stick-on bifocals are easy to remove. Run them under hot water for a few minutes. Use your fingernail at the edge so water gets underneath the lens, then peel them off.
If you leave your sunglasses in a hot spot — like the car in July — and the lenses move, it's an easy fix. Run under hot water to loosen the lens, then slide back into position.
After repositioning, push out any bubbles and dry everything off. Wait 12 hours before wearing them.
Another good thing about stick-on lenses is you can reuse them. They work on safety glasses, a diving mask, or glasses you use for work.
Get Some Stick-On Bifocals for Your Sunglasses
After my unofficial testing, I'm happy with my stick-on bifocal results.
It took very little time to apply the lenses, and they've worked well in hot, humid, sunny conditions. Right now, I think I have about 16 miles on them.
I'm excited about upgrading my other sunglasses. I also don't have to hesitate when I see fun new Knockarounds or get a great pair at a race. Give it a try if you have the same problem!
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March 13, 2023