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I would like start by saying that I have never owned sunglasses that I paid more than $10 for.

I am really itching to purchase a pair of Specialized Cortina ($80). I just can't pull the trigger not knowing what benefits a better, more expensive set, would be.

Is it like going from looking through a coke bottle to a clear pane of glass?
 

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Try 'em out.

Personally I don't treat mine very well and that crystal clear experience is fleeting. I did once own some polarized, brown-tint sunglasses by native that were freaking amazing, but unfortunately too pricey for me to replace when I lost them moving.

Polarized is worth it, to me. Otherwise, as long as they're decent quality (not gas station rack specials) and fit well, meh.
 

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I do tons of driving and polarized shades are better for your eyes and after a long day it makes a big diff and takes away fatigue, alleviates headaches. I'm now into Bolle polarized transitions recoil 10570. They look good on and off the bike and could be the best lenses I've used. They darken when it gets brighter, and lighten when it gets cloudy. They wrap around nicely but still look respectable. Opticsplanet for 60 bucks.
 

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I'm not big on really expensive shades either. I got some of Performance's Cat1 photochromatic glasses for riding and I'm quite happy with them. I think they were all of $20 plus they came with a spare set of lenses.
 

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Oakleys are excellent as far as sport type glasses go. Remember, you only have one set of eyes, treat them as such. Cheap sunglasses can be very dangerous for your eyes since they open up your pupils allowing more uv rays to enter. Spend the money get good glasses. Maui Jims have unbelievable lenses also. VERY pricey though.
 

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Ditto. I use Oakley Halfjacket XLJs with polarized lenses (Fire Iridium works great for me on a sunny day). I am being followed for early macular degeneration, and my ophthalmologist says that good optics and polarized lenses are a must. I agree that you may be harming your eyes with cheap sunglasses (with apologies to ZZ Top) and poor optics.
 

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I've worn cheap Performance sunglasses. I've worn top of the line Oakleys and Smiths. I currently have some Serfas (?) sunglasses. It's not like looking through a coke bottle and then a plane of glass but there is an appreciable difference. The only way I can describe it is that with the cheap pair you know you're looking through sunglasses whereas with the Smiths or Okaleys I see the world like I do without sunglasses only in a different tint. It's like the lens isn't even there. For example: with my Smith sunglasses they came with a persimmon (red based) lens that on cloudy days actually made my vision better. It brought better contrast to the surroundings while enhancing colors and I actually missed the vibrancy when I took them off.
 

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I've owned some expensive glasses and cheap ones. The expensive optics like Oakley, Seringetti, etc are worth it in my mind. I've got a old set of Oakley M-Frames that I've had for 12 years and are completely worn out... cracked frames, scratched. I've just recently purchased a pair of the Tifosi photochromatic glasses and really like them. They are comfortable and hold well, lenses are a reddish color. I paid 50 bucks for them at Performance.
 

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My current go-to pair of glasses is my Tifosi photochroms with orange --> brown lenses. Only $60. Orange rocks for cloudy days and cutting down on glare/eye strain. Overall, Tifosi glasses are good bang for the buck.
 

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For 35 years I've owned several pairs of Ray Ban and know the value of a good pair of sunglasses. When it came to biking I bought a cheap $10 pair my first year. Since then I've paid between $20-$40 for sunglasses or photochromic Cat1 at Performance. Much better than a $10 pair. I wore the $10 pair walking the dogs the other night, what crap! One day I'll cough up more money and try a more expensive pair of Smith or Tifosi but right now buying what's on sale at Performance is a good deal.
 

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I think you need to distinguish between "cheap" & "inexpensive". Granted, you can buy "cheap" sunglasses with no UV filtering or glare reduction that can ruin your eyes. But you can also buy decent quality "inexpensive" eyewear with both UV filtering & glare reduction. Read the labels - the UV rating will be there.

You can also get a good impression of the glare-reduction capabilities. All the polarized lenses should be pretty good. Some of the "inexpensive" coated optics are also OK. If you are shopping on a sunny day in a store with a view to the parking lot, look for some glare coming off of a car windshield & do some comparison between lenses & without lenses. My personal preference is amber or rose tinted polarized.

I've had a couple pairs of "expensive" sunglasses & they were great, but they never seem to last more than a season (lost or broken). Now I rarely pay more than $10 for sunglasses, & wouldn't you know I almost never loose or break them. For overcast days or mountain biking in deep cover, I have a pair of amber safety glasses from Home Depot. If you've got money to burn or a need to impress somebody, go for the big bucks eyewear. But you don't need to go broke to protect your eyes.
 
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