Bouldering, in general, is a sport that forces you to use your hands and feet to climb, but what if you need something else to climb, like for example glasses. Your eyes are really important because how else could you verify if a next hold is good or bad and how to grab it to get the most friction, but is climbing with glasses possible? That’s why in this article we will focus on climbing with glasses issues, and how to overcome them. Are there any better ways than climbing with glasses?
For the short answer, we have to say that climbing with glasses is possible and many of us do this but it’s not comfortable and we don’t advise you to bring glasses with you to a climbing or bouldering gym. It can be very dangerous but still, most of us who have vision problems tend to wear glasses anyway. Glasses won’t give you that much additional weight so that’s not an issue, but there are some potential risks of wearing glasses during climbing.
What are the risks of wearing glasses during climbing?
Sometimes we can afford to take the risk, and that’s what most of us think until something bad happens. Did you know that about 74% of people that are climbing and have vision problems are doing it with glasses on? It’s a huge number when we think about potential risks, and the other 26% are not using them even if it gives them trouble to climb and some of that number use lenses for climbing sessions. If you have a vision problem then I bet you know something about those issues and the risk of wearing glasses during climbing sessions:
- The potential risk of falling and breaking glasses – Sometimes when you fall off the wall then your glasses can slip off your face and you will simply fall on them and break them. That is a common problem during climbing sessions, and as we all know glasses can be expensive, so we want to avoid them. Also, it will be even worse if they break near your face so you can hurt your eyes.
- Face close to the wall – When you have to keep your body’s balance then your body should be close to the wall, and also your face. That means that you can scratch your glasses on the wall.
- Glasses slip off your face – When you are high above the ground and you accidentally dropped your glasses then, if you won’t be able to complete the route, even when your vision problems are not that big of a deal, your eyes will need some time to adjust to seeing clearly without glasses.
If those above have happened to you in the past or you just want to avoid them then we have a solution for you. Maybe the risks are not that big of a deal, but still, for some of us it can be really hard to accept, that’s why we wanted to give you solutions for those risks.
Are there any better options than wearing glasses?
I bet that you are only at the begging of your climbing journey, and we’ve recently created an article about “How to prepare for a first bouldering session?” That will help you with other similar problems like wearing glasses. Let’s focus on the glasses for now, and don’t risk your health and money by wearing glasses because we have some methods to solve your problem:
- Use contact lenses – Most climbers that are using lenses are simply doing climbing professionally and competitively. Many people are not feeling comfortable with lenses, especially while doing sports activities like climbing or bouldering, but you have to ask yourself what is more comfortable for you, glasses or contacts.
- Attach the holder strap to your glasses – You can use a special strap or cord for your glasses to prevent them from falling off, they will simply hold onto the back of your head giving you more confidence. That option can be really cheap because you can use something that you have currently in your home to craft it, but if you do have a time of about 5$ USD then go to the nearest optician shop and they will do this for you.
- Goggles to cover glasses – When you want to climb outdoors it’s a good option to cover up your normal daily glasses with special mountain goggles. Unfortunately using them indoors is impossible, or you will just look silly. They will reflect the sun’s rays, and keep your eyes safe from the wind.
- Laser eye surgery or lends surgery – The surgery can be scary to even think about, but there are many positive results that you can get from eye surgery. That will let your eyes see clearly without any glasses, and as we can read on the NHS laser eye surgery is not risky. Only 1 in 10 people who have laser eye surgery need more surgery to get the best possible results from it.
- Take the old glasses for climbing sessions – If you have old glasses, that were scratched many times, or you simply don’t use them anymore then maybe they will be good for your climbing sessions, you will not feel sorry for them.
As you can see there are many options for you to finally forget about those uncomfortable glasses during your climbing sessions. Make sure to pick what’s the most comfortable option for you, and start with the easiest options like strap or contact lenses before you even think about surgery.
In summary – Is climbing with glasses possible?
Most climbers do use glasses even knowing the risks and disadvantages of them, but there are many other options for you to try. You can start with a strap connected to your glasses, to prevent them from falling off, but that is still dangerous because they break on your face. If you want to be 100% sure that you and your eyes are safe then try contact lenses, and if you feel comfortable enough then you have found your final solution!