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What to Look For in Aviator Sunglasses?

You’ve seen them worn by law-enforcement, pilots and military personnel. Tom Cruise made them famous in Top Gun. Today, they’re among the most popular style of sunglasses around. A great pair of Aviator sunglasses can make anyone look like they’ve just stepped out of a fighter jet. There’s just something undeniably cool about sliding on a pair of these large frame sunglasses that were once developed to protect pilots’ eyes during flight.

Chances are you wouldn’t mind having a pair for yourself, but you don’t know what to look for in a nice pair of aviators.

Best Traits

Traditional aviator sunglasses feature thin rims and arms made from metal or stainless steel, making the overall frame lightweight. Many new styles of aviator sunglasses feature plastic or composite frames, making the overall look a bit thicker than traditional styles. Many people prefer the traditional look of metal-framed aviators, although it is ultimately up to you to decide which style works best for you.

The most important aspect of aviator sunglasses to look at is the lenses. The lenses should be able to block 100 percent of harmful UV rays. Some lenses also filter out high-energy visible (HEV) rays in addition to the usual UV rays. These lenses can be identified by their bronze, reddish brown or copper lens color. Sometimes the color appears as a gradient that is stronger at the top of the lens, only to lighten significantly towards the bottom.

Common Caveats

Just because you’re wearing dark-colored aviator sunglasses doesn’t mean that you are completely protected from harmful UV rays. Many brands claim to adequately protect wearers from UVA and UVB rays when their lenses may do nothing of the sort. When shopping for a new pair of aviator sunglasses, always look for information on their UVA/UVB protection before you buy. This also applies to practically any style of sunglasses.

Many people think aviator sunglasses, especially those made with the metal frames, look more fragile than other types of sunglasses due to their construction. Name-brand pairs are actually robust due to the materials used, which can include titanium and thermoplastic resin. Even if they get bent up, many brands offer repair services that can undo most types of damage for a reasonable fee. If you’re buying cheap aviator sunglasses, you could end up paying the price in terms of lower quality and lesser durability.

Buying a Pair

Most aviator sunglasses go for prices as low as $12 and rise to as much as a staggering $500 for an exclusive designer pair. This broad price range makes it possible to find just about any pair of aviator sunglasses that fits your budget. Chances are you can find a great deal on aviator sunglasses by shopping online; however, you want to make sure you’re buying your aviators from a reputable online retailer to avoid purchasing a cheap pair instead of a pair that’s higher quality. When in doubt, you can turn to a brick-and-mortar retailer so you can try on and inspect the product for yourself.

This article was written by M.R., a writer for Miami Wholesale Sunglasses. He enjoys writing on fashion related topics including pop culture and other current trends.