Born out of a pure passion for snow sports, Smith Optics started in 1965 when Dr. Bob Smith, an orthodontist by trade, started making ski goggles by hand with dental tools and trading them for lift tickets in Sun Valley, Idaho. Since then, Smith Optics continues to set standards in high performance eyewear through technology and innovation.
Smith Optics continues to maintain its snow sports tradition, but has expanded and become an industry leader in all sports performance eyewear. Researched and tested by its team of top action-sport athletes as well their dedicated employee, Smith has launched innovations such as its distortion-free Tapered Lens Technology and Slider series of sunglasses. Incorporating technology while staying true to its action sport style, Smith Optics remains a favorite of action sport athletes and beyond.
What Does Smith Offer in Lens Technology?
Smith Prescription Sunglasses and Glasses set a standard in style as well as technology for the action sports market. Continually tested by top athletes in the action sport industry and perfected in the labs by its employees, Smith Optics offers the best in optical technology. Below are technical features, components and inventions specific to Smith eyewear:
Polarchromic: Smith’s Polarchromic lenses combine the glare-free benefits of advanced polarization with UV sensitive, self-tint-adjusting photochromic technology. The self-adjusting tint is made possible by infusing silver halide crystals into the glass lens while the lens is being made. These microscopic crystals change their orientation in response to UV light which shifts the lens tint by either decreasing or increasing the Visible Light Transmission (VLT). This shift fine tunes the tint of the lens in response to ambient light conditions as they change throughout the day. In short, the Polarchromic lenses offer sharp optical clarity and soothing light levels throughout the day allowing you to wear your glasses from dawn to dusk.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: We recommend selecting a Polarchromic lens if the sport/sports you participate in put you in multiple light conditions throughout the day and you want to have one pair of glasses as the Polarchromic technology allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change. Polarchromic lenses are a great option for fishing and cycling.
Photochromic: (also known as Transitions Lenses) - are lenses that automatically adjust their tint depending on the level of UV light. The more UV light that is present, the darker the lens becomes. In environments where less UV light is present the lens "transitions" to clear or a lighter tint.
- *Note: Driving in Transitions Lenses - Photochromic lenses change when exposed to UV light rays and since car windows filter out UV light, these lenses do not adjust when you are in a car
- *Note: Clear to Sunglass changes - Although we think Transitions lenses are magical, they don't get completely clear or completely dark enough for our taste in sunglasses. They are a great solution for someone who doesn't want to have two pairs of glasses (clear and sunglasses), but they don't quite excel at either.
Polarized: Smith’s Polarized lenses eliminate glare from horizontal surfaces such as snow, water, and asphalt. Smith aligns the polarized layer inside of the lens to filter out 99.9% of the visual static that can decrease depth perception and reduce visual acuity which causes eye fatigue for a finely tuned lens that produces optimal lens clarity.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: We recommend selecting a polarized lens if you will be using your glasses on the water, snow, or pavement as a polarized lens will eliminate the glare caused by these surfaces.
Digital – Smith’s Digital lenses offer a “high definition” viewing experience. The creation of the digital lenses is optimized with computer controlled surfacing equipment that goes beyond the precision of standard tools used to process prescription lenses. Digital lenses provide sharper vision, better peripheral vision, improved color contrast as well as reducing glare at night.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: We recommend selecting digital lenses for sunglasses that have a high wrap to them. A digital lens will allow the prescription to wrap throughout the lens. Traditionally on a sunglass with a wrap or curve to it your prescription will be located in the center of the lens. The digital technology allows the prescription to be throughout the entire lens which eliminates any distortion in your peripheral vision. Bottom line: We recommend digital lenses for all sports including fishing, golf, and cycling.
*Digital is not available in Techlite Glass lenses
Tapered Lens Technology: Smith’s Tapered Lens Technology allows you to see objects through your lenses exactly the same as they appear. When light passes through a medium it changes course, when this is uncorrected it can cause both visual distortion and eye fatigue. With Smith’s Tapered Lens Technology the incoming light rays are straightened by progressively tapering the lens from the center to the peripheral allowing you to see with 100% accuracy and maximum eye comfort.
Carbonic Lenses: Carbonic lenses are Smith’s standard lenses, meaning if you aren’t buying a Techlite or ChromaPop lens you will be purchasing a Carbonic lens. Smith’s carbonic lenses have been engineered to be the most impact resistant lenses available. They are also optically corrected to maximize visual clarity and object definition. Carbonic lenses are available in a large variety of both Polarized and Non-polarized lens tints.
Carbonic Non-Polarized Lenses:
Blue Mirror, Platinum, Bronze Mirror, Grey Green, Brown, Grey, Ignitor, Clear
*there are additional lens tints that are not frequently requested and there for are not offered on the site if you would like a tint you do not see please contact our customer service team at 1.888.507.1230
Blue Mirror: Smith’s Blue lens tint performs best in medium to bright light conditions. Mirrored lenses feature a reflective coating on the outside of the lens that decreases the amount of light transmission even further than the lens base color.
Platinum Mirror: Smith’s Platinum lens tint performs best in bright light conditions. Mirrored lenses feature a reflective coating on the outside of the lens that decreases the amount of light transmission even further than the lens base color.
Bronze Mirror: Smith’s Bronze lens tint is designed to perform best in medium to bright light. It is an excellent all-purpose lens with enhanced contrast for sunny conditions. Mirrored lenses feature a reflective coating on the outside of the lens that decreases the amount of light transmission even further than the lens base color.
Grey Green: Smith’s Gray Green lens tint is a neutral lens tint that provides truer color perception. It is also soothing on the eyes and one of the best lens tints for long term wear as the lower contrast is easier on your eyes. The gray-green lens tint performs best in bright light conditions and is great for water sports because it blocks bright rays.
Brown: Smith’s brown lens tint is going to absorb stray “blue-light” and sharpen visual acuity. The brown lens tint will perform best in environments where depth perception is important.
Grey: Smith’s Gray lens tint provides truer color perception for exact color definition. This neutral lens tint creates a soothing effect on the eye in bright or sunny conditions.
Ignitor: Smith’s Ignitor lens tints help to sharpen visual acuity and perform best in flat or low light conditions. They provide increased color contrast to better see details and identify changing contours. Ignitor lenses are great for fishing in low light or cloudy conditions.
Clear: Clear Single Vision lenses are what are most commonly referred to as "prescription glasses". They only correct for one vision condition, nearsightedness or farsightedness. If you are looking for a pair of prescription glasses that offer correction for both near vision and distance vision, select a Progressive lens type. Smith’s clear lenses in sunglasses are ideal for low light or night time conditions.
ChromaPop: Smith’s ChromaPop lenses have all of the bells and whistles of a traditional Smith lens:
- Film-free polarization that is bonded to the surface of the lens without the use of adhesives, eliminating the potential for cracking, crazing, and delamination.
- Ultra-light weight lenses that are 10% lighter than polycarbonate, 15% lighter than CR-39, and 75% lighter than glass lenses.
- High impact lenses that have 4-5 times greater anti-scratch performance than plastic lenses.
- Anti-Refection coating on the backside of the lens that eliminates glare and internal reflections.
- Tapered Lens Technology that corrects light distortion with 100% accuracy which provides maximum eye comfort.
- Hydrophobic Coating that repels moisture, grease and grime from building on your lenses.
On top of all that the ChromaPop lenses improve the speed of visual processing, letting you see true color faster. Within the ChromaPop lenses there is a Polarchromic lens, the ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor, which lets you adjust to changing light conditions faster than a non- Polarchromic lens. The bottom line: ChromaPop lenses are like HD for your eyes, bringing color back to life by letting you soak in the colors natural vibrancy.
ChromaPop lenses are available in the following styles:
The four ChromaPop lens tints are available in all Smith Prescription styles.
ChromaPop lenses are available in the following tints:
ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor, ChromaPop Polarized Platinum, ChromaPop Polarized Brown, ChromaPop Polarized Grey Green
ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor: The ChromaPop technology in this lens makes color more vivid with increased clarity and chromatic contrast. Smith recommends this lens for settings where you will be experiencing shifting light conditions as the Polarchromic allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change. This lens is the only Polarchromic lens option in the ChromaPop lenses. An Ignitor lens is going to maximize an objects definition, enhance depth perception and is recommended for medium to overcast light conditions.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: This is going to be the premium lens choice for Smith for the following sports: fishing, mountain biking, golfing, trail running
ChromaPop Polarized Platinum: This ChromaPop technology on this lens will exemplifies crisp optical clarity and rich color enhancement. The Polarized Platinum is recommended for cloudless, bright-light conditions. Smith’s Polarized Platinum is a true color Polarized Gray lens with Silver Mirror coating that provides true color vision without affecting light reaching the eye.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: We recommend this lens for use in bright, open environments that will have minimal shadows such as: fishing, cycling, running, or snow sports
ChromaPop Polarized Brown: The ChromaPop technology is most apparent in the Brown Polarized lens, offering the most enhanced contrast and amplified colorations of the ChromaPop lenses. Smith recommends this lens or medium to bright light conditions making it a great option for the beach at sea level, or along the shores of an alpine lake.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: This lens is going to best represent the ChromaPop technology. The Polarized Brown is going to be best for fishing, lake and water sports, golfing, and trail running.
ChromaPop Polarized Gray Green: The ChromaPop technology in this lens will produce optical clarity along with a rich, vivid color experience. The Polarized Gray Green in the lens reduces reflected glare and sharpens detail. The Gray Green lens transmits colors the same way our eyes interpret colors. The result is natural vision - true colors that are easy on the eye. Smith recommends this lens for medium to bright light conditions.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: Grey lenses aren’t usually the best choice for sport specific performance so we tend to recommend these lenses as a personal preference for an everyday lens or fashion lens.
Techlite Glass: Smith’s Techlite Glass lenses produce superior clarity, optical precision and glare reduction. They utilize Smith’s Tapered Lens Technology to correct light distortion for true optical clarity. Smith’s Techlite lenses have a 99.9% polarized filter, along with tint shifting Polarchromic technology and are also hydrophobic. Techlite lenses are both Polarchromic and Polarized. These lenses are also 12 times as anti-scratch resistant as plastic lenses and 20% lighter than standard glass lenses.
Techlite Glass lenses are available in the following Rx Styles:
Techlite Glass lenses are available in the following tints in prescription lenses:
Polarchromic Ignitor, Polarchromic Grey, Polarchromic Copper Mirror, Polarchromic Amber, Polarized Brown
Techlite Polarchromic Ignitor: Smith’s Techlite Polarchromic Ignitor lens will maximize color and depth perception while reducing glare. Smith recommends this lens for all day use in high altitudes or open water environments as the Polarchromic allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change. An Ignitor lens is going to maximize an objects definition, enhance depth perception and is recommended for medium to overcast light conditions.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: This is going to be a great lens choice from Smith for anyone who prefers a glass lens over a polycarbonate and wants Smith’s Polarchromic technology for varying light conditions. We recommend this lens for the following sports: fishing, mountain biking, golfing, and trail running
Techlite Polarchromic Grey: Smith’s Techlite Polarchromic Grey lens will reduce glare and sharpen detail in true color. Smith recommends this lens for all day use and as a good all-around everyday lens. The Polarchromic technology allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change. A Polarchromic Grey lens is going to be best for bright conditions.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: Grey lenses aren’t usually the best choice for sport specific performance so we tend to recommend these lenses as a personal preference for an everyday lens or fashion lens. The Techlite lens is going to be best suited for individuals looking for a glass lens that adjust to changing light conditions and who prefer a grey lens over a bronze or copper for aesthetics.
Techlite Polarchromic Copper Mirror: Smith’s Techlite Polarchromic Copper Mirror lens has a copper tint with Smith’s Silver Flash Mirror coating. This Copper Mirror lens will offer medium contrast that is best suited for medium to bright light conditions. The Polarchromic technology allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: The Techlite Polarchromic Cooper Mirror lens is going to provide the same function as a Polarized Brown but will be Polarchromic and will be darker due to the mirror coating which will also make your eyes less visible through the lenses. This lens is going to be best suited for fishing, lake and water sports, golfing, and trail running.
Techlite Polarchromic Amber: Smith’s Techlite Polarchromic Amber lens is a high contrast yellow lens tint that is recommended for low to medium light conditions. The Amber lens will enhance depth perception and gather available light in low light conditions. The Polarchromic technology allows the lens tint to be self-adjusting and decreases or increases the Visible Light Transmission as the light conditions change.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: This lens is going to provide high contrast and is best suited for dusk and dawn fishing, cycling, and running.
Techlite Polarized Brown: Smith’s Techlite Polarized Brown lens sharpens visual acuity by absorbing stray blue light. The Brown Polarized lens will also reduce reflective glare and is recommended for medium to bright light conditions.
SaltCityOptics Recommended Use: This Techlite lens is going to be the only lens in the Techlite collection that is not Polarchromic. The Polarized Brown is going to be best suited for fishing, lake and water sports, golfing, and trail running.
Smith Polarized Bifocals:
Smtih offers Polarized Bifocals in +2.0 or +2.5 magnification in a variety of modles. Smith's bifocals have a segment that is 25mm wide and is placed low in the lens so that your long distance field of view is not impacted.
Polarized Bifocal lenses are available in the following Rx Styles:
Padre, Lochsa, Fly By, Chief
Polarized Bifocal lenses are available in the following tints in prescription lenses:
Polarized Brown, Polarized Copper
What Does Smith Offer in Frame Technology?
Evolve Frame Material: Rilsan Clear is created from the easily renewable, non-genetically modified castor plants which makes this frame material lightweight, flexible, highly elastic, and incredibly tough. Smith’s Evolve technology is making it an industry leader in eco-friendly sunglasses. Smith Optics Rilsan Clear frame material is over 53% bio-based.
Grilamid–TR90: Is a lightweight and durable plastic frame material that maintains its shape under all temperature conditions.
Handmade Acetate: This high quality plastic frame material includes wire-core temples for a customized fit. Smith’s acetate goes through a 33-step handcrafted process and is offered in a large variety of color combinations.
Smith’s Metal Frame Technology: Smith utilizes durable, lightweight alloys to construct many of its frames. Frames feature a range of gold, silver, platinum and chrome tints.
Hydrophilic-Megol: Developed to keep your sunglasses in place, Hydrophilic-Megol technology is used at the nose and temple tips to grip your frames to your skin. The technology means that gripping power increases when it’s introduced to moisture. So, the more you sweat, the more it grips.
Base Curvature: Base curve is the radius of the sphere measured from the back of the lens. This is how much the frame wraps or curves around your face. The higher the number, the more curve. Smith frames feature base curves with 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Smith Prescription Sport Recommendations:
Your eyewear can have a significant impact on your sport performance, whether you consider yourself a hard-core athlete or a weekend warrior having the right eyewear can not only increase your sport performance but it can also make the experience much more enjoyable and comfortable. Below are our recommendations for frame styles and lens tints for specific sport use. As always these are recommendations and can vary due to personal preference and unique environments and performance needs.
Smith Prescription Sunglasses for Fishing:
Smith Prescription Fishing Sunglasses Frame Recommendations: For fishing prescription sunglasses from Smith we recommend frames that have a wrap to them to help better protect the eyes from sun exposure in the peripheral along with frames that feature Smith’s Hydrophilic-Megol which allows the frame to increase its grip the more you sweat, keeping them from sliding down your face.
Smith Prescription Fishing Sunglasses Tint Recommendations: For fishing we always recommend a polarized or polarchromic lens for any on water sports as these lenses will eliminate glare, outside of that much of tint selection will come down to personal preference and what light conditions you normally fish in. Below are the tints we recommend, detailed information for each lens tint can be found above.
ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor, ChromaPop Polarized Platinum, ChromaPop Polarized Brown, Techlite Polarchromic Ignitor, Techlite Polarchromic Copper Mirror, Techlite Polarchromic Amber, Techlite Polarized Brown, Brown Polarized, Blue Mirror Polarized, Platinum Mirror Polarized, Bronze Mirror Polarized (Digital lenses are available in everything but the Techlite lenses)
Smith Prescription Sunglasses for Running:
Smith Prescription Running Sunglasses Frame Recommendations: For running prescription sunglasses from Smith we recommend frames with a wrap to block sun and debri in the peripheral or the frame. Much like sunglasses for fishing, cycling, golf, and shooting you'll also want to make sure the frame has Smith’s Hydrophilic-Megol which allows the frame to increase its grip the more you sweat, keeping them from sliding down your face. Smith also recently launched prescription lenses in their interchangeable sunglasse styles the Approach and the Pivlock Overdrive. Interchangeable lenses give you the added benefit of being able to change your lens out depending on the light conditions you'll be running in.
Smith Prescription Running Sunglasses Tint Recommendations: For running the lens tint will depend on the type of light conditions and type of terrain that you frequently run in. Below are the tints we recommend for distance, trail, and open road running. Detailed information for each lens tint can be found above.
Smith Long Distance Running Sunglasses where your run takes you from early morning to full sun or vice versa : ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor, Copper Polarchromic Techlite Glass, Ignitor Polarchromic Techlite Glass, Clear to Brown Transitions
Smith Trail Running Sunglasses Lens Tints where your run takes you in and out of shadows: Brown, Bronze Mirror, ChromaPop Brown Polarized, Ignitor, ChromaPop Polarchromic Ignitor
Smith Open Road Running Sunglasses Lens Tints where your run will be primarily in full sun: Brown Polarized, ChromaPop Brown Polarized