Last updated: August 18, 2021

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Airplane pilots, motorbike pilots, car pilots and even musicians from real life or from your favourite series and movies -with some of these elements-, usually have in common an accessory that distinguishes them, we are referring to the aviator glasses, a model that became very popular in these sectors and if not, just look again at the famous Top Gun.

The industry popularized them and today it is common to see them on any pair of eyes on the street; women and men use them to protect themselves from the sun with great style and they can be found in a variety of combinations, sizes and colours. If they are of interest to you, join us in this article we have prepared for you.




The most important facts

  • Aviator glasses have distinctive features that make them unique. They are a classic recommended for 3 out of 6 face types and are available for both men and women, with unisex versions available to suit both.
  • Although the glasses are already defined by certain characteristics, they can be classified into 3 types according to their slight variations: Aviator Classic, Aviator Navigator and Aviator Sport. Three iconic options to choose from.
  • To buy this classic accessory that cannot be missing in your personal outfil, you must consider criteria from which we will have to make decisions such as the colour, the material we want to get them and the protection that will be included to protect your eyes from sunlight.

The best aviator glasses: Our picks

Buying Guide: what you need to know about aviator glasses

A classic and recognisable model that at least we all know. But when it comes to buying them, we need to know them 100 percent or we will be buying an inaccurate piece. Besides, this accessory has characteristics that make it of good quality or not depending on its elements.

The sun is a good excuse to wear our aviator glasses and let everyone notice them. (Photo: Simona Pilolla / 123rf.com)

What are the characteristics of aviator glasses?

Even though they are unmistakable, it is not superfluous to recapitulate their composition so that those who are becoming interested in them -especially the new generations-, can easily identify them. Specifically, we will say that they have the following elements:

  • Lenses that are 2 to 3 times larger than the eye socket
  • The shape of the lenses is convex covering the whole range of the eye
  • The frame is made of metal with a double or triple bridge
  • Teardrop shape that curves along the cheekbone
  • Bayonet style temples that hook behind the ears

Classic aviator, navigator or sport style lenses - What should you pay attention to?

We have already talked in a general way about the characteristics that make these glasses recognisable as aviators, however, over the years small differences have emerged within the same typology that point them out as another type of aviator, giving more options to the market

Classic aviator. Tear-shaped lenses, designed to provide full eye coverage, reaching above the eyebrow and up to the cheekbone. A model that has evolved over time and today can be found in different materials, colours and types of lenses.

Aviator Navigator. An evolution of the previous models was the Navigator model, also created with the intention of meeting the needs of modern aviation and adhering to very high standards in the industry. The structural difference in its design is the shape of the squarer lens.

Sport Aviator. Similar to the Navigator in their square shape but flatter or wider, which helps people with a more active lifestyle to cover a wider area around the eye, keeping it more protected from the sun.

Classic Aviator Navigator Aviator Sport Aviator
Creation Originally designed to protect the eyesight of pilots Designed for modern aviation needs Designed for more active lifestyles
Features Tear shape Square shape Wider square shape
Face Type Oval, square, heart Elongated or oval faces Square faces

What type of face can wear Aviator lenses?

Like any other type of glasses, there are those that fit some face types better than others. Face shapes are classified into 6 different shapes, and Aviator lenses are ideal for 3 of them, those with oval, square or heart-shaped faces. Trying them on is the start to decide if they are suitable.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of aviator glasses

In order to select the Aviators that will become part of your daily outfit, you need to choose between a couple of options that manufacturers make available to the market, so in this section we present the criteria that you can find to avoid hesitation at the time of purchase or face a situation of indecision.

  • Materials
  • Protection
  • Colours

Materials

The material is an essential point in the manufacture, giving reference of its quality and resistance; in this case it will also be a sign of design, since the combination of the shape of the lenses, the colour and the material of the frames, will make attractive glasses suitable for someone's style.

Metal. This is the material used since its origins in 18 carat gold, which although a little heavy compared to other materials, is not unusable or unpleasant to look at. Nowadays gold is not used as in its beginnings, but they are made in silver or brass.

Plastic. These are ideal for those who are more fashion and trend conscious. Designs created in plastic are thicker than those made of metal, so they can be durable and create a personal stamp of the wearer. They give a stronger and more athletic look.

Mixed. They are a mixture of plastic and metal. Glasses with this combination give the wearer a sporty and elegant look, as well as a quality of resistance due to the sum of the characteristics of both compositions.

Protection

Well-made sunglasses must meet both aesthetics and protection requirements, the latter being the design of the lens and its size to cover the essential parts of the eye without allowing light to filter through, and the protection of the lens itself. Let's look at some possibilities.

Polarised. This is a special film contained in the lenses whose purpose is to reduce bright light by reducing reflections, i.e. glare. This method of protection is very useful for people who are active outside during the day.

UV400 protection. If the lenses you choose are uv400 certified, this means that the protection works at a short wavelength of 400 nanometres, i.e. your eyes are 99-100% protected against the ultraviolet radiation that the sun produces (UVA and UVB).

Insert here the Did you know? Aviator lenses were developed out of medical necessity to protect pilots flying World War II fighter planes

Colours

Usually when we buy an item -whatever it is- we do it based on personal taste, however, in eyewear, in addition to taking that factor into account, we must consider that the colour may have a purpose and knowing it will give us another tool for our selection. Some of them are:

Black. A popular, elegant colour that goes with everything. It has the ability to drastically reduce light and the glare it causes, and is even able to help you perceive the colours of everything correctly.

Blue. Recommended colour for driving, as it helps to reduce the glare caused by sunlight, as well as to distinguish more clearly the outline of objects in front of our eyes.

Yellow or gold. Ideal for those who spend a lot of time on mobile phones or other electronic devices. It helps to reduce eye fatigue caused by the use of these technologies and increases visibility on cloudy days.

(Featured image photo: ayphoto / 123rf.com)

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