Can You Do Parkour With Glasses
A pair of glasses for parkour

Prescription glasses are a constant plague for runners, hikers, traceurs, and anyone trying to practice sports that require quick movement.

Is this something that we have to learn how to live with? Or is there a better solution to the problem?

Can you do parkour with glasses?

Wearing glasses shouldn’t prevent you from doing what you like, be it running, martial arts, or parkour. With technology today and various eyewear options on the market, you won’t have to take off your glasses when practicing parkour. However, you still might want to find an alternative solution to wearing your regular glasses when you do parkour.

What Factors in When You’re Doing Parkour With Glasses?

There are a lot of things that will make practicing parkour with glasses tricky and potentially harmful for you or your glasses.

Parkour training and tracing is a very demanding type of exercise and you’re bound to get sweaty. If you’re a person who sweats profusely, this could make your face more slippery and your glasses more likely to fall off.

The next thing you should consider is how practiced you are at performing parkour movements. You are more likely to keep your glasses on your head if you land each movement properly. 

However, no one started doing parkour jumps perfectly from day one, so if you’re just getting into tracing, wearing glasses might not be a great idea. Roling away from a fall and keeping your glasses on will require some practice. The better you get, the easier it will become to do parkour with glasses.

Why Should You Take off Your Glasses When You Practice Parkour?

If you have the option of doing any sports without your glasses, you should take them off. Wearing them while jumping or running around can cause a number of issues:

  • Losing your glasses – the main reason why people take off their glasses when practicing parkour is to keep them safe and close by. Since this type of exercise involves a lot of jumping and running at high speeds, your glasses could fall off in the middle of a jump and get lost forever.
  • Breaking or damaging them – you’ll be running very fast, jumping, and falling when doing parkour. Your glasses could fall, get broken, slip from your head, and fall skidding across the concrete. Needless to say, these things are very bad for the glasses.
  • Getting them scratched or dirty – even though you may not completely destroy your eyewear, you could still scratch the glass and/or dirty them in various ways.
  • Getting hurt on them – if you fall in a bad way when practicing parkour, your glasses may hurt you even more than if you’d fallen without them. Broken glass, wires, or the frame can stab you in the eyes and face, which is definitely not pretty.
  • Rain could blind you – if you’re tracing in the rain, or humid conditions, your glasses will get wet and/or foggy, which will drastically decrease your visibility.

Why Shouldn’t You Take off Your Glasses When You Do Parkour?

Unfortunately, some people can’t safely practice any sport without eyewear. If you can’t see anything without your glasses, you shouldn’t take them off when practicing parkour.

Since it is usually practiced in unsafe and uncontrolled environments, getting hurt doing parkour can have much greater consequences than getting hurt doing other sports.

This is why it is imperative to have maximum visibility when tracing. It will even help you with one of the basic principles in parkour – assessment.

As parkour is not your garden-variety sport, it requires focus and maximum visibility. It requires you to assess the situation quickly and make a decision on the fly. You wouldn’t be able to make these decisions if you can’t see properly.

How to Parkour With Glasses

Luckily, nowadays there are a lot of ways you can wear your eye prescription and still do any extreme sports safely, parkour included.

Opt for Tactical Prescription Glasses

Military personnel can’t exactly wear their regular glasses when doing their job.

Not only are there a lot of things that could knock the glasses of a soldier’s head, but there are even more that can damage them irreparably. And a soldier that can’t see is a soldier that is most likely done.

This is why most military personnel opt for tactical prescription glasses when in the field.

Parkour traceurs run into similar problems when practicing their sport. The silver lining is that for traceurs the inability to see means serious injury and not death.

However, why risk any injury when you don’t have to?

Tactical glasses are nearly indestructible, they fit snuggly on the head and won’t fall off when you’re tracing, no matter how fast you go.

Finally, they are pretty easy to acquire. You can order them online or pick them up with your local military equipment retailer. Make sure you get a valid prescription from your eye care professional and get yourself a pair of tactical eyewear.

One of the best things is that you will probably need only one pair in your lifetime unless you lose it. Talking about the best things and all, know that one of the best things about parkour itself is that there’s no age limit. You can even do it if you’re 19 or 59 – it doesn’t matter! The only things that matters is practice.

Wear Contacts When Doing Parkour

Wearing contacts is one of the easiest ways to overcome problems with glasses when doing any sport, extreme or not.

If worn correctly, it will require great force to knock contacts from your eyes. It has happened, but it is very rare and usually involves watersports or profuse rain.

Contact lenses will provide you with all the visibility you need without having to worry about where they are or whether they’ll fall off.

Unfortunately, they are not the perfect solution as many people can’t wear contacts for a variety of reasons. 

Whether it’s because putting them in can be gross, because they dry out your eyes, or because some people can’t keep them in for long periods of time, contacts are a suboptimal choice.

However, if you don’t have any problems with contact lenses, they can be a great solution to keep your eyesight and remove pesky glasses from the equation when doing parkour.

How to Do Parkour While Wearing Contacts?

When tracing with contacts, you should pay attention to the following:

  • Don’t touch your eyes – parkour requires you to put your hands on some rather filthy surfaces, wash your hands before adjusting your contacts or you’ll be risking severe infection.
  • Always bring spares – even though they are not likely to fall out, it could still happen. Washing your contact with water and putting it back in your eye is not a good idea. Make sure you have a spare pair in some contact lens fluid.
  • Allergies are a deal-breaker – if you have hay fever or allergies that cause swelling in the eyes, you will have to either avoid the places that have allergens or avoid contacts altogether.

Traceur avoiding touching eyes and cleaning contacts with a towel

Upgrade Your Current Glasses to Make Them Parkour-Friendly

If none of the solutions we’ve mentioned sound interesting or doable for you, don’t give up on parkour just yet! There are ways you can make the glasses you’re currently wearing more parkour-friendly.

  • Have your glasses tightened by your eye care professional to press against your head better? Alternatively, you could tighten them yourself, but you should be aware that this could affect their warranty. Sadly, not all models can be tightened in this way, so you’ll have to check with your eye care professional.
  • An elastic strap on the back of the head is a great solution if all else fails. It is probably the safest option besides tactical glasses, but most people avoid it as it doesn’t look particularly appealing. However, this is a reliable solution if you can’t wear contacts and tactical prescription glasses are too pricey for you. Just make sure you get a heavy-duty strap that ensures the glasses stay tightly on your head.

Doing Parkour With Glasses Shouldn’t Be a Problem

Keep in mind that parkour is not freerunning and that there aren’t a lot of flips, tricks, and stunts in it. The art of parkour is getting from point A to point B in the fastest possible way. 

Naturally, this means fewer tricks and stunts, and more running and jumping from high places.

Thus, if your glasses fit tightly on your head, you won’t have a lot of problems with them when practicing your tracing.

Some people do parkour with glasses and claim they haven’t had a problem since they began training. Others, on the other hand, opt for contacts or one of the other variations we previously mentioned.

The best solution, however, is to stick with what you like and what works best for you. You’ll need to experiment with different solutions and choose the one that fits you perfectly.

The thing about parkour is that you’ll generally need to do a lot of experimenting until you get a feel for things. So, whether it’s the type of glasses you choose to wear or how you choose to do your PK roll, you’ll need to try and try again until you find what suits your style and skills.

Whatever you opt for, make sure you practice your moves safely before trying them on concrete and remember to stretch to increase your mobility and explosiveness.

Good luck tracing!

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