Are Rose-Colored Glasses the Best Way to View the World?

Sunglasses come in a wide range of lens colors, for both practical and aesthetic reasons.

From Johnny Depp’s psychedelic yellow-hued specs in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to most every shade of shades Elton John has ever worn, tinted sunglasses are both favorite Hollywood accessories and practical accouterments, particularly when it comes to outdoor sports.

Here’s the lowdown on how each color helps your vision, as well as which activities each hue is best suited for.

Blue- and Purple-Tinted Lenses

Golfers often sport cobalt-colored specs due to the glare reduction and enhanced color perception, but the tint is also beneficial for skiers and outdoor enthusiasts in general.

Made famous by: Steve McQueen in the original The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Kate Hudson in Almost Famous (2000)


Pink- and Red-Tinted Lenses

Rosier hues help reduce eyestrain and improve both depth perception and road visibility, which is ideal for sports where speed is involved, such as biking or racing. Since red also enhances details and helps with contrast adjustment, the color is a good choice for when you need to be sure of your footing, such as running, hiking, or rock climbing.


Made famous by: Woody Harrelson in Natural Born Killers (1994) 


Green-Tinted Lenses

Emerald hues transmit the spectrum evenly, diminish glare, and brighten shadows, making them an optimal choice in low-light conditions. 

Made famous by: Jim Carrey in Batman Forever (1995)


Gray-Tinted Lenses

Contrary to what you might guess, gray helps provide better color perception, as well as reduce fatigue and glare.        

Made famous by: Jim Carrey in Batman Forever (1995)


Brown- and Amber-Tinted Lenses

Brown tones are quite popular because of their all-around benefits. Improved contrast, especially on green backgrounds, makes the color a good choice for sports played on grass, such as golf and baseball. Most brown-tinted lenses also contain elements of red, which means that depth perception is improved.

Made famous by: Ryan Gosling in La La Land (2016)


Yellow-Tinted Lenses

Although they can cause color distortion, lenses with a yellow tint filter out blue light, helping you to see better in fog and hazy conditions and even when using the computer.

Made famous by: Diane Keaton in Annie Hall (1977), John Goodman in The Big Lebowski (1998)