Metal vs Plastic Nike Prescription Glasses: Which Is Superior?

If there is one thing that can be definitely said about metals and plastics is this: they are completely different animals. If they could make a plastic with identical properties as a metal, then it wouldn’t be plastic. It would be a metal. The point is that neither is superior to the other. Plastics are great for some things while metals are less so, and vice versa.

Neither Nike prescription glasses with plastic frames nor Nike prescription glasses with metal frames are superior to the other. Each has their strengths and weaknesses. Choosing the best frame material means matching up a material’s strengths with your requirements.

Metal Frames: The Pros

Metal frames can do their job with less material than plastic and are therefore thinner and more lightweight. If you like a minimal look, metal rimless frames are the way to go. This is a good choice for the contact lens wearer who needs a backup pair of glasses, or has decided to quit using contacts altogether. People often wear contacts because they don’t want their appearance altered by glasses. Metal rimless and semi-rimless frames have a minimal effect on your appearance.

Chemically, metal is fairly stable. It won’t get brittle from UV exposure or degrade over time. This makes metal frames very durable. They can have shelf lives from 5 to 20 years. If you take good care of them, they will last a very long time. This assumes you have quality frames. Poor quality frames won’t last long regardless of their material.

Metal doesn’t permanently deform when it’s heated. While heat causes metal to expand, it returns to its original size and shape when it cools down. Of course, the lenses may not fare as well if you leave your prescription glasses inside a hot car. Another benefit is that the nose pads used on metal frames are less likely to slip down your nose.

Metal Frames: The Cons

The types of shapes and forms as well as the variety of colors are more limited with metal than with plastic. If you want to make bold stylistic statements, plastic is better suited. Some metal frames can cause an allergic reaction. This is typical of metal frames using a nickel alloy. Some high quality frames have a coating that prevents skin contact with the nickel.

Other metal alloys don’t use nickel and are considered hypoallergenic. Stainless steel and titanium are two examples of hypoallergenic metals. Metal frames tend to break at the temple joints. Spring hinges at the joints will prevent this.

Plastic Frames: The Pros

As mentioned previously, plastic frames come in a wider variety of colors and shapes than metals. Plastic frames require more material than metal to achieve suitably strong eyewear and are therefore thicker. These properties make plastic the perfect material for making highly stylistic prescription glasses. If you regard eyewear as a chance to enhance your appearance, Nike prescription glasses with plastic frames are perfect. This doesn’t mean that metal frames lack style, just that they are more understated than plastic. Plastic styling can also be understated (or subtle) as well.

Plastic is more easily formed into different shapes than metal. This is an advantage when making stylistic frames. However, it also has a functional advantage for sports eyewear and sunglasses. Plastic is easily molded into wraparound styles. Wraparound Nike prescription glasses and sunglasses do a better job of protecting the eyes from wind and dust coming in from the side. Wraparound sunglasses are excellent at blocking UV light from reaching the eyes from the side.

Nylon is especially well suited for sports and safety glasses because it’s almost unbreakable. Plastic is also hypoallergenic and accommodates thick lenses better than metal.

Plastic Frames: The Cons

Plastic is less stable than metal alloys. With time and exposure to environmental factors such as UV light, the material changes and may become more brittle. The degree to which this happens depends on the type of plastic because some are more stable than others. The shelf life of plastic frames is about five years.

Another weakness is that the nose piece doesn’t grip quite as well as the nose pads on metal frames. Plastic also deforms when heated, so keep them out of your car when it’s parked in the sun. Finally, plastic frames lose their adjustment more quickly than metal. This means you’ll have to get them adjusted and tightened more frequently.

For more advice and help in selecting the right frames for your Nike prescription glasses, contact us today.

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