Maverick in Top Gun. Steve Rogers in Captain America. Wolverine. Batman. Let’s face it; motorcycle riders show us the epitome of cool. In fact, they take just about anyone one step closer to cool (Wild Hogs, for example). Black leather. The lure of danger. And usually, cool sunglasses.

Eyewear is essential for a motorcycle rider. Not only does it elevate the cool factor, but it also makes a statement about the rider as an individual too. With spring finally here and the itch to get back on the bike renewed, now is an excellent time to update those riding glasses to help ensure an enjoyable, safe and cool riding season.

For sure, frame style is important not just for the look but for comfort and effectiveness too. From traditional-style frames to wraparounds to goggles, a plethora of options exists in motorcycle eyewear to give riders both a comfortable and stylish fit.

Riders must also choose lens type carefully. The amount of sunlight, as well as other weather conditions (temperature, precipitation, humidity, etc.) all, contribute to the decision about lens type. As with frame style, a variety of options exist in a wide price range.

Frame style and lens type are probably the two biggest considerations regarding motorcycle riding eyewear. And while they are important choices, riders should also consider the type of foam padding that comes with their eyewear.

Types of Foam Padding For Motorcycle Glasses

While some styles of motorcycle glasses come without foam, many have it and for good reason. Foam padding around the edges of the frame and lens serves to increase protection from airborne debris and is recommended for dusty or windy environments. Clearly, motorcycle riding qualifies.

Over time, the foam padding on motorcycle sunglasses wears down and causes discomfort and poor fit. Also, each foam type has its comfort level as well as benefits.

There are two basic types of foam padding for safety glasses: closed cell foam and open cell foam. Knowing the differences between these two kinds helps make the best possible decision regarding motorcycle riding eyewear.

Closed Cell Foam:

  • Durable, versatile & flexible
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Very lightweight
  • Resists most solvents, chemicals, fungi & mold
  • Buoyant, making it useful when in or near water
  • Stronger than open cell foam but requires more material to make
  • Typically more expensive that open cell foam
  • Types include neoprene, polyurethane & EVA

Motorcycle safety glasses with closed cell foam padding include:

Open Cell Foam:

  • Soft and compressible like a cushion
  • Requires less material to make than closed cell foam
  • Less expensive
  • A good insulator because it traps air within the cells
  • Can get water logged, like a sponge, because of insulation factor

Motorcycle glasses with open cell foam padding include:

Some motorcycle riding glasses have BOTH open and closed cell foam padding. One example is the Bobster Night Hawk OTG Goggle with a double layer of foam (neoprene and open cell).

Then there’s Wiley X, offering its patented removable facial cavity seal technology, touted to protect from dust, pollen & the wind and to eliminate peripheral light that can compromise the quality of the lenses. They do not openly disclose the type of foam used in their products.

Whether you’re out for a Sunday afternoon cruise or a motorcycle is your primary mode of transportation “or perhaps you’re aiming for movie star cool” there’s a lot to choose from when it comes to eyewear for motorcycle riders. Be sure to be ready for the beautiful weather, or any weather for that matter, by updating your motorcycle riding sunglasses and looking at not just the lens and frame options but also the variety of choices available in foam padding as well.