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To those of you who tested glasses/goggles for cycling with hard and soft nose pads: which pros and cons do the two types of nose pads have? In my experience, soft nose pads are more likely to be removable by themselves, and hard nose pads are more likely to be integrated into the bridge. Hard nose pads might hypothetically leave marks on your nose and uncomfortable; but do the hard pads have any advantages besides the eyewear being slightly cheaper? Which of the two kinds of nose pads (soft vs. hard) is better for which purposes? Any test reports?

P.S. I wear the goggles/eyeglasses to physically protect the eyes from pollen and insects, and NOT against the sunlight. I do like it bright.

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    I don't even know what kind of nose pads are on the several pairs of cycling glasses that I use... Apr 27, 2023 at 14:01
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    @AndyP Reworded: “preferences” dropped.
    – user69411
    Apr 28, 2023 at 7:05

2 Answers 2

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I find soft nose pads more comfortable on rides of several hours. But they can come off and get lost. After that the glasses really aren't very comfortable, and I've retired a couple of pairs for that reason (kept in work for the commute home, rather than thrown out; as I tend to buy the same design, I've known to take the nose pads and/or arms of a scratched pair to replace them on an unscratched pair).

Even soft pads can leave marks if worn for long enough.

However, for me, the nose pad is less of an issue than the arms - I much prefer soft arms that don't go down much at the back. They're more comfortable, and make it easier to pull the glasses down your nose if they fog up.

I go for Bollé Mamba sunglasses, and will get the same in clear next time I need a pair. These are sold as safety glasses and are much cheaper than any comfortable and robust cycling glasses I've found.

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  • I've had a couple of pairs of Oakleys (the first wore out after c. 8 years) over the past 15+ years. Each came with a spare soft nosepiece (which was removable for cleaning), and I believe it was possible to order more, though I would have had to do so before they discontinued the glasses.
    – DavidW
    Apr 27, 2023 at 13:18
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    @DavidW for the price of a pair of Oakley cycling glasses that look comfortable and don't have too much rim, I could get 10 pairs of Bollé safety glasses that I know are good for me. Mine normally finally die from careless scratches (e.g. I put them in the wrong jersey pocket and it has keys in) or getting left behind so I see no point paying as much as brands charge for cycling glasses.
    – Chris H
    Apr 27, 2023 at 14:38
  • A factor of 10 is about right, but for that I got 2 lenses (brown-grey, yellow) and some spare parts, and they disassemble fully for cleaning/maintenance. So maybe closer to a factor of 5. But they also fit my face better (granted I have a bit of a weird-shaped head). I don't scratch mine because I'm pretty good at stuffing them in the (provided) bag when pocketing them, but normally I just stick them in my helmet.
    – DavidW
    Apr 27, 2023 at 14:56
  • @DavidW the scratching is usually when I take them off mid ride when the weather changes or I go into dark woods. No two handed fiddling with bags for me then
    – Chris H
    Apr 27, 2023 at 16:37
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In my experience, hard pads can feel as good if not better than soft pads, but the glasses need to fit your head exceptionally well to do so. I find that all of my glasses will leave a mark after a long period of wear, but it goes away quickly. Of my current eyewear collection:

  • Road cycling/everyday use sunglasses: hard pads. The shape of the nose pads matches my face well though, and the arms clamp on my head pretty firmly, so the nose pads aren't supporting much pressure anyways.

  • MTB glasses (high-end clear safety glasses): removable soft pads. These don't have as nice a fit as my sunglasses, but I notice that the silicone nose pads do help make up for the difference.

I also have some cheaper safety glasses for shop work and whatnot. The shape isn't as nice as the other two pairs, but since they're so lightweight, I can barely feel any facial pressure from the nose support. It seems that avoiding the problem of needing to support the glasses by the nose is an equally valid solution as trying to make the padding more comfortable.

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