19 Mar 2020

Eyewear: Rec Specs Morpheus 2 by Liberty Sport

Protective eyewear with stylish looks and malleable frames reasonably functional for use drilling BJJ techniques but not for sparring.

If like me you are short-sighted and train in a grappling or combat sport then options to see clearly while working out are in short supply. Contact lenses would be an obvious choice but not everyone can wear them (I've tried but my dry eyes won't take to them) and even contacts fall out if the eye socket receives an impact. Sports protective spectacles offer an alternative to contacts and whilst not the perfect solution there are at least a number of models one can choose from.

I previously wore Progear spectacles - read about my write-up here. Over the past 8 years I've worn those glasses to every BJJ class. It's important to state, I do not spar with these glasses on and I won't spar with the new Morpheus 2 glasses. I use these spectacles to see my coach when he teaches, I use them when drilling techniques and I use them when I myself am teaching class. These protective glasses are designed to withstand impact so I can just take them off, throw them to the side, embark on some rolling, then put them on again without fear someone will step on them and break them.

My old ProGear specs broke!

Time has not been kind to my eight year old Progear specs. The rubber guards that line the earpieces have fallen off and the rubber corner pieces that are found on the outer edges of the frame are coming away. Much of the paintwork has rubbed off and most worryingly, the corner of the frame that encases the lens has broken. You can see the crack in the photo above. Finally, the prescription is 8 years out of date so I figure it was a good time to replace these with a newer model.

Rec Specs Morpheus 2
I chose this brand and this model of spectacles mainly because I was impressed with how bendable there are. In the video below the person demonstrates by warping and bending the frames with quite a lot of force.

I also liked that it was reasonably free from rubber impact strips which look tatty on my old pair.

I bought my pair from www.sportsprescriptionglasses.co.uk for £168 which includes prescription lenses and shipping. That's much cheaper than what I paid for my old Progear glasses (which were ordered through a high street optometrist). The website is easy to use and gave me options to input my prescription details, choose frame size and frame colour as well as add any other notes about my needs.

Prescription lens orders normally take up to two weeks warn the website but I was immensely impressed that my order was dealt with immediately and completed within two days!

Morpheus 2 in action:
The main things I wanted to test on these glasses were:
1. Comfort and fit
2. Fogging
3. Ability to withstand accidental impact

As stated above, I don't roll wearing goggles. The reason is that for me, wearing goggles just gets in the way during the close contact nature of grappling and they get fogged up quickly. That being said, I notice there are models of spectacles offered by the website above that is designed for judo players. If you do want spectacles for rolling in, then you'll need the models which do not have rigid arms but have an elastic strap instead. Such close fitting models tend to also have more rubber on the inside of the frame which can absorb impact better then just a rubber nose bridge which is what I have on my model. Me personally I think you'll always find these to be awkward to wear during grappling. If you can find a pair to try on before buying then that would be ideal.

The Morpheus 2 needs to be worn with the elastic strap, which attaches to the ends of the earpieces. Without the strap, the glasses are just too loose to fit on my securely. It's not a major hassle though, the strap is adjustable and once I put them on my head, they feel no different to wearing my regular pair of glasses.

But there is one annoying flaw with the strap...

Can you see how the strap touches the back of my gi collar? I only have to hunch my shoulders a little bit and the strap catches onto the collar and tugs the frame on my face, moving it off the bridge of my nose. It's really annoying and I find I have to consciously not hunch my shoulders - hard to do.

Apart from the strap problem, the spectacles overall do the job of helping me see things clearly while drilling and teaching techniques. Unfortunately they're just too annoying to use while sparring so I simply take them off and throw them to the side. Being made of very robust material I don't mind if someone accidentally steps on them (see the bending video above).

Contact lenses aren't for everyone, nor is laser surgery and the risk of damaging everyday glasses is too high in a busy BJJ gym so a pair of sports goggles is a good choice. From my experience wearing the ProGear for 8 years and the Rec Specs for about two months, I'd say they're both decent goggles. I would conclude however that the ProGear is more comfortable to wear although it is noticeably heavier than the Rec Specs.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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