A few days ago, a thread appeared on our readers forum: Oh my slipping glasses. It’s a good time to update you on what’s going on with ROKA I thought, because I just updated my ROKA glasses.
As for glasses, I only wear ROKA and only with corrective lenses, clear and tinted. I usually purchase my ROKAs from the website, incognito, so I have the privilege of going through what you all go through with the process and service. ROKA updated what they sell for corrective lenses, and I “updated” how I place my orders with them.
I’m going to tell you about my gripes, and how I approached my gripes. My gripes are not with ROKA; you couldn’t ask for a friendlier shopping experience. My gripes revolve around the differences between glasses that work for me and glasses that work for normal people.
My first moan centers around my one-time prescription glasses, which I’m wearing right now as I write this. I use these glasses when reading, and while working on the computer, and often in my studio. I’m an active worker in my shop, looking up, down, upside down, and no matter how much I spend on a frame from Costco or Sam’s Club – including expensive designer frames – this frame slips on my nose or falling to the floor within weeks or months of purchase. ROKA solves this. Maybe Warby Parker too, but I have no motivation to try another frame that isn’t sports oriented. But…
I was originally less impressed with the ROKAs lentils. Frames, great. Lentils, not so much. They scratch too easily for my use. Simply put, ROKA made better frames, but Costco labs made a better single prescription lens. Then, earlier this year, I heard that ROKA had changed lens suppliers and the new lenses had better coatings. So I ordered a new pair of ROKA Hunters and wondered if the lens so far wasn’t superior (or it seems after 4 months of ownership).
But here’s the key, in my experience. Analyze in granular detail exactly how you use your near prescription lens. Do you type on a desktop, and do that more than you do anything else with that glass? If so, measure the distance between your eye and the computer screen. This is your “computer prescription”. When you visit your optometrist, tell them that this is the operating distance to use for the prescription. Just be aware that when you read to sleep with your Kindle, you’ll need to hold it a little further from your face if you’re using a computer prescription to read a book or a Kindle.
I was very happy when ROKA started offering this. I have several pairs of ROKAs – Kona, Barton, Hunter, Booker and other frames – and I have them in brown (sunglasses) and clear lenses. The brown lens I use for driving, and I would use it for biking, except I don’t ride with glasses. I use my clear progressives for night riding and there is one exception to my previous statement: I use progressives for interior bike. And, for treadmill running (on Zwift, or whatever I watch on that screen in front of my treadmill).
You have to be even more proactive in describing exactly what you want, if you want ROKA to deliver a finished product that works perfectly. It starts with your optometrist. Personally, I wouldn’t even let my optometrist perform an exam for my “reading” prescription if I’m ever going to get a lens made with that prescription. This will only confuse your optician (the person who sells you your glasses). You only want to present your optician with two numbers: distance and proximity and, in my case, “proximity” is my computer prescription. For me, progressives are necessary for a reason: sometimes I need to read something, but otherwise it’s a distance lens, and “distance” is anything from 4 feet ahead of me to 40 miles ahead me. It’s the same prescription. When I’m on a trainer and looking at a big screen in front of the bike, it’s a distance prescription. But if I need to watch a head unit or my iPhone, that’s my computer prescription. When I’m driving, looking at the highway is my distance prescription, looking at my dashboard or my navigation system is my computer’s prescription.
The biggest problem people have with progressive lenses, I guess, is that the optician and the lens manufacturer try to make that lens do too much. Progressive lenses have 3 prescriptions in them, and your optician is not bound and determined to have 3 prescriptions in there. These 3 prescriptions work this way: the distance is usually highest on the lens (this is what you would want as a motorist or cyclist), then a closer prescription, then the reading prescription on the bottom. But I want more space in this distance-optimized lens, and the lower third for my computer prescription. You have to know what you want and tell ROKA what you want, so they make the glass right.
They’ll ask you to put the glass on – they have a try-on kit they’ll send you for that, complete with a return shipping label (easy peasy) – and they’ll have you take a selfie with their glasses frame on, so that they know where to place the transitions. ROKA may vary where the transition occurs from prescription to prescription in a progressive lens, and I tell them ahead of time that I would like my distance prescription transition to occur as low as possible on the glass. What I make sure my optician understands is that I want the distance prescription to dominate the lens; and I don’t want a “read” prescription in there at all or, to put it another way, my computer prescription is my reading prescription, and that prescription is what’s at the bottom of the glass.
Don’t try to use your progressives as a reading glass. A single prescription lens has a much wider usable field and you can read from left to right without moving your head. If you try to read with a progressive lens, you’ll look like someone on center court watching a tennis match. But if your progressive lenses are constructed with your distance prescription as the predominant, your progressive lenses can work just fine as a standalone distance lens. I’ve had progressives who, for example, are hellish in a movie theater, because the glass is trying to do too much. I used to only have a long drink to go to the movies. Now I can take my progressives because I have taken a bit more control over the product that is delivered to me.
A final recommendation: develop this strategy with your optometrist. You must have one because they write your optical prescription. You must describe your use case.
ROKA has just, at the time of this writing, started its Remembrance Day Sale, which they claim is up to 50% off, but don’t get too excited. The operative is the sentence “until”. I see that my ROKA mask of choice is 20% off. I just bought a Booker as my new progressive and found that this frame – a combo of plastic + metal temples – is 15% off. ROKA has become one of my “everyday” brands, and I keep track of these: brands that I rely on on a daily basis, whether I like the brand or not, and for which there are few alternatives. acceptable. For me it’s Apple, AT&T, HOKA, ROKA and a few others. I wonder why I have become so attached to certain brands and how best to manage these relationships. ROKA is in charge of my way of seeing the world, which is quite a heavy responsibility.