Do You Have These in a Sporty Plastic Appliqué Design? A Review of the Best Daily Wear Contacts for Near Blind Runners

I can’t see to run without my corrective vision eyewear or lenses. But, because I’m both extremely narcissistic and irredeemably hopeful about a supernatural healing of the near-blind, I attempt to see the world in bits and pieces every day without prescriptive assistance. However, not wearing my contacts or glasses when I should be (which is most of every single day) often lends to misinterpretation.  For instance, as I ventured out to stock up on the exciting new brand of active sports tampons I’d seen in a women's running magazine ad, I was disheartened when a helpful Walgreens associate explained that as far as she knew, there was no such thing as a feminine hygiene product with a sporty plastic 'appliqué' design. Or even a tampon that was 'cross-stitched' in a fancy fashion.

Upon additional research and with my glasses on my eyes this time, I found the word 'appliqué' does decidedly contain some letters in common with 'applicator'. 


via & NewfoundApplique in Torbay, Canada on

Honest mistake

Regardless of the current unavailability of this embroidered menstrual merchandise, I maintain the belief that applying the appliqué process to products not customarily subject to cross-stitching embellishments would add much needed enthusiasm to a stuffy group of manufacturers whose last big innovation was to add wings to something that will never fly. I'm so sure 'Always with Wings' wearers feel safely protected each month knowing there’s a little grounded F-35 with adhesive strips cradled in their underpants. But I digress.

So after the Walgreens incident, I realized I'm blind as a bat and all that and really should wear my geeked out cat-eye frames for reading, shopping and seeing and stuff. I most certainly need the specs or lenses when running in or around Florida traffic. By indulging my vanity going spectacles-free beneath my running visor, I have dangerously swerved the run stroller to miss one too many a phantom snake in a sidewalk crack or black bear in a red track suit and Arby's hat. 



Honest mistake

In addition to the nuisance of having to balance specs on my slippery and sweaty nose while running, the taking them off part is not so pretty a sight either. Something peculiar occurs that causes me to go all crazy-eyed the exact instant I remove my corrective, yet trendy, eye wear. 

I may be peering right at you from behind the spectacles, but the moment I slip them back in their case, my pupils start rolling around in their eye sockets like spinning plates. I look like I've been head boxed by my two year old when he's after my iPad so hard my eyeballs were tapped loose. (Raising a toddler is much like having a mean drunken midget friend.)

Anyway, while running in the neighborhood without glasses, things began to change. I couldn't see the faces of passersby who say hi, so most of the time I would just ignore them while pretending to listen intently to the iPod and looking down towards the ground because I couldn't see what I was stepping on during the run. When glancing upward and around, I mistook road signs, license plates and mail boxes for unicorns that were being very, very still.


Dogs biting mailmen are so last year. Now it's all about unicorns stabbing them with their heads.

Contact lenses seemed like a quick fix to this issue but they weren't originally my first choice because the first ones I purchased felt dry and I was always approached by stoners when squinting at the microscopic print on the back of eye drops in the eye care section of Walgreens. 


I buy 'em for my contact lenses. I swear.

So some days I've run without corrective vision just because it's less of a nuisance to do so despite being as blind as a bat in need of a guide dog. I know what you’re thinking. Why not get me some of that fanciful eye surgery that fixes all eyesight wrongs, right? 

Well according to my eye care professional at Walmart, I am not a candidate for the laser. And I'll trust her word on this and forego a second opinion because I hate placing my chin on a germ-infested chin holder and pressing my nose into the very same nose hole that people in the waiting room blowing their noses into their shirt sleeves had their noses in mere seconds before me. This requires me to squirt the contents of my ever present bottle of Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer over the entire surface of the eye-tumor detecting machine from outer space.



My 5 year old asked me if this connected to an XBox.

I'm also a bit of a loner chick and all about personal space. Doctors of the eye area tend to want to get up in my face and breathe on me when they shoot an air rifle blast into each eye, none of which I particularly enjoy. 

But even if LASIK were a possibility, there is no amount of mind-numbing pharmaceuticals that could relax me to the point of allowing anyone to prod me in the eyeball. 

So when seeing is essential on a run, I wear contacts.

The first brand I wore was a line that Coopervision carried, Expressions. These lenses were good for one month wear and costs $67.99 a box (6 lenses). I also tried Freshlook Colorblends by CIBA Vision contact lenses that are $52.99 for a box of 6. These are supposed to last for one or two weeks. The colors are pretty enough for me to see on my fingertip and if they happen to fall in the sink I can see the color well enough to retrieve them. But like the Expressions, they don't seem to last with me. My eyes start feeling itchy after a few days. Neither brand of colored lenses was budget friendly since I sometimes changed out pairs before their expiration due to the Florida humidity warping the fit while also turning my head into that of the Lion King.


Humidity swells my ankles too but no one really seems to notice.

I also do not enjoy giving the contacts manufacturers several hundreds of my dollars for a few millimeters of plastic I know full well cannot possibly cost that much. I'm a bargain shopper from way back and it peeves me that I have to pay retail for anything...ever. I guess I was hoping I'd find a pair of prescription contacts at a garage sale or lying on the side of the road somewhere.

I just used the plural of the make-believe word "peeve". See how annoyed these people make me?  

So I soon began to look for a cost effective daily wear lens that would also ensure eye infections weren't a common occurrence. That's when I happened upon a new brand that saved me from my running woes: Focus Dailies by Ciba Vision. After some research, I found out that Focus Dailies are more oxygen permeable than regular brands hence more breathable and comfortable.


via & carries the Dailies for $29.99 a box of 30.  Admittedly it's a good deal for disposable lenses on the cheap. First of all, they're comfortable and feel as if you're not wearing anything. And this feeling of brand newness can last all day long even through a 50 mile ultra on sand. These lenses can feel less comfortable toward the end of the evening after such a run, but in total, it can last me up to 16 hours of wear in a day. Not bad. 

To save even more money to sock away in my magic running shoe bank account, I found a place that carries Focus Dailies at a cheaper price than most, The catch is that you have to buy a whole box for a three month supply. So one box at $44.95 good for 90 days is not too shabby. As for Lens cleaner solution - you won't need it because you'll be trashing these lenses at the end of the day every day.

Putting in contacts in an abbreviated prep time before a run takes some getting used to. But now it takes less than two minutes to do--at least most of the time. Running with clear vision is a great change. I don't need to look directly at the ground when I'm running, I get to see people's faces and I no longer think mailboxes are unicorns with red flagged horns. Plus, I can see the letters when Vanna flips them now during my treadmill workouts.



I'd like to buy a vowel please.

In closing let me say that I sincerely apologize for the use of the words 'tampon' and 'Always with Wings' here today. While I try to always obey the law of pretending women are majestic creatures and newborns come from a big bird who sells pickles and ice cream on the side, I am missing that special filter in my genetic makeup that prevents me from blurting out obscure facts about feminine hygiene.

Sometimes I think of something so wrong and inappropriate my little black heart skips a beat with delight. My friends and family warn me not to write about every thought I have. They think they're better than me because they can see tiny words. I don’t have my lenses in right now anyway, so for all I know I wrote about Tampa Bay or Groupon or some girl named Tamara.


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