Shopping for sunglasses can be an arduous process. You want to find a pair that’s perfect for your unique style, but you also want to ensure that they offer adequate protection from the threat of the sun. Meeting these criteria while also staying within budget is likely to be a challenge. Finding the best sunglasses for women became a lot easier, though, when Blenders hit the scene in 2012. The San Diego brand quickly emerged as one of the most popular producers of eyewear, including sunglasses and snow goggles. The mission was simple — create stylish, high-quality eyewear at affordable prices. This goal has proven successful as the start up enters its 10th year of operations. Here’s why they’re still our top pick for affordable shades.

What Makes Other Sunglasses So Expensive?

The idea for Blenders emerged from a simple question — why are sunglasses so expensive? Most of the priciest shades are made from the same materials as the ones sold at gas stations. They may be more stylish, but they usually don’t come with any revolutionary new features — and style alone shouldn’t warrant a massive markup. What makes premium sunglasses worth so much more than cheap women sunglasses? With no clear answer in sight, Blenders CEO Chase Fisher set out to find the answer by filling the gap between cheap sunglasses and designer shades.

Blenders thus emerged as a brand offering shades for the people. After selling the shades out of his backpack for a while, Fisher sold a majority stake in the company to Safilo Company, an Italian eyewear company. Despite this, the brand still retains its original commitment to affordable and fashionable shades, and the takeover has only allowed the company to continue its growth. This success can likely be attributed to the company’s avoidance of the high-priced markups that other brands so often pass along to their customers.

From Polarized to Prescription

In addition to great prices, one of the best benefits of Blenders is the wide array of eyewear that the brand offers. You’ll find cheap mens sunglasses, prescription frames, polarized sunglasses, and snow goggles, too. This variety makes Blenders the ultimate one-stop-shop for eyewear of nearly every kind. Blenders is particularly notable for its impressive selection of polarized sunglasses, though. These shades take the typical protection afforded by sunglasses and upgrade it, thanks to a chemical coating that helps to block out horizontal light rays reflected off of surfaces. Surfers, athletes, and outdoorsmen love them for this reason.

If you need eyewear with prescription lenses, Blenders has you covered there, too. Many of the brand’s sunglasses can be fitted with your prescription so that you never have to choose between sun protection and clear vision. In fact, polarized lenses can improve the latter of these and actually make your vision clearer. It does this by increasing the contrast in your field of vision and reducing glare that can be caused by reflective surfaces. Enjoy vision that’s sharper than ever while you protect your eyes from sun damage.