What are Asian fit sunglasses?

Asian fit (or low bridge fit) sunglasses are specifically designed for people with low nose bridges and high cheekbones. Asian fit sunglasses cater for facial structures that struggle with the frame sliding down their nose or resting on their cheeks. This is common for wearers of East Asian ethnicity, hence the term Asian fit or low bridge fit.


What is the difference between Asian Fit and standard fit?

Unlike standard fit, Asian fit sunglasses have modifications which cater for wearer's with low nose bridges and high cheekbones to prevent discomfort and the frame sliding down. These modifications include a narrower nose bridge with enlarged (heightened) nose pads, decreased frame curvature, increased temple curvature, shorter lens heights and a reduced pantoscopic angle.

Large optical brands such as Oakley or RayBan offer variants of their most popular 'flagship' sunglasses frames in Asian fits. In some instances, Caucasian wearers may even prefer to wear these over 'regular fit' frames if they have a particularly small head.

As there are several factors that make Asian fit sunglasses different, you can scroll below for visual explanations of each of these modifications.


Illustration of a sunglasses frame with a narrow Asian fit nose bridge

Narrower nose bridges give a more secure fit for those with flat, narrow nasal and maxillary bones (level to the eyes.) These can be as narrow as 8mm, even for adult frames. By narrowing the distance between the lenses, frames are less likely to rest too-low on your face or slide down your nose.

When sunglasses rest too low, this issue can let sunlight to get-in from above the top of your frame leaving your eyes more exposed. Over time, this can lead to eye-strain, visual fatigue or even damage to your eyes.

For prescription sunglasses, this too can be an issue as the ocular centre of the lenses are too high to provide optical correction.



Illustration of a sunglasses frame with taller nose pads suited for an Asian fit

Taller nose pads provide greater surface area and grip. This means the frame rests higher-up on wearers with low nose bridges. There are two main types of nose pads which can be described as ‘solid’ or 'adjustable'.

Solid nose pads (as seen in the illustration above) are little 'humps' sculpted into full-rim acetate frames. Asian fit sunglasses tend to have more prominent pads like these to provide a more secure grip on your nose but aren't adjustable.

Adjustable nose pads are more common on rimless or semi-rimless sunglasses frames made of metal. The pads are attached to thin metal arms which can be infinitely adjusted to suit your nose.



Aerial illustration of an Asian fit sunglasses frame with reduced frame curvature

Decreased frame curvature caters for wider heads, a common optical issue for those with Asian genetics. Flatter frame fronts offer slightly more width than standard fit sunglasses frames which can prevent uncomfortable 'pinching' at the sides of your head.


Aerial illustration of an Asian fit sunglasses frame with increased temple curvature

Increased temple curvature caters for wider heads, thus deterring pinching at the temples. This prevents pressure points and discomfort. Often seen in sports sunglasses, this stronger 'head wrap' can also provide a more secure fit.


Illustration of half a sunglasses frame with shorter lens heights suited for an Asian fit

Shorter frame heights reduce the likelihood of the frame resting on the wearer’s cheeks. Manufacturers are known to adapt flagship designs specifically for their low bridge, Asian-fit sunglasses frames.



Illustration side view of a sunglasses frame with a reduced Pantoscopic angle suited for an Asian fit

A reduced Pantoscopic angle makes the frame more vertical to the wearer’s face. This reduced angle tilts the frame’s lower rims forwards, away from the high cheek bones. By doing so, the frame perches more effectively on your nose which prevents it sliding down.


Who should wear Asian fit sunglasses?

Anyone with a low nose bridge and high cheekbones can wear Asian fit sunglasses. If frames slide down your nose or you need a narrow nose bridge, Asian fit spectacles or sunglasses are a good option for comfort and optical performance.

Just becuase they’re called Asian fit doesn’t mean they are exclusive to people of that ethnicity. In fact, Asian fit frames can be just as comfortable as regular fit sunglasses.

With their taller nose pads, you might actually prefer how they fit and feel!



Man standing in street wearing sunglasses and grey T shirt

What size are Asian Fit sunglasses?

Asian fit sunglasses have bridges widths ranging from as narrow as 8mm upwards. A narrower bridge prevents them slipping down your nose for a more secure fit. This is especially helpful if you have a shallow, flat or narrow nose bridge regardless of your ethnicity.

Interestingly, it was Oakley who originated the name “Asia fit” in 2007 which was colloquially adopted by the optical market as “Asian fit.” At the time, this name was deemed inappropriate and even racist so other names were explored. Today, Oakley now refer to their Asian fit sunglasses as “Low bridge” fit.


Should sunglasses touch your cheeks?

Ideally, sunglasses or spectacles shouldn’t touch your cheeks. Instead, they should rest comfortably on either side of your nose making secure contact with the frame’s nose pads. If your sunglasses touch your cheeks, you need a narrower nose bridge with taller nose pads.



Man standing in street wearing dark black sunglasses frame looking to his side

Should sunglasses touch your eyebrows?

Sunglasses may touch or cover your eyebrows depending on their size, fit and shape. Ideally, sunglasses will reduce sunlight entering from above or the sides of the frame to improve visual comfort and reduce UV exposure. If your sunglasses touch your eyebrows, this is perfectly okay.

In fact, the less light that gets behind your lenses the better. So if your sunglasses touch your eyebrows, this can actually help reduce “light leak.” This is why premium sun lenses use anti-glare coatings on the rear side of the lenses to stop light reflecting backwards into your eyes.

Sporting sunglasses are often strongly curved (wrap around) to minimise ‘light leak’ from above or from the sides of the frame for maximum performance. Similarly, mountaineering or motorsport sunglasses can use side shields which can also block snow or debris from getting in your eyes.


Which is better glasses with or without nose pads?

Glasses or sunglasses with nose pads provide better comfort and grip on your nose. However, if you find nose pads uncomfortable, you probably need a wider nose bridge frame or you need your glasses adjusted for a wider fit. Glasses without nose pads are more likely to slide down your nose.


Side view of mn walking down street wearing grey T shirt green trousers and black sunglasses frame

Why do my sunglasses fall off?

Your sunglasses are likely the wrong size. This can be caused by a nose bridge that’s too wide for your nose or temples that are too long. Heavy sunglasses or oily skin can affect frame-slip, but these factors are secondary to the importance of correct frame size.


3 modifications to stop your sunglasses falling off

Close view of adhesive silicone nose pads for spectacles and sunglasses frames

  1. Aftermarket adhesive nose pads can help reduce the bridge width of your sunglasses for a more comfortable ‘perch’ on your nose. Buy on Amazon.

Close view of black sunglasses hook attached to sunglasses temple arm

  1. Ear hooks pull your sunglasses closer to your face for a more secure fit. Simply attached to your temples, these adjustable hooks tuck more closely behind your ear. Buy on Amazon.

Three white tubes of Nerdwax beside each other

  1. Nerd wax is a genius creation. Just like a ChapStick, you can apply this wax to the nose pads of your sunglasses for improved grip and to stop your frame sliding down. Buy on Amazon.

NB: These are all preventable solutions for poorly fitting sunglasses. Your best bet is to wear a securely fitting frame which is the correct size for your head and face. For help, why not check out this sunglasses size guide.



Black and white illustration depicting the parts of the human nose

Why do I have a low nose bridge?

Low nose bridges primarily originate from ethnicity; however, they can also stem from birth defects, genetic disorders or so-called 'swimmers nose' deformity. Low nose bridges are common amongst east Asian cranio-facial structures, which research suggests to be influenced by evolutionary respiratory adaptation to native air temperatures as well as reproductive selection.

Here comes the science.

In an interview with Professor Caroline Wilkinson from the Liverpool School of Art and Design, she outlines two of the basic evolutionary theories why human noses are all kinds of shapes and sizes.


"The evolutionary reasons for human nose variation have been the subject of much debate. Functionally, the nose and nasal cavity process the air we breathe before it reaches the lungs.

One theory is that nasal shape may be adaptation to climate. The theory is that big noses with a high nasal root (between the eyes) warm and humidify incoming air more efficiently.

This would help individuals (North Europeans) with big noses to survive better in colder climes and, therefore, be more likely to reproduce - over time, this would slowly drive nose adaptation.”

Professor Caroline WilkinsonLiverpool School of Art and Design


In other words, our inherited nose shape was once influenced by geographical location. Our ancestor’s noses evolved to help regulate air and body temperatures as a means of survival.

In cold climates, noses were better equipped with higher, more prominent bridges to help pre-warm the air as it entered the body. For example, in hot climates such as Africa, there’s less need for this, therefore African nose shapes are generally much wider with broad nasal cavities.

But this is only one side of the story.

East Asian climates are incredibly varied between China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. Such climatic dissimilarity contradicts the former theory of temperature-related nose shape evolution. Professor Wilkinson goes on to suggest that there’s more complex reasons behind nose shapes.

“However, this environmental adaptation theory does not fully ‘hold water’ as small noses are common in indigenous populations for both hot and cold climates.

 The alternative theory is nose variation is simply the result of genetic drift - really just familial resemblance at largescale due to the geographic isolation of populations.

It’s now thought that both of these theories are simplified explanations of a very complex evolutionary history, which possibly also involved other non-neutral forces such as sexual selection.”

So, there you have it. On a basic level, you can assume that nose shapes are formed by evolution, partly due to ancestral survival to their native climate as well as what looked the best in prospective mating partners. (Nothing new then really!)


Hopefully you found this article helpful.

Thanks for stopping by.



Asian fit eyewear infographic


A visual infographic explaining what Asian fit sunglasses are


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