We review five slick-looking shades.
*Best in Class*
The draw: Versatile style
Inspired by ROKA’s first sponsored pro, Jesse Thomas, these premium aviators blend performance with a classic look. They’re the lightest of any in this review thanks to the titanium frame, but the nosepiece is only minimally adjustable, making it slightly wide for smaller faces. Aptly named “Geko pads” on the nose and temples keep the shades in place. The pads are made from a proprietary elastomer that becomes stickier the more water and sweat it’s exposed to. The lens clarity is pristine, and the anti-scratch, anti-fog and smudge-resistant coating helps keep it that way. The mirrored lenses are non-polarized, but the glasses are also available in three polarized options at a higher price point. Race-to-after-party versatility helps justify the steep price.
The draw: Exceptional visibility
The Prizm Road lens impressed us with how well objects and textures show up in both the brightest sun and darkest shadows. That means you can anticipate imperfections on the road surface from a distance while cycling, even in changing light conditions. They’re comfortable and come with an extra nose pad so you can find the right fit to keep them in place. Because of the rimless design, they’re lightweight and offer an unobstructed, practically panoramic field of view.
The draw: No fogging
These lightweight sunnies are easy to slide on, partly due to temple tips that bend in all directions for a semi-custom fit. They sit close to the face for full eye protection and use some clever technology: Holes in the lenses and temple arms let air flow through the frame to keep them from fogging up on steamy workouts, while Rudy Project excludes sharp edges from the hinges to minimize injury in case of a crash or fall. The anti-slip nosepiece is adjustable and stays in place, but it’s not as cushy as other nosepieces in this review. Seven other lenses, sold separately, are easy to swap in and out to adjust for light conditions.
The draw: Carbon fiber everything
If you like to match your carbon fiber to your carbon fiber, these super lightweight specs are for you. They feature carbon fiber arms and crystal-clear polarized lenses. An adjustable nosepiece and rubber tips on the arms do a good job of keeping the glasses from sliding when you start sweating. A generous 365-day return policy makes the XX2i a worry-free buy. Note: These are best for smaller faces as the lens height is relatively short.
The draw: Clarity in any light
These slick-looking shades feature Smith’s proprietary ChromaPop performance lens technology, which we found truly enhances both color and object definition. Each pair also comes with a rose-tinted lens to swap in for extra definition and clarity in low-light conditions. The lens is one large piece, to which both the nosepiece and arms attach and detach simply. The nosepiece, while not as easily adjustable as others, is comfortable and doesn’t slip. Nine lens and frame color combos are available, and you won’t have to worry about keeping them clean: The lenses have a coating that repels grease, dirt and water.
– Sunglasses reviews by Bethany Leach Mavis