Gear

Reviewed: Roka Matador Sunglasses

We review the Roka Matador as part of our hottest sunglasses of 2020 roundup.

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Roka Matador Review

$195, 27g (as measured), Roka.com

For the last few years, Roka has made a strong name for itself in the performance eyewear realm with some very lightweight and super clear offerings. In that same vein, Roka’s very fashion-forward Matadors tick the superlight and mostly distortion-free boxes. First, Roka’s newest addition to their excellent line is probably best described as an upside-down pair of glasses—the earpieces appear to rest extremely low on the frames, but actually sweep upward following the teardrop line of the bottom of the lenses. From the side, these actually look like a very unusual pair of glasses, but from the front they actually look fairly familiar. The frames themselves feel very high quality, and the measured weight is actually extremely surprising given the full-lens frame coverage.

In terms of fit, there’s nothing unusual about the way these Roka Matadors feel. Very grippy earpieces keep these from moving around, even if you decide to take them running. That said, the lack of vents and the fairly wide frame coverage make these a toasty affair when climbing in the heat or if you take them for a run. The fact that the frames extend around the lenses completely could also have something to do with the lack of ventilation, but we found these to be an incredibly warm pair of sunglasses—even though they’re not the most high-coverage pair tested. Again, this could be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on where/when you train or race. We did like the fact that the lenses were replaceable and they did a great job of resisting fogging/sweat (despite the heat), but unfortunately the Roka Matadors were not perfectly distortion free. Though not at all distracting, there was a small pocket of bent light just above the nose bridge between the eyes; only noticeable when riding super fast and on textured surfaces.

Read the complete roundup of the hottest shades of 2020 here.