Sunglasses That Play as Hard as You Do

Five exceptional sport-specific shades

Sep 4, 2015
Outside Magazine
Sunglasses That Play as Hard as You Do

The perfect shades for any outdoor adventure.    Photo: Inga Hendrickson

These five pairs of shades do their job so you can stay focused on yours, be that while ripping down single track, slogging up techy trail runs, or cruising on the water.  

Best for: Tech-Obsessed Triathletes

  Photo: Rudy Project

Rudy Project Proflow ($325)
If the Proflow looks pricey… well, it is. But consider what you’re getting for your dollars: a bomber, aerospace-grade aluminum-alloy frame with a carbon core, “unbreakable” ImpactX-2 photochromic lenses that transition across an incredible spectrum in seconds, and a snug, stable fit, thanks to exceptionally adjustable temples and nosepiece.


Best for: Fat Tires in the Forest

  Photo: Uvex

Uvex Sportstyle 700 Vario ($150)
Plunging below tree line, white-knuckled and sweating, shouldn’t mean descending into darkness. That’s not a problem with Uvex’s photo-chromic Variomatic lens, which goes from full dark to almost clear in just 28 seconds. Aggressive antifog tech—including both venting and lens coating—keeps things clear on the uphill slog.


Best for: Roadies with Low-Key Flare

  Photo: POC

POC Do Flow ($170)
For espresso-sipping, Lycra-clad Europhiles who can’t abide oversize performance shields, POC’s Do Flow offers a more relaxed solution. Its peloton-ready oversize lenses improve peripheral vision, while the hydrophilic nosepiece and temples keep it locked in place for the final sprint. Meanwhile, the brightly colored frame will grab attention at the cafĂ©. $170;


Best for: Dawn Patrol Trail Runs

  Photo: Julbo

Julbo Venturi ($180)
From first-light trail starts to after-work hill repeats, Julbo’s sleek new shades are the ideal all-day running partner. Even as light conditions change—from thick forest to wildflower meadow, bluebird sunny to rolling thunderheads—the view from behind the photochromic Zebra Light Fire lenses is always the same. $180;


Best for: Hook-and-Bullet Types

  Photo: Spy

Spy Angler ($140)
While Spy may claim that its Happy Lens technology makes wearers feel better by maximizing the sun’s mood-boosting long-wave blue light, the surest path to a good day on the water will always be catching fish. Luckily, the Angler also boasts proven tech, like glare-blocking polarization and color-enhancing optics for spotting monsters. It comes with a leash as well, so you can take the fight to the tarpon worry-free.

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