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MOST TECHNICAL The photochromatic lenses are a delight in low light or even mist, with a pale yellowish tint that knifes through murk. But when the morning fog finally burns off, the Race’s tint quickly darkens to a snow-and-ice-worthy shade of amber, blocking out an impressive 93 percent of available…

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK… There’s a lot to admire here, and we’re not just talking about the funk factor. Looks are deceiving: The Emit’s frame and temples are 30 percent recycled nylon. The polarized ZB-13 lens is a multipurpose polycarbonate wiz, lending itself to just about anything. The copper tint,…

Combat-ready shades? Who knew? Rudy borrows military technology from Apache attack-helicopter windshields to fashion eyewear for troops, and puts the same supersubstance, ImpactX, into the Kalyos. The polarized photochromic lenses, in color-neutral gray, have optics as braggable as their toughness, taking you from medium-bright conditions to full-on sizzling sun,…

Ironman in Training With this three-lens set, racing-bred Rudy takes the high ground—high performance, high quality, and, yes, high-end pricing that’s still sensible after you figure what three ultra-premium sport shields would run. Two of the three snap-in, single-piece lenses are photo­chromic: Clear took us from no light to pretty…

GANGSTA WRAPThe O-folk make a flashy and vaguely criminal statement with these gold-mirrored frameless numbers. But the Dartboard happens to be a solid multisport performer. Give this one props for security, protection, and outstanding optics. The warm-brown tint dials up detail and depth, and a polarized poly lens kills glare…

HARDCORE MEETS HIP Loud and proud, this oversize job does surprisingly well on sweaty runs, staying put and providing solid protection. Kaenon’s SR-91 lenses (copper polarized here) provide glass-like optics in a shatter-resistant material and rank up there with the elite when it comes to the prized trifecta of acuity,…

FAST AND LIGHT This is about as hi-def as polycarbonate gets, man. Visual champagne. The polarized lens—reddish brown but called VR28 Black Iridium—accentuates depth and contrast, makes colors jump out and throb, and provides wonderful acuity. A frameless, featherweight single-blade shield gives big rectangular coverage and protection with attitude. Add…

Women don’t need to settle for the Terminator look just to get performance shades. In this totally feminine number, you can break hearts, then whup some ass on the beach volleyball court. The Envy is a powerful sun buster with polarized poly lenses in a gray tint deep enough for…

All-Day Cyclist Makes sense that a sunglasses maison in Pacific coast Canada, where sunlight gets fuzzed up with airborne moisture, would get the tint right. Orange photochromic poly lenses destroyed mist and punched up depth in low to medium light. We prefered this slender wrap on a road bike: The…

ROSE-COLOREDThe Rhino’s copper-tint, polarized lenses tune out optical noise to reveal a richer reality. From a hilltop in Calabasas, California, distant homes looked like close-up toys. The wondrous convergence of extreme clarity and dense, reddish tinting picks up detail in the worst glare-hells, even the sun-on-snow variety. Wear these plastic…

1. The Mogul’s lightweight glass lenses mean zero eyestrain, a huge but unsung benefit of stellar optics. Plastic/polycarbonate’s un­detectable distortion and surface imperfections make your eyes tired and cranky, and the surfaces sooner or later get all fuzzy from microabrasions. But, unless you take a diamond to it, glass…

SWAP FEAT Beautiful. Smith’s ingenious Interlock system (which thankfully comes in several cool frame options) lets you change out lenses with heretofore unknown ease. Simply rotate the temples laterally to loosen the frames’ grip on the lenses, which easily pop out, then pick your next tint, pop ’em in, and…

Few sunglasses can switch from the Pacific Crest Trail to Rodeo Drive like this frameless number. Copper-tint polarized resin lenses protect against glare and pump up contrast for active sports. There’s secure grip in the right places, and the modest-size wrap lenses don’t sacrifice protection for fashion. Flair starts…

Racy Sailor A featherweight sports wrap, tricked out with Bollé’s nautical Offshore Blue poly lenses, the Kicker played against type for watersports shades, which tend to be massive Mac Daddy numbers. But the combo of sharp optics and blue tint, with antiglare polarizing—plus a lens coating to make water sheet…

1. The fashion statement says, more or less, “Prepare to lose, girlie man!” But over-the-top style is not new to Oakley. The main reason the Radar crushes the competition is its truly remarkable lenses, with their anti-everything-that-screws-up-the-view surface treatment (see #2). 2. Mash your thumb against the lens. No,…

Road-trip much? While the rest of me sat seething in gridlock under a sizzling sun, my eyes were relaxing behind these polarized photochromic glass lenses, which mitigated glare off chrome, windshields, and all other things shiny while showing the path ahead in exquisite depth and detail. Which made it…

ONE FOR THE ROAD The worst highway glare disappears with these polarized, photochromic lenses. The reddish tint is even called Driver. And comfort is king here. With ultraslim nylon temples and barely-there frames, the Maestrale is so lightweight you forget you’re wearing it. It sorta disappears, too: You don’t notice…

If you pack a cell—and you know you do—Oakley’s Razrwire lightens the load and keeps you moving. No need to stop hiking or get off the bike to take a call; simply reach up and tap a button to connect to a Bluetooth-enabled phone. Got voice dialing? Tap and talk…

You could plan a vacation around the Passage: hours on sundecks, strolls in bucolic settings, long drives with the top down. Just mind the drool when you first gaze through these state-of-the-art photochromic polarized ground-glass lenses. The classic look (not stodgy!) is sexed up with metallic mirroring, and the…

CROSSOVER ARTIST Don’t mistake these shades for snooky streetwear; the sports bona fides are all here in this elegant blend of style and performance tech. Cleverly concealed sticky pads at the nose and ears, combined with springy nylon frames and temples, kept the Serpent from migrating on sweaty faces. The…

Sportsman These brown-tint polarized lenses had us fooled; so super­fine are the optics, we were sure we were looking through glass. Nope, it’s Maui’s proprietary Evolution material. The company won’t say much about the stuff except that it’s some new kind of plastic. Indeed, in a quietly stylish, manly wrap…

MR. VERSATILE “Robin, my Batglasses!” Yes, this specimen’s secret multisport identities evoke camp and gadgetry. How? Snap-in foam gaskets and a headband (which replaces the detachable temples) turn these shades into decent ski goggles, and if you’re running or cycling, a snap-in foam brow piece nicely doubles as a sweat…

Thanks to dark gray-tint polarized poly lenses that won’t splinter in a crash, the Poseidon rules the waves, from whitewater paddling to surf kayaking. A special lens coating sheds spray, while an inner film layer absorbs glare from the rear, common in highly reflective water settings. Wide-wrapping lenses provide…

Disproving conventional wisdom that gray lenses make for a flat, blah view, Maui Jim’s high-tech PolarizedPlus2 lenses add contrast and depth to reveal colors in all their throbbing glory. The optically ground glass yields superb clarity and detail, with a dark tint for searing brightness. And the oversize frames provide…

GOT BLING? Smith pimps up the sports wrap with a big-frame, big-lens magumba that slips in just enough of the necessities—coverage, security, shatter-resistant poly lenses, depth-enhancing optics—to qualify as legit. OK, semi-legit: bocce, yes; mountain biking, no. Fashionably thick temples aid with peripheral protection, while copper polarized lenses dial up…

VERSATILE, AFFORDABLE Lose your glasses every other month? Don’t be embarrassed. Just buy these bargain shades and stop losing your money too. You get pink/red photochromic lenses that are good to go all day, and detailing like an adjustable metal nosepiece, sticky rubber where you need it, and antifog vents…

Temples that snug perfectly under a helmet + wide-wrap polycarbonate lenses that fend off wind + airflow between lens and cheekbone to fight fogging + no-fuss lens interchangeability for all-conditions riding = great cycling shades. With a twist of the inconspicuous cams at the frames’ upper outer corners,…

If you’ve got the game to sport the aggro look—especially the loud and proud orange frames—the Instinct won’t let you down. Julbo’s new Zebra photochromic proprietary resin lenses work magic in low light, pointing up detail and contrast so much that you’ll swear you’re wearing high beams. The wide,…

GLASS MASTERY Like the Costa del Mars, these polarized, oleophobic shades prove that optically ground glass is still tops. And with the signature blue-flash mirroring of Revo’s premium J6 lenses, the cognoscenti will know what you’re wearing a block away. This unit’s stylishly wide temples actually provide nice side protection…

FLYWEIGHT Even in the hand, the Syluro appears to be screaming-fast, with not a milligram of unnecessary baggage. At just over an ounce, this svelte number weighs half as much as some shades here. And it still has beefed-up metal hinge pieces and super-strong ImpactX lenses (with material originally developed…

SOPHISTICATED STYLE Don’t let supreme aptness for driving and upmarket fashion blind you to the fact that these are also terrific sports shades. The Celcio’s polarized photochromic lenses are so spectacularly good it’s hard to believe they’re polycarbonate, not glass. Self-adjusting light transmission accommodates all the day’s bright hours, and…

Wasn’t Doc wearing these at the end of Back to the Future? But seriously, testers raved about Rudy’s photochromic red tint, which pumps up contrast and depth and self-adjusts in sunlight and shadow. We also loved the way the snug, featherweight polymer shield just disappears—no edges or obstructions in…

Native’s Hardtop is the sunglass equivalent of the Swiss Army knife—four sets of snap-in poly lenses, plus two sets of temples, one of which has a built-in elastic head strap. The kit borders on overkill, simply because the standard polarized sepia lenses yield such a sharp view. Other lenses…

ULTIMATE ANGLERS Talk about fly. Optically ground glass, like Costa’s premium 580 line, is the connoisseur’s choice for acuity. (Just note these are shatter-resistant, not -proof.) The polarized copper tint nixes surface glare, so fish in the shallows pop out, while way-cool green mirroring provides that air of mystery. An…

With a tiny Bluetooth-enabled cell-phone headset built into the thick temples, the Confidant is simultaneously cool and practical. Even better, the earbud is removable—and, if you break it, replaceable—and Zeal didn’t shortchange the photochromic lenses. The impressive tint-density range (23 percent to 87 percent light transmission) can handle everything…

Angle away with these optical wonders. Though they’re great for wearing out and about, the Baysides sport glass lenses in a greenish tint that’s perfect for fishing streams and saltwater flats in low light, yet the polarization knocks out surface glare to reveal the water’s wily inhabitants in any…

Good God, these things are plaid! Hell, yeah, they are, and that’s not even the most awesome thing about them. Dark-gray polarized lenses kill glare while showing scalpel-sharp detail plus surprising depth and contrast for gray tinting—a testament to Oakley’s superior plastic. Throw in the adventurous but classic looks,…

Aigle Shems – Midweight Jackets: Reviews   With a soft fleece interior and warm, durable merino wool/nylon exterior, this jacket combines our favorite fabrics in one versatile top. 1.9 lbs; aigleusa.com         Patagonia Pau – Footwear: Reviews (Terry Heffernan) The coolest mocs we’ve ever laid eyes…

Before you start looking, know exactly what you’ll use your shades for: Generalist sporty street designs get you around town and through low-impact pursuits; bigger challenges call for sports-specific numbers. When it comes to superfine optics, glass is unparalleled, but chances are you’ll want lighter polycarbonate (plastic) lenses if…

BEST FOR BOATERS The near-extinct single-piece shield lens, once a staple of performance eyewear, survived in exile on Rodeo Drive, a prisoner of designer-label fashion. Now Maui Jim springs it free with this hingeless, frameless model. Coverage couldn’t be better, nor could the view. The Breakwater’s polarized rosy-tinted lenses slay…

Even if you don’t know your starboard from your jib, it’s nice to have shades that are up to making the run to Tahiti. Though designed to dominate the fishing, sailing, and watersports categories, Costa’s superfine 580 glass is a thrill to wear anywhere. Silver mirroring ups the cool…

Stylish Jock Split the difference between performance eye gear and streetwear—and between too cheap and too pricey. There’s lots to like here for less than $100. Brown-tint poly lenses, by optics meister Zeiss, revealed detail and depth and were exactly as big and wrapped-back as they needed to be for…

Zeal Optics’ Maestro nails it with its new ZB-13 sepia polarized polycarbonate lenses. The amber tint amps up depth perception, intensifies contrast, sharpens edges, and performs masterfully in so many light conditions that you’d think they were photochromic (the kind that adjust to brightness). But the lenses don’t change—they’re…

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