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IN THE STORE Place your right hand on this magazine and solemnly swear that you’ll try brown- or red-tinted lenses—and see the wonders they work for depth and detail—before you buy gray, which might look noir but is actually ill-suited for action sports. Safety bulletin: Pick polycarbonate lenses, not glass or basic plastic; should you smash face, poly won’t shatter and cut.
IN THE FIELD Using your cotton tee to clean your shades is a no-no: Even a slightly dirty shirt can scratch lenses. Go with that satiny microfiber bag or cloth that came with your purchase. If you fix your bike’s chainring, smear on some sunscreen, or surf and your shades end up greasy or gritty, rinse them with fresh water: Petroleum-based products, as well as salt water and chlorine, can be corrosive to both frame and lenses. Leaving sunglasses on a dashboard in intense sunlight, even if they’re in a hard case, may cause them to warp.
IN THE FUTURE Expect “dial-a-density” technology that’ll let you adjust the desired level of darkness in lenses via a setting on the side of the frame. And by spring 2006, Rudy Project hopes to offer faster photochromics: Glasses will darken according to levels of UV exposure in less than five seconds, instead of the current 20 to 60.