Goodr, a new player in athletic optics, is making waves with $25 sunglasses it says are as good or better than its $200+ counterparts. I got in touch with them, and a few other top optics companies, to put them to the test. Can a pair of $25 sunglasses really beat $200 athletic shades?

Goodr – Going To Valhalla…Witness $25

No, you didn’t suddenly slip into a Mad Max: Fury Road review. Goodr’s names for their various colorways are as much fun as the sunglasses themselves. And the name is appropriate; the silver-on-silver frame and lenses look like they could be plastered on the face of one of Immortan Joe’s War Boys. Goodr also threw a pair of purple and gold-lensed “Tigers Throwin’ Shade” in the box because, why not? They’re only $25 each. While Goodr keeps costs down by only offering one frame style, visiting the Goodr web store is a dangerous exercise in fiscal control. There are always new color combinations with all kinds of crazy names, from the black-on-black “A Ginger’s Soul” to the brown-and-gold “Doc Brown’s Sizzurp Habit.”

But funny names and low cost don’t mean anything if they don’t work well on your run. At only 22 grams, Goodr’s sunglasses don’t weigh you down. The polarized lenses cut through glare and are fog resistant. They don’t pinch, slip, or bounce while you run, impressive since they don’t have nose pads but are instead covered in a grip coating. My only issue was that they don’t have peripheral coverage, which makes morning and evening runs a bit squintier. But I’d rather have spent $25 and discover that issue as opposed to $200, which brings me to…

Can $25 Get You a Pair of Quality Running Sunglasses? Goodr vs. Oakley vs. District Vision

Goodr-Oakley-District-Vision-Sunglasses
Can a pair of $25 sunglasses really beat $200 running shades?

Goodr, a new player in athletic optics, is making waves with $25 sunglasses it says are as good or better than its $200+ counterparts. I got in touch with them, and a few other top optics companies, to put them to the test. Can a pair of $25 sunglasses really beat $200 athletic shades?

Goodr – Going To Valhalla…Witness $25

Goodr-Valhalla-Tiger
Goodr proves you don’t have to go bankrupt just to get good running sunglasses.

No, you didn’t suddenly slip into a Mad Max: Fury Road review. Goodr’s names for their various colorways are as much fun as the sunglasses themselves. And the name is appropriate; the silver-on-silver frame and lenses look like they could be plastered on the face of one of Immortan Joe’s War Boys. Goodr also threw a pair of purple and gold-lensed “Tigers Throwin’ Shade” in the box because, why not? They’re only $25 each. While Goodr keeps costs down by only offering one frame style, visiting the Goodr web store is a dangerous exercise in fiscal control. There are always new color combinations with all kinds of crazy names, from the black-on-black “A Ginger’s Soul” to the brown-and-gold “Doc Brown’s Sizzurp Habit.”

But funny names and low cost don’t mean anything if they don’t work well on your run. At only 22 grams, Goodr’s sunglasses don’t weigh you down. The polarized lenses cut through glare and are fog resistant. They don’t pinch, slip, or bounce while you run, impressive since they don’t have nose pads but are instead covered in a grip coating. My only issue was that they don’t have peripheral coverage, which makes morning and evening runs a bit squintier. But I’d rather have spent $25 and discover that issue as opposed to $200, which brings me to…

District Vision – Keiichi Standard $219

District Vision lent me a pair of their Keiichi Standard sunglasses in “District Water Gray.” They’re impressively thin when compared to the bulkier Goodr shades, but a titanium core in the nose pad keeps the weight at 22 grams. Still, they feel lighter, like they should fly off your head while you’re running. But thanks to the aforementioned nose pad (made out of hypoallergenic rubber) and the rubber temple tips that rotate to fit your ear, the Keiichi stays in place even on gnarly up and down trail runs.

The lenses are polarized and oleophobic, which is why their tendency to fog up whenever I slowed down on my run was a little confusing. The lenses are well vented, so maybe it’s just that District Vision needs to do some more testing in the swamp that is Florida. They also aren’t wraparound shades, so while optical clarity was fantastic, I still missed the benefit of it by having to squint whenever I was running parallel to sunrise or sunset. That could have been mitigated somewhat if the frames were a little larger. I found their standard size to still be fairly small. Which is not a problem I had with my next test pair.

Oakley – EVZero Stride Prizm Road $173

If you put on a pair of Oakleys, they’re immediately noticeable. The large, prismatic lenses provide ample protection from the sun, and anything else the road might throw at you. The loaner pair of EVZero Stride Prizm Road sunglassesthat Oakley sent me were no different. Weighing the same 22 grams of the other sunglasses in the roundup, they never felt heavy or bulky on my face. The “Unobtanium” (yes, really) nose pads kept the shades from slipping, no matter how sweaty I got during a run. They’re also frameless, so there’s nothing to obstruct your view while wearing them.

The lenses are where Oakley’s technology really shines. Their Prizm Road lenses are polarized, boost whites, and enhance yellow, green, and red tones; the takeaway being you can see changes in the road and hazards before you wipe out. Being wraparound lenses, they provide superior peripheral protection. They’re well vented and don’t fog at all. Rain and sweat bead up on the surface of the lenses, keeping your vision clear even if you get stuck in a downpour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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November 8, 2017

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