Gear review: Aspire Free Eyeglasses

unnamedWhen I first found my eyesight taking a turn for the worse, I was a Freshman in college. I distinctly remember going to pick out some contacts following my exam, and leaving the office in tears. Yes, tears. You see, I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to putting things in (or even near) my eyes. I don't even like to watch my wife put on her eyeliner (you're gonna stab your eyeball!!). On that day, it took me 30 minutes to put one contact in and another 60 minutes to get it out. Thus, I rock the glasses. Over the years, I have become quite accustomed to my eye windows.  I'm not the most fashionable person in the world, and I am one to wear the same glasses as long as humanly possible (or as long as my insurance allows me to have a new pair). As a result, I run in the same glasses as I wear throughout the day. While this isn't necessarily an issue, it's not the most comfortable when I run. I've learned to push it aside, but I can't tell you how many hours I have spent fidgeting with my glasses on runs - from pushing them up on my nose, to feeling the pressure from heavier "stylish" frames jostle with my running cadence. Luckily, I have some great prescription sport sunglasses that I do a lot of my running in, but that doesn't really cut it during the dark months, when my runs in daylight become a thing of the past. As a result, I was excited to try out a pair of Aspire Free glasses. Some specs on the Aspire Eyewear company:

Incorporating the latest in technology, advanced materials, and fashion, Aspire Eyewear is a colorfully captivating, aspirational collection for today’s men and women.  Offering a “barely there” feel and fit, while including features that enhance comfort, wearability and adjustability, Aspire Eyewear gives today’s individualized consumers a fashionable eyewear statement that’s on trend in every sense. Designs that transcend the ordinary. Aspire Eyewear is created with SDN-4, a specially designed nylon material proprietary to the brand. Designed for the manufacture of extremely lightweight eyewear with exceptional thinness, the hypoallergenic SDN-4 material is incredibly strong and durable, offering shape memory, heat resistance, and will not fade in UV exposure. Using customized SDN-4 sheet material, Aspire frames are not injected, but created with Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery to produce unique shapes and endless color possibilities. The entire Aspire collection was designed using 3D technology, significantly reducing prototype development from 20 weeks to 20 minutes in most cases. Using this innovative technology in its design process will allow the brand to quickly respond to emerging eyewear and experiment with inventive design options. Aspire Eyewear is:

50 percent lighter than a typical plastic frame

50 percent thinner than a typical plastic frame

22 percent lighter than a typical titanium frame

I haven’t utilized a fully framed pair of glasses in quite some time, recently opting for the semi-rimless variety. However, these black fully rimmed glasses are right in line with my face shape and style (there are other colors available). The first thing I noticed is just how light these felt on my face. It is SIGNIFICANTLY lighter than even my relatively light pair – boasting an almost “not even there” quality. The front of the glasses are made with a nylon polymer and the temple has some stainless steel end pieces. Despite the minimalistic design, they felt solid and did not come close to sliding off my face. Speaking of the durability of the frames:
Now that’s impressive stuff right there. These had no issues with going back into shape despite my aggressive folding due to the material’s “shape memory”. I shudder to think what that would do to my current pair. The hinges on the Aspire Free’s are also screwless, which I appreciate.

Running in these have been a joy to be honest. Historically, if I am running in my eyeglasses, I need to wear some sort of ear covering to keep them tight to my head and have them not continue to fall down. While this workaround is annoying (and hot) in the summer months, it still only decreases the amount of times my head slides up and mashes my glasses back to my face, and doesn’t stop it completely. Running headband-less in the Aspire Free’s was like a dream come true. They were light, they were strong against the side of my face, and didn’t require the headband. Score!

There a ton of different options in the Aspire line-up. Be sure to check out the Store Locator to see where you can pick yours up. There are at least 7 locations between Tigard to Vancouver and Hillsboro to Gresham.


About Matt Rasmussen (1599 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.
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