Sunglasses are a funny thing. Really. We all (probably) know that joke about sunglasses in Oregon, which basically suggests that whenever you get around to needing them you have to buy a new pair because you can’t find your old pair…haha. However, in the last few years, running sunglasses have taken on a new genre, of sorts, when it comes to the gear you have to have as a runner.
With that said, there are plenty of options out there that have embraced the funky, the weird, the cool, the trendy, and so on. But what we really need is a solid pair of shades that gets the job done, looks cool, performs in direct sun and also on the trail, is lightweight, wears comfortably on the nose, and did I mention looks cool?
Nathan Sports, who is no stranger to providing awesome gear for runners, has come out with their Summit Polarized Running Sunglasses, and they check all the boxes. Recently, I was asked to test and review the Summit shades with the Clear Gray frame with Gray Smoke lens (pictured below).
These are definitely your “Wayfarer” style shades, but right away you will notice these are not a cheap knock off (though at $50, they are affordable). Instead, the weight might surprise you, as it did me. Once on, the Summits are instantly comfortable, thanks in part to the nose pads and the over the ear pads, which are meant to offer a little grab on your head so they don’t shift. This was an immediate upgrade to what I had been wearing.
Wasting no time, I headed outside and hit the road for a short drive to one of my favorite trail heads. The day was bright and sunny, with little to no clouds, and my new shades not only blocked the direct sun rays, but also covered my peripheral well. Once I got into the trees, I chose to leave them on to see how my vision might be impaired and they were great again.
Finally, I hit the dirt for a run. The trail I chose has moments where you are fully covered by the canopy and others where you are fully exposed, as well as moments of in between. In every case, the glasses were not only functional, but held to my head really well, with little to no nose slippage as I began to sweat.
Over the course of the next week I wore my Summits every chance I got. The more I wore them, the more I loved them, as they are comfortable, block the light well, and don’t shift around, like other glasses that don’t have a rubber nose pad. Definitely a solid pair of shades!
Cost: $50 online through Nathan Sports website. Nathan also offers a Clear Frame with a Blue Mirror lens in the same style (pictured above).