August 8 2018
Our editors tested dozens of sunglasses to come up with a best-of list for runners.
Don’t let running take a toll on your peepers! These are just two sunglasses runners should check out when shopping for their next pair.
Company: Kaenon, purchased by OluKai but still independent, which is a rarity in the sunglass business.
Rep: Mike Haney, with 10 years’ experience in eyewear.
Materials: Every pair of Kaenons, including the Cali, are polarized and use SR-91, a resin-based lens alternative to polycarbonate, for perfection in clarity with glare reduction, scratch resistance and durability. The Cali is super lightweight and will not move or fog, even on your sweatiest runs.
Difference: Frame durability. A team member, who lives where, according to Haney, it’s “900 degrees every other day,” keeps a box of Kaenon sunglasses in his trunk, and they have held true to form. Wear them on your head, throw them in your gym bag or crush them into your glove compartment and “unless your face is on fire,” they will hold their shape.
Selling point: No slip, no bounce, no fog. Tested by elite athletes in almost every sport from triathlon to running to baseball and beyond.
Rx Options: With a current eye exam and a valid prescription, all Kaenon glasses are offered in prescription.
Company: Zeal, owned by Maui Jim and based in Boulder, Colo.
Rep: Mike Lewis, director of brand activation and strategy.
Materials: The lens is made of a petroleum-based polymer called “ellume” that is constructed of plant-based materials allowing for higher purity and clarity, which results in a lighter finished lens. The rubber inlays are constructed with ProFlex, which keeps the glasses in place, and M49, a natural material produced from cotton and wood pulp fibers and manufactured solely with renewable resources, which keeps all the performance characteristics of traditional acetates but is free of toxic substances that are used in most plastics. Amazing fact: The Zeal M49 frame collection will begin to biodegrade if left under water or in soil after 18 months.
Difference: The guiding philosophy of Zeal is use less, give back, explore more, and that philosophy is lived out loud. Its offices are zero percent waste in partnership for a clean environment, and open space at headquarters is reserved for community events, held two to three times per month, where employees work with various nonprofit organizations.
Selling point: Explore more, one of the company’s guiding beliefs, is about inspiring people to get out and literally see and explore their world. Zeal firmly believes it’s those experiences that will also make you want to protect the places you see.
Rx Options: All Zeal sunglasses are available in prescriptions. Owners can fill theirs with the Maui Jim in-house processing plant, where all the shading gets recycled.