Sunglasses

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Specialized’s first-ever women’s-specific design has rose-colored lenses that dim bright road conditions, lighten shadows, and enhance contrast. specialized.com…

If you’ve got the game to sport the aggro look—especially the loud and proud orange frames—the Instinct won’t let you down. Julbo’s new Zebra photochromic proprietary resin lenses work magic in low light, pointing up detail and contrast so much that you’ll swear you’re wearing high beams. The wide,…

Designed with wide, curved lenses to optimize peripheral view, the Grapevine is sporty enough for a day hike, but fashionable enough for the city. oakley.com…

ULTIMATE ANGLERS Talk about fly. Optically ground glass, like Costa’s premium 580 line, is the connoisseur’s choice for acuity. (Just note these are shatter-resistant, not -proof.) The polarized copper tint nixes surface glare, so fish in the shallows pop out, while way-cool green mirroring provides that air of mystery. An…

Why They’re CoolNative freshens the familiar in both substance and style. Trip on the two-tone nylon frame: It’s dark on top and fades to a see-through pale-ale color you almost want to drink. » The design stretches the slender temples, with a beguiling little S-curve at the end. The temples…

GO THE DISTANCE Serious photochromics make the Trails ideal for long race days. A yellowish tint, perfectly tuned for low light, deepens to amber in full sun, and this color spectrum kicks up contrast and depth. The biggish lenses are also soft and flexible, so they won’t add to the…

VERSATILE, AFFORDABLE Lose your glasses every other month? Don’t be embarrassed. Just buy these bargain shades and stop losing your money too. You get pink/red photochromic lenses that are good to go all day, and detailing like an adjustable metal nosepiece, sticky rubber where you need it, and antifog vents…

ROSE-COLOREDThe Rhino’s copper-tint, polarized lenses tune out optical noise to reveal a richer reality. From a hilltop in Calabasas, California, distant homes looked like close-up toys. The wondrous convergence of extreme clarity and dense, reddish tinting picks up detail in the worst glare-hells, even the sun-on-snow variety. Wear these plastic…

Thanks to the hydrophilic rubber at the nose and temples, the ultralight Stradas were our favorite choice for trail running and mountain biking. tifosioptics.com…

Native’s Hardtop is the sunglass equivalent of the Swiss Army knife—four sets of snap-in poly lenses, plus two sets of temples, one of which has a built-in elastic head strap. The kit borders on overkill, simply because the standard polarized sepia lenses yield such a sharp view. Other lenses…

Although they look feminine enough for drinks on the patio, the Cubic Lush stayed put even on a windy road ride. Lightweight and rimless, they’re best suited for women with small features. adidas.com…

Lance Armstrong’s preferred eyewear during his return to racing, the new Jawbone uses a hinged frame for easy lens changes. Small bumpers inside the tops of the frame secure the smudge-free, hydrophobic lenses without distorting them. oakley.com…

Why They’re CoolWith their high-gloss nylon frames and rectangular wraparound lenses, these shout “vintage muscle car.” Mucho macho. » The design sexes up the look without compromising protection. » Dark-gray, polarized lenses endure such perditions of brightness as the beach at noon. The Ghosts are a fine fit for pavement…

DON’T JUDGE A BOOK… There’s a lot to admire here, and we’re not just talking about the funk factor. Looks are deceiving: The Emit’s frame and temples are 30 percent recycled nylon. The polarized ZB-13 lens is a multipurpose polycarbonate wiz, lending itself to just about anything. The copper tint,…

SOPHISTICATED STYLE Don’t let supreme aptness for driving and upmarket fashion blind you to the fact that these are also terrific sports shades. The Celcio’s polarized photochromic lenses are so spectacularly good it’s hard to believe they’re polycarbonate, not glass. Self-adjusting light transmission accommodates all the day’s bright hours, and…

Why They’re CoolThis handsome three-lens wrap may be all you’ll ever need—from above treeline to surfaces hard, soft, and man-made. » The darkest of the swap-out poly lenses are polarized gray. For less searing conditions, there’s brown. My fave is an almost-clear orange that pops details out of the murk.

We loved the safety-goggle-like protection and peripheral vision of the Rx-compatible Semi Full. With the clear lenses in place, we felt more confident bombing down our favorite heavily forested local singletrack. Swapping lenses is a bit awkward, though. giro.com…

Aigle Shems – Midweight Jackets: Reviews   With a soft fleece interior and warm, durable merino wool/nylon exterior, this jacket combines our favorite fabrics in one versatile top. 1.9 lbs; aigleusa.com         Patagonia Pau – Footwear: Reviews (Terry Heffernan) The coolest mocs we’ve ever laid eyes…

Shades in this price range are usually ill-fitting or outfitted with crappy lenses. Not so with the Alpe. The ear pads are adjustable and the polycarbonate lenses are surprisingly crisp. tifosioptics.com…

Channel Ponch and Jon with these heirloom-quality shades. Military contractor Randolph offers a number of aviator styles, but the (questionably named) Intruder gets our vote for its modern take on a classic look, rugged build, and quality glass optics. randolphusa.com…

Why They’re CoolThe temples are made of bendable nylon—think Gumby—that remembers the shape you give it. » Glare is no match for the polarized copper-tint lenses, which yield a brilliantly high-res, high-contrast view. » The look is plenty smart, too, with wide temples plus wide, boxy lenses. » All is…

FAST AND LIGHT This is about as hi-def as polycarbonate gets, man. Visual champagne. The polarized lens—reddish brown but called VR28 Black Iridium—accentuates depth and contrast, makes colors jump out and throb, and provides wonderful acuity. A frameless, featherweight single-blade shield gives big rectangular coverage and protection with attitude. Add…

Angle away with these optical wonders. Though they’re great for wearing out and about, the Baysides sport glass lenses in a greenish tint that’s perfect for fishing streams and saltwater flats in low light, yet the polarization knocks out surface glare to reveal the water’s wily inhabitants in any…

1. The fashion statement says, more or less, “Prepare to lose, girlie man!” But over-the-top style is not new to Oakley. The main reason the Radar crushes the competition is its truly remarkable lenses, with their anti-everything-that-screws-up-the-view surface treatment (see #2). 2. Mash your thumb against the lens. No,…

Temples that snug perfectly under a helmet + wide-wrap polycarbonate lenses that fend off wind + airflow between lens and cheekbone to fight fogging + no-fuss lens interchangeability for all-conditions riding = great cycling shades. With a twist of the inconspicuous cams at the frames’ upper outer corners,…

You could plan a vacation around the Passage: hours on sundecks, strolls in bucolic settings, long drives with the top down. Just mind the drool when you first gaze through these state-of-the-art photochromic polarized ground-glass lenses. The classic look (not stodgy!) is sexed up with metallic mirroring, and the…

Lightweight and low-profile, the Hooligan is perfect for slim faces and smaller heads. Bonus: You can afford another pair if you lose ’em at the crag. www.ryderseyewear.com…

With aviator-like coverage (but up-dated design) and color-enhancing light-brown optics, these big boys will serve you equally well driving to the hill or hucking the disc. bolle.com…

MACHO IN THE MIDDLESmith closes the gap between Bono frames and small, girly models with the manly Director, for medium-size crania. The tortoise frame evokes yesteryear’s glasses but with a few sports-hip fillips. Take this protective and secure model around the White Rim Trail. You’ll find its brown-tinted, polarized poly…

Why They’re CoolNo matter how hard the cold wind blows, your eyeballs won’t mind, sheltered by removable, round-the-eye foam pieces that close the gap between shades and face. The double-pane poly lenses allow the inner surface to rise to your temperature, so there’s no steaming up. » Wide-range photochromic tinting…

SWAP FEAT Beautiful. Smith’s ingenious Interlock system (which thankfully comes in several cool frame options) lets you change out lenses with heretofore unknown ease. Simply rotate the temples laterally to loosen the frames’ grip on the lenses, which easily pop out, then pick your next tint, pop ’em in, and…

Even if you don’t know your starboard from your jib, it’s nice to have shades that are up to making the run to Tahiti. Though designed to dominate the fishing, sailing, and watersports categories, Costa’s superfine 580 glass is a thrill to wear anywhere. Silver mirroring ups the cool…

CROSSOVER ARTIST Don’t mistake these shades for snooky streetwear; the sports bona fides are all here in this elegant blend of style and performance tech. Cleverly concealed sticky pads at the nose and ears, combined with springy nylon frames and temples, kept the Serpent from migrating on sweaty faces. The…

Wasn’t Doc wearing these at the end of Back to the Future? But seriously, testers raved about Rudy’s photochromic red tint, which pumps up contrast and depth and self-adjusts in sunlight and shadow. We also loved the way the snug, featherweight polymer shield just disappears—no edges or obstructions in…

Why they ruleThanks to light-sensitive photochromic tinting, the brownish glass lenses make an unheard-of plunge from dark (87 percent of visible light blocked) to the stygian depths of full-on snowfield blinkers (95 percent). » The Advances have all the features of traditional glacier glasses—flexible side shades, bendable wire-core temples, and…

An easy-to-use tab system makes swapping the Synergy’s four lenses—gray, amber, rose, and clear—a cinch in changing light, and the rubber temples eliminate slippage. www.nerveusa.com…

Like their namesake, these shades are made for performance on the road. Everything about them screams cool, from the unbreakable blue-green polycarbonate lenses to the slim, squarish frames. porsche-design.com…

IMPULSE BUY You don’t have to think too hard about springing for a pair of these affordable and versatile shades. Oversize wrap-back lenses give protection high, low, and peripherally, while the brownish polycarbonate produces a bright, sharp-edged view on par with glasses twice the price. The toric lens design—which follows…

Why They’re CoolPoly lenses hang from nylon frames and temples clad in sticky rubber. » Lenses snap in and out, and you can order other tints, though I can’t imagine improving on the polarized gold-iridium, an omnisport winner that pumps up contrast and depth. » The close fit at the…

ONE FOR THE ROAD The worst highway glare disappears with these polarized, photochromic lenses. The reddish tint is even called Driver. And comfort is king here. With ultraslim nylon temples and barely-there frames, the Maestrale is so lightweight you forget you’re wearing it. It sorta disappears, too: You don’t notice…

Where you put your sunglasses when they're not on your face says more about you than which pair you choose to wear.

“Not just different. Better.” That tester’s observation sums up this 15-degree bag from Montbell, whose major tech innovation—spiraled baffles—made it the most comfortable and best-functioning bag we tested this year. Far from a gimmick, the spiral baffles drape more evenly over the body, creating…

Advice on finding the best gear—and tried-n-true methods for maintaining your gear for years to come.

1. If there’s one thing you need, it’s a nice pair of bibs. Whether or not the contoured fit of Sugoi‘s RSE bibs ($200; sugoi.ca) helped lessen muscle fatigue, as advertised, was hard to gauge. But both the moisture-wicking interior and quick-drying chamois received rave reviews.

Ketchum, ID

When spring showers make a mess of your favorite streets and trails, fight back.

Sudden leaps in technology. Breakthrough products. Stunningly transformed landscapes. These things don't happen on their own—they require the vision and dedication of exceptional designers. Meet seven minds that are radically changing your world for the better.

What type of sunglass lens makes the transition from sun to shade the easiest for riding singletrack through the forest? Lynn La Grande, OR

All you need to cast away.

From sea to summit, these performance shades are looking out for you.

Revo, which popularized blue-mirrored lenses in the nineties—but never outgrew the decade—is back with an updated look for summer. The Highsides (pictured) have the same high-tech panes inspired by NASA, but the style is all Generation Y. $189; revo.com…

1. FELT ZW1 BIKE It looks fast, it feels fast, and it is fast—even if you’re not. The oversize carbon-fiber tubes are dialed for female riders; they were never too stiff, never too soft. Shimano’s finest Dura-Ace components, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, gel grips, and Felt’s women’s carbon saddle…

Our esteemed gear editors offer the insight and advice you need to find the right gear for you.

The new crop of bike-worthy specs.

Keep your head and eyes safe with the best new helmets and sunglasses.

I looking for a pair of sunglasses to wear while running. I a woman, with a smaller fre and a small face. I like glasses that are half rims and wrap around the sides—but I don't want them so huge that they cover my whole face—with a light lens that don't distort the true colors. And I'd prefer to not go bankrupt, either— I can't believe what I've seen pricewise for a pair of sunglasses. I delusional? Connie Cleveland, OH

When collapsed, Black Diamond‘s ultrabright Orbit Lantern is the size of a cell phone ($30; bdel.com). Black Diamond Orbit Lantern             Train: Oakley Radar Sunglasses Oakley Radar SunglassesBecause the Oakley Radar‘s photochromic lenses quickly adapt to changing light conditions and repel almost…

I'm going sea kayaking in the Bahas. What sunglasses would you recommend? The Editors Santa Fe, New Mexico

The 37-year-old Victor, Idaho, resident spends over 100 days a year in the field, often chasing the world's best skiers around in snowy ranges from Bolivia to Morocco. Here's what he usually takes along.

ON THE LEFT Columbia’s moisture-wicking Omni-Dry Mountain Tech Thermal Base­layer. ($60; columbia.com) Few‘s acrylic Moa Hunter Sweater, for the bold. ($54; few.co.nz) Aigle‘s lightweight Polartec recycled-fleece Walker Track Jacket. ($105; aigleusa.com Obermeyer‘s insulated Tungsten Jacket is tricked out…

Look good (and have more fun) along the way

Go faster. Play smarter

Eight ways to make the flight part of the vacation

1. WILSON AVP REPLICA BALL You might not be able to spike like Misty May-Treanor, but you won’t be able to blame the ball. This soft, composite-leather volleyball is a facsimile of what the pros use. $15; wilson.com Women’s Beach Gear Essentials 2. LOLË…

1. SHELL MontBell's Mistral Parka is a hooded squall shield that vents well enough for sweaty runs and packs down to a softball-size bundle. $110; montbell.com Trail-Running Gear Essentials   2. SUNGLASSES The new VR50 lenses in Oakley's Flak Jackets block blue light to make trail details…

1. BROOKS INFINITI JACKET The billboard-size logo on the back will make you feel like a pro during warm-ups, while reflective touches make it great for chilly dusk workouts. $100; brooksrunning.com The Goods: Road-Race Day 2. TRIGGER POINT PLANTAR FASCIITIS KIT The antidote to…

Hint: It's not the toboggan.

1. Bern Muse Helmet Slope Style This downsized lid has zero bobblehead factor yet still has room for a removable liner (with speakers). $99; bernunlimited.com 2. Marmot Furlong Like it or not, you will get noticed in the lift line when you’re…

Call it trickle-up technology. In the past 30 years, adventure-centric products have moved from the margins to the mainstream. Here's drool-inducing proof that today's top manufacturers are on our side.

I just discovered your gearness and must say I like your logical mirth. Please enlighten me on Eagle Eyes sunglasses technology. Is its NASA-accepted light-filtering system really unmatched? Salim Loma Linda, California

History repeats itself—and we don't mind—with these seventies-inspired shades

Mysteries of the mind-body connection: Why does Willie Nelson make me run faster than the White Stripes? And why do both sound so much better coming out of the Thump Pro? I don't have answers, but I do know that after several trail runs I fell shamelessly in love with…

In the Store: Don’t know what kind of arches you have? Dunk your foot lightly in some water and then step on a paper bag. See almost your entire foot? You’re an overpronator. See very little? You’re an underpronator (this is less common). »…

What color sunglass lens should I use for hiking? From sunrise to sunset, I want just one pair if that’s possible. I have tried to look this info up, but I want to get it right. Is polarized the way to go? I'm clueless. Jay Las Vegas, Nevada

The smartest new gadgets put grand ideas in the palm of your hand

What's to love in 2006? How about 100 of the most newsworthy athletes, products, gadgets, bold ideas, and badass feats? From Lance's remarkable retirement (you try raising $500,000 for charity in one night) to a cell phone that logs your training run (and tells you where to turn) to a 33-item gift guide (check out Oakley's Bluetooth shades), here ar