Spy Optic Performance Sunglasses Review

Cut the Glare

Spy Optic Quanta Performance Sunglasses
Spy Optic Quanta Performance Sunglasses. Spy Optic

Spy Optic produces sport eyewear for extreme athletes. Walkers can benefit from the technology to get a pair of sunglasses that cuts the glare, protects you from all ultraviolet light, and stays in place despite sweat and wind.

The Spy Performance line has several designs. I got a pair of the Quanta design to review, and I took them out for some good walks to put them to the test.

The Frames

The frames are built from Grilamid, which they promise is virtually unbreakable. I didn't do a breakage test for this review. The frames come in many colors, including matte black and matte white.

More important for me with any frame is whether it stays in place on my face despite sweat and wind. The Spy Performance sunglasses have Hytrel rubber nose pads and temple tips. I wore these through a very sweaty half marathon where I had rivulets running down my face and a headwind. No slippage. Yet neither were they too tight on my temples. With this full-frame design, the lower part of the frame met my cheeks, and I would actually have a build-up of sweat under the glasses, which would finally run off down my face before creating a problem.

Fogging is always a problem for walkers. I gave these the big test—I was out on a cool morning, walking the half marathon with a high heart rate, and using porta-johns along the way. These glasses say they have a patented Scoop venting system to combat fog. I got fogging going into and coming out of the porta-john as I do with my usual Ray-Bans. But the fog cleared within a second or two rather than requiring me to remove the glasses and wipe them off. I was impressed.

The Lenses

The ARC polycarbonate lenses promise to be impact resistant. I didn't want to take a face plant to test that, as my walking buddy did while I was wearing them. She destroyed her Maui Jims as face met concrete due to a toe-catching, upraised sidewalk. I'm not going to ask her to try the same thing with the Spy Optic glasses.

Trident Polarizing Lenses are available for some of the frames for maximum glare reduction.

All of the lenses absorb 100% of UVA and UVB rays to help reduce aging and cornea damage.

The lenses are replaceable and available in several combinations. I was intrigued, but the Spy web site and promo materials didn't tell me why I'd want the different lens colors. I found that via our Vision Guide's hints for choosing tints for sunglasses. I've been wearing gray lenses for 25 years and didn't know why I'd want anything different. It turns out that the rose lenses of the review pair are good for overcast conditions, as I often encounter here in the rainy Northwest USA.

Tips for Selecting the Right Lens Tint

  • Gray and green polarized lenses work best in sunny conditions.
  • Bronze provides good contrast, especially in low light conditions.

I realized there might be a reason to order replacements to change out between different weather conditions.

The Bottom Line

I was impressed with these glasses in several ways. First, that they didn't slip during a true test that would have had me pushing my glasses back up my nose for some other designs. Second, they truly did defog fast and probably resisted fogging to begin with. Third, I kind of like the rose-colored glasses, even in bright sunlight. Now I'm interested in trying out different replacement lens colors in different light conditions.

However, I would probably choose a less Bono-like design when shopping for them myself. Our Guide to Fashion offers the rule of thumb that you want a lens and frame shape different from the shape of your face. The square-ish Quanta design is too much like my square face. I should look for a design where the lenses are more oval. However, it's the performance more than the style I care about. I don't want crow's feet from squinting and from UV damage.

Product samples were provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.

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  1. Skin Cancer Foundation. UV Radiation. Updated 2019.