We’ve talked about running sunglasses before. How the right pair can make you look fast or feel fast — or, you know, kind of feel like a fraud (Your sunglasses make you look like an Ironman … you can run faster than an 10-minute mile pace, right? Er … ). So when these new shades from Nike Vision arrived at FBG HQ, I took one look and got a little nervous. These look like legit running sunglasses … like the kind you run fast in.
And, honestly, they pretty much are. Designed for the runner, both models we tried — the Run x2 S (top) and the Excellerate (bottom) — are ridiculously light-weight and carefully crafted so that they sit on your face in a way that’s comfortable without slippage or bouncing when moving. I’ve worn both pairs of these off and on for outdoor runs over the past few months, and I’ve been amazed at how much you forget they’re even on. The Run x2 S has an adjustable frame so you can get it to fit perfectly (mine didn’t take much adjusting at all though), and the Excellerate has adjustable rubber nose pads (there are no nose pads on the Run X2 S).
Of the two Nike Vision models, the Run X2 S is definitely for more of the runner’s runner. With a much higher price point (we’re talking $200 to $300 depending on where you get them), these running sunglasses are serious business. They come with Max Transitions Speed Tint Lens that are no joke. They change with the light — giving you more visibility in low-light areas and helping you out with glare when the sun is coming at you or being reflected on the asphalt. While sometimes I found the lenses to let a little too much light in when I was running on a path that had lots of intermittent spots of sun and shade (the sun was just a little too bright and I had to squint a bit), overall I really liked them because they didn’t feel as though you were wearing lenses. They were just there, helping you to see really, really well — and far, far better than running without shades.
The Excellerate has a friendlier price point at $155 to $175 but is still a pretty big running sunglasses investment. I found the Excellerate to be a bit better suited for the runner who maybe isn’t quite so serious and is looking for a pair of sunglasses that’ll work well for hiking, walking and just being out and about. The lens aren’t quite as technical, but they do well at reducing glare and feel good on the eyeballs. The Excellerate is also specifically designed for the smaller face frame of a woman, so it feels great on (especially for me because I have a small head!). This pair also has a less-fast and technical look, which me and my 10-minute mile pace dig.
While I probably wouldn’t have picked these styles if I was out shopping for running sunglasses, I’m super grateful I got to try them. They’re both high-quality, insanely light-weight and go to show that sometimes the best fitness gear is the gear that doesn’t feel like you’re wearing it at all. Both pairs — but especially the Run X2 S — definitely let me forget about my sunglasses and the sun and had me only concentrating on my run, which was awesome. I still may not feel fast enough to wear ’em all the time, but I think it’s time we buck that misconception, huh? Slower runners deserve good-feeling eyeballs, too!
Have you ever tried a pair of the Nike Vision line? How much would you spend on good running glasses? —Jenn