By Samantha Calder-Sprackman, M.D.
Good visual acuity allows us to enjoy many outdoor activities. It is well established that UV rays from the sun increase the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration over time, ultimately impairing vision. Wearing protective eyewear for outdoor recreation is arguably as important as good running shoes to prevent injury!
Runners know the importance of high quality running shoes, socks, and clothes, but many don’t think of the importance of good sunglasses. As a runner, I spend many hours outside pounding the pavement and thus take eye protection seriously. When it comes to picking out the right shades, I am extremely picky and will not just settle for any ol’ pair! Good eye coverage, excellent UV protection, lightweight comfort, and of course style are all MUST HAVE features when I’m considering purchasing a pair of sunglasses.
I was recently given the opportunity to try the Eclipse sunglasses from Guideline Eyegear. GLPolarized.com. Guideline Eyegear is a company that was originally created to make eyewear that meets the demands for fishing and water sports. The company prides themselves on having developed a sunglass collection that combines comfort and the highest standard of UV protection to maximize vision on the water. Being unfamiliar with this brand, I was skeptical when I was first given these glasses to try. However, with their interesting watersport niche, I was keen to test out sunglasses made for consumers who are exposed to bright sunlight for hours a day.
My experience with the Eclipse Guideline Eyegear Sunglasses:
I have been sporting the Eclipse shades for approximately two weeks. Initially, I would only wear the sunglasses for running. However, after a week of owning the shades, I started using them for everything: cross country skiing, skating, and even driving. These sunglasses have quickly overtaken my previous go-to active sunglasses in my wardrobe.
The Good… and there is a LOT of good:
Despite having some knowledge regarding the importance of UV protection for sunglasses. There are technical features about well made sunglasses that I did not fully understand. The Guideline website is outstanding and provides a slide show that actually explains the importance of these technical features. Essentially, a good pair of performance sunglasses is scratch and water resistant, provides UV protection, and allows for true color perception so that you can use them in low or bright light.
The Eclipse sunglasses meet these criteria in every way. They have 100% UV A and B protection and have polarized, which filter out random rays of light that cause glare and obscure your view. The lenses are also scratch resistant with coating on both the inside and the outside. Furthermore, they have silver blue lens, which are great for both medium and bright sun conditions, making them an all around great sunglass choice for all running conditions. As a result of these excellent features, I have been able to wear the Eclipse sunglasses in bright snow/ice as well as in overcast conditions without having any glare through the lens obscure my view of my running footing.
These sunglasses fit like a glove -- they sit nice and snug on my face but are not so tight that they give me a headache. They have rubber brow and nose pads that prevent slipping, which is an essential feature when you are sweaty and running!
In previous reviews, I have mentioned how I love gear that 1) looks good and 2) makes you feel fast as soon as you put them on. The Eclipse Sunglasses are marketed as ‘performance sunglasses’ and they are exactly that. I love the shiny black frames with the deep blue reflective mirror so that you can’t see my eyes! They are sleek and lightweight making me feel like an elite competitor as soon as I put them on!
The online ordering option and reasonable price point of the Guideline sunglasses are two of my favorite features of the Guideline sunnies. Although I will never hesitate to pay slightly more for a product of good quality, I am happiest when I can get good value for my dollar! Guideline sunglasses range from 50.00-90.00$ and for slightly more money (approximately 170.00$), you can chose to order prescription shades by simply inputting in your prescription online for whatever style you chose. For many, high end sunglasses are simply too expensive but Guideline allows consumers to purchase a quality product for a modest price. Also, as someone who requires prescription sunglasses, I am particularly impressed by the option to purchase a pair of shades with my prescription at a reasonable price point.
Admittedly, I struggle to find a ‘bad’ about the Eclipse Sunglasses. After racking my brain, the only thing that I could think of was that perhaps consumers might be hesitant to purchase sunglasses online without having the opportunity to try them on in a store. However, after reviewing the return policy on the Guideline website, I was happy to find that if you don’t like your ordered shades, you can get a full refund for purchase within 30 days.
Good sunglasses are an essential piece of training equipment for athletes who spent time outdoors. As a runner, I appreciate quality sunglasses that are affordable as well as stylish: the Eclipse Sunglasses are exactly this! These sunglasses have really impressed me and I would recommend them to any runner/outdoor enthusiast.
Having enjoyed these Eclipse sunglasses so much, I have also perused through the Guideline Eyegear website and found a few other frames that tickle my fancy. For a hybrid sunglass that combines functionality and a casual look, I like the SWELL model, particularly with the crystal clear frame. It does not surprise me that this is one of Guideline’s best sellers! http://www.glpolarized.com/Guideline_Store/swell-96100653
Of the new 2014 collection, my favorite style is the MAGNUM model. I’m a sucker for the aviator sunglass style! I like that these sunglasses don’t just look good but have the same thoughtful design as the Eclipse performance sunglasses.
There is a good chance that I purchase another pair of Guideline Sunglasses for more casual wear in the future. If you are in the market for the new shades, casual or performance, definitely keep the Guideline Eclipse on your radar!