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We headed to Boulder, CO with Adidas
Checked out the SP0088, SP0089, and SP0077
TAYLOR: A decade ago… Has it really been that long? Ten years ago, I took a deep dive into the trail running world. I went from running competitively on the track to running free in the dirt. I traded fast 800s for FKTs on local peaks.
One thing I lost in the transition, besides some turnover, was sunglasses. I used to wear some on nearly every run through college. Even with higher-end spectacles of the time, the sun protection wasn’t worth the toe catches and missteps. Because light was so variable on the trails, it was an easy choice for me — shed the shades for safety.
Up until recently, that was my strong stance. Sunnies have seen very strong development over the last decade. Frames are lighter and better fitting, lenses have become an adjustable tool rather than a set shade, and overall quality has increased, yadda, yadda, yadda.
One of the brands that’s changing my mind about my personal use of eyewear is Adidas, in partnership with Marcolin Eyewear. Recently, I was able to see how their industry expertise and sports experience come together to create high-performance shades.
TAYLOR: On a warm fall day, a handful of running media folks and I met at a quaint, totally Colorado motel — The Adventure Lodge. By “Colorado,” I mean a spruced-up motel that hugs the side of a steep foothill, with extra lodging via tent platforms, all surrounded by trees and a river running through it. Oh, and a steep trail slipping out the backside of the property leading toward a wider network of trails.
The day’s tasks were to test out some upcoming Adidas models of sunglasses and slam a burrito afterward. I partly jumped at the invite because of the fact that I’ve denied the use of sunglasses for trail running for so long. Free food and networking are nice, too, I suppose.
At this point, I had found two other pairs of sunglasses (Dynafit Ultra and Sungod Ultra sunglasses) that actually work for my trade, and, based on what the event brief described, the Adidas SP0088 and SP0089 should fit the bill too.
Upon arrival, the full-framed sunglasses were neatly set out but didn’t need to be displayed to be eye-catching. The design itself was noticeably sleek. Now, I’m no fashionista, but I reckon these are spiffy enough for casual wear as well. Maybe it’s been all the catcalls and media comments that help confirm this point, but I like to think I could have come to that conclusion myself too.
Between the options available, I opted for the larger frameset for more visual coverage. Both are identical in other specs.
Our small group hit the trails intentionally in the midmorning Colorado light to test in some of the hardest sunglasses conditions. Deep dark shadows, the sun shining through the trees in the peripheral, and bright light when in the open create a dynamic environment for the SP0088 and SP0089 to show off.
TAYLOR: The cool kids refer to these sunglasses by their last names, so the 88s and 89s are the latest drops by Adidas, which releases between three and five new designs a year. Numbers simply denote when they were released. These will be available come Spring 2024 and take on their newest sport styling and latest technology to go with it.
As I mentioned, I chose the 89s because of their slightly larger frame. All other specs are identical between the pairs.
Our testing conditions were a bold move because any kinks in their design would show up. Honestly, even then, it was hard to find anything I didn’t like or that didn’t perform as noted.
Fit is always the first stop with performance sunglasses. I was worried that the full-framed shield-like glasses would bounce around while on the run. After all, they are heavier than any of my frameless options. The bounce never came, though. Between an adaptable nose piece and slim straight arms, the Adidas SP0089s stayed put. Whether I ran on Betasso trails with rolling terrain and fast downhills or on the flat trails of Iowa with sweaty conditions, the story was the same.
The view is where the SP0089 really surprised me. There are a couple of options to choose from with lenses: standard or photochromic. My pair was the photochromic that boasts adaptability to the amount of sunlight hitting the lenses. In shaded areas, cloudy days, or other low-light scenarios, the lenses will block around 8% of the light. To the eye, it’s nearly clear.
When sunlight is more prominent, the SP0089 will block up to 18% of the light, which is equivalent to a moderate tint. It’s not a huge range, but it’s noticeable on the trails where you might dip in and out of tree coverage or clouds, making for varied lighting conditions. On my first run, I had to pull my shades down to make sure they were actually working. They were! The lenses transitioned smoothly enough that I couldn’t even perceive the change. All that I knew was that my view was consistent. The photochromic lens is by far the way to go for a trail-running-friendly pair of sunnies.
Cold days were my next target test condition. Here in the mountains, we’ve been getting down to the 20s and teens in the mornings. Remember those high-end sunglasses that I ditched 10 years back? One of their best features was custom ventilated lenses, something I know I don’t want to be without. Well, the Adidas SP0089s have a different take on how this might take place. Instead of the lenses themselves being ventilated, the frames are. Nine holes near the bridge of the nose help egress heat like a roof vent does in a home.
Since that’s the direction heat wants to go anyway, why not work with it? This worked better than I thought it would. The only time I had a bit of fogginess was when I came to a dead stop at the end of my run. Normally, even a slight bit of fogginess in such temps would then initiate a freeze of my lenses. That wasn’t the case. They fogged up slightly. I started walking. Then, the ventilation and slight air movement did its thing.
Impressed yet? Well, let me throw one more feature your way. I know many prescription glasses-wearing runners who never get the chance to utilize sunglasses. One reason is that prescription sunglasses can be ungodly expensive. Another is that they do not want to look like my grandma by throwing a pair over top of their prescription glasses. Adidas has an in-between option. Both the SP0088 and SP0089 come with a prescription glasses clip-in mechanism. So, you’re not simply putting another pair over top of the pair you’re already wearing. They become the sunglasses and absorb the performance. I would assume this is what it’s like to don your own Gundam Robot, but since I do not wear prescription glasses myself, someone is going to have to let me know.
Overall, the Adidas SP0088 and SP0089 are absolutely pairs of sunglasses that I will take for anything from the daily trail run to running long races. Their performance creates a better experience for runners. You get adaptable eye protection and style all in one.
If you’re in Europe and Asia, you’re in luck — these are available now on Adidas.com. If you’re in the States, you’ll have to wait until early 2024 to have your chance at snagging a pair. /until then, you can check out the rest of Adidas’ sunglasses at the button below.Shop Adidas Eyewear
TAYLOR: If you’re chomping at the bit for a pair of Adidas Performance sunglasses, there are a bunch of already tried and true options.
First, check out Robbe and Matt’s list from earlier this year. Adidas Eyewear pretty much has a style for everyone.
After my run in Betasso with Adidas Eyewear and crew, I was sent a pair of SP0077s. My bar was set pretty high for these after testing and loving the SP0089s. The 77s are a more traditional frameless pair of sunglasses. Some of their best features include an uninterrupted view with a shield lens, an adjustable nose piece, and a light bounce-less fit.
Perhaps, my favorite aspect of the SP0077 is the ease of changing lenses. It’s a simple pull and subtle twist motion that unlocks the arms and the nosepiece. An inverse movement attaches them to the new lens. Being that a lot of my running will be in the dark and high wind really soon, the clear lenses that come with purchase will be a godsend. When I do get the opportunity to run in the light again, the swap is just too easy.
For a high-performance pair of sunglasses, $99 is a pretty good deal. Find a pair of Adidas SP0077 at REI.Shop Adidas SP0077 Sunglasses
Taylor Bodin is a trail and ultra runner living in Estes Park, Colo., with his wife and daughters. Trail running is pretty much the only hobby he can manage right now and loves it. Every so often, he will pop off a race or FKT attempt because competition is pure and the original motivator for him getting into running anyways. When not running, Taylor is a 1st grade teacher, running coach (track & field, Cross Country, and Trail/Ultra athletes), and volunteers at his church.More from Taylor