BOCO Gear hats review

Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear Trail Hat and 360º Visor to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’m an outside runner. Very rarely will you find me on a treadmill. I prefer being outside even if it’s 95º with 100% humidity. And because I run outside so much I sweat…a lot. So I’m always wearing a hat or visor to keep the sweat out of my eyes and to additionally protect my face from the harsh sun. I find that I almost always gravitate towards my BOCO Gear hats. They’re super lightweight, comfortable, keep the sweat out of my eyes and they’re machine washable. All huge wins for me.

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I have several varieties of BOCO Gear hats. The Technical Trucker, the 360º Visor, and the Trail Hat. For this post I’m reviewing the 360º Visor and the Trail Hat.

The 360º Visor would be my all-time favorite. I prefer visors. I have a long pony tail and a visor allows me to place it anywhere on my head without the hat getting in the way. The 360º Visor is great for so many reasons.

  • I love the internal sweatband that rests on your forehead. It really keeps the sweat out of my eyes during my run.
  • Wicking material on the outer also keeps the sweat away and helps keep you cool.
  • The elastic back fits my head without squeezing my brains out. Some visors are too tight with that elastic band (I have a big noggin). But the BOCO Gear 360º Visor just hugs it snuggly without giving me a headache.
  • Machine washable – HUGE, HUGE plus for me. I’ve thrown this thing in the wash so many times and it comes out like a champ every time. It gets really smelly after a couple of runs and being able to wash it frequently helps so much!

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Pretty much the exact same thing can be said for the Trail Hat.

  • It also has the great wicking sweatband at your forehead.
  • It’s made of wicking performance fabric
  • It’s super lightweight. I mean this thing weighs nothing!!
  • It’s a little different in that it has an adjustable back closure instead of the elastic band.
  • The Trail Hat also has a flat moldable bill, that can also be custom printed. Mine has a cute BibRave logo on the underside of the bill!

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If you haven’t tried a BOCO Gear hat, you’re truly missing out. They have a huge variety of designs and colors in the BOCO Gear store or you can even have them send you a quote for your own custom design! I promise you’ll be super happy with your purchase!

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Two things that should be on your running Christmas wish list

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the Health Warrior Chia Bar and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I like finding and trying out new items for running. Sometimes they’re a winner and sometimes they’re just meh. If they’re a winner I integrate them into my weekly running routine easily. I tested out two new products recently and I’m now obsessed with them: the Heath Warrior Chia Bars and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel (60L).

First let’s start with the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 60L. I fully expected this to be your standard, everyday gym bag type duffel. Boy, was I wrong! This thing is so much more! The people over at Eagle Creek really, really, REALLY thought this bag through. It’s features are truly made with the user in mind.

  • It’s ultra lightweight! It only weighs 1 lb 12 oz.
  • It can be carried as a backpack with padded straps. These are removable and it can be carried by the top handles alone as a duffel. I LOVE this feature since I schlep gear through airports a lot and I need hands free as much as possible. This was a HUGE selling point for me.
  • The fabric is abrasion resistant and water-repellant. Combine this with the huge side pockets and it’s great for stowing wet running clothes. I used these side pockets after a rainy trail run and my gear in the middle compartment stayed nice and dry.

  • Foam padded bottom to protect your contents for when you drop it on the ground…like me. I’m lazy and throw my bags around like crazy.
  • Lockable zippers with storm flap to shield the zipper from rain.
  • Six lash points to attach the bag to a roof rack. (I didn’t test this feature out but still cool!)
  • Folds in on itself when not in use into a much small package. I LOVED this feature too. I love that I can stow it away easily in my trunk or closet when I’m not using it or even put it in my luggage for an extra bag for all my souvenirs and SWAG.

Secondly the Health Warrior Chia Bars have now become a staple in my daily diet. I did not to expect to like these as much as I did. I really like things with chia and use chia a lot in my running fuel (smoothies, gels, etc.) so I was anxious to try these.

I got the Vanilla Almond and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors and they came with this SUPER cute Marathon Training coloring book!!

Out of the two flavors I liked the Vanilla Almond the best. It seemed to meld the chia seeds, oats, nuts and nut butter flavors better than the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor. I’m not a huge chocolate fan (I know, I’m weird) but the chocolate and peanut butter flavors were mild in that bar.

These little guys are awesome. They are only 100 calories and 4g to 5g of sugar. They also pack a nice 3g of protein, 4g of fiber and 1100 mg of SUPER good for you Omega-3s. They’re perfect for a pre-run fuel or daily snack without weighing you down. It’s so hard to find a good snack that’s not loaded with sugar that I can carry around with me. These things are compact and really yummy. They helped curb the cravings and hunger monster. I find I’m now putting them in every bag and stashing a few in the car for snack emergencies. Ha!

The first ingredient is white chia seeds…a mega superfood. Chia is such a great fuel for runners because it has protein, carbs, fiber, and absorbs liquid to aid in hydration.

I enjoyed these so much I joined their reward program and have ordered 4 more boxes!!! EEP! You get discounts for your orders and just for following them on social media.

If you’re looking for something new to put on your or someone else’s running Christmas list, I highly recommend both of these products. Great companies, well-thought-out products, that are actually usable and tasty.

 

Oofos Project Pink Sport Sandals Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I love my OOFOS sandals and shoes. Like, love, love them. I have several pair and I practically live in them. I swear they help keep my heel pain at bay. They are my go-to shoe for recovery and just lounging around the house or town.

OOFOS has a whole Project Pink line that I just love. $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased will go toward breast cancer research.

I received the OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandal to try out. I’ve been eyeballing these for a while but was hesitant to try them out because I have fairly narrow feet. I love sport sandals and had a pair for years that I just recently had to let go. But, with narrow feet, they can be hit or miss on the fit. If they’re too wide, they just flop right off. These were just perfect! Narrow enough that my feet fit in them snugly, but not too narrow that they were squeezed in.  Plus they have this super cute pink ribbon on the sides.

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These sandals are made with the same specially engineered OOfoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows. And the pillows don’t compress. They STAY FLUFFY and SQUISHY all day!

The technology behind the OOfoam allows the foam to absorb 37% more impact than traditional shoes, reducing the stress on your feet and body. This helps your joints and feet rest, relax, and recover. They also provide superior arch support and just really cradle your feet.

I actually wore these all day to Legoland recently and my feet and body felt great at the end of the day! They were great too because they dry out so quickly. We got soaked on The Quest for Chi ride and I was the only one with dry feet after a few minutes.

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I really like these OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandals a lot. They are super comfy and a good sandal option for the upcoming cooler months since you can easily slip them on over a pair of fun socks. You can even wear them for a little SpOOky fun for Halloween.

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A Review of SKINS™ A400 Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the SKINS™ A400 3/4 Skyscraper Compression Tights  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

I love running in all things compression. I have a plethora of compression running sleeves and socks and have come to love running in compression tights just this last year.   SKINS™ manufactures all kinds of compression gear from bras to shirts to shorts to tights. What started in 1996 as an idea by an Aussie skier for better, longer performance has not grown into a multi-national company with over 160 products.

I had the opportunity to test out the A400 Skyscraper 3/4 Compression Tights. I personally like the 3/4 length because it’s perfect for our warm climate in Louisiana. I rarely have the need to wear full tights unless I’m traveling or racing further up north. We just don’t get that cold. I was a little leery about testing these out in September and October since we are always still in the upper 80s and 90s then. But one of the first things I noticed was how thin and lightweight the tights are. They didn’t feel overly hot when I got them on but they still offered a good amount of compression. This is due to their “ADAPTIVE Technology” which is supposed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. I did not ever feel like I was overheating wearing these.

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I logged a couple of long runs and several short tempo runs in these and they really felt great. I really liked the wide waistband and higher rise to help tame my muffin top and support my abdominal muscles. The bonded hems and flat seams did not rub or chafe anywhere. The compression technology is supposed to minimize muscle vibration and drive more oxygen to your muscle which results in improved performance. I definitely felt the support from the calves all the way to my lower back and abs.

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I’ll break down the Pros and Cons for these tights.

Pros:

  • Thin material and lightweight so they’re great for warmer climates.
  • High rise really helped support my abs and lower back and tamed some of my middle area squishy bits.
  • I felt they offered a really good amount of compression. I definitely felt more supported and had less muscle vibration (or jiggling).
  • The flat seams and bonded hems were great. No chafing and no rubbing at all.
  • Reflective print on the side. This was an added bonus. I like running clothing that ads on reflective print. This is especially important with black tights.
  • The gusset design in the waistband is genius. It really improved the comfort and stretch and support all around the waist. No binding or pinching or rolling.

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Cons:

  • No key pocket. This bugs me. Most of their other models have a key pocket built in. For some reason the Skyscraper does not. I almost always run outside a few miles from home. I need a place to put my car key. I had to have my friend carry it for me a couple of times.
  • They can be a little see-through. These are not for the modest or for wearing wild undies underneath. Because they are thinner material they are a little transparent, especially in the booty as they stretch out. Just know this. I wore a long shirt and didn’t really care.

Overall I really liked these tights. I think they are a great addition to my training gear and will be usable year-round for me. I think the design was well thought out and executed.

If you would like to try out a pair of SKINS™ Compression tights you can save 20% off your order with code BIBRAVE20 through October.

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5k Crate Runner Subscription Box Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the 5k Crate Runner Subscription Box  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

These days I think there’s a subscription box for everything: beauty, clothes, kids,  science for kids, dogs, cats, wine…you name it, there’s a subscription for it! I’ve seen several subscription boxes being advertised for runners as well. The reviews on some of them have not been too good. The boxes are often filled with random energy bars and gels and not much else. Well, this is NOT the case for 5k Crate. This box was crammed packed with some really, really cool runner gear.

First,  a little about 5k Crate. It’s a quarterly subscription service with each box designed specifically for runners. The subscription costs you $59.99 a quarter and they send you gear specified to your gender and size. You get 4 to 6 handpicked items each quarter and the shipping is free.

The gear in this quarter’s box did NOT disappoint. Inside the box there were:

  • A women’s Mission Vaporactive Alpha Short Sleeve V-neck T-Shirt – in my specified size. And in my favorite color…PINK! I really liked this shirt. It was moisture wicking, thin, and not too tight and clingy. I can see it becoming a repeat in my weekly running apparel.  (Value $25)
  • A Mission HydroActive Cooling Towel – I have a couple of these and they’re really nice on the hot, hot summer days we have in the South. (Value $10 – $15)
  • A pair of Zensah Peek Running Socks – Loved these! Such a cute color and great fit. Love Zensah’s products. (Value $14)
  • A pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Our team had mixed reviews on these but I honestly loved them. They fit well in my ears and didn’t pop out. They connected really easily to my iPhone and the battery life was pretty impressive. The sound quality was really great as well. I was very impressed by these headphones and they’re quickly turning into my new faves. (Value $27)
  • Two Epic Wipes – There’s a reason they market these as “The Massive Wet Wipe” because these things are HUGE! You can seriously wipe down your entire body with one huge wipe. It felt AMAZING after a hot, sweaty run. I used one right before I had to run to the grocery store after a run and I felt amazingly refreshed and not quite so stanky. I can see these being very versatile. (Value $5)
  • Two La Fresh Travel Lite Sunnyside Lotion Wipes – I threw one in my backpack and one in my purse for emergency sunblock if needed. They are each SPF 30. (Value $1)

As you can see there is well over $80 is merchandise and gear in the box and all of it is very relevant to any runner.  I liked everything that came in the box. You can get a little better view of everything in the box on my “unboxing” video below.

The new OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe – A Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I’ve been a huge fan of the OOFOS sandals for a while now. I wear them constantly and they are so comforting to my feet after a long day of being in dress shoes or running the streets. When OOFOS released their first fully closed shoe – the OOmg Low I knew I had to try them out! All the benefits of the OOFOS sandal, with a closed toe?? YES PLEASE!

The first thing you notice about them is how lightweight they are. Nothing was lost when they added the closed top. It’s made of a breathable OOtex mesh upper with a 4-way stretch so your little toes are ensured lots of room to wiggle.

They’re made with the same OOFoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. The OOFoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional shoe foam. This means less stress on your feet, back, and joints. This helps your body relax and recovery. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows.

The shoes are an investment, but they’re an investment in your body’s recovery. They’re made to last 6 month to a year, depending on amount of wear and usage. As with my OOFOS sandals, I get almost immediate relief from the minor heel pain I experience after hard runs, and I can really feel the pressure taken off of my sore joints and feet.

 

I wore these both with and without socks to test them out. Without socks my feet sweat just a tiny bit, but much, much less than I had suspected they would. They were totally comfortable and I experienced zero rubbing or blisters after wearing them most of the day running errands all over town. I also wore them with some little low ankle socks and I gotta say, I preferred no socks personally.

Definitely order a half size up. I usually wear an 8.5 in a running shoe. I was sent a size 9 and they fit perfectly. An 8  would have been too small. They paired really well with my flowy linen pants and some of my cute, casual knit skirts and t-shirts to run around town.

The shoes come in three fun colors and are totally machine washable. I highly recommend the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes. Your feet deserve a little OOh-la-la and pampering. You won’t regret it.

BeachBody Performance Stack Review

***Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Beachbody Performance Stack as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I do a lot of shakes and smoothies for meals. I have a Nutri-bullet that I love and I throw the kitchen sink in there. I’m always looking to try out new supplements and proteins in my smoothies so I was super excited to try out Beachbody’s Performance Stack of exercise enhancers. The Performance Stack includes four different training formulas to be used at different times of excerice:

  • Recharge – to be used before
  • Hydrate – to be used during
  • Recover – to be used immediately after
  • Recharge – to be used at nighttime

All Beachbody products have been NSF-certified – meaning they have been tested to comply with the NSF’s banned substance standards.  You can learn more here.

ENERGIZE

Energize is designed to be used pre-workout. It’s supposed to help you focus and workout harder and longer. You are to mix one scoop with 8 oz of water 30 minutes before exercising.

It contains Beta-alanine to help reduce lactic acid build-up, Quercetin (a phytonutrient) to help delay fatigue, and a low dose of caffeine to help give you an energy boost. It is sweetened with Stevia. I found it pretty sweet with just 8 oz of water. I diluted it a bit more and found the lemony citrus taste very palatable.  Did I notice a big performance enhancement? Not really much more than my normal daily cup of coffee before a run. I would recommend this if you’re not a coffee drinker for a little pick-me-up before a workout.

HYDRATE

I really like Hydrate a lot. I’m always on the hunt for a good electrolyte replacement to use during my runs since I sweat so much.  I drank this during my longer runs and after to replenish my fluids and electrolytes. I get wicked headaches if I don’t replace my fluids after my runs and the smooth, citrus flavor of Hydrate helped me gulp down several glasses of water…and no headache! It also contains Quercetin to help endurance, various electrolytes, and low-dose carbs to help keep you going longer.

The taste was nice and mild. I don’t like an overpowering flavor or sweetness in my hydration. This stuff was perfect. Just a mild flavor that didn’t coat my tongue or give me any stomach distress. Good stuff.

RECOVER

The Recover formula is to be used within 30 minutes after your workout to help with muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.  It’s comprised of pomegranate extract, 20 grams of protein, and branched-chain amino acids.

I drank this both straight with water and in a fruit smoothie. It was super easy to pour and mix in the nifty shaker bottle you get with the Beachbody Performance Stack. I found it to be a little sweet and chalky with a noticeable after taste. But hoestly, it was nothing different than most protein recovery drinks I’ve tried. I liked it much better blended into a smoothie. I really liked that it had 20 grams of protein per scoop. I usually drink my smoothies with almond or cashew milk, so I like to add a good protein in there for muscle recovery.

RECHARGE

Lastly in the Performance Stack is Recharge. This one was probably my second favorite. I loved the vanilla flavor. It was also pretty sweet and a little chalky by itself, but it blended superbly into my fruit blends and gave it a nice, creamy vanilla flavor.

Recharge is to be consumed about 1 hour before going to sleep. It’s supposed to help reduce DOMS and promote muscle recovery. I really liked that it has tart cherry extract. I drink tart cherry juice as an anti-inflammatory and for muscle recovery often, but it’s SUPER tart. This stuff tasted much better. And each scoop has an additional 20 grams of protein and more branched-chain amino acids to aid in muscle re-building.

You can get the whole Beachbody Performance Stack here and it starts out at $199.95. Beachbody backs their products with a 30 day money-back guarantee, so no harm, no foul if you want to try it out and don’t like it. Out of all of the products I would probably buy the Hydrate and the Recharge again

The Versatility of the UV Reflective Half BUFF®

Disclaimer: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF® to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have so many running friends who are BUFF® fanatics. They love their BUFF®. But being a Southerner, it’s always so warm for us. I wasn’t sure I would use a full BUFF® very much. The opportunity popped up for us to try the UV Reflective Half BUFF® recently and I wanted to check out what all the fuss is about.

One of the first things I really liked about this Half BUFF® was that it has reflective print. This is all the rage right now in a lot of active wear and I LOVE it. I love, love that added safety feature. It lights up like a Christmas tree with the BUFF® logo and reflective stripes when you shine a light on it.

The half length was perfect for me. I could easily wrap it around my wrist for an nice little cloth to wipe away sweat on my brow and  hankie to wipe my nose. The thin, sweat-wicking material  was great when I used it as a headband on several runs. It kept the sweat from running in my eyes and was so lightweight I totally forgot I had it on.

Here is the description from the BUFF® website:

Half the length of original UV BUFF® headwear, the UV Reflective Half BUFF® option offers efficient thermal properties, built-in sun protection, moisture management and reflective strips that are ideal for runners. Able to dry quickly and control odor, this sweat-wicking layer fits easily under a helmet. It’s a versatile, go anywhere piece wearable at least nine different ways. 

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays*
  • Reflective strips
  • Multifunctional
  • Exceptional Moisture-wicking with its 4-channel fibers
  • Soft, breathable Coolmax® Extreme fabric
  • Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
  • Polygiene® Active Odor Control
  • Quick drying

All of the above is totally accurate! I even used it at a recent race to keep my hands warm before the race start. It worked like a charm!

The BUFF® is so versatile. I have really enjoyed bringing it on my runs. I swear it’s the MacGyver of running gear. Every runner should have have one.

 

LEGEND® Compression Leg Sleeves Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the LEGEND® Compression Leg Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I swear by my compression gear. I collect compression socks and sleeves like some people collect rare coins. I LOVE my compression gear.

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The first thing I noticed about the LEGEND® Compression Sleeves when I put them on is that they feel thinner than several other brands. They’re thinner, but they still offer an excellent amount of soothing compression. I wore these during several runs and after for recovery to test them out in both situations. I really, personally liked that they were thinner, especially for all of the warm, humid days we’ve been having. This also means these are going to be much more comfortable to use during our sweltering summer heat.

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LEGEND® sets itself apart with their background in medical compression therapy. The sleeves use medical grade graduated compression to help stabilize muscles and reduce soreness.

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Some great things about LEGEND® Compression Sleeves:

  • Relieves shin splints, calf cramps and pulled muscles
  • 15-20 mmHg Graduated compression for increased athletic performance
  • Greater power output
  • Enhanced endurance
  • Increase oxygen levels and blood circulation
  • Reduced muscle fatigue, exertion and soreness
  • Faster recovery time
  • Promotes healing
  • Reduce vibration
  • Maximum blood flow for muscle performance
  • Reduction of lactic acid
  • Moisture wicking
  • Breathable, seamless construction for comfort
  • UV protection

I also really liked that they are MADE IN THE USA and LEGEND® values their quality assurance. They come in a wide variety of colors with a sleek, simple design that can be integrated into any training outfit.

 

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Check out their website http://legendcompressionwear.com/ and browse the many different types of compression wear they offer. Use code rave20 to save you 20% off your order while you’re there!

Rudy Project Fotonyk sunglasses review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Rudy Project Fotonyk sunglasses  to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

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I’m a big sunglasses nut. I have sensitive eyes and almost always wear sunglasses when I’m outside be it playing, walking, or running. I’m always looking out for a good pair that fit comfortably and don’t slip down my face. I’ve heard great things about Rudy Project, especially their cycling helmets and sunglasses. So, I was anxious to try them out.

First of all the Fotonyk glasses look so fierce. They really look tactical to me. I was almost a little intimidated by them. Am I badass enough to wear them??? 🙂 The first thing I noticed about them is how lightweight they are. They fit my face snugly but not to the point where I felt they were squeezing my head or nose. The lenses are also crystal clear.

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Some of the really great things about the glasses:

  • They come with an adjustable nose piece. This was good for me because I have a fairly narrow nose bridge. Some glasses slip on me.
  • They also come with rubber bumpers on the bottom of the lenses for added comfort and safety. They are removable if you want more of a streamlined, clean look on the bottom of the lenses. I personally liked them. And they come in several different colors to customize your glasses.
  • The frames are made from Grilamid® which is a “shock-resistant, hypoallergenic, high-quality, light thermoplastic”. They were definitely very, very lightweight.
  • There are Vent Controller™ controls at the lenses to allow airflow to help prevent misting and reduce thermal shock.
  • The lenses are interchangeable. I like all the different colors you can get in the glasses.

I recently wore these during a hot half marathon with high humidity. The glasses were so comfortable during the race. They completely stayed put and they did not fog or mist on me at all. I was really surprised. I think the vented lenses really help.

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We’ve been having a lot of really warm, steamy, humid days here in New Orleans. The Fotonyk sunglasses have held up like champs. I usually have some lens fogging with a lot of sunglasses while running in our 90%+ humidity. With the Fotonyk I’ve had no fogging issues so far. No slippage. No pinching at my nose bridge or at my temples.

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Overall I gotta say I really, really like these sunglasses. They are a good product made for the active person. The design was thought out and executed well. They are comfortable and functional and look good at the same time.