The pair of Native Eyewear Toolah’s pulled back into my hair as I write this already made their way up Colorado’s Vail Mountain this morning for an early interval running session. The dark lenses of the sunglasses shielded my eyes from the bright morning rays that began to crest over the eastern horizon.
We began our ascent on the snowy terrain before the sun was on us. The “Red Frost” colored frames were light and completely comfortable as they rested securely on the top of my head, the mirrored lenses ready to be called to action in any moment to protect my eyes from oncoming shine.
The Silver Reflex Lenses on the glasses help to reduce glare and enhance contrast, which is an imperative feature for on-snow running or snowshoeing. Native’s N3 lenses are said to block up to four times more infrared light than other polarized lenses, and provide UV protection up to 400 nanometers, so 99-100 percent of UVA and UVB rays are blocked.
The contrast provided by the lens polarization makes for crisp definition, even as you move from a shady patch on the trail to a sunny stretch. On a recent snowshoe race in Beaver Creek, I appreciated the lightweight, Rhyno-Tuff Air Frames, as well as the protective lenses.
I did find, however, that my heavy, endurance-enduced breath on the particularly cold day of the snowshoe event did create some fogging on the lenses, which was less than ideal for the race, especially when finding footing on the tricky, singletrack sections.
I had no fogging issues this morning, though, as the temperature was well above 40 degrees for the hour-long training session.
What I love most about the glasses is that they are lightweight, comfortable and versatile, as well as both athletic and casual. The distinct yet non-intrusive temple grips keep the glasses from moving around, even when I am trying to run fast, and the Cushinol nose pads bridge my nose securely but with a soft ease.
The Toolah sunglasses are certainly trail-worthy, but they are also stylish and feminine. For me, it’s great to be able to slide sunglasses on top of my head for the times spent in between sunshine sessions, and it’s always a plus when they stay up there, and when they don’t get caught in my hair.
The Native Eyewear Toolah sunglasses come in other colors as well, like “Iron Grey” and “Tigers Eye.” The Toolah is a part of the 2015 collection, and run from $109 – $129 a pair. The company offers a no-questions-asked Lifetime Warranty. Find the glasses online at www.nativeyewear.com.
Kim Fuller is a journalist and outdoor enthusiast based in Vail, Colorado.