Uvex Tomcat S2451 Safety Glasses

I’ve been using these safety glasses as do-everything sunglasses for several years now. They’re dark enough to work in bright sunlight outdoors but not so dark that I can’t read the dashboard of my car, the instrument panel of the airplanes I fly, etc. The metal frames are fairly rugged — I’ve never broken a pair — and they’re ridiculously cheap. They’re also reasonably comfortable on my fairly large head, and they’re fairly stylish. Not outrageously attention-grabbing, but not obviously safety glasses, either.

Because they’re built as safety glasses, they seem to be of vastly superior quality to the comparably priced sunglasses you’d find at a gas station or grocery store. I’ve owned sunglasses throughout the price spectrum, from $3/pair to $200/pair, and these are the ones I keep coming back to.

The only major drawbacks are that the plastic lenses *will* scratch if abused (this is the only reason I’ve had to replace them — I’m hard on sunglasses that I wear literally every single day at work), and the hinges on the templates aren’t spring-loaded, which some people prefer for added comfort. At $8/pair, I can afford new ones every year and don’t have to worry about treating them with kid gloves at work, and if I need a pair of safety glasses for any reason, I’ve already got a comfortable pair handy.

-- Chris Lawson  

Available from Amazon