After I lost a pair of very nice sunglasses that slipped off my head during some overzealous dancing, I vowed for my next pair to put function before form. The benefit of these photochromic safety glasses is not only their low relatively-low cost and snug fit, but also their versatility. They keep off glare when I’m driving, protect me from wind when I’m biking — day or night — and shield my eyes when I go to the machine shop to work on projects. The lenses run almost perfectly clear to a nice, dark tint in the sun, with nearly 100 percent UVA/B protection. They have an ANSI Z87.1+ rating, which means they’re shatter-proof even when struck by a 1/4-inch steel ball at 150 feet/second. The lenses are polycarbonate, so a significant scrape against sand, ground, etc. would probably scratch them. In the six months I’ve been using them, I’ve dropped them lightly a couple times and they’re still pretty much like-new.
Over the summer, I worked in a machine shop lathing, sawing, drilling, tapping metal and wood twice a week for 3-4 hours and a couple weekends straight through until Burning Man. Unlike the cheap, standard shop glasses which I’d constantly put on and remove and occasionally forget to put back on, these are so comfortable I rarely take them off. It’s important to note they do not seal all the way around your face the way some safety goggles do — i.e. the ones with flexible rubber sides that press up against the skin. On the one hand, that’s why these are much more comfortable, but then again, that makes these potentially unsuitable for tasks where full coverage is recommended. For my usage, though, which is primarily partial-coverage tasks, they’re great. Definitely one of the most functional things I own, and considering they’re safety glasses, they look pretty good.