by Wade McComas
When picking a new pair of glasses (in this case because my previous pair were washed away by the Atlantic) there are a couple of questions I ask: Must I carry a special cleaning pouch? Will I look like a distressed Terminator or perhaps a bug? Will these glasses work for a multitude of activities including causal wear?
Native Eyewear offers some fashion forward yet utilitarian options that will keep you from being that alien-like individual who in a casual setting is dressed for a speed stage of the Tour de France.
The Ward are very lightweight offering from Native which give a bit of style to adventure that will stay glued to your face. With my larger head I was certain that these would be too tight. Even when placing them on my mug I just knew that they were going to give me a headache. But several hours on–they did not. They fit snugly without placing pressure on my head. And as an experiment they did the same for my wife and my five year old son who have very different head shapes and sizes from myself.
The lenses are obviously polarized and are really great. There is only minute color distortion as opposed to your less expensive sports glasses. The mirroring will not wipe away after the first time you need to use your shirt to wipe the lens as it does with some larger name-brand shades. The Ward comes equipped with a second pair of lighter brown lenses that would be great for early morning activities and late night driving but I have not had the opportunity to utilize them yet. (Above is a cross-section of a harsh-lit sky through both lenses.)
Along with being lightweight, the frames have small rubberized inlays behind each ear and on each nostril. These are not what I would describe as pads that leave indentions on your nose or pull at your hairline. They just do a sensible job of keeping the glasses in place and also assist in minimizing bounce/slide. The quality of the inlays was tested with my two year old attempting to pick them out, yet the glasses remain intact.
While running, I did begin to notice a small amount of bounce in the nose that led to the arms tucking themselves further behind my ears and I was forced to readjust. However, I also grimace while running because I would rather be hiking up a steep grade. You may not experience that particular issue. I expected the Ward to slide down my nose a bit while leaning forward on my bicycle but in the midst of a twenty mile ride, I only had to remove them once for the unlucky bug that found its way to the small gap between lens and face.
Overall, YES, you should get these glasses. If not these, I would advocate for another offering from Native that more fits your style, meaning I have been sold on their brand. They are very versatile in their appearance and in their usefulness. After having flown, run, hiked, kayaked, cycled, and just generally worn them around ,my extremely light sensitive eyes will not be without them.
The only obvious issue with these glasses is that you are really paying for all of that quality. However, if you are willing to drop $100+ on a pair of glasses, then giving a serious look at Native is a must and the Ward is a very solid choice.