By Brian Metzler
What makes a good pair of sunglasses for running? For me, it’s simple: A pair of shades with a lightweight frame that stays on your face and has exceptional optics. The new Method Seven Silverton model sunglasses definitely hit those marks very well, which is a huge accomplishment for a relatively new brand in the running world.
Since its inception a few years ago, Method Seven has focused, first and foremost, on optics for a wide range of activities with acute visual requirements – flying airplanes, monitoring cannabis-growing operations under the sharp glow of grow lights, and, yep, you guessed it, trail running.
When it comes to running shades, I’ve typically found Kaenon, Maui Jim, Adidas Eyewear and Julbo to have some of the best lenses for running. After testing two of their models, Method Seven is definitely in that best-in-class category, too.
Method Seven’s lightweight and extremely durable TRAIL26 polycarbonate lenses are more sophisticated than most brands, featuring anti-fog, anti-scratch and hydrophobic coatings and trail-optimized partial polarization and a VLT (visible light transmission) of 26%, which allows for more light and more contrast while still shading your eyes from the glare and vibrancy of the sun. It uses a development process called “notch filtering,” which utilizes rare earth elements bonded in crystal with advanced coatings and polymers that block the light you don’t need and enhance the light you do.
That sounds both complicated and otherworldly, but from my point of view the proof is in the performance. I wore a pair of Silverton shades while running a variety of technical singletrack trails in Chamonix, France, last week. The lenses offered clear, uninhibited optics as I negotiated rocky, uneven surfaces in a range of light conditions at all times of the day. The high-contrast lenses really enhanced obstacles on the trail – rocks, roots, tufts of grass, gravel, etc. – so I could see them better. Ultimately, they created the best-case scenario in which I put on my sunglasses and forgot about them, no matter if the sun was out or if it happened to be a moment of overcast or cloudy skies.
The Silverton shades weigh just 23.2 grams, which, believe it or not, is less than an ounce. The composite frames are flexible and bendable, so they won’t break if you accidentally sit on them. They have slip-free temple tips and nose pads that keep them in place during quick movements of running on technical trails, and they’re so light you barely feel them on your face.
The other variable of running sunglasses, of course, is price. At $175, the Method Seven Silverton shades aren’t cheap, but as I’ve said before, you get what you pay for. I love budget-priced glasses made by Tifosi, Shady Rays and Goodr, however, my experience with those has generally been that they are good $25 to $35 shades but … (if you know, you know) …um, well, they’re good $25 to $35 shades. Some of those have broken easily, some of those have quickly gotten smudged or scratched lenses and none of those have exceptional optics. That’s not a knock on other brands, but instead it’s a suggestion, if your budget allows, that buying a truly exceptional pair of sunglasses, like the Method Seven Silverton, is a really smart investment.