Adidas Optics – Surprisingly Good Horizor and 3Matic Sunglasses
If you react to the following statement the same way I did, it’s ok; there’s nothing wrong with you: Adidas makes really nice sunglasses. They’ve combined solid optics with light frames and some unique, smart features to create a nice lineup of shades for all sorts of conditions. I’ve been rocking the new 3Matic and Horizor over the last two months. The 3Matic is perfect for casual use and the Horizor for more active endeavors.
The shades I tried out have a few things in common. First off, they all feature Adidas’s SPX frame material. It’s sold as break-proof, lightweight, and flexible. I can confirm the second two – the frames are light and have enough flex to be comfortable without falling off. I haven’t tried to break them yet, but break-proof seems like a high claim. Perhaps the hammer will come out soon. They’re also hypoallergenic and they retain their shape – no stretching or distorting over time.
Also incorporated into the frames, Adidas’s quick-release hinges. These all-plastic mechanisms will uncouple without damaging the frames. If you decide to faceplant, your glasses, at least, will survive. You also get the usual grippy rubber pieces at the nose and ear, called Traction Grip, to keep the shades in place. They work, almost too well. Traction Grip is really sticky. Also, nose pieces are slightly hinged and interchangeable for a better fit on the bridge of your nose.
Adidas uses their Vision Advantage lenses on each of these frames and offers LST. Vision Advantage uses polycarbonate as a base material – nothing special there. LST, which stands for Light Stabilizing Technology, is sold as a contrast enhancing, light stabilizing, color balancer. Huh? Yeah, don’t listen to the marketing folks.
When putting LST lenses on for the first time, it felt like things got brighter, which is weird when your brain knows sunglasses aren’t supposed to do that. It must be the contrast enhancement?
Adidas Horizor Review
The Adidas Horizor would be absolutely perfect if they changed just one little thing. Before we get all critical, let’s talk about the good stuff. I took the Horizor out on ski tours in both bright sun and in blower powder. I also took them mountain biking on sunny and overcast days. And, they were the shades I picked when I needed a bit of contrast enhancement on days when the cloud ceiling happened to be at my front door.
Our tester came with an LST Active Silver lens. Silver? Not so much. It has a rose base tint with maybe a hint of orange in it. Despite offering 16% VLT, the lenses were useful across a wide range of light conditions. They tended to warm up the scene in front of you, which is nice on gloomy days. They also cut through the fog, helping me see better while driving on the highway through snow and fog.
When mountain biking with the Horizors, I had the impression that my reaction time was faster than with some other shades. No empirical evidence, but I certainly believe that Adidas managed to get some darn good optical clarity in there.
The shape of the Horizors offers good coverage without being a complete buggy. They’re also sufficiently vented that it takes some effort to fog them up. I succeeded, but it took high exertion in cold, still air to overwhelm them. On chilly rides, they never fogged. They’re completely comfortable and disappear.
But, that shape is also my one critique. The upper run of the frame can rest directly on my forehead, meaning any sweat has nowhere to go but directly onto the lenses. I needed maybe a millimeter of extra space up there just to get them off my face.
The Horizors are offered in ten different flavors. Prices range from $80-$130, depending on the lens you choose. Available with straight grey tint, some mirrors, LST, or polarized grey. They’re a bit tough to find from US vendors for some reason, but you can get them from Amazon.
Adidas 3Matic Review
While Adidas sells the 3Matic as a “training” pair of sunglasses, and they can function in an outdoors/athletic setting, I see them more on the athleisure side of things. They have all of the technical features, but are a flattering style of frame – almost a wayfarer shape – that doesn’t offer as much protection as I’d like for activities. But, they’re still pretty sweet.
Our testers had vanilla Vision Advantage lenses with a blue-ish base and gold mirror. They cooled off perceived colors significantly. Even though these weren’t LST lenses, I still saw a bump in contrast.
The 3Matics are light and comfortable, perfectly suited for beach days or hikes. If I had to level a criticism at them (of course I do) I really don’t like the contrasting logo. Keep it low key, Adidas.
Pick your favorite from 11 styles – everything from matte black to camo to classic tortoise. Prices range from under $60 to $120, again depending on the lens, and they’re offered with vanilla lenses, LST, or polarization. The 3Matics are also not widespread yet, but Amazon has them.