Having survived the Y2K bug, Adidas Eyewear was established all the way back in the year 2000. As an offshoot of German sportswear company Adidas, the eyewear branch has established itself as a popular choice with sportspeople of all disciplines the world over.
Having reportedly taken 2 years to develop, the Evil Eye Evo glasses are equipped with a whole host of technical features to make them suitable for the harshest conditions you could possibly face in the outdoors. Apparently Adidas built the Evil Eye Evo’s to woo Enduro racers back from using goggles. And as such, they feature a close fitting design, an enormously broad field of vision, and a removable foam sweat bar.
The Evil Eye Evo’s are available in two frame sizes (S and L), and there are no fewer than 22 different lens tints to choose from, including LST (high contrast) and Vario (photochromatic) lens options. However, as the glasses utilise the Quick-Change lens system, they’re also simple to swap in different lenses. Most of the standard lenses sell for £34.99, though if you want a polarised or the fancy Vario photochromatic lens, you’re looking at a considerable £75.99 for a pair of lenses.
The model tested here is the Evil Eye Evo Pro, which includes the integrated foam sweat bar and a special hydrophobic lens coating.
The first thing you notice with the Evil Eye Evo is just how enormous they are physically. The coverage is awesome. Like other Adidas sports glasses, the Evil Eye Evo Pro feature a 10-base extreme lens curve that wraps around your face further than anything we’ve ever used before. For reference, most other sports glasses on the market top out at an 8-base curve. Despite the heavy curvature, Adidas have worked hard to keep the lens free of distortion.
The rubber nose pads feature a dual position adjustment to modify where the frame sits on your nose. From there you can also tweak the Tri Fit arms, which can be locked into 3 different angular positions. This adjustment changes the tilt of how the glasses sit against your face, and is useful for eliminating interference from bushy eyebrows or big cheeks.
Along with the foam sweat bar, the Evil Eye Evo’s do sit very close to your face, keeping any bugs or flying debris away from your precious pupils. I initially found the sweat bar to be a little noticeable on my eyebrows when first trying the glasses on, but within 2 minutes of riding, I’d completely forgotten about it. For me, it’s a brilliant feature that reduces the amount of sweat that rolls down into your eyes while riding. And while I rarely need to use sunscreen living in the UK, if you do, you’ll know just how much of a stinging pain that can be.
Despite their snug fit, the glasses ventilate exceptionally well thanks to the Climacool system that creates a vacuum behind the lens whilst riding. Air is drawn up through vents inside the lower frame, and is sucked out at the rear of the lens through exhaust ports, while heat and moisture rises up into the sweatband. It’s a clever design that legitimately works, though only while riding. When stationary, it doesn’t take long for the close-fitting glasses to fog up.
The Grey/Red Mirror lens tested features a hydrophobic coating to help shed dirt and moisture, and offers impressive glare reduction for UV protection in bright summery conditions. It’s part of Adidas’ LST (Light Stabilising Technology) range, which basically means the tint enhances contrast to deliver brighter and more vibrant colours. It works, and they provide excellent vision quality. Unfortunately they have accumulated a handful of light scratches on the lens throughout the time I’ve had them. According to Adidas, the mirror-finish lenses can be more susceptible to scratch damage due to the way the lens surface is layered up. And because of that enormous 10-base curve, the lenses do stick bulge out from the frame more than conventional glasses, so they’re more vulnerable in the event of a tumble. Given they’re pricey glasses, I’d recommend making use of both the soft pouch and hard case that Adidas supplies with the glasses for anytime you’re not wearing them.
With 13% light transmission, the Grey/Red Mirror lens is ideal for bright and summery conditions. For the other 11 months of the year in Britain, I’d suggest considering the LST Active Silver lens (36% transmission), Crystal Silver Gradient lens (51% transmission) or the Vario lens (14-89% transmission). But the beauty with such a large lens range is that you can choose the right tint for your typical riding environment. Though thanks to the speed and ease of the Quick Change lens system, I’d recommend investing a spare set of lenses to make the one set of glasses that much more versatile.
As I’ve come to expect from Adidas Eyewear, the Evil Eye Evo glasses are phenomenally comfortable. They’re not cheap, but they’re highly adjustable and well suited to fast paced XC racing and big days out in the mountains. The huge field of vision might seem overkill at first, but it doesn’t take long to appreciate just how beneficial that is on the trail, and especially if you love riding fast on big open trails.
Not only has Adidas provided a legitimate alternative to goggle-lovers, in my opinion, the Evil Eye Evo’s have reset the bar for all other glasses too.
|Product:||Evil Eye Evo Pro L|
|Tested:||by Wil Barrett for 6 months|