The future's so bright!
Sziols are an eye wear brand hailing from Germany, specialising in adventure sports – nothing too unique there. However, they have dedicated huge research into running, and dedicate eye wear that adapts to a runners need – not the other way around…
Last summer they powered the Salomon teams to success at the TransAlpine Run, winning the men’s open and mixed categories. This year they are also a supplier / sponsor to the Salomon Trail Team, so these glasses need to perform!
The company claim that they are:
The only sunglasses on the market with the patented Air Circulation Management (ACM) system that eliminates fogging.
That’s quite a statement! I was pretty keen to see if their product lived up to their marketing spiel, as the Sziols feature statements on the range also states that the lens and frame technologies are:
developed in collaboration with leading experts from the optics, sports science, Sportophthalmolgie and designers. The revolutionary Sehkonzept of Sziols can significantly impact on your physical well-being.
Wow, a pair of shades that can make me feel better and dont mist up?! Now I am interested.
Where better to try out these babies at this time of year than the south of France. Where better than the windswept trails of Mont Ventoux? Luckily for me the temperatures last week also hit the low twenties at times, so there was sun and sweat a plenty. The XKross 3 Running System comes with interchangable nose pieces and neoprene brow fitting, to keep the sweat out of the eyes. Plus the frames can adapt to the cycling and ski lens quite easily, should you be one of those types that does a bit of everything.
Again, the XKross system ensures that you can use the product in many different spheres:
The sport frames of the XKross System was designed so the lenses can be changed with “a turn of the key”, and adapt your glasses to match your sport. The different filters adjust your sports glasses, allowing them to adapt to different temperatures, light and weather conditions.
…and with a host of other features including:
Key System D.P.X.™ Kross: This allows a quick change of the lens without leaving fingerprints.
•ACM (Air Circulation Management) Technology:
• Balanced prism: Thicker at the outside to compensate for potential distortion caused by curvature of the lens.
• Integrated Neoprene Sweat Band: The removable and washable sweat band rests comfortably on your forehead to protect against airflow, sun exposure and wind, while diverting sweat away from your eyes.
• Polycarbonate Lenses: Nearly indestructible and scratch resistant!
• High Function Lens System: This provides 100% UVA-UVB protection.
• Outstanding Warranty: We offer a 3 year limited warranty, covering everything from frames to lenses! For those needing to replace lenses, we offer an industry leading lens replacement program!
…you know that your eyes are in safe hands, vorsprung durch technik!
On the run
The anti-glare and anti-misting statements are spot on. At no point during the 6 hours of running that I undertook did the lens mist, my eyes always felt comfortable. The anti-glare is also bang on. Looking at bright objects, water and bright white rocks I had no issues. Equally, through the slightly dark wooded areas the glasses offer an element of ‘rose-tint’ and brighten up the view. The fit is also sweet. The anti-slip nose peice and lens-arm grips are comfy and not over tight, plus weight wise you will hardly notice these shades when they are on.
One area that didn’t fully convince me was the anti-sweat brow. It could just be my deformed head, or it could be that the neoprene brow guard doesn’t conform to all head types – either way Sziols need to recognise that not all heads are the same and a bespoking system for this feature would go further to making these glasses even more unique in the running market. I regularly had to remove the glasses to clean off sweat that had seeped onto the inside of the lens via my big sweaty brow…
How do I look?
I have to admit to liking the design of these glasses. Additionally many of the other runners out in France admitting to liking the look of my XKross Sziols. So, half of battle, especially for people whose philosophy is form over function!
For the €250 (!) that you will need to shell out for these shades all of the above needs to be perfect. The eyewear market is awash with glasses, and some really cool stuff at well below the £100 mark. Sziols need to be aware that they have a great product, but price points are highly sensitive in this area and to break into the UK market (of which I can only really comment on) they need to be aware that competition is hot. So, any slight functional glitches must be addressed, in my view, and for the product to break into this price-sensitive area Sziols need to have a product that is superior to the rest of the market if they are to charge this stratospheric price.
Glasses = rated
Price point = slated…