For the past 22 years, Kevin Plank and Under Armour have pushed the envelope to develop some of the best footwear and apparel for athletes. They have never been shy to promote their products and sponsored athletes. As the home of Jordan Spieth, Michael Phelps, and Steph Curry, the Baltimore-based brand is ‘all in’ with the world’s best, and amateurs alike, to help them perform at their highest levels.
This year, Under Armour is making a big push into the sunglass space with models focused on helping athletes to perform better at a specific sport or to look stylish on or off the course. Having produced sunglasses for more than a decade, UA has partnered with award-winning eyewear design firm, Eyeking, to develop its latest offerings.
Three of Under Armour’s latest sunglasses, including two pairs from their Tuned Vision Performance and Recovery lines, were put to the test on the beaches of Hawaii. What a great place to see if the newest entries to the sports sunglass space are worth being called the best.
UA Tuned Golf
The first two pairs are part of Under Armour’s new Tuned Vision Performance and Recovery System introduced at the most recent PGA Merchandise Show. The lenses in this line are touted to provide golf-specific and health benefits on and off the course.
The golf specific glasses, UA Tuned Golf, provides heightened contrast, more accurate depth perception, and the ability to see the fairways and greens with greater definition. These are the same claims touted by all other golf-specific sunglasses and if a company wants to appeal to this segment, all of these attributes are required.
The glasses performed really well and provided protection from glare and the strong Hawaiian sunshine. All Under Armour Performance Eyewear lenses block 100% of UVA, UVB & UVC rays. They were comfortable for an entire round and the grips strategically placed on the nose pads and temples kept the glasses in place while making a swing. Although lightweight, they can definitely handle the rigors of being tossed in a golf bag for an entire season.
The Tuned Golf sunglasses are offered in two sports-focused styles appropriate for the course, the Golf Big Shot and Golf Propel. Two additional styles, the Golf Assist and Golf Pulse, have more of a lifestyle design and can easily move from the course to the street. The robust product line is making Under Armour a player in the golf-specific space.
UA Tuned Recovery
Under Armour’s Tuned Recovery creates a new category of sunglasses aimed to aid in the recovery of your eyes. The glasses are available in two casual styles, the Recovery Pulse and Recovery Glimpse. The Recovery line utilizes a proprietary and restorative color profile that eliminates harmful blue light to help regulate natural circadian rhythms and return eyes toward their peak performing state. The lenses protect against all UV A, B, & C rays to reduce eye strain and damage.
I was very skeptical of these glasses and actually started wearing them after the Getaway model (more below) were borrowed, or actually stolen, by my wife. Let me tell you; my initial opinions were 100% incorrect. These glasses make everything crisper and clearer looking. The lenses are a light blue and cast a nice hue while hanging on the beach or just driving around town. Many lighter colored lenses are challenging to wear in bright conditions, however, I never found my eyes straining or squinting against the bright sunlight while wearing these.
That being said, I’m not sure how to measure the recovery of my eyes. Were my eyes rested more than with other lenses? I’m not sure, but at the very least, the glasses look great. I highly recommend them for anybody looking for a stylish pair of sunglasses under $100 that will perform in all light levels.
The final pair of sunglasses put through the test in Hawaii are part of UA’s lifestyle collection. The design team took a traditional aviator style and put in the latest lens technology to make one modern pair of shades. The Getaway is designed to be worn during everyday activities or lounging on the beach. Created with 100% UVA/B/C ray blocking lenses, they are highly functional and have a cool, calming tint. The black frames are a unique take on a tried, and somewhat overdone, aviator style. These glasses combine the benefits of wearing a performance pair of sunglasses with a fashionable design.
As I mentioned above, these glasses were quickly stolen/borrowed by my wife for most of the trip. The Getaways are unisex and look great on both men and women. If you are looking for a gift for a golfer in your family or somebody getting ready for beach season, pick up a pair of these glasses.
Under Armour makes a very nice pair of sunglasses. The lens technology is at the forefront of the industry, the lightweight material is high-quality, and the price point is attractive. Creating a foothold in an extremely competitive market is the biggest challenge facing the brand. Can Under Armour leverage its position as a leader in athletic apparel and footwear to gain market share? Partnering with an expert in the industry to create a quality product is a good place to start. Of course, the exposure that Jordan Spieth’s caddie, Michael Greller, is giving the sunglasses puts them front and center for golf fans.