The company 100% is not well known with runners despite sponsoring two modern legends: Fernanda Maciel and Pau Capel. It’s an American brand founded in the 1980s and specializing in parts for motocross racing. The brand and its assets were dormant through the beginning of the 2000s until returning under new ownership in 2012 and making its primary offering goggles and sunglasses.
The motocross goggle foundation informs 100%’s sunglasses range, borrowing the big shield-like lenses and oversized fit. The 100% Speedcraft ($155 to $195) sunglasses model I tested look better suited to high-speed sports, particularly cycling where field of vision and full coverage from wind are paramount. So for a relatively slow, human-powered sport like running, is this same feature set needed?
100% Speedcraft Sunglasses Frame and Fit
A tidy and compact frame this is not and though it appears there are couple smaller versions of the 100% Speedcraft sunglasses available and marketed more to runners, I chose the standard size. The Speedcraft will probably swallow up the better part of an average-size face–it does for me and I have a bigger-than-average head–and yet airflow is better than similar-sized glasses I’ve tested from other brands. Not to mention the fit.
The Speedcraft uniquely sticks to your face in a way I’ve never experienced, be it sport or casual sunglasses—even eyeglasses! I love the styling of the Speedcraft but the retention is really its standout feature.
100% uses ultra-grip rubber on the temple tips and nose pieces and they claim its performance is industry-leading. Cycling can be sweaty but with wind and air flow I find it dramatically less so than when I’m running, particularly uphill. Most of my other sunglasses go directly to the top of my head when climbing because my sweat rate outpaces the frame’s ability to vent moisture away from my forehead and eventually the lenses of my glasses. While I still need to do this with the Speedcraft, I find I can run longer with the shades on before dripping sweat streaks the lenses and causes impairment. That said, I never need to remove the sunglasses for lack of stability.
Ultra-grip rubber just sticks so well to my skin, even when wet. (100% has a fun animation on their website showing a drenched person vigorously shaking out like a wet dog while the frames stay firmly seated on their face.) The frame material is called TR90 which is an eyewear material that evolved from acetate. TR90 is now very commonly used in sport sunglasses because it’s durable, flexible, and lightweight. The flexibility makes a TR90 frame more resilient to damage. TR90 is also hypoallergenic so it won’t irritate the skin on your temples or ears. I dropped the Speedcraft several times during testing on a variety of surfaces like snow, mud, and dirt, and the frame didn’t chip or scratch a single time.
100% Speedcraft Sunglasses Lenses
The 100% Speedcraft sunglasses includes two lenses, unless you buy version with the photochromatic lens in which case only one lens is needed. In the frame color I tested, Soft Tact Stone Grey, Coral and Clear lenses were included. While both interchange easily, both are much more suited to dark or cloudy days, not the 300-plus days of sunshine and, in the winter, the snow reflectivity in Colorado where I live. I had to get a third set of lenses separately (Black Mirror for $50). If you’re considering investing in a pair of these glasses, make sure to carefully review the lens color because, rather confusingly, 100% mixes frame colors with lens colors mixing clear lenses without dark lenses.
During the winter, I still wore the original lenses and enjoyed them but once I snapped in the Black Mirror lens it was like wearing an entirely new pair. Just like the frames, my Speedcraft lenses are in incredible condition despite dropping them even on pavement. Countless other brands over my cycling career were dinged and nicked seemingly anytime they touched the ground.
Back to the topic of sweating. 100% uses hydrophobic and oleophobic lens technology, which is a very positive result of its motocross heritage where mud and dirt might dangerously affect your ride. This treatment really does repel water better than other glasses I’ve tested. I’m a heavier-than-average sweater—people often ask if I just went swimming after I get back from runs—so to me this is a very crucial endorsement and a necessity for me.
The large frame and lens also really helps with field of vision and it uses a five-base cylindrical shield to increase peripheral view and protection. Again, the lenses might simply be too big; compared to iRunFar’s recent review of the Rudy Project Propulse, you might think the Speedcraft doesn’t even belong in the same conversation. The Speedcraft is clearly designed with cyclists in mind, particularly when riding in the “drops” position with your back low and head down, but I appreciate this windshield effect even for running.
100% Speedcraft Sunglasses Overall Impressions
With the most durability of any frame and lens I’ve ever tested combined with the impressively sticky rubber that never slides on your face or ears, the 100% Speedcraft sunglasses have emerged as real leaders in sport sunglasses. I’ve also worn eyeglasses since I was 13 and had a number from outdoor brands like Roka and Oakley along with the dozens of sunglasses for sports from Rudy Project, Smith, Oakley, and Bliz, and never had a pair meet the same standard set by the Speedcraft. The price is not outrageous and the customer service was fantastic. If you participate in other sports, you’ll reach for these just as readily. The Speedcraft came with a hard case, microfiber cleaning bag, and alternate-fit nose pad.
Call for Comments
Are you running in any 100% sunglasses, including the Speedcraft model? Let us know what you think.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]