For runners looking for a one-and-done pair of shades, I give you the Smith Pinpoint sunglasses ($170 to $200). With their medium size and coverage, their quality lens options, and their gentle but protective curvature, these sunglasses work well and look good for traveling, trail running, and everything in between. I tested the Pinpoints with the ChromaPop Violet Mirror lenses. There are several other lens options at different prices, including polarized ones that provide a significantly different visual experience.
By the way, we’ve named the Smith Pinpoint sunglasses a favorite in our Best Running Sunglasses buyer’s guide.
I know, a lot of companies have entered the sunglasses market catering cheap and casually cool sunnies to the running crowd. The problem is that the lenses on these sunglasses for running just aren’t very good. Low visual acuity combined with cheap polarization don’t give the same visual pop to the landscape. Even worse, these cheap lenses can distort vision and fatigue the eyes. Now, if you’re someone who leaves your sunglasses on the hood of your car on a regular basis, I’m not here to guilt you for scoffing at a $100-plus pair of sunglasses. But a lot of our enjoyment of trail running and ultrarunning is derived from experiencing nature in all of its vivid beauty, and I for one don’t want to dull that experience.
As running sunglasses fashion seems to have careened toward early 1990s styles, some of us who are old enough to have experienced the era are craving styles that are somewhat more subdued. While I can sometimes appreciate the function of full-coverage, wraparound sunglasses, I don’t feel the need to look like Dave Scott winning the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii at the post-run coffee stop. Additionally, when traveling, it can be nice to pack one pair of do-it-all sunglasses that works for both running and casual wear.
Smith Pinpoint Sunglasses Frame and Fit
In over a year of testing, the Smith Pinpoint sunglasses have been my go-to shades for running, driving, and just generally hanging out outside. The design harkens back to the classic wayfarer and the purple mirror lens that I tested gives the anemoics something to love. Other lens colors are available too. Smith advertises these as a medium fit and the sizing of the Pinpoint will work well for a lot of head/face sizes as evidenced by how they work for my smaller head and face.
Yes, they are cool looking and a bit timeless, but what really makes these sunglasses a pleasure to run in are the technical features. The very lightweight and flexible plastic frame on my pair has taken quite a beating over my time with them. The Pinpoint’s frame has the ability to stretch a bit, like when you wear sunglasses over the ears of a stocking cap on a cold day, without ever stretching out or losing their original, secure fit. Aiding this fit are Megol non-slip nose pads which haven’t deteriorated and don’t feel greasy, even in the sweatiest of conditions.
Smith Pinpoint Sunglasses Lenses
What really sets the Smith Pinpoint sunglasses apart from other casual-looking running sunglasses are the lenses. If you haven’t checked out a Smith ChromaPop lens, I highly recommend it. True to Smith’s claims, the lenses enhance contrast and natural color, and details in the trail appear more clearly. I also noticed less eye fatigue when wearing the Pinpoint for a long day on the trails as well as when driving for many hours. Despite being dropped on the lenses at least a half-dozen times, my Pinpoints are scratch-free.
Smith Pinpoint Sunglasses Overall Impressions
I get it, $150 for the Smith Pinpoint sunglasses seems like a lot of dough for sunnies that could get you mistaken as an extra from “Ski School.” But admit it, you’ve spent more money on more ridiculous things–especially during that year of COVID-19 quarantine. We all have. To make matters easier, Smith has a lifetime warranty. While I haven’t used the warranty program myself, I’ve heard great feedback from other runners who have either had their damaged sunglasses repaired or replaced for free. Your eyes are important, and looking cool, or at least looking like everyone else at an ultramarathon, is important too. Don’t forget your mesh trucker running hat and crew running socks, you filthy animals.
Call for Comments
Are you running in the Smith Pinpoint sunglasses? Leave a comment to share your thoughts on their frame, lenses, and fit.
[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!]
Our Favorite Running Sunglasses
Check out our Best Running Sunglasses article to learn about our current favorite running sunglasses!