Smith Ruckus Review

An in-depth review of the Smith Ruckus sunglasses.

By on November 2, 2023 | Comments

I tested the Smith Ruckus sunglasses ($209-$229) to see if these glasses would be as good as — or better than — the brand’s impressive snow sports lineup.

Like any gear company with a long history, the story of Smith Optics begins in a garage. In 1965, Dr. Bob Smith — an orthodontist and avid skier — developed the first ever sealed thermal lens and breathable vent foam goggles in his Sun Valley, Idaho, home. After selling them rather successfully from the back of his van in Colorado, he saw he was on to something. From there, Smith went on to make goggles and helmets for snow sports. Later, they saw that their lens technology would translate quite well into lifestyle and performance eyewear.

Although Smith has quite the brand equity, they’ve focused most of their marketing and development efforts on snow and water sports, and cycling. In fact, I couldn’t find a section on their site for their sponsored runners. That being said, it seems like they’ve recently made more of a concerted effort to bring runners into their athlete portfolio.

I ordered the Smith Ruckus sunglasses in Matte Black with a ChromaPop Opal Mirror Lens. However, the company offers a variety of frame colors in the Smith Ruckus model. And the lenses are mostly offered in iterations of Smith’s ChromaPop lens, with one offering of its Photochromic lens.

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Smith Ruckus sunglasses

The Smith Ruckus sunglasses. This is the Matte Black with a ChromaPop Opal Mirror Lens version. All photos: iRunFar/Reese Ruland

Smith Ruckus Sunglasses Frame and Fit

Right off the bat, I loved the Smith Ruckus sunglasses. The nose piece adjusts easily to different nose shapes by simply clicking it closer to or further apart from the rest of the frame. No need to swap out rubber nose pieces to find the right fit. The only drawback I experienced from this feature was a build-up of salt on the lens around the nose piece. I’m an incredibly salty sweater, way outside of the bell curve, so this might not be everyone’s experience.

The rubber on the nose piece and the ear socks are made from Megol, which gently grips your skin to help keep the frame in place. The gripping power increases when introduced to moisture. I had no issue with these frames sliding down my nose or falling off my face. That being said, the ear socks did pull my hair a few times when removing them, which has happened with other Smith performance glasses I’ve owned. Perhaps the rubber works too well.

Smith Ruckus sunglasses - testing

A front view of the Smith Ruckus sunglasses. This is the Matte Black with a ChromaPop Opal Mirror Lens version.

Smith Ruckus Sunglasses Lenses

When I first opened the box for the Smith Ruckus sunglasses, I thought, Well, this sunglasses case is overkill. But I was pleasantly surprised to see that the glasses came with an additional pair of rose-colored lenses for low light conditions. Again, I tested the ChromaPop Opal Mirror Lens.

If you’ve never worn a pair of Smith’s ChromaPop lenses, go ahead and find a pair, quickly walk into a field, and stare at nature. It’s … immersive. Smith’s ChromaPop lens technology is a proprietary technology designed to enhance visual clarity and color perception. The key principle behind ChromaPop is to filter light in a way that selectively blocks specific color wavelengths while allowing others to pass through, thereby optimizing the perception of colors and increasing contrast.

ChromaPop lenses use a specialized film embedded in the lens material, which helps to reduce color confusion between overlapping colors of blue and green and red and green, resulting in a crisper and more vibrant visual experience. By blocking certain wavelengths of light, the lenses can eliminate color crossovers and deliver greater definition and clarity. This is a longwinded way of saying: Smith’s ChromaPop lenses are fantastic. I loved the tint and protection of them, and the coverage was excellent without being overwhelmingly large.

The last thing I’ll mention is the ease at which you can swap out lenses. The PivLock hinges on the corners of the glasses just require you to push down on them and they pop straight off. All you have to do is clip in the lens you want and clip down on it.

Smith Ruckus sunglasses - rose-colored lenses

Another view of the Smith Ruckus sunglasses, with the second pair of rose-colored, low light lenses that came with the sunglasses.

Smith Ruckus Sunglasses Overall Impressions

I really enjoyed the Smith Ruckus sunglasses. They have a pretty aggressive look to them, and they stayed in place during even the most technical descents. Smith does typically include a spare set of lenses with their performance glasses, which is a nice and welcome touch, as I’m someone who wears glasses even when it’s cloudy outside. I do wish the lens didn’t accumulate salt, but that might be a hyper-specific problem.

The partial frame on the top of the glasses felt unnecessary and at times distracting to my field of vision, but I believe they offer other frameless glasses that eliminate this issue.

Smith offers a lifetime warranty on their sunglasses, but that does not cover the user destroying them, so don’t give them to your pet as a chew toy — destruction by a chewing pet is actually called out in the warranty!

As Smith works with more runners, I’m excited to see what product changes they’ll make or come up with.

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Call for Comments

  • Have you tried the Smith Ruckus sunglasses? How did you like them?
  • Have you tried any other accessories from Smith?

[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!

Smith Ruckus sunglasses - close up

A close-up view of the Smith Ruckus sunglasses frame and lenses. This is the Matte Black with a ChromaPop Opal Mirror Lens version.

Reese Ruland

Reese Ruland enjoys spending her time exhausting herself in the mountains and desert, either on foot or by bike. She is a Pop Tart enthusiast, gear addict, science nerd, and mom to two French bulldogs, Loaf and Oatie. When she’s not out on some big adventure, she enjoys working with athletes on developing a healthy relationship with endurance sports and their bodies.