Smith Sunglasses District II - Gear Review

June 2, 2007

You know, I will admit that I can be faulted for spraying about Smith Optics too much. I once had some Arnette goggles and sunglasses, but that phase passed and for 8 years I've been back to my old favorites, Smith Optics. My latest shades of choice are the Smith District II slider series sunglasses. I have a small nose, so for me the problem with most sunglasses is that they are built for someone with a Steve Carrell nose. A cheese wedge nose. As a result, most sunglasses either slide off the end of my nose or they let the wind whistle through the extra space above the bridge of my nose and directly into my eyes. The Smith District II definitely doesn't do either. It sits right on the bridge and the nose pads aren't spread so far apart that they dig into my tear ducts like other shades. I also like the square shape of the frames -- it isn't so Spiderman-ish, so you can wear them even when you are just hanging out and they don't look out of you should be cycling up the Ventoux right then with Tyler Hamilton. However just in case you get called in to sub for Tyler on the Tour de France, the Smith District II is lightweight and has tacky rubber on the nose pads and the ear pieces so it doesn't slip when you get sweaty. The arms of the District II also don't give me "temple-press" like other sunglasses --- that soreness on the side of your head from arms that are either too narrow or have non-smooth ear-pieces that create hotspots on the side of your scalp and ears. The District II blocks UV rays, of course, which is good because it is believed that exposure to UV rays is one of the top causes of macular degeneration (blindness or impaired vision) as you age. So keep your District II's glued to your head and you'll be able to actually watch your grandkids play someday. The other thing I like are the three shades of lenses you get with the Smith District II, just as with all Smith Slider Series sunglasses. You get a set of dark brown lenses, orange (for the early morning rides), and yellow (for when it's super-cloudy or when you just want to fry your retinas). Want a little history of Smith Optics Slider sunglasses, including the District? Check out this vid (which also mentions the Smith Interlock sunglasses system, to be reviewed at a future date): [youtube][/youtube] The one complaint I have is that after a year or so of using them (read: abusing them), some of the shading or coating around the rims of the lenses appears to crack when you're swapping them out. Not the actual lenses themselves -- which have retained their integrity -- just the coating on the lenses. Buy Now: Search for Smith Sunglasses

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