Vinco Sola Sunglasses Review: Editor’s Choice Award Winner

Sharing my take on these premium customizable, renewable sunglasses that are specifically designed for runners and cyclists, with features including anti-glare and impact-resistance.

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When an innovative brand hits the running world we pay close attention. Vinco Performance is one of those brands, and they’re making waves when it comes to high-end sunglasses designed specifically with the needs of runners and cyclists in mind – both the speed-loving roadsters and the mountain-loving trail runners and mountain bikers.

In this Vinco Sola sunglasses review I’m sharing my experience wearing the Vinco Performance Sola, including the pros, cons and who they’re best suited to, as well as whether or not they made it on to our regularly-updated list of the best sunglasses for running.

The Vinco Sola sunglasses feature a lightweight design, customizable fit with adjustable temple tips (more on that when we get into this review), and stainless steel spring-cam temple hinges for durability and impact resistance.

Vinco Sola sunglasses review 9

The Key Specifications

  • Price: $249 at VincoPerformance.com
  • Sizing and fit: 2 sizes (small and large), with a customizable fit
  • Best for: Running or cycling in bright conditions

Handmade in Italy, the frames are constructed from eco-friendly Lignatura, which is Vinco’s proprietary bio-resin material, they have lab-tested ultra-panoramic lenses that mitigate midday sun glare, wind, and debris, and they come in fully recyclable, zero-plastic packaging.

The lens on this particular Vinco sunglasses model, the Sola, is specifically designed for road runners and cyclists wanting eye protection and clarity in bright conditions that you may find on or around the roads.

The Sola series of sunglasses are available in multiple colors as well as two sizes. I’m wearing the Small in the photos throughout this review – Vinco’s guidance on choosing sizes states In case of doubt, always choose smaller – and if you wear a helmet for biking for example, go for Small if you wear a S/M helmet, or Large if you wear a L/XL helmet.

Close-up of the Vinco Sola sunglasses
Close-up of the Vinco Sola sunglasses

If you mostly run trails, know that Vinco’s other sunglasses model, the Terra, has different lens filtration that is specifically designed for use around forest canopy coverage and overcast conditions, enhancing the contrast between foliage and soil.

Essentially, the Terra has a lighter shade of lens and doesn’t filter out as much light. So if you run or bike on more forested trails or in less sunny climes, the Terra may suit your needs better.


Features of the Vinco Sola sunglasses that I really like

The first feature I want to call out is Vinco’s customizable fit – it’s a fantastic feature that makes you wonder why all sunglasses don’t have the same option. You can adjust the arm tips on the Vinco Sola so they fit comfortable around your head, behind your ears and within your helmet if you wear them for cycling (or other activities such as climbing or skiing).

When I first received them I spent some time dialing in the fit around my head to get the ideal balance. This resulted in them sitting in just the right place on my nose bridge (the Sola have a soft, flexible rubber nose piece), and above my ears where the arms wrap around my head.

Demonstrating the flex and adjustability of the Vinco Sola sunglasses arms to get a customized fit on your head.
Demonstrating the flex and adjustability of the Vinco Sola sunglasses arms to get a customized fit on your head.

Secondly, the Sola get points for clarity. The panoramic-view cylindrical lenses enhance colors while reducing both glare and eye-strain in full-light conditions – such as our bright California summer days. The glare reduction is a big deal for me – it helps me ensure I’m not frowning and giving myself a headache in the face of a bright sky or reflective surface.

Speaking of my brows – there’s ventilation on the brow bridge, which helps give sweat somewhere to evaporate to.

Running in the Sola sunglasses.
Running in the Sola sunglasses.

Perhaps more important for cyclists, but also a great feature for anyone wearing them, the sunglasses are impact-resistant. They have stainless steel hardware on the temple hinges, as well as stainless steel hardware (tiny screws) that retain the lens in the frame, so it won’t come out, no matter the impact (these sunglasses are ANSI Z80.3 impact tested).

As mentioned earlier in this review, another valuable feature is that these sunglasses have been intentionally designed to be renewable. The material the frames are made from – Lignatura, Vinco’s proprietary bio-resin, is carbon-neutral, and all models of their sunglasses are rebuildable. It consists of 98% bio-based content from Fir and Beech wood fiber, with the raw materials being PEFC-certified from forests in Finland using controlled reforestation practices.

If you break a part, they’ll help you fix or replace it (although I have yet to put that to the test!) and they come with a 2 year warranty, and the company states that when your Vinco frames get to the end of their useful life, you can send them back, where they’ll be recycled and replaced with a new one of your choice! So they should really be the only pair of sunglasses you’ll need, going forward.

A close-up of the soft rubber nose bridge on the Vinco Sola frames.
A close-up of the soft rubber nose bridge on the Vinco Sola frames.

As well as being technically well-designed and highly function, I think they look great – on men or women. The Polyamide cylindrical lens is not only great for peripheral vision but it looks damn cool. Plus – and this is actually important to me – they will sit on top of a cap or visor and not fall off, if I take them off my face for a while (such as when running through a more shaded area where I don’t want sunglasses on my face for periods of time).

The Vinco Sola will comfortably sit on my head as well as on my face, for long periods of time.
The Vinco Sola will comfortably sit on my head as well as on my face, for long periods of time.

Lastly, a relatively minor point (but surprisingly absent for some other sunglasses brands), the Vinco Sola come with a protective hard case as well as a soft sleeve. If you’re going to spend $250 on a pair of premium sunglasses, it’s good to know you have somewhere safe to store them when you’re back home or traveling.

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Features that I feel could be improved

There’s very little to critique here. Although given the premium pricing, I’ll offer a couple of areas to consider.

Firstly, while these are undoubtedly lightweight sunglasses – at 27g (small) / 29g (large) and there’s nothing to complain about here (especially if you get the fit around your head spot-on, you don’t notice you’re wearing them), know that you can find ultra lightweight sunglasses that weigh a little less – there are a few of those on our best running sunglasses buyer’s guide, if you’re curious.

For some athletes, polarized lenses seem to be a must-have, and the Vinco Sola are intentionally not polarized, for several reasons, including that polarization filters out GPS watch screens so you can’t read key data as you run or ride, while wearing your sunglasses! That being said, if you run or ride around very reflective surfaces, such as water or snow, you may still desire polarized lenses for your shades.

A close up view of the minimalist arms, lens and stainless steel hardware holding it in place on the Vinco Sola.
A close up view of the minimalist arms and stainless steel hardware holding the lens in place on the Vinco Sola.

Vinco Sola Sunglasses review summary

Well the Vinco Sola have certainly won me over – with the depth of thought around the functionality and design of these sunglasses, and the comfort they offer even after a couple of hours of running, they’re definitely a pair I’m excited to have in my gear closet and find myself reaching for more often than not, when I head out for a run.

I have also awarded them an Editor’s Choice award, for their performance, style, and the fact I’m going to be wearing these a lot over the summer!

You can order Vinco Sola (and Terra) sunglasses directly from the Vinco Performance website, where they retail for $249, with free shipping:


Vinco Performance Sola Sunglasses – image gallery

Helen
Helenhttps://www.trailandkale.com/
One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.

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