AMO Sunglasses Review
By Will Lind
Images © Functional Running
It’s a thrill to have new brand or product contact Functional Running out of the blue. I got this same buzz when AMO Sunglasses (Advanced Multisport Optics) dropped us an email about reviewing their sports sunglasses, dimmed somewhat for my distaste for wearing sunglasses while running.
My problem isn’t the sunglasses; it’s the shape of my head. Truly, given our harsh Australian sun and my delicate, ghost white skin, the more sun safe practices I can slip, slop and slap on the better. But over the years I’ve been through my fair share of sunglasses and for me wearing them is rarely a pleasurable experience.
After the initial back and forth AMO surprised me with a request for a head shot of me, a picture of me in my running kit and to know my ‘normal’ terrain. This was to match my head profile, lens and colour scheme. I ended up claiming trail to be a more natural running environment for me but I had serious concerns a head shot would result in AMO abruptly ceasing all further communication. Curiosity won out and I sent over a dorky blank faced selfie and my most recent trail running glamour shot.
A pair of AMO (say ‘ammo’) Sunglasses appears in the post a week later and I’m gearing up for another ill fitting, cheap feeling and temporary addition to my running kit.
On the contrary, my AMO experience has been fabulous. I’ve barely let the Ironcatcher frames I was sent leave my head and they’ve been invaluable for all things outdoors, not just running. The fit has been great, the visibility fantastic and given my tendency to lose or destroy pretty much all small and delicate things around me, the durability must be at the serious end of the robust spectrum. The only thing I can’t vouch for is how my peanut head ends up looking in them.
AMO puts itself out there as comparable to Oakley or Rudy Project. I’m not going near a comparison review, this is just for your information in respect of the quality you can expect to be looking at.
They’re an offshore company geared especially towards the endurance, running, multisport athlete. What I also like is they make a point of selling to people who like to get down and dirty in their chosen sport. AMO want it known that their gear isn’t for show, so you’re supposed to be taking this stuff into the thick of it all.
Features and Performance
There’s a long list of features on the AMO website. You can click here if you want to head over for a read.
In respect of performance while running I found the lens clarity to be precise and the weight to be nominal so that the glasses became unnoticeable (a very good thing). The adjustable nosepiece and arms mean I can manage to latch the things fairly securely to my head. Breathability was high so there has been no fogging whatsoever, and after just under a month of daily wear I haven’t been able to scratch the lens yet.
At the risk of putting forward what sounds like a gross exaggeration, these are the best sunglasses I’ve ever worn in respect of comfort and fit. My first fitting wasn’t great at all, but after discovering the nose piece and arms were adjustable the AMO Sunglasses have fit wonderfully.
Running in them has been painless, which is really as much as you can ask for from your equipment. Nothing you wear can make you a better runner, but it can make you a worse runner. Best is if you don’t realise you’re wearing anything at all. The only reason I know I’ve got the AMO Sunglasses on is I’m self conscious about how child like my head can look when I’m wearing sunglasses.
AMO Sunglasses certainly have the feel of quality. You get a cool bullet shaped glasses box, the interchangeable arms swapped out effortlessly, they fit like a dream, there’s a backstory and I got the rock star treatment when they requested need photos to match my head shape, colour scheme and lens requirements.
The AMO price point is at the upper end of the scale so you’ll expect great returns for your investment. I was sent a pair of the Ironcatcher frames with NXT lens for an advertised price of $188USD (around $260AUD). You will be thinking carefully about your purchase for that price.
I guess the question is, would I buy them myself? Even as I write this I hesitate over burning $260 on a pair of sunglasses. Then I think about the way they’ve worked for me, the hours they’ve put on my face already, and the answer isn’t that difficult. Sure I would; I use the AMO sunglasses more than twice as much as my Garmin watch, which was far more expensive, and the sun protection I get is more valuable to me than any pacing feedback or Strava upload.
Glasses are as individual as your shoes. AMO have been great for me. It was a boon to have the AMO team contact us out of the blue and trialing the Ironcatcher frames has been fantastic and I can happily vouch for the quality of the pair I’ve been reviewing.
Disclaimer: AMO Sunglasses made an unsolicited contact with Functional Running for this review and has not paid or traded an endorsement in return for it. The glasses were provided free of charge for review purchases. This is about as independent as we can get without making a direct purchase.