There are a few things that are absolutely necessary if you plan on running in Fresno during the summer: sunscreen, a hat, a good pair of sunglasses.
Goodr is a fairly new player on the running scene, but the company has been making a name for itself with its functional and fashion forward running sunglasses, cheeky product names, and affordable prices.
With loud color combinations and irreverent names, goodr glasses definitely don’t take themselves to seriously — which is the point, says co-founder Stephen Lease.
“A couple of years after I got really hardcore into running, I was going to go on a run and I saw myself in the mirror.” That version of himself, he recalls, was decked out in sweat-wicking, high tech, head-to-toe compression gear. “I looked like the biggest tool in the world,” he laughs.
Hitting “rock bottom,” he says, was the inspiration behind goodr — “a run brand that designed around fun and fashion, a brand for people who thought running was fun.”
Why sunglasses? Well, because there seemed to be room in the marketplace between “gas station sunglasses” and “over-engineered” running sunglasses.
“The goal was to have something fun, fashionable, functional. It had to be affordable, had to meet those requirements,” says Lease.
The company reached out to more than 100 manufacturers, eventually receiving samples from ten and choosing one that met both design specifications and the desired price point.
The end result, Lease says, was a wayfarer-style frame with polarized lenses and a special grip coating to prevent slippage. In keeping with the company’s vision of creating a fun product, the glasses come in colorways not typically found on running sunglasses.
“A lot of it is what we would want,” Lease says. “The pink and teal, I always wanted that one, that was really important. We kind of looked at what colors would be fun, what we [were] seeing out there … and now, what our customers are telling us.”
Those pink and teal glasses have a name: Flamingos on a Booze Cruise. Every pair of goodr glasses has a similarly quirky moniker. Their intricate backstories can be read online.
“We decide on a colorway first,” Lease says, “and we each come to the table with half a dozen names. What should we be doing, or what is the feeling it makes you feel? We just throw random shit out there. It’s usually over drinks, which is very on-brand for us.”
On-brand means you might find yourself adding Gardening With a Kraken (purple frames with teal lenses), Phoenix at a Bloody Mary Bar (red frames with rose lenses), or Buzzing the Tower With Goose (neon green and white frames with chrome lenses) to your online shopping cart.
Wear testing goodr
Goodr’s entire aesthetic, including the wayfarer style, appealed to me. I typically run in a years-old pair of black Maui Jim sunglasses. They get the job done but they’re definitely more functional than fun, and after a while they begin to feel heavy. I decided to kick off the summer by treating myself to a new pair.
I purchased goodr’s recent collaboration with rabbit, a California-based running apparel company that also has a growing following. Rabbit’s logo appears on one of the lenses, but otherwise the colorway — yellow frames with blue lenses — is identical to the Swedish Meatball Hangover style available via goodr’s website.
Goodr also sent me two pairs of sunglasses to test for the purpose of this review.
My glasses arrived packaged inside a sturdy box. The glasses themselves were inside a protective, drawstring bag that can double as a lens cloth. I was impressed by this attention to detail, especially at the $25 price point.
Slipping the glasses out of their bag, I noticed they look even better in person than online. I’ve been known to use the word “rad” unironically and these glasses are the very definition of rad. Do with that information what you will.
They’re noticeably lighter than my other sunglasses, which include the aforementioned Maui Jims, a pair of Ray-Ban Wayfarers, and a pair of purple wayfarers I got for free at a race.
The special “grip” coating on the frames gives them a matte finish and prevents them from slipping down once I’ve worked up a sweat.
One of the best things about these glasses, in my opinion, is the way they fit over the ear — a little more snug, but not uncomfortably so, than typical wayfarers. I’ve never been able to wear my other wayfarers running because of the bounce factor. My goodrs don’t bounce. Size-wise, they’re perfect. I was worried the unisex frames might be too large for my face, but they’re just right. (Lease says they’ve received requests for a larger version, which they plan to release next year.)
At $25 a pair, I can afford to stash an extra pair of these in my overnight bag (where I also keep an extra pair of regular glasses and a phone charger) because getting to an out of town race, only to find I’ve forgotten my sunglasses, is the worst. Of course, at $25 a pair I can also make sure my glasses always match my race day outfit. It’s easy to get carried away.
I’m not the only one who has become obsessed with these glasses. The response to the less-than-conventional product has been amazing, says Lease. The company sold through its first production run and has continued to sell out each time a new colorway is released. In 2016, goodr glasses received a Gear of the Year award from Runner’s World.
“Since then, it’s been kind of crazy,” he says. “I was at the San Diego marathon expo and I had four different people come up to me and say, ‘We love what you guys are doing, thank you so much.’ It is completely awe-inspiring when you set out to do something and it’s received better than we even thought.”
Goodr sunglasses are sold locally at Fleet Feet Fresno and Soul 2 Sole Sports (call for availability) and directly through goodr. Follow goodr on social media to keep up with new product releases and restocks.
In celebration of the launch of Fresno Runner, we’re giving away one pair of goodr running sunglasses, courtesy of goodr. Check back on Wednesday, July 5, to find out how to enter.
Disclosure: Goodr sent me two pairs of glasses for the purpose of this review. I previously purchased the company’s collaboration with rabbit on my own at regular price.