With a myriad of features, huge coverage and the option for photochromic lenses, the Evil Eye Pro’s from Adidas are hard to fault. You’ll need to save your pennies though.
Feb 26 2018
Removable sweat bar works a treat
Adjustable fit makes them extremely comfortable and adaptable
Close fitting, wrap around lenses offer superb field of vision
They’ll cost you...
You’re willing to invest some coin into some of the very best eye protection currently on the market
The Adidas Evil Eye Evo Pro with Vario photochromic lenses are the brand's flagship option of the Evil Eye range. They’re ergonomically superb with large, wrap-around lenses, removable sweat bar, adjustable arms and nosepiece and hydrophobic coating. They're pricey but in my opinion worth every penny.
These Evil Eyes were apparently designed especially to draw enduro riders away from goggles and back to using glasses, by offering loads of coverage. I personally tend to only don goggles with a full face helmet, preferring the versatility, lack of fogging and ease of cleaning a set of glasses, as well as having dirt magnet eyes, so I was ideally placed to put them through their paces.
I tend to use clear lenses for 75% of the year, mainly due to the constantly changing weather conditions and subsequent low light levels. I’ve used photochromic lenses several times before with mixed success so when these arrived at the start of the darker months, I was sceptical, to say the least.
You can quickly see Adidas’ intentions for the Evil Eyes - large wrap around, hydrophobic and close fitting lenses, adjustable 3 position arms, flexible and adjustable nose bridge, quick change lens system and my personal favourite, the removable sweat bar across the top of the glasses. Now, I’m a sweater, and having more hair on my face than my head means there’s nothing to soak it up when the going gets hot. I was worried though, the glasses are a close fit meaning with the foam sweat bar closing the upper gap to your head, space for ventilation is limited.
Nonetheless, I’m pleased to say, they work perfectly, despite wet and muggy days winching up hundreds of metres of fire road, they’ve yet to fog up and the sweat bar does a great job of keeping sweat out of your eyes. Adidas calls the warm air removal system Climacool and it's said to create a vacuum behind the lenses. Air is drawn up through vents in the lower frame and is sucked out via exhaust ports to the rear of the lens. It's a clever feature which genuinely works. They only fog when at a standstill, and even then they are some of the fastest clearing I’ve tested to date.
The coverage on offer is truly sublime, despite the lens which curves much more than most. There's minimal lens distortion and it means forward and a fair bit of peripheral vision is totally unimpeded. There's a total of 22 different lens tint options available at £35 with the Vario addition setting you back a whopping £76, meaning it offers better value to buy the Vario version from the get-go and purchase another colour for them should you wish.
With that in mind, you’d likely only need to do that if you were to regularly partake in night riding and as such want an entirely clear option. The Vario lenses offer a 14% - 89% light transmission are usable in nearly all light conditions other than the expected extremes of that range. I’ve used them for everything but night riding and they’ve been ideal, the transition of tint is rapid and barely noticeable, which is very cool considering the often changeable light conditions of UK riding. Should you wish to swap lenses regularly, the quick-change system allows ease of removal and refit with minimal fuss.
Even with all of the aforementioned features, Adidas have built into the Evil Eyes, their greatest attribute is still their ergonomic fit. They are genuinely some of the most comfortable glasses I’ve ever used. I've had massive days in the saddle being barely aware I’ve had them on. The tri-fit adjustable arms allow fine-tuning of their position on your face so bushy eyebrows or chubbier cheeks can be taken into account and ensuring a close fit at all times. It also means that they can cater for a variety of helmet fits and styles - I’m yet to find one they don’t work with.
Durability wise, they’ve been great, the arms and lenses still adjust and click in with a satisfying clunk. The lenses have started to scratch up a little, inevitable in the mucky conditions we get in the UK but painful when you consider the cost of a Vario replacement. With that in mind, I’d suggest investing in a second, cheaper lens option to lengthen the life of both.
All in all, the Adidas Evil Eye Pros are a bar-raising design for all other brands to aim for. After years of using a myriad of options to protect my eyes, I’ve now found my personal favourites to date. At £170 for the Vario equipped version, they’re far from cheap but as is often the case with technical products, you get what you pay for, never has this been more bona fide than with the Evil Eyes.
A self confessed bike geek, Adam has been riding bikes for over two decades and breaking things for nearly as long. With more facial hair than on his head, his appearance is one of a hard paper round! He's friendly, approachable, critical and fair - loves a good stoppie and a turnbar tuesday, real ale and long bikes.