The Smith Optics Wildcat cycling glasses are goggle-like mountain bike glasses that offer huge coverage, a clear lens, cool styling and unfortunately a sky-high price. We think they are worth it though, look after these and they'll last you a lifetime.
I chose to test the Wildcat glasses as they are the only pair in the Smith range that comes with a clear lens, something I've lamented when testing the likes of the Ruckus. A clear lens is pretty much all I use in the winter so I think it's crucial to have one included in the interchangeable options. As such the Wildcat's get the said clear lens and a black ChromaPop lens for sunnier times or those not spent under tree cover. As with previous ChromaPop lenses I've used the polarized lens is crystal clear, produce great colours with real clarity to the surrounding whilst still shielding you from the suns rays.
As I've said the lenses are interchangeable, an easy process which just requires you to bend the malleable frame a little to extract one lens and insert the other. It's quick, easy and not as scary as it sounds. I've used the clear lens predominantly and like previous glasses found it to be scratch resistant and the hydrophobic coating works well too, I'm the last one in my riding group with my glasses still on when it gets really wet, a great feature which is underrated and under-reported!
Other features include adjustable nose pads, non-slip rubber on the flexible arms and of course a glasses wipe which doubles up as a protective bag, alongside a hard storage case.
The Wildcat glasses are a tad wider in the frame than the Ruckus glasses I wore recently, my head is small (circumference of 53cm) and these are just on the limit of what will fit on my face. The glasses sat securely for the most part but just due to their width between the arms rattled a little on rougher terrain, it won't be the case that you all need to do this, this was due to my smaller face shape.
Coverage from top to bottom is vast and to a point matches that of goggles as they are designed to. No mud made its way down behind the glasses at any time throughout the test but I did find that when worn with certain helmets that there was quite a lot of wind flow over the top and down the rear of the glasses. This seemed to be due to the glasses sitting further away from my forehead than my cheeks and leaving a gap for the airflow to get in behind. This is great to stop them steaming up but it did make my eyes water. I combatted this by wearing a helmet that provided lower coverage at the forehead, preventing as much airflow getting down behind the lens. Incorporating an adjustable arm angle feature (as on the Adidas Zonyk glasses) could be a good solution here.
These glasses give great coverage, wide peripheral vision and are robust enough to last a very long time. The lens quality is top dollar too, no doubt hence the high price tag of £179.99. If you want lots of coverage and like me, aren't keen on wearing goggles with a half-face lid, then these are the glasses to buy, that price is hard to swallow though, especially as the Smith Squad goggles are £85, come with two lenses (one ChromaPop, one clear) and anti-fog treatment all round.
You might also like: