IF YOU’VE EVER struggled to glance at a running watch covered by layers of winter activewear or skipped peeking down at your bike’s computer to navigate a busy road, you know how hard it can be to take advantage of your body’s catalog of metrics during exercise. A new class of workout glasses may help streamline the process by tracking stats—such as speed, distance, elevation and power output—and flashing them before your eyes.
By using what’s essentially a built-in mini movie projector to beam data into your field of vision, these glasses can promote efficiency and safety. Every time you flick your wrist to peek at your fitness watch, “you’re breaking down your form and disrupting your biomechanics,” said Shannon Baird, an ultramarathoner and board member for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Here, three models for different needs.
1. For Those Navigating Changing Conditions
The lenses on the Julbo Evad-1 Smart Sunglasses get darker or lighter depending on conditions, helping you adapt to changes in lighting whether you’re on the road, trail or even in the snow. With their wraparound shape and lightweight frames, they are akin to traditional sports glasses. For the best fit, choose between two bridge sizes, then bend the arms at the temples and ends until they grip your face snugly. Even so, you may still need to shift your gaze upward and to the center to lock in on your metrics—not ideal for maintaining your stability while in motion. $565, Julbo.com
2. For Long-Distance Riders & Runners
Engo Eyewear’s new smart sunglasses can hold a 17-hour charge—enough to keep even an ultramarathoner informed. The frames’ bug-eyed lenses also adjust to weather conditions and hide a projector at the bridge, which casts your metrics into your field of view. Just wave your hand in front of the frames to change which data set you view. Adjustable arms make them one-size-fits-all—if you can get them situated properly, that is. (When the display is off-kilter, you might go cross-eyed trying to pull the stats into focus.) Use the ActiveLook app to track workouts on your phone and sync to external sensors, or connect the frames to your
watch or bike computer. $397, EngoEyewear.com
3. For Data-Obsessed Cyclists
An adjustable arm in front of the lens of the Solos Smart Glasses, designed for bikers, easily projects stats right into your sight line. Buttons on the arm let you easily click through 16 different metrics, from heart rate to cadence. Built-in speakers, meanwhile, pipe performance updates into your ear. The Solos won’t pair to your smartwatch however, which means you’ll have to bring your phone along for the ride. Other caveats: With a battery life of just five hours, they’re best for short rides, and you can’t fold them so it’s tough to store them anywhere but on your face. $499, SimpliFaster.com
The Wall Street Journal is not compensated by retailers listed in its articles as outlets for products. Listed retailers frequently are not the sole retail outlets.
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
How have smart glasses improved your workout? Join the conversation below.
Copyright ©2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
Appeared in the January 22, 2022, print edition as ‘View to a Killer Workout.’