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Review: BluBlocker Viper Sunglasses

Review: BluBlocker Viper Sunglasses

When you run in the heat, you usually run in the sun. Over the years I’ve owned a dozen different pairs of sunglasses, but for the last six or seven I haven’t deviated from my faithful BluBlockers.

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Yep. BluBlockers. I wouldn’t have believed you either.

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Who knew QVC sold something good?

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My fiancee bought me these – well, their predecessors – as a present for a Death Valley trip. Any trace of skepticism I had about wearing a TV fashion accessory was quickly dispelled when I put them on in the gloriously blinding sunshine that day.

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What these clever lenses do is block the blue, surprisingly, from the sky. That may not sound very appealing until you try desert running, where everything is so bright that you can hardly take your eyes off the ground – which rather defeats the object.

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The result is a clarity that you simply can’t believe, and which continues to defy belief years later when you put them on for the thousandth time. They bring the world into a sharp, exciting focus, eliminating the glare that prevents you from seeing more than a hundred feet ahead. With these, the mountains in the distance seem as though you could reach out and touch them. Heat shimmer is manageable. And the price isn’t a diminished experience of the environment at all – it’s about seventeen bucks.

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The glasses also have side lenses to ensure that ambient light doesn’t ruin the effect.

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Last summer I drove 1,150 miles straight through to California on an impossibly bright day, and never once experienced eyestrain or fatigue. Better yet, there was no discomfort – they’re easy to wear and have little rubber gizmos to hold fast to your face without causing irritation.

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Of course this would all fall apart if they didn’t hold tight when you’re running – but even the most strenuous efforts to dislodge them are mostly fruitless. I probably adjust mine every half mile or so when the sweat is really streaming, but compared to – for example – my old Nike Terminators, that’s simply no hassle at all.

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After a couple of years, my most recent pair has lost one nose clamp (although strangely they still fit and are perfectly comfortable) but when running the slippage is more pronounced. I’ve just ordered two more pairs, in case they stop making them any time soon.

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Overall I have to say this will probably be my one and only review of sunglasses on this site, because I simply can’t imagine finding anything as good, never mind even close to the price. The only problem will be… you’re wearing something they sell on QVC.

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Life’s hard.

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I recommend searching Google before picking them up at the BluBlocker site though. You can find them for six or seven dollars less than retail at many places.

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Overall rating: 10/10, rarely have I found a product that has become utterly invaluable to my enjoyment of hot weather running.

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Jon Rice
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Jon Rice

Jon is a highly-experienced runner who adopted the sport of heat running in 1996. He visits Death Valley every year to participate in his bizarre creation, The Darth Valley Challenge - a one-mile charge through the desert in the height of summer, dressed as Darth Vader.

To prepare for such silliness he takes extraordinary precautions. He trains year-round in the sauna, runs countless miles in extreme temperatures, and has crewed the Badwater Ultramarathon twice.

Jon's only request as you read this site is that you prepare carefully, tell someone where you're going and when you'll be back, and take more water than you think you'll need.
Jon Rice
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