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August 28, 2014 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

Optic Nerve Amino and Sequence Sunglasses – Review

When runners think about necessary gear their first thoughts most frequently go to shoes, socks, or maybe hydration systems. Rarely do runners give any considerable thought to their clothing and more specifically, sunglasses. We partnered with Optic Nerve last Fall to do a review of their active wear sunglasses, the Crux, which performed extremely well. This time around they came to us to have two models to test- the Amino and the Sequence.

  • OpticNerve_SideSwipe_Sequence_White
  • OpticNerve_SideSwipe_Amino_Green

Both models are active wear glasses that offer interchangeable lenses using Optic Nerve’s proprietary technology – the Sideswipe, allowing you to quickly change lenses with minimal handling and increased efficiency. Each comes with three four lens sets (polarized smoke, copper, orange, and clear). Additionally, each model is made from “TR90, an incredibly durable and resilient nylon resin that prevents breaking and stretching.” Both models retail for $109, a great price-point for a sunglass with interchangeable lenses and polarization.

Differences between the models included:

  • While both are meant to fit a face of ‘average’ size, the Sequence is a narrow glass, vertically, which makes it more ideal for women or people who don’t like a lot of facial coverage.
  • The Sequence also has an adjustable nose bridge, allowing for a very precise fit all around.
  • The Amino is a bit taller and has adjustable temple tips, allowing for a better fit around the side of the face.

We put both models on our testers for approximately 5 weeks and had them use them in every possible situation (clear day, low light, flat light, etc) and then collected the data with their feedback. Each category is scaled from 1 – 5 with 5 being the best possible score possible.

FIT – 4.5

The category of FIT includes how the glasses sit across the nose and around the face. It also included whether they rested on the forehead or allowed room for air to pass through. Overall the results were extremely positive with no score lower than a 4. Testers found that the glasses (both models) fit snuggly without any undue pressure. Most importantly, they didn’t slide off their faces.

Brent (Amino)- “I love how these glasses fit my face. I did not experience any pinching or pressure points while wearing them.”

Jennilyn (Sequence)- “I have a small face which makes it difficult to find glasses that fit. These fit without any problems.”

Renee (Sequence)- “Perfect, not too close to the eyelashes.”

Renee – “After about 10 hours in them I did feel the arms were a little tight behind the ears.”

NOTE: you have to enjoy Renee’s critique here as there aren’t many people who wear a pair of sunglasses for 10 hours straight. That should say something right there.

Optic Nerve Photo 1

RIDE – 5.0

When considering “ride’ we looked at how the glasses fit when the person was running or hiking. Rarely, when in an active state do people continually keep their heads up and stable. There is considerable movement, therefore, ride becomes an important category to athletes. Testers found that while running the glasses didn’t bounce or slide down their face, which can be a real annoyance.

Craig – “I’ve worn glasses from Optic Nerve and these (Amino) definitely had the best ride. They never felt heavy or bulky.”

Jennilyn – “These were the only sunglasses I could wear on a ridge scramble. I was constantly looking down at my feet and the glasses still didn’t fall off.”

AIR FLOW – 4.5

This section is pretty self-explanatory. Simply, does air move through the glasses well or do they fog up easily. Unless there is an actual anti-fog substance built into the lens most lenses perform similarly. Our testers found that the Amino and Sequence performed to market standards, avoiding fogging when in motion, but clouding up on colder days if they were heated from running and not moving.

Jennilyn – “Fog level was pretty standard and comparable with the market.”

Craig – “I did have one issue with fogging, but it was on a very early morning in cold and humid temps.”



Hot, sunny days call for good shades

Hot, sunny days call for good shades – Optic Nerve Amino


Lens quality is a big deal. Lenses that scratch easily or wear quickly are undesirable. Additional lens quality includes lens clarity, the ability to diffuse light, break up shadows, and transition from light to dark. Testers found that the overall quality of the lenses were on par with the price-point of the glasses, in that they did have issues with scratching, but not easily and they overall held up quite well. The polarized smoke lens also provided the best glare resistance and offered the best transition from light to dark. The other lenses were useful for the purposes they were meant for, but there was no significant feedback either way.

Craig – “There is always a concern when moving from light to shade. The transition in the polarized lens made it much easier and safer.”

Brent – “I did notice that the lenses scratched if abused. I interchanged the lenses on several occasions in different types of light and found it very useful. The amber lens is brilliant on cloudy days.”

STYLE – 4.25

As runners, in general, we are more concerned with function over fashion. That being said, there are items we still want to look good; our top, hat, and likely our sunglasses. It only makes sense that when the rest of you is dirty you still have one thing that looks awesome on you. Our testers found the Amino and Sequence to be good looking glasses, generally better for the men than the women. However, across the board they all agreed that fashion looses heavily to function and therefore becomes almost irrelevant. That being said, they still won the hearts of our testers overall.

Craig – “I actually liked these better than the Crux, a glass thought looked very good. Style often comes down to personal preference, but I do think that these will appeal to a large audience.”

Jennilyn – “They aren’t the cutest sunglasses I own, but they’re my favorite to wear.”

Optic Nerve Photo 2

Overall Rating – 4.5

Optic Nerve has delivered once again. Functionable across the board and with a stylistic nature that will appeal to most runners, cycles, and hikers, both the Amino and Sequence were winners with our testers.

Final Comments:

Craig – “Another fantastic model of sunglasses from Optic Nerve. They seem to have a lock on a well functioning pair of sunglasses that are still within a good price-point for the average consumer. Very excited about this pair.”

Matt – “These (Amino) are nowhere near the ‘fanciest’ or most expensive pair of glasses that I own, but I found myself reaching for them more often than I was the others.”

Look for a new review of a couple of the latest models to come out from Optic Nerve, along with the launch of a few select models at the TAUR store.

And see more great styles at


Running the Skyline Mountain 50 miler in the Optic Nerve Amino

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