A few weeks ago, while we were planning Moto May, we were sitting in an outdoor cafe just off of the Riverwalk in Chicago when the unmistakable rumble of the 900-cc high torque engine carrying a Triumph Bonneville T100 ripped down the street. Lucky for us it stopped just across the road so everyone could admire the beautiful modern take on the iconic 1959 Triumph T100. If you don’t know what that is, it is the motorcycle that Steve McQueen made his getaway attempt on in The Great Escape. Its rider stepped off of the bike and faced the cafe, and every eye was on him. It wasn’t just the coolness of the bike, as he combined that with his impeccable look in sunglasses that screamed McQueen. Now, we can’t help you with the Triumph motorcycle, but the following list of kick-ass shades will have you McQueen-ing your way through the streets in no time.
Speaking of Steve McQueen, if you want to talk shades, you should always start with the classics that the man himself chose. These are the Italian masterpiece throwbacks to the very first foldable style in the 1960’s, and will bring all the coolness of the actor himself.
A lightweight, masculine silhouette for the modern adventurer. The Wiley utilizes square shapes and harder lines, keeping the manly edge for the guy setting off into the sunset on the road trip to see the coast. Their strong silhouette is perfect for round or oval faces.
Ditch the sidearms and the hinges of all your lesser shades. The Ombraz Classic uses a custom woven, 100% Japanese nylon strap to keep these glasses secured to your face. No falling off the nose and safe to stow away when you don’t wear them, these stand out among all the rest with the brazen trailblazing style.
Moscot Shindig Sun
It doesn’t get more American than a business that began after a man with big dreams stepped off a boat on Ellis Island in 1899. It has since become a staple of the NYC Lower East Side that has built a cult following, including Paul Rudd. Coming in three colors and prescription capable, these will keep you looking good on and off the bike in the big city.
Few things scream bad ass like a pair of mirrored aviators. From Top Gun’s Maverick and Ice Man, to Chuck Freaking Norris, the 70’s and 80’s built these classics into the symbol of the American action hero. The Vallon Hazlewood is a modern update that is perfect for the mountain getaway – delivering maximum clarity by increasing contrast on glistening snow, while the mirror-coating helps reflect light and reduce eye strain during long days on the mountain.
Perfect for the minimalist, the paper-thin design of the 302 sheds all of the unneeded weight and bulkiness of the competition. A moto-head doesn’t need possessions, he only needs the bike and the road. These are flexible and light, keeping the sun out of your eyes and your vision on the adventure ahead.
How much effort do you give? The original tagline for the 100% company that took the motocross world by storm in the 1980s still inspires daredevils today to never shy away from risks, and never give less than your best. These race-inspired, lightweight and durable frames are perfect for anyone that is ready to leave it all on the road.
While square shapes are best for the more angled faces and harder edges and oval shapes are best for the softer and rounder-shaped faces, round sunglasses are a great start since they go with almost every face shape.
Now that summer is here and you are ready to fire up the bike and hit the California Coast or the winding mountain pass, picking up any of these kick-ass frames will finish off your look before you set out on the road and ride off into the sunset.