I promised another sunglass post a while back and I’m just now finally getting to it. How do you know if a product is high quality? I’m thinking, if it’s designed and distributed to the United States Military and Air Force for nearly 30 years, it’s probably a high quality product. For a pair of sunglasses that fit that bill, Aviators by Randolph Engineering ($109-$179).
Founded in 1972 by engineers Jan Waszkiewicz and Stanley Zaleski, Randolph Engineering began as a company designing and manufacturing optical tools and machinery. The company then began making its own line of eyewear with its machines and, in 1982, became the prime contractor for aviators for the U.S. Department of Defense. In the 1990s, the company took its offerings to the commercial marketplace and has been recognized for its high quality ever since.
The Aviators feature non-slip nose pads made from top grade silicone and a lifetime solder joint warranty. There are also an immense amount of combinations of temple designs, frame colors and lenses. You can choose from skull temples, follow the curve of your ear and head shape to fit comfortably, cable temples, which secure the glasses in place in even the most extreme conditions while still remaining comfortable, and bayonet temples, which were designed for military pilots to easily put on or remove their glasses. There are 5 different frame colors and 9 different lenses. That makes a possible 135 different combinations of temples, frames and lenses, ensuring you can look like Tom Cruise in Top Gun without everyone else having the exact same pair of aviators as you.