I like multi-purpose or multi-use gear. It’s a tough thing to like. There are so many “Swiss Army Knife of_” products out there that are through and through pure gimmick that they certainly belong more on a flea market table than a website, but the world has changed much in recent years.
But as long as a product keeps a consistent focus and operates well within that focus, good, dependable gear usually is born—see Leatherman. Sunglasses or eye protection isn’t something you necessarily think of as multi-use, but the WX Breach protective shades from Wiley X do just that.
I’ve been wearing the Breach model for several weeks now, and they are just plain awesome. One of their most distinctive features are a pair of vents each positioned between the lens and the hinge of the arm that you open and close with your finger. They’re designed to increase air flow behind the lenses. Wiley X calls it their Dynamic Ventilation System and it’s not a gimmick; it works.
We’ve been having a hot damn summer in the northeast, and combined with mask requirements, I’ve had a chance to test the vents out more than I ever thought I would, and you know what, they really do keep fog down. Sure sometimes they still get a little fogged around the edges, but that’s as far as it ever goes.
And it’s supremely helpful in using one of the other cool features: removable gaskets that form a seal around the eyes. When I first took the glasses out of their case, I was a little dismayed by this feature. They seemed like tactical goggles more than glasses, but then I realized the gasket was easily removable and the kind folks at Wiley X told me not to worry about breaking the little hooks that keep the gaskets in place—they’re robust and not easily broken—and they were right.
(And even if you happen to break one at some point, replacement gaskets can be affordably purchased from Wiley X.)
They pop in and out with the push of your thumbs and they do, indeed, sort of turn the glasses into goggles. They’re a bit much for every-day wear, but if you’re going to be outside more than driving and the wind is up, they are amazing.
I’ve worn them on a few hot, dusty days at the range and they not only prevent wind from getting to your eyes, but all the grit that can come with it. And if you use the included elastic strap that attaches to the ends of the arms with t-shaped posts, the goggle effect is enhanced further. They also help keep out pollen, irritants, and peripheral light.
The lenses are available in clear, grey, Polarized Platinum Flash, and Captivate Polarized Bronze Mirror with various frame color options.
I tested the Platinum Flash version with some badass Kryptek Typhoon camo frames. The Captivate lenses provide great color and clarity as well as high contrast and great depth perception, which will make you want to use the WX Breach on the water as well, if fishing is your thing. According to Wiley X, they work by filtering out light that confuses the eye, like the gradients between blue, green, and red on the visible-light spectrum. With those filtered out, the result is more distinct colors and higher contrast.
All colors meet or exceed ANSI Z87.1 industrial standards for high-mass and high-velocity impact protection. Safety is paramount to Wiley X, as co-owner Miles Freeman, Jr. told SHOT Business magazine.
“Safety is incredibly important to the brand,” he says. “It’s what separates us from the masses, and it’s what we believe in. It’s an easy conversation to have with a potential customer when they understand where your passion comes from. In other words, you have only one set of eyes. Why would you ever compromise them?”
Wiley X has set the benchmark for safety in the premium-performance sunglass world “by absolutely insisting that all adult premium eyewear products meet the ANSI Z87.1 safety standard for high-velocity/high-mass impact. Our Youth Force line of sport protective eyewear meets ASTM F803 sports-safety standards while also being designed for kids to wear all day long. Furthermore, it’s no secret that many adult models also meet various mil-spec ballistic military fragmentation standards for both goggles and spectacles.”
The WX Breach are serious glasses that look great as sunglasses and offer you as much eye protection as possible, without wearing actual ballistic goggles, in a comfortable and rugged design. They’re perfect for any outdoor activity, on land or water, and for any range duty as well. The WX Breach also comes with a great carrying case that is great for travel and will help keep those pesky scratches away. MSRP: $110 – $190 depending on lens options.