The Casual Runner

Waveborn Zumas

Waveborn Zumas Product Review: Protecting the eyes that guide you on your Casual Running adventures.


Anyone who has spent enough time running knows that keeping the sun out of your ideas is important, and with sweat, rain, humidity, and changing weather conditions, that can get tricky. So having reliable and comfortable eye protection is important.

Waveborn sunglasses are billed as the glasses that “give the gift of sight.”  The company boasts over thirteen models and hundreds of different styles of handcrafted sunglasses manufactured in Italy.  While the entire catalog of options is certainly impressive, Waveborn’s sport collection should be of particular interest to people with active lifestyles, be it Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, soccer,or (our personal favorite here) running.

Waveborn Pic 2

Side view of the Waveborn Zumas.

Out of the three models in the sport collection (the aviator-esqe Baysides, the sleeker Zumas, and the best-of-both-worlds Dockweilers), I elected to try out the Zumas because their design offered a lens that looked wider across the face than what I was used to in athletic sunglasses.


In my opinion, there are two main reasons for giving Waveborn a look.  The first is aesthetics.  Both Waveborn shades generally, and the Zumas specifically, offer style and selection.  As any Casual Runner will tell you, how you look is an important part of the Casual Running experience.  Well, Waveborn offers customers a number of different models to fit their face, and a number of different colors for each model to add variety.  Using the Zumas as an example, you can choose from among four different color options for frames and lenses.  Myself, I went classic with Tortoise frames and brown lenses, but you could have easily talked me into any of the other options.

Waveborn Pic 1

The Waveborn Zumas.

The second is Waveborn’s mission.  The company partnered with SEE International, a nonprofit dedicated to international visual health.  SEE International endeavors to prevent adult and child blindness through medical professionals performing cataract surgery on a volunteer basis. Since 1974, SEE International volunteers have changed the lives of over 3 million patients, over 400,000 of whom have benefited from sight-restoring surgery.  A portion of the revenue from each pair of Waveborn sunglasses sold goes towards funding eye-care and surgery throughout the world.  That way, when you head out for your daily run, you can look good and make a difference!


Any person who is a fan of wearing shades while out for a run should consider picking a pair of these up.

Waveborn Pic 3

Stylish before, during, and after the race.

Whether you like to run with sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes, or because you want to make a fashion statement with your eyewear (or both!), your wardrobe will be well-served by the addition of a pair of Waveborn sunglasses.  This is true whether you need the shades for running, or want to use them in other aspects of your life as well—from the passive (sitting on the beach relaxing) to the active and contact-based sports (think spirited games of pickup basketball).


Any place where you need or want to wear them.  The versatility of a pair of Waveborns means that it is tough for them to be out of place.  By way of contrast, my old pair of running shades have bright, neon pink frames.  They were great for running because I don’t worry about them breaking if I should fall or something else should happen to them, but at the same time I would not want to wear them out on a night on the town either.  Not to sound like an advertisement instead of a review, but honestly, with Waveborn, you will look good before, during, and after your run.


The first step to take when your Waveborn shades arrive is to take them out of the box in which they are delivered.  After that, you will notice they come in a sturdy carrying case; you’ll also want to take them out of that as well.  Now that the sunglasses sit before you, feel free to reach out, grab them with your hands, and bring them up to eye level.  Once there, open them up, slide them over your ears and rest on your nose.  Voila!

OK OK, we know these are “just” sunglasses…They’re sunglasses.  Apply directly to your face and begin to rock them!


Most likely when the sun is up.  But if you think Corey Hart’s got the right idea, you can wear sunglasses at night too. But the reason for this review was to see just how the Waveborn Zumas hold up during running, and the answer is, pretty darn well.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly?

Thanks to excellent customer service, my Zumas arrived just in time for me to do extensive field testing, starting with the Gold Jacket 5K and the Hall of Fame Half Marathon, so I got a very good opportunity to see how they handled the full range of running.  The Zumas were great during some mixed weather conditions: the overnight lows hovered around freezing; gun time weather was in the high 30’s and humid; and as the races progressed, the wind picked up and we were greeted with a very powerful morning sun.

Waveborn Pic 4

The look of a champion.

The first thing that struck me about the Zumas is that they feel simultaneously light and sturdy.  The quality of the Zuma’s frame is apparent both as held and worn.  When you first hold them, you expect a heavier weight once you put them on.  Not so.  The glasses are barely noticeable on your face as you run.  At the same time, the Zumas snugly fit on your face so you can be confident that they won’t fall off.  A perfect combination for sunglasses that are to be worn during high levels of activity.

Another plus is the width of the lens.  With sunglasses with round lenses, a portion of the periphery remains uncovered and can allow glare in.  The Zuma’s wider lens wraps further around your face horizontally to eliminate that side glare.  This is especially important when your race course takes several turns placing the early morning, low-in-the-sky sun on your side.  Moreover, despite the width of the lens, I did not experience fogging as I had with other pairs of sunglasses.  The only thing I noticed in terms of vision decreasing during the race was due to sweat—to be expected in a two plus hour race, and something that always happens when I run in sunglasses.

In short, the Zumas are a great option for running sunglasses.  Quality frames, wide lenses, comfortable build, stylish look, and have a portion of your purchase go to charity?  What’s not to like!

The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and add us to your circle on Google+.  See you out on the running trails!  

Neither Steve nor Casual Runner received any compensation for this review.  The product reviewed herein was provided by the manufacturer for purposes of this review and the opinions are solely those of the author.



2 thoughts on “Waveborn Zumas

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