Wiley X Sunglasses Review

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Wiley X sunglasses protect your eyes from both UV rays and physical damage.  Captivate lenses enhance contrast in a variety of environments.  Multiple sizes to fit faces of every shape.


In an era of ten thousand new “brands” that do nothing more than white label another company’s products, it’s great to uncover one that’s been pursuing their own mission for over three decades.  Wiley X was founded in 1987 with one goal: “Build the world’s best protective eyewear.”  If you’ve never equated protective eyewear with style or high performance, you’re not alone, but Wiley X sunglasses may change your mind.

Style & Fit

Due to their dual mission of performance and safety, Wiley X sunglasses all have larger, full coverage lenses and slightly thicker frames.  However, within that framework there’s a good bit of variation.

For this review, I tested three styles: Founder (above, top), Ovation (above, bottom), and Trek.  The Founder is the most different with the keyhole nose cutout and the angular lenses.  Across the Wiley X line, there is also a lot of variation in the stems (below).

Something I really like about Wiley X’s website is the amount of detail they provide about each frame.  They have a Fit for each – Small, Medium, Large – and Bridge Size, Lens Width, Lens Height, and Temple Length, all measured to the millimeter.  Several models also offer a Virtual Try-On so you can see what they’ll look like on your head.

I found Wiley X’s Fit recommendation to be spot on.  The “Small” Ovation wasn’t uncomfortable, but it was definitely on the small side for my larger-than-average dome.  For me, the Founder (above) and the Trek gave me a more complete field of vision and a little more comfort.


We normally jump right into clarity and contrast, but with Wiley X being all about protection, it seems right to start there.  All Wiley X sunglasses meet or exceed four industry standards for safety: ANSI Z87.1+, MIL-PRF-32432 (GL), MIL-PRF-32432A, and ASTM F803.  We don’t need to get into the specifics of each test, but the bottom line is that these are guaranteed to protect you from projectiles as fast as 90 MPH!  Whether you’re into more extreme sports or want some extra protection when working around the house, it’s nice to know that you’re protected.

On that point, all Wiley X sunglasses include the ability to add a side shield (above) for even greater protection.  These slide in and out easily, or you can opt for a permanent installation if these are primarily work glasses.  The side shields are included with every pair at no additional cost.

Moving to the lenses, Wiley X’s signature technology is called Captivate.  These are polarized lenses offered in eight different shades to enhance color, contrast, and clarity.  You can see each of the Captivate lenses HERE.  I tested the Captivate Green Mirror and Blue Mirror as well as the standard Smoke Grey.  With every lens, I was impressed with the clarity and the way they allowed my eyes to relax.  They took the sting out of the bright sun without making my vision seem muddled or dull.

In head to head testing, the difference between the standard lens and Captivate is obvious.  Both the Blue Mirror and Green Mirror boosted the contrast in the greens and browns of the environment, almost like changing from standard definition to HD.   I felt like I had better depth perception, too.  Between the Blue Mirror and Green Mirror, I felt like the Blue made things a little dark without compromising on clarity.  I’ll be gaming both, opting for the Blue Mirror on brighter days.


Wiley X sunglasses range in price from $98 to $216, which is on par with most other premium sunglasses.  As you would expect, the Captivate polarized lenses carry a premium of $60-$80.  Of the three pairs I received, two came with a hardshell case, which is a nice extra for keeping your sunglasses safe.

Wiley X Sunglasses


I knew nothing about Wiley X sunglasses prior to this review, but I’ve become a big advocate.  Their sunglasses sacrifice nothing in terms of clarity and color, but they have the added benefit of protecting your eyes from physical harm.  Whether I’m on the course, coaching my kids, or working on my house, I’ll be wearing Wiley X this summer.

Visit Wiley X Sunglasses HERE

Matt Saternus
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  1. Greg Hollis

    Do they offer prescription lenses?

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