I recently (just about a month ago) relocated to the sunny suburb of Berkeley, California. I’m here to take classes at the University of California Berkeley (UCB) Extension School as I take the pre-requisite classes necessary to apply to physical therapy school. This decision did not come without a huge amount of tedious (and agonizing) overthinking, planning, pros and cons-style lists, and of course, a formidable amount of fear.
On one hand, I’m in my late 20s and am embarking on a totally new career path. But on the other, I know that working one-on-one with athletes and individuals and helping others better enable their bodies is where my passion truly is. As a run coach, the questions I get most aren’t about distance, or pace, or fueling — they’re about injuries. The goal is to one day be able to combine my love for run coaching with the education, knowledge, and insight of a physical therapist.
ANYWAY, while I was looking at schools and programs, the number one thing I was looking for beyond a decent and affordable program was location. I wanted to relocate somewhere I could run, bike, swim and hike with ease. The great news is that Berkeley definitely has that kind of environment, and I am 100 percent taking advantage of the different terrains and amazing weather. The bad news is, I realized I didn’t have a great pair of sunglasses to accompany me on my adventures in a place where it’s sunny, like, all of the time.
I have a pair of Oakley sunglasses and a second pair of running sunglasses that I use for cycling, but the Oakley’s are too lifestyle-y, while the running sunglasses feel too athletic and bro-y (yes, I said bro-y) to wear anywhere beyond a run or group ride. I also noticed that in the move, I scratched my Oakley’s a bit. Since they’re an expensive brand, it made me want to cart them around with me less in fear of scratching them more (plus, the scratch kinda impairs my vision).
I’d heard of goodr sunglasses in the past, but never actually tried them out. I’d seen a lot of ads and photos that made them look appealing, though, so at the price of just $25, I decided to try them out, low risk.
I ordered a pair appropriately (or inappropriately?) titled, ‘A Ginger’s Soul’ and they arrived within a few days. I’m not usually one to run in sunglasses — mostly because I don’t have a pair that I feel comfortable in — but I took them on a 7-mile trail run that very afternoon. Even though they don’t seem like your typical running or sport sunglasses, they stayed put, felt comfortable, and didn’t affect my visibility despite their dark lenses. I stopped to take a photo in front of the Berkeley City Limit sign, which is right before a super steep hill (so I was lucky to have a break).
The following day, I wore them to a wine tasting with some of my new coworkers in Alameda and they blended in just as well as a lifestyle accessory as they did as a running accessory!
The importance of having an outfit that can take you from day to night (you know — the concept that women’s magazines have been pushing on us forever) isn’t nearly as important to me as having clothing and accessories that can take me from the trail to the bar (or in this case, the winery). While these sunglasses aren’t as chic or fashionable as a lot of the frames other women are wearing these days, I’m super happy to have a cheap pair of sunglasses that pairs just as easily with running shorts as it does with a dress.
I also feel less paranoid tossing them in my bag, because if the frames do get scratched or crushes, it won’t cost me a million dollars to replace them.
And that, my friends, is my most recent gear purchase review. I’m calling this column Running On a Budget with the goal of trying to highlight affordable, yet awesome gear.
What are you buying and recommending these days? Let me know in the comments.