Maho Sundance aviator sunglasses

Wetter the Better: Maho Sunglasses Designed to Stick as You Sweat

Whereas other brands target high-end glass, color-changing lenses, or floatable frames, Maho offers something different: sunglasses that stick.

Honestly, aviators would be great if they were actually good for, you know, anything. But while a good pair of Top Gun-style shades looks sharp in slow motion, the design doesn’t lend itself to high-output activity (although there are exceptions).

So when Maho Shades, a 4-year-old company founded in the British Virgin Islands, boasted it had a pair of aviators made to run in, I had to try them out.

Of course, some elements of the aviator design won’t suit every runner. But Maho built the Sundance aviators — and select other models — with special nose and ear pads it claims actually help the frames stay put as you sweat.

Maho Sundance aviator sunglasses

Since stay-at-home orders have eased in Colorado, I’ve taken the Sundance aviators on 5-mile runs, bike commutes, and other sweat-drenched outdoor workouts.

In short: It’s tough to quantify whether Maho’s Zuma Fit System, the special polymers that give the nose and ear pads their alleged powers, really do get stickier as you sweat. However, these aviators stay put during high-output activity and are comfortable for a range of exercises.

Maho ‘Zuma Fit’ Sunglasses Review

So, what is Zuma Fit? Well, it’s actually kind of wild. The best description I came across is a “dry adhesive.” Essentially, Maho set out to make sunglass frame grips that mimic the way a gecko’s feet stick to a vertical, or inverted, surface.

Maho Sundance aviator sunglasses

To do this, the brand wraps the nose and ear pads with a mold comprising “nano-molded synthetic setae,” the same structures in cute little gecko feet. And while the science goes deep — it relies on Van der Waals forces — suffice to say that there are solid principles at work and the development of synthetic setae has promise for myriad applications.

That’s great, but does it work to keep sunglasses on your face as you bounce around? To a certain extent, yes. You can definitely shake these off, sweaty or not. But for hour-long runs, city bike rides, and even plyometric exercises like running stairs, they worked.

Maho Sundance Sunglasses: What’s Good

The Sundance aviators look sharp and offer a great fit. While the Zuma Fit pads provide a good measure of adhesion, they also feel comfortable to wear around casually.

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The construction also looks solid. Acetate and stainless steel frames house Trivex lenses — an alternative to polycarbonate. They also come with a microfiber carrying bag and a leather and canvas hard case.

What’s Just OK

Although no activity jounced the Sundance aviators off my face, I did have to take them off a few times to clean sweat from the top of the lenses. This is because the top inside corner of the lenses lightly contacts the top of the bridge of my nose. And if I see even a hint of a smudge inside my lenses, I have to clean them off.

That said, this wasn’t a huge problem and it’s something I deal with on virtually every pair of glasses I run in — except for high-end, purpose-built sunglasses that focus entirely on performance and less on all-around style.

Maho Sundance Aviator Sunglasses: The Verdict

Maho Sundance aviator sunglasses

Right now, the Sundance aviators are my all-around favorite glasses. They certainly aren’t most technical running or biking glasses that I own, but they’re the sharpest. The fact that they work like little lizard paws sticking to my face only adds a little versatility to their style.

For serious athletes, look for more technical options. But for those who want solidly built aviators that won’t slide off during a volleyball montage, these are a perfect fit.

Adam Ruggiero

Adam Ruggiero is the Editor In Chief of GearJunkie.

Adam has been covering daily news and writing about cycling, camping, hiking, and gear of all kinds for 15+ years. Prior to that, Adam lived in Hawaii and Puerto Rico, at which time he realized he’d never have a “normal job.” His pastimes — farming, bike racing, and fitness — provided a gateway to all manner of physical challenges and recreation outdoors.

Based in Kansas City, MO, Adam tests as much gear as he can get his hands, feet (and dog) into each and every day. As editor in chief, he works to maintain GearJunkie’s voice, style, and commitment to accurate and expert reporting across every category.