Nike Victory Elite Review: Performance Sunglasses for Competitive Athletes

As a runner, I spend a lot of time outside with my eyes exposed to the elements. I didn’t wear sunglasses as a collegiate runner. But as I grow older, I realize the importance of keeping my eyes protected when I train in the sunshine.

Although any pair of sunglasses will get the job done, I want a sleek pair of glasses for training and competing that stay securely in place but aren’t cumbersome or uncomfortable. For years I’ve referred to running sunglasses as “speed shades” and that’s exactly what I’m after: a pair of sunglasses that keep my eyes covered without getting in the way of going fast.

When I came across the Nike Victory Elite sunglasses, they looked like the ultimate pair of “speed shades,” so I decided to give them a try.

Nike Victory Elite Sunglasses Review

Nike Victory Elite

First Impressions

Online, the Victory Elite sunglasses looked sporty and sleek but upon taking them out of the box, I wasn’t impressed. Although they had a sporty look, the plastic felt cheap and I was afraid they would break easily. But I’d seen the Victory Elites being worn and applauded by professional runners online, so I decided not to judge a book by its cover and give the glasses a fair shot.

Naturally, I took them for a run.

Technical Features

The glasses sport a wraparound, one-piece contour lens that works to provide maximum coverage and minimal distractions. The Victory Elite sunglasses were designed using feedback and insight from professional runners, Nike told us.

The glasses also feature an adjustable nose bridge and adjustable temple arms with rubber sleeves. The injected frame material is made from 45% castor oil, and the glasses have a 16mm bridge, 135mm temple length, 60mm-wide lens, and 45mm-tall lens. If you require a prescription, you can easily add Rx with an optical clip-in.

My Take: Do They Live Up to the Hype?

Nike Victory Elite Sunglasses - review
(Photo/Rebecca Parsons)

First impressions aside, I geared up for a run during the mid-afternoon heat and reached for my new Nike Victory Elites. Designed specifically for women, the Victory Elites fit my small face well and after a few minor adjustments to the nose bridge, I had a perfect fit.

Minutes into my run, I forgot I was wearing sunglasses — the Victory Elites are incredibly lightweight, and the tailored fit ensures that they don’t move around while you’re in motion.

Throughout the entirety of my run, the Elites stayed securely in place and required no adjustments. The wraparound lenses provided plenty of sun protection and uninterrupted vision. Performance-wise for running, they were great.

When I finished my workout, I stopped in a park to do some stretching and core and accidentally stepped on my glasses, causing the lens to pop out.

Fearful that my first impressions were indeed correct, I picked up the glasses to examine them. Luckily, the lens easily popped back in and I could adjust the nose bridge back into place.

I don’t know if this design was intentional on Nike’s part to prevent damage, but regardless, my glasses remain in good shape despite careless footing.

Nike Victory Elite Sunglasses Review: Conclusion

Overall, the Victory Elite glasses work as intended. They provide ample sun protection with minimal distractions, allowing you to go fast and focus on the workout at hand.

They look sharp and are super light. But I will say that they aren’t my favorite pair of speed shades I’ve ever tried. They are so delicate that I always feel like I’m going to break them when I put them on. I’m hoping it’s something I’ll get used to with time.

If you are looking for something with a barely there feel that can deliver on light weight and performance, these are for you. If you’d rather wear sunglasses that feel sturdier in construction, maybe look elsewhere.

Fit and feel aside, the Elites get the job done and I definitely plan to continue wearing them during sunny training runs.

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Rebecca Parsons

Rebecca was born and raised in Orange County, and she has spent countless hours exploring the California coastline. She loves surfing and standup paddling and recently relocated to Oahu, Hawaii to chase her childhood dream of being a professional beach bum. When she’s not in the ocean, you can find her running the local trails or sleeping under the stars alongside her adventure pup, Koa.