Giro expanded into sunglasses an goggles to complement their leading line of ski and bike helmets. While some sunglass manufacturers dabble in helmets and helmet manufacturers dabble in sunglasses, Giro wanted to be a market-leader in both categories. I’m psyched on the performance of the Giro Instigator sunglasses thus far and they stand as a testament to Giro’s dedication to building high-quality sunglasses.

Built as a crossover style that can aptly handle the singletgrack while still being stylish enough for a day at the beach, the Instigator has one foot on the trail and another on street.

Giro Instigator Features:

  • Injection molded Grilamid® lightweight frames
  • Super Fit™ frame for helmet-compatibility
  • Wind Tunnel™ temples for fog-free performance
  • Vented rubber nose pads and ear pieces
  • Rx ready lenses
  • Zeiss lens tints
  • 100% UVA, UVB and UVC filtering
  • 8-base polycarbonate lens
  • Available polarized lenses
  • Frame Color/Lens: Striped Tort/Brown 16z, Bronze Fade/Brown 16z, Matte Olive Green/Grey Green 18z, Black/Clear Silver, Gloss Black/Grey 20z, Matte Black/Rose Silver 23z (tested), Bronze Fade/Brown Polarized 13z, Gloss Black/Grey Polarized 12z
  • MSRP: $90-$140

Giro Instigator Sunglasses Review

As my first jump into Giro’s eyewear line, the Instigator has been a versatile pair for many activities. The styling is simple but still uniquely Giro with the Wind Tunnel design and wide, wraparound frame. I’ve been using these glasses road biking, trail running and around town with much success. I love how comfortable they are to wear — I don’t get any pressure-points whatsoever.

The vision is superb. without question, Giro didn’t cut any corners on lens quality and it shows. I’ve found these to be on par with the best glasses on the market. Adding to that clear vision, the overall design offers excellent field-of-vision and color quality with the Rose Silver lens — a very versatile tint. Though mine were standard lenses, you can opt for polarized lenses should you wish.

Have issues with glasses moving around during strenuous activity? Well, you won’t with these. The vented rubber nose and ear pieces are super-grippy and kept everything put during all my tests.

The only downside I’ve really experienced is due to the straight-back ear pieces where they interfere with larger-coverage helmets (Giro Xen, oddly enough), hats and visors. I couldn’t even wear them with my Giro Xen helmet because they wheelied off my nose and never sat properly. My Specialized road helmet didn’t suffer the same fate, so I wore them on the road instead. They are decent road glasses, but I prefer frameless lowers when I’m on the road.

Good Instigator

  • Excellent width of coverage
  • These things stay put, yet remain comfortable
  • Optics are clear and crisp
  • Wind coverage is great
  • Haven’t fogged on me yet
  • Grippy nose/earpieces

Bad Instigator

  • Straight-back earpieces can interfere with larger-coverage helmets (Giro Xen, for example)
  • Frames block vision when looking over your shoulder for cars (road biking)

Bottom Line: Giro Instigator Sunglasses

A great pair of lifestyle and active sunglasses for trail running or mountain biking (with the right helmet), the Giro Instigator sunglasses are light and comfortable.

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About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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