A few months ago I whined bitterly about the lack of space inside my expensive new Schuberth E1 helmet for the earpieces of my favorite Ray-Ban Wayfarers. Dean Siracusa did not hear my pitiful plea, but about a month later my old pal (from the days when Road & Track shared a building with Cycle World) dropped me a serendipitous line re: his new business venture.
Not only is Dean a car/bike/airplane photographer, he’s also a longtime pilot, and on his Flying Eyes website, Deano writes:
Because he primarily uses his airplane to fly long distances, Dean has spent a lot of cockpit hours very aware of the way his sunglasses were digging into the sides of his head. He found himself wishing he could find a pair of sunglasses that weren’t so uncomfortable, and that didn’t cause a noise-leaking gap in the ear pads of his headset.
After searching for such a thing and not finding it, Dean spent more than a year experimenting with designs and working with eyewear experts. The end result was a pair of sunglasses that he was confident would be the absolute best sunglasses to wear with an aviation headset.
It was good to know I was not suffering alone. A few days later, a lovely new pair of tortoise shell Kingfishers arrived over the transom. Hmmm. Nice. Just as advertised, the thin and flexible “Resilamide” earpieces (an expensive aerospace polymer) slid in between the Schuberth and my skull as comfortably as a tapeworm through a chihuahua, and wearing them both around the house for a couple hours resulted in no pain or hot spots of any kind. Another benefit of the flexibility of these is that they feel like you’d have to work hard to break them. They’re also really light, and with a padded nosepiece that has them perched atop your face more comfortably than typical sunglasses.
If I were more fashionable, I could’ve had those frames in Satin Blue or White (or Glossy Black), with standard lenses available in Gradient Copper, Mirrored Sapphire or Gradient Gray Tint. My Kingfishers are but one of eight different styles offered. Prices range from $154 (Kingfishers), to $189 for a pair of Hawk non-prescription bifocals, and on up to around $500 for a full prescription pair of glasses; send your prescription along to Flying Eyes, and they’ll take care of the rest, using state-of-the art prescription labs.
Seems like a small price to pay to properly respect one’s temples.