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Shinzo Tamura Sunglasses Review: Eye Protection Without Dimming

Me hiking with Shinzo Tamura sunglasses on with an alpine lake in the background

Wondering if Shinzo Tamura sunglasses are worth it? Here’s my honest review after using their sunglasses for a month.

As context, I’m a distance runner and avid hiker, as well as a sustainable fashion advocate, so this review will primarily be from those angles.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a small commission on any purchases through those links, at no extra cost to you. I was gifted a pair of Shinzo Tamura sunglasses with no obligation to share. I had full editorial control and the brand did not review this article before publishing.

Overview of Shinzo Tamura

Shinzo Tamura is a family-owned sunglasses brand from Osaka, Japan. The Shinzo Tamura family has been crafting eyewear since 1938, with their first pair of polarized lenses created in 1966.

What’s special about Shinzo Tamura sunglasses are their TALEX lenses, which are special polarized lenses that reduce glare, increase contrast, and do not darken your view. The dyeing process for the polarized filter takes four months, and there are 25-30 total steps in manufacturing, most of which are done by hand. As you might expect, the sunglasses come at a premium price of $180+ (though there are some seasonal sales).

Shinzo Tamura sunglasses against an alpine lake in snowy conditions

Sustainability-wise, the sunglasses are made in-house in Japan, by craftspeople who have sometimes been in the business for generations. The sunglasses are made from nylon, and I would love to see them eventually switch to recycled materials, particularly for their frames (I’m guessing recycled nylon in their lenses might compromise their quality).

Finally, the sunglasses have a 5-year warranty, and if you experience any defects, they’ll repair them for free.

My Experience Using Shinzo Tamura Sunglasses

The Shinzo Tamura Tennoji Pyrite sunglasses in the case

I picked out the Tennoji Pyrite sunglasses, which is their model for outdoor sports like running, cycling, and hiking. They have several other everyday and sports models, including those for alpine sports, golfing, and motorsports.

I’ve worn the sunglasses on many runs and hikes, in sunny and snowy conditions. I really appreciate how they offer UV protection (blocking 99% of UV rays) and polarization without darkening my view. That’s always been my pet peeve with sunglasses, as I don’t like the muted colors and don’t wear them as a result.

With these Shinzo Tamura sunglasses, I have no problem keeping them on, even when the sun isn’t as strong. The colors do change ever so slightly when I wear the sunglasses, but it’s more of a warm filter.

Me running in Idaho with Shinzo Tamura sunglasses on
Me running through the dirt paths of Idaho with the Shinzo Tamura sunglasses on

Of course, because the lenses aren’t darkening, they have a very different look to them, and people can see your eyes through the lenses. This wasn’t made super clear to me on the site, as the model photos are taken in a darker setting.

I’m not a huge fan of this look, but I prefer the functionality of non-darkening lenses. If you want sunglasses with more anonymity, you’ll want to look at their mirror lenses, which are available for most frame styles and cost around $30 more.

Me trail running along an alpine lake in wintery conditions
Wearing my sunglasses during a 10-mile trail run through the snow

The Tennoji Pyrite sunglasses are super light, so they feel good even during longer activities. I wore them for most of a 10-mile trail run in the snowy mountains, and they were comfortable and didn’t bounce.

The sunglasses have nose pads, which I thought I wouldn’t like at first, but they help them stay in-place and don’t dig. I will definitely take them along for my future runs and hikes in the bright sun.

Back of the Tennoji Pyrite sunglasses

Are Shinzo Tamura Sunglasses Worth It?

The price point of these sunglasses is certainly on the higher end. You can definitely get much cheaper active sunglasses like Goodr for $30, but they’re known to break and get scratched easily.

When you compare Shinzo Tamura to other premium sports sunglasses brands like Oakley, the pricing is pretty much the same. There are other brands like SunGod in the $100 range, but they can also go up to $180, and their lens are your typical darkening ones.

I actually couldn’t find very many other sunglasses that provide eye protection without dimming, so it seems that Shinzo Tamura is in a unique niche. I would say that these sunglasses would be worth it you want this kind of lens, and you know you’ll wear them for a long time.

If this review helped you, it would mean a lot if you use my Shinzo Tamura affiliate link. Feel free to leave any questions in the comments!

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