Whether you’re riding on paved roads or exploring new trails off-road, it’s important to have eye protection that enhances and protects your vision. Smith’s new Motive sunglasses combine a traditional two-piece lens design with an oversized profile to provide an unobstructed view. The Motive retail for $175 with standard ChromaPop lenses and $185 for the mirrored versions. Smith has infused classic design cues into the Motive while using a modern TR90 nylon frame for durability. Regardless of the version you choose, Smith includes spare clear lenses as well as fabric and a zippered hard case for storage and transportation.

The Smith Motive sunglasses combine a classic two piece lens design with ChromaPop lens technology and premium features.

Retail Price$175 – $185 (mirrored lens)
Rating9.1 / 10
Measured weight (in g)28
Likes+ Retro styling with two piece lens and fun wild child color scheme
+ Oversized lens offer a wide field of view
+ Lightweight and flexible temple arms
Dislikes– Premium price
Where to Buy (US)Smith Optics


The Smith Motive sunglasses come in an eco-friendly cardboard box with minimal Smith branding printed directly onto it. Inside the box you’ll find:

  • Motive sunglasses
  • Spare clear lenses w/ fabric carrying bag
  • Zippered hard case
  • Fabric carrying case
  • Information pamphlet
  • Quick guide for removing lenses

We were impressed to see that Smith not only includes a hard and soft carrying case as well as the replacement clear lenses. The extra lenses come in their own separate fabric carrying case which ensures they stay together and don’t get scratched.


Visually, the Smith Motive sunglasses have a sporty design with a two-piece lens construction. This gives the Motive a more classic appearance while the oversized design offers a wide field of view. Smith offers the sunglasses in six different combinations that includes standard matte black, black and matte blue frame colors. We have one of the more eye-catching color options which is the “Wild Child” version that adds some retro vibes with bright red, purple and black spots. It’s a unique look that isn’t for everyone but gives the sunglasses a cool look that stands out. As far as classifications, the Motive sunglasses are a medium fit with large coverage and a 5-base lens curvature.

Smith Motive Cycling Sunglasses Review - Quarter View
The Motive have a two-piece lens design with large lenses and a semi-frameless design.

Despite being a two-piece lens design, the Motive has an interchangeable design with tabs holding the lens onto the frame. Smith even includes a clear lens which lets you swap them in for night time or early morning riding. There are a variety of ChromaPop lenses available with the Motive with 10-15% VLT filtering. Note, Smith does not offer photochromic options currently, so you’ll need to be careful when you are picking the color / lens combination. The ChromaPop technology is Smith’s lens technology which is designed to enhance contrast and colors. As with other Smith sunglasses like the Shift MAG and Flywheel, Smith offers a wide range of colors and lens replacements.

The frame on the Motive is a standard TR90 nylon construction which is both light and highly durable. Smith has chosen a half-frame design with the frame only extending along the top of the sunglasses and on the nose bridge. Megol rubber inserts on the nose pad and temple arms provide a flexible yet non-slip surface to keep the sunglasses in place over any terrain. The temple arms are thin at the ends with a slightly radiused fit along with AutoLock hinges. This allows you to easily take the sunglasses on and off with only a single hand. Instead of removable nose pads, Smith has used soft rubber along with a moldable base that lets you move the nose pad around for an optimal fit. An internal wire core holds the shape so you can easily customize the positions of the pads.

Smith Motive Cycling Sunglasses Review - Temple Arms
With the Wild Child version of the sunglasses, the Motive have bright graphic temple arms with colored Megol rubber tips.


With the current trend of oversized single piece sunglasses like the Oakley Encoder, KOO Spectro and the Julbo Density dominating the market, we were a bit hesitant to see how the Smith Motive sunglasses would work on the bike. However, thanks to the large size of each lens and the narrow nose bridge, the Smith Motive have a wide field of view that feels like other oversize sunglasses. The ChromaPop lenses offer great color clarity and distortion free optics that make you quickly forget you are wearing the sunglasses. Our Voilet Mirror lenses worked great in a variety of conditions and helped increase contrast while cycling to make it easier to spot debris and block out the sun. Our 15% VLT lens is one of the lighter versions but felt darker as the mirrored lens helps block out the harsh sun. Paired with our Smith Trace helmet in a matching similar retro Get Wild color scheme, the Motive looked great and felt comfortable with easy to adjust nose pad and temple arms.

Smith Motive Cycling Sunglasses Review - Lens Profile
The Motive has thin temple arms and adjustable nose piece to achieve a comfortable fit.


Overall, we found the Smith Motive to be comfortable and well designed sunglasses. Smith has taken a classic two piece lens silhouette and added modern lens and frame material to optimize optics and comfort. The oversized lenses and thin frame are nearly hidden from your view which makes the Motive perfect for high intensity sports where you want to see all the details. We were impressed with the ChromaPop lenses which helped enhance colors and contrast while blocking out the harsh sun. The bright Wild Child color scheme adds a fun pop of color with bright red and purple accents that help the Motive stand out on or off the bike. While the sunglasses are not cheap, Smith does include additional clear lenses, a hard case and a soft fabric case with the Motive. Smith has done a great job of blending modern and retro elements together into a lightweight and high-performance pair of sunglasses with the Smith Motive.

Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by Smith Optics. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

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