by Lars Hundley
- All the high tech features of Roka sunglasses in prescription eyeglasses
- Adjustable nose bridge inserts, so it fits your face
- Geko technology on the arms holds glasses comfortably in place
- Harder to choose glasses online without trying them on, but Roka has a Home Tryout program, where you pay a fee to try on and easily mail back several pair.
How obtained: Company sample (I also own a different frame shape that I paid for myself.)
Availability: Online from Roka
If you pay attention to high end cycling sunglasses, you’re probably already familiar with the Roka brand. Maybe you’ve seen retiring pro cyclist Dan Martin wearing them. Roka sunglasses are known for great looks, but also for designs that fit very well and stay put on your face. The lightweight materials and the patented Geko arm design that mimics the feet of a gecko and keeps your glasses planted make them outstanding for wearing during outdoor activities.
I tried on a pair of their sunglasses several years ago and loved them. But since I require prescription lenses and don’t wear contacts, I wasn’t able to wear their non-prescription sunglasses that were available at the time. (Since then they’ve added some prescription sunglasses options.)
When I learned back in 2020 that Roka was also making regular prescription eyewear with the same lightweight frame materials and Geko technology as their sunglasses, I pulled out my wallet and ordered two pair (the same model in two different frame colors). It was quite inconvenient at the time, because back then Roka was only making standard prescription lenses and didn’t yet have the ability to make progressive lenses. But I liked the glasses so much that I ordered them as frames only, and then took them in to a local optical store that was willing to put in progressive lenses for me.
Those glasses have been outstanding and are probably the best fitting eyeglasses I’ve worn in the past decade. But I couldn’t really review them for RBR readers, because I know that a large part of our newsletter audience also uses progressive lenses, and most people wouldn’t be willing to go through that much trouble like I did.
When Roka recently contacted me about reviewing some new prescription models, I pointed this out as the reason that a review wouldn’t make sense. But they happily informed me that they now offer prescription glasses with progressive lenses and offered to let me send in my progressive lens prescription and try a new pair for myself. How could I say no to that?
One thing that you’ll need to know if you order prescription lenses online is your PD, or pupillary distance number. Since I have ordered glasses online in the past, I knew this number already. If you are getting an updated prescription, you can ask your optometrist to measure this and put it right on your prescription, and then you’ll also have it for your records.
Roka offers three different prescription lens options for eyeglasses. Standard polycarbonate, a higher optical quality Trivex lens, or a high index lens that allows people with strong prescriptions to get the lens thin enough that they work with the frames.
You also get the option of standard prescription or a progressive lens. And you can choose a regular clear lens, a polychromatic lens that gets darker in the sun, or blue light blocking lens if you spend a lot of time in front of the computer.
I emailed in my prescription to Roka and got my glasses a couple of weeks later. They turned out perfectly and I could see through them clearly.
One great feature of Mayfield glasses (that was not on the Cade glasses that I purchased previously) is spring loaded hinges, which allow the arms to flex inward or outward. That makes them easier to put on and take off, and also makes it much less likely you’ll ever bend the arms by mistake.
The two biggest features that set Roka glasses apart for me are the Geko technology arms and the three different nosepad options that are included in the box. The Geko arms help the glasses stay perfectly planted on your face, comfortably. And the different nosepad options allow for the glasses to fit your face better, whether you have a wide or narrow bridge.
As someone with a narrow nose bridge, I often find glasses I like that simply don’t fit me and end up sliding down my nose, forcing me to keep pushing them back up into place all day. Being able to choose the right nose piece completely solved this issue.
The elastomer for the nose and temple pads is also hydrophilic, chemical resistant and supports traction in multiple directions. What that means specifically is that they don’t slide off if your face gets sweaty. I don’t know exactly what that elastomer material is, but I sure do like it because it really works. My glasses stay correctly in place all day long without having to push them back into place as with many other eyeglasses I have owned in the past.
What I also like about the Mayfield glasses is that the frames are extremely light, weighing just 19 grams without lenses. They are so light because Roka uses a high-end TR-90 nylon material instead of just standard acetate or polycarbonate.
I still also own the two pair of Roka Cade prescription eyeglasses that I paid for out of my own pocket. I rotate my glasses out since the frames are in different colors (black, clear and tortoise) and still wear them regularly. I’m getting close to owning them for two years and they have held up well and still look like new. So I expect that the Mayfield glasses will hold up just as well until I eventually decide to buy a new pair of glasses again when I get a new prescription.
If you don’t like the style of the Mayfield glasses, Roka offers a good variety of other styles that also include the Geko tech in designed for both men and women.
I highly recommend Roka eyeglasses, and I’m glad that they finally offer a progressive lens option so that I can write about them here.