I’d already been using an older Arena Max for a few years, and the fit on the new version was pleasantly familiar with its outstanding coverage and ample protection. The frame is a bit softer and more flexible than what you usually find from Oakley, so riders with wider and/or more sensitive heads might find these more comfortable for long days in the saddle. That said, the fit also isn’t quite as secure, either, so bear that in mind depending on how you plan to use them.
The new Chromapop lens is arguably the biggest draw here, and it’s indeed an improvement over previous versions. As promised, there’s a little more visual “pop” that helps you distinguish features in the road, and visual quality is once again excellent with superb clarity and almost no noticeable distortion.
Smith Optics’ latest Chromapop lens tint provides more contrast and “pop” than previous lenses, but it’s still a step behind Oakley’s superb Prizm offerings.
If you’re already in the Smith Optics camp and are looking for something new, the latest Arena Max Chromapop glasses are the best I’ve used from the Idaho company — but in terms of lens technology, these are still a step behind the best-in-class Oakley Prizm in terms of how they make the world look.