Global Eye Glasses review

Update: January 17, 2015

They're finally dead. 3.5 years isn't a bad lifetime for glasses. Several times, I stepped or sat on them and said, "oh well, time to order another pair of imported eye glasses." But then on a whim -- more as a recycling project than a recovery one -- I just brutally went at them with pliers. And they lived to see another day! Until yesterday, I was brutalizing them and finally an ear arm snapped clean off. That is one durable thin metal! But it is, in the end, mortal.

There are a few things about the design that I was not crazy about, but Global Eye Glasses has a bunch of different designs to chose from. The important thing is, they really do use the same incredible alloys as expensive glasses.

And I think I have come around to prefering loose (non-sprung) hinges.

Update: November 22, 2013

Still wearing these glasses. Every now and then they become so uncomfortable and mangled that I spend a bit of time in front of the mirror with some pliers, trying to guess which part needs to be bent to sit on my face right. Between my pliers, feet, and butt, every part of the frame has seen some bending, and no part has broken yet. I really like this alloy. In all fairness, I think the alloy is specific to our generation, not to Global Eye Glasses.

2 and a half years isn't that long for a pair of glasses. But I picked up astronomy as a hobby in that time period, which means I am always taking them off in the dark and then smooshing them. They've seen a lot of trauma. Here's to another 2 and a half years!

Update: February 27, 2012

I dropped them on the floor and then stepped on them while I was searching. They bent back to a reasonable shape pretty quickly. As I was bending them back into shape I realized that, in fact, they have never fit me very well. They leave sharp painful dents in my nose, and always seem to be bruising the tops of my ears. Today I decided to use the mirror to diagnose the trouble.

That was pretty easy, the trouble all comes down to these nose pads that I noted last time. The novel arms they are mounted on offer easy movement basically in only one axis, to fit a wider or thinner nose. But they actually come from the factory tilted slightly outward, so that the sharp edge of the pad rests on your nose, rather than the flat part of the pad!!!

I didn't see any easy way to adjust them, so I grabbed a pair of pliers and brutalized them (twisting the wire along its straight axis). I wound up needing to twist them approximately 30 degrees to get them to rest flat on my nose, and it is such a huge difference already. Once I got it to actually rest on my nose properly, it became a lot easier to finally get the ear pieces bent right as well. I am optimistic.

The good news is that the futuristic alloy seems to be holding up. Nothing has broken yet, at least, though there seems to be a soft spot right by the hinges now that may ultimately turn into a stress fracture. The bad news is I really had to go crazy with the pliers, applying a lot of force in a direction the wire wasn't designed to bend, and if this didn't happen to work for me, I would have had a heck of a time adjusting it along any of the other dimensions.

Suffice it to say, I am not at all impressed with the new-fangled stylish nose pad wires that they have on this pair of glasses. There are some lemons in the Global Eye Glasses line up, and at $50/pair instead of $15/pair (Zenni), that is a little bit frustrating.

I'll try to remember to post an update in a year to say if they've fallen apart.

July 1, 2011

A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Eric from, to see if I would accept a review set of glasses. I'm surprised and impressed by this technique, as he must have actually read my webpage to see my plug for Zenni. Anyways, I figured it would be more hassle than it's worth, but I am currently without a good backup pair so I jumped.

The most surprising thing was how usable their website was. If you've ever used Zenni then you know that they have a zillion varieties of frames, and they are not organized at all. If you decide "I want frame 123, but not as wide," you might find it...four hours later. I am very meticulous so I spent half a dozen hours digging through their website and even so out of the 5 pairs I've ordered from Zenni so far, only 2 have really been what I wanted.

By comparison, was a breeze. They gave me some pop-down lists to filter the results. So I just grabbed my ruler and an old pair that fit pretty well, and I entered those dimensions into the filter. Within moments I was staring at a list of about a dozen frames that fit my requirements in terms of style, material, and (most importantly) size. It literally took me 15 minutes from when I first read Eric's email to when I had found the exact frame that I wanted. That's even faster than at the mall!

The downside to globaleyeglasses is that they seem to have a smaller variety. But I think, honestly, they have more variety than I'd ever want, and it literally saved me hours. But the real downside is that globaleyeglasses has fewer "budget" frames. It seems overall their prices are a little higher than zenni, though you can still get exceptionally good prices if you limit your selection a little.

The glasses came in the mail yesterday. They were a little more thoroughly packaged than Zenni's were, but what matters to me is the comfort and optics. It only took a little bit of bending of the nose pads and arms, and these new glasses fit as good as if I'd been wearing them for years. Their website truly did make it easy for me to find the exact right size. Except for writing this review, I literally haven't thought about them since I put them on -- they're just glasses, like they should be.

Optically they're as good as anything else. There was no moment of disorientation when I switched from the old pair to the new pair, so they must have exactly nailed my prescription. I'm not an expert on coatings, but I'll update this page if the glasses develop a bunch of scratches early on. I'm pretty hard on all my glasses though, so....

I have two nits to pick about the frame they sent.

Traditional nose pad wire (old Zenni) New nose pad wire (new Global Eye Glasses)

Traditionally, there is a tightly-folded wire connecting the nose pads to the frames. The folds let you move the nose pads around without putting any tight kinks in the wire, and it works pretty well -- I've never broken off nose pads. The new frame from globaleyeglasses has an innovative design that is much simpler and more direct -- just straight pieces of wire going from the frames to the pads. They look very neat, but they do force all of the bending to happen in a certain small area of the metal. But maybe this fancy alloy will survive that? It will be years before I know if it causes premature frame failure.

Spring hinge (old Zenni) Simple hinge (new Global Eye Glasses)

The other difference is the hinges. I confess, it doesn't matter when I am wearing the glasses, but I have always preferred the "spring hinge" style. These have a slight reluctance to open when they are closed (or to close when they are open), and they will open to wider than 90-degrees (with the same reluctance). I admit that the modern "flexible titanium" alloys provide more than enough flex within the arms, so a simpler hinge is sufficient.

Anyways, one of the things I hated about Zenni is that you had to really hunt around and read carefully to find frames with the spring hinge. I was hoping that since I chose a relatively expensive frame ($50), I wouldn't have to worry about the hinge. No dice. *shrug* Like I said, it doesn't really matter. I have a suspicion that the spring hinge design, which can be slightly bulkier, is falling out of fashion.