Tom Cruise at event with sunglasses

Top Gun is Back. These Killer Aviator Shades Never Left, Though.

For those who still feel the need for speed, here’s which sunglasses to buy.

Tom Cruise has one of the best-known lines in movie history: “I feel the need. The need for speed.”

When he said it in Top Gun, back in 1986, he was walking down the runway, a row of fighter jets in the background. As he delivered the line, the then-young actor donned what would become the signature look of the summer blockbuster; a stellar pair of aviator sunglasses.

Now, Cruise is back with the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, and so too are those famous shades, the Ray-Ban 3025 Classic Aviator sunglasses. 

Cruise has a distinct vision for Maverick, from how the character talks, walks, and most importantly, dresses. And while it may seem like any pair of sunglasses would have sufficed, Cruise was “a stickler” for not only the type but how well the Ray-Bans fit, notes the costume designer from Top Gun: Maverick. (He ultimately had a pair custom-fitted to his face.)

Aviators are synonymous with fighter pilots. The most elite unit of the U.S. Navy has famously worn aviators since the beginning in 1969, but the birth of the glasses dates back to 1936. 

Originally developed by eyewear giant Bausch & Lomb specifically to help pilots protect their eyes during flights as they banned unwanted rays (Does Ray-Ban make more sense now?), aviators made the jump into mainstream fashion shortly after the war. Perhaps slight credit is due to General Douglas MacArthur who was snapped sporting a pair overseas during World War II, but melding functionality with style, it’s obvious why they became a mainstay.  

General Mcarthur walking on beach with sunglasses

After the first Top Gun film, there was a drastic increase in sales in the late 1980’s as Ray-Ban sold millions worldwide. And while fans were all about the military and their apparel back then, with the release of this sequel, fans are already back onto military fashion and accessories.

Whether you’re refreshing your summer shades or dipping your toe into a new style, Ray Ban’s 3025 Classic Aviator Sunglasses are a fantastic upgrade. If you are someone who still feels that need for speed, or who simply wants that stylish look, buy these now before it’s too late.

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