10 Best Running Sunglasses Reviewed in 2017

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Would you wear the same pair of shoes for trail running as you would for a day at the beach? Likely not, while it’s a little more possible to do this with sunglasses, giving some serious thought to running specific eye wear can be of great benefit.

Under Armour Rival
  • Under Armour Rival
  • 5 out of 5
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  • ArmourSight® lens
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Nike Vaporwing Elite
  • Nike Vaporwing Elite
  • 4.8 out of 5
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  • Adjustable nose piece
  • Price: See Here
Optic Nerve Sequence
  • Optic Nerve Sequence
  • 4.5 out of 5
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  • Optic Nerve Sequence
  • Price: See Here

There are a multitude of factors to think about when finding the right pair of sunglasses to meet the demands presented by your sport. We’ve made things simple and easy for you by doing all the research and scouring what is currently available on the market. Below you’ll find the top 10 best running sunglasses for women and men.

All you need to know before buying Running Sunglasses

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10 Best Running Sunglasses

 

1. Under Armour Rival

The Under Armour Rival sunglasses are top-of-the-line lenses meant to take on a variety of athletic activities. From the second you put on the glasses, you will notice a very comfortable and stable fit.  
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Style
The design of the UA Rival glasses are extremely stylish. The striped coloring on the frames create is quite appealing and the lenses bring a flashy style to the table.

Fit/Size:
You can just feel the sturdiness of the glasses just by folding or opening the temples. Once applied to your face, the glasses are really locked in. These glasses will fit snugly on the bridge of your nose and the top of your ears. They have a good amount of flexibility to adjust to the head shape of every user.

Coverage:
The lenses of the UA Rival are fairly large compared to other glasses on the market. That being said, it works in your favor to protect your eyes with maximum coverage. It helps with protecting against wind and debris while running. Under Armour has patented these shades with ArmourSight technology which delivers up to 20% more undistorted peripheral vision.

Durability:
The glasses seem to be made out of very durable materials. The ultra-light ArmourFusion frames are made of titanium and Grilamid for extended strength and flexibility.

Weight:
The weight of the UA Rivals is very light which is ideal for athletes, especially runners.

Polarization/Glare Protection
These glasses repel the sunrays very well. Under Armour made sure that everything didn’t have a blue tint to it when wearing these shades, and instead, they dim bright lights into an orange shade which makes objects more visible.

UV Protection:
Under Armour pledges that all their eyewear blocks 100% UVA, UVB and UVC rays. The coverage of the glasses will protect a large part of your face from sunburn as well.

Cost/Value
For their price, the value of this eyewear product is truly unmatched. They really provide everything you need as a runner or an athlete in general. The steep price is worth every penny.
Pros

Highly Durable

Very Lightweight

Fits Great

Provides Flexibility, while maintaining sturdiness

100% UV protection

Glare protection 

Cons

Not too many color options available 

Can be seen as expensive

2. Optic Nerve Sequence

If you're tired of having a different pair of sunglasses for each type of weather condition then these are a great pick for you! They come complete with 4 interchangeable lenses that have specific tasks in mind.
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Style
These amazing running glasses are quite stylish featuring interchangeable lenses that are easily placed on and off. The mechanical switch to take them off and on allows for reduced fingerprints on your lenses as well. It's available in black, and white/red.

Fit & Size
Its adjustable nose bridge allows for a secure fit. They are made from tactile rubber to further your comfort while you run.

Durability
These are highly durable and made with resilient nylon resin that prevents breaking and stretching.

Polarization & Glare protection
The frames come with four lenses: polarized smoke, copper, orange and clear. The Polarized Smoke lens is for very sunny and bright conditions. The copper lens is best for a partly sunny day, where it may get dark at times. The orange lens works great for overcast days, and the clear is great for for night riding or precipitation. It's pretty great to have all areas of the weather covered under one pair of sunglasses.

UV Rays
These provide 100% UV protection from the sun.

Weight
Light as a feather, they won't cramp your style as you run. They weigh in at just 0.25 pounds.

Price
They are typically priced at the average end of sunglasses and have quality, however sometimes you'll be able to find a steal of a deal by clicking on our Amazon link.
Pros

Quickly change lenses

Extremely durable TR90 material

Adjustable temples

Hydrophobic coating that wicks away water, oil and dust

100% UV protection

Interchangeable Lenses

Cons

Not many color options available

3. Nike Vaporwing Elite

Get clarity while you run with the Vaporwing which allows for exceptional clarity without fogging up your glasses.
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Style
Very stylish with 5 lens colors to choose from, this adaptable pair of sunglasses has a need for speed.

Fit & Size
Runners will appreciate that these have temples that get sticky when wet, and cutaways in the arms and nose pads that lighten the frame and increase airflow.

Durability
Its single shield lens will provide you with protection if you decide to hit the trails. These are quite durable and made with quality materials.

Polarization & Glare protection
Does not mention the feature of polarization or glare reduction.

UV Rays
There's no mention of UV protection, but I can't imaging that it wouldn't be included.

Weight
These are lightweight since they are specifically designed for speed.

Price
They are extremely high priced, but users appreciate the effectiveness of them.
Pros

Extremely Lightweight & Aerodynamic

Provide great ventilation

Exceptional clarity

Angles for increased speed

Protective coverage

Self-adjusting nose

Cons

Some users wished it had a darker filter to keep bright sunlight away

On the expensive side

4. Smith Optics Pivlock

4. Smith Optics Pivlock
Pivlock provides a non-obstructed view that helps protect your face as it covers more area. They keep sweat away and fit quite nicely.
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Style
Most runners and those that frequent sports activities appreciate the larger "Max" lens because it provides a little extra coverage for high speeds or larger faces. It also provides an unobstructed field of view. There are lots of available color choices to choose from.

Fit & Size
It will fit quite securely, and both the temples and nosepiece remove easily which will make changes your lenses quite simple.Slide on temple ends provide comfort

Durability
Its TR90 frame material makes for a durable frame. Users have also noted that they seem to be scratch resistant.

Polarization & Glare protection
It comes complete with interchangeable lenses. Its Hydroleophobic lens coating wicks away water, oil and dust.

UV Rays
There is an option to purchase the UV protection if desired.

Weight
These are lightweight weighing in at just 0.54 pounds.

Price
The price of these runs average to high in cost, but seem to be quite durable and worth every penny.
Pros

Lens profile covers a larger area of the face

2-position adjustable nosepiece

Interchangeable lenses

Slide on temple ends provide comfort

Hydroleophobic lens coating wicks away water, oil and dust

TR90 frame material makes for a durable frame

Unobstructed view

Scratch resistant

Very lightweight

Cons

Nothing above your eyes to block sweat from dripping

5. Julbo Zephyr

5. Julbo Zephyr
You'll be styling with Julbo Zephyr's. They will reduce the sting, fog, and are easily adjustable. They also provide an adequate amount of ventilation so there's no need to worry about keeping sweat away.
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Style
Made for running these are quite stylish and have 3 color options available.

Fit & Size
Some users did have difficulty with the fit and size. They noted that they seem to sit up higher on the face which would make it difficult to wear a hat with them. They also noted that the nosepiece was bothersome.

Durability
These are quite durable and will not deteriorate quickly.

Polarization & Glare
These are not polarized, and no mention of glare resistance.

UV Protection
Although there's no mention of UV protection most sunglasses do offer this feature.

Weight
These are extremely lightweight making it hard to remember that you are wearing them.

Price
The cost runs average to costly.
Pros

Reduces sting to eyes

Nosepiece keeps glasses from slipping

Glasses don't easily fog up

Bendable earpieces

Automatically adjust to light

Provides great ventilation

Cons

They sit up high on the face

Some users were irritated by the 3D nosepiece

6. Oakley Radar Shield

6. Oakley Radar Shield
Many sports enthusiasts find these quite beneficial while on the move and enjoy its extended range of view in the upper peripheral region.
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Style
It has a sporty style to it, and 4 color choices to choose from.

Fit & Size
It has Unobtanium earsocks & nose pads keep glasses in place, a three-point fit that secures placement and reduces pressure points, and an extended peripheral view making it easier to see what's around you.

Durability
It comes with an extremely durable O-Matter stress-resistant frame.

Polarization & Glare protection
These are non-polarized glasses with no mention of glare protection.

UV Rays
They have 100% UV protection coating so you can rest assured the sunlight will be blocked quite well while your running.

Weight
They are extremely lightweight so you don't feel like they are wearing you down while your run.

Price
They can be quite expensive due to their name brand, but most agree they are well worth the money spent.
Pros

100% UV protection coating

Plastic Frame & Lenses

Very Lightweight

O-Matter stress-resistant frame

Unobtanium earsocks & nose pads keep glasses in place

Three-Point Fit secures placement & reduces pressure points

Extended Peripheral View

Cons

Some had issues with them moving around while running

May be seen as expensive

7. Tifosi Wisp Warp

7. Tifosi Wisp Warp
Built for smaller faces the Tifosi Wisp stays nice and snug on petite faces while you run.
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Style
The design is quite simple, cute and petite for smaller sized heads and persons. It's available in 5 different color options. It's interchangeable lenses make it quite easy to swap out lenses that you need. It's well ventilated so you won't be irritated by sweat dripping off your face into your eyes.

Fit & Size
It is for smaller sized faces and should fit snug around the face. You may want to check the dimensions prior to ordering if you're not sure you have a "small" face. Some users were displeased by the narrowness of the bridge for the nose. Its adjustable temple arms allow you to get the secure fit you need. It has Hydrophilic nose pads that help to prevent slipping.

Durability
It comes complete with a TR-90 frame which is highly durable.

Polarization & Glare protection
These are non-polarized with no glare protection.

UV Rays
They are 100% UV protection coated.

Weight
They are extremely lightweight weighing in at just 0.7 ounces.

Price
The cost of the Tifosi's is average to inexpensive in cost.
Pros

Fit nice and snug

Extremely Lightweight

Interchangeable lenses

Adjustable temple arms

100% UV protection

Hydrophilic nose pads prevent slipping

Scratch-resistant lenses

Well-ventilated

TR-90 frame is highly durable

Cons

Run narrow along the bridge of the nose

Girp for lenses is a bit weak

Don't sit well on top of your head

8. Duduma Polarized

8. Duduma Polarized
While some of the higher range models have many benefits, you don’t always have to spend the big bucks to get a bit of performance out of your sunglasses. Here we have a solid, stylish, and strongly constructed pair of multi-use sunglasses that are great for running.
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Style
The design is quite unique and stylish allowing you much versatility while you engage in running activities.

Fit & Size
Although these are lightweight, some dislike the bulkiness of the design.

Durability
They are relatively durable with bendable frames made of a flexible material. The frames are unbreakable and will return to the original shape even after being bent.

Polarization & Glare protection
They are HDPolarized lenses that filter out 99% of reflected glare without the haze and optical distortion that can come with polarized lenses.

UV Rays
They offer 100% UV protection.

Weight
Their super light TR 80821 frame can hardly be felt on your face, although some did describe the overall feel of them as bulky.

Price
Very inexpensive running glasses that you can't help to overlook any cons listed.
Pros

HD Polarized Lenses

Has 100% UV400 protection

Very light and relatively durable

“Unbreakable” Frames

Very affordable

Unique versatile style & design

Cons

Some dislike the plastic matte finish

May be seen as bulky

9. Revo Descend E

9. Revo Descend E
The lightest in their class these will hardly be noticeable on your face and their polarized lenses will give you great clarity.
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Style
These are a simple, but quite stylish design.

Fit & Size
They have nose pads that increase the grip so that they don't slide around easily. Their Motion-fit technology allows you to move easily without worrying about glasses slipping. You'll want to keep in mind, however, that some users stated the opening in the peripheral did not block wind adequately, and allowed light to get in.

Durability
Although these are quite delicate glasses, if cared for properly they can last a long time and are quite durable.

Polarization & Glare protection
These are polarized and will help to increase the clarity of objects as you run.

UV Rays
They offer 100% UV protection coating so you don't need to worry about the sun being bothersome to your eyes.

Weight
These are the lightest in your class and you'll have difficulty remembering you put them on your face.

Price
The cost runs average to quite expensive in price.
Pros

Extremely Lightweight

Polarized lenses give great clarity

100% UV protective coating

Nose pads increase grip

Anti-reflection & glare provided

Motion-fit technology allow you to move easily without worry of glasses slipping

Cons

Doesn't seem to block wind well

Delicate and need to be protected

Light seems to get in on the corners

10. Suncloud Zephyr Polarized

10. Suncloud Zephyr Polarized
Extremely affordable pair of polarized glasses made for blocking the sun and providing a good amount of clarity.
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Style
Most appreciate the design of these and think they are quite stylish. They also come in several color options.

Fit & Size
They are not adjustable, but seem to fit appropriately for most users. You might want to check the dimensions just to ensure they will fit the bridge of your nose correctly.

Durability
There have been some reports of the arms not lasting as long as users would have liked, but due to the extremely affordable price of these glasses we'd say they are well worth the price.

Polarization & Glare protection
Polarization is provided and assists in providing you great quality images.

UV Rays
There is no mention of UV coverage, it may exist but it's just not listed in this case.

Weight
They are extremely lightweight allowing you to concentrate your run.

Price
These are highly affordable glasses that won't hurt your wallet at all.
Pros

Grilamid TR-90 Nylon for a quality fit

Great flexibility and long durability

Highly Affordable

Polarized, reduces glare

Provides great clarity

Extremely Lightweight

Megol nose and temple pads

Highly Affordable

Cons

Arms seem to be easily breakable

Not adjustable

 

The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of the Best Sunglasses for Running

We want to ensure that you’re seeing the best of the best when we shuffle through thousands of  reviews provided by runners just like you. These are the areas that we concentrate on to give you the most accurate list:

Best-Running-Sunglasses-1

Style: We all have our own style preference!

Some like a sporty style, while others prefer simple. This is definitely a personal and preferential decision that most runners decide on prior to making a purchase. We give you information in regards to the style and design so that you can decide if they are right for you.

Durability: You need them to last!

How long will they last? Some may want to spend the extra money in order to ensure they are getting a quality product. Are the frames flexible and/or adjustable. Will they stand the test of time? How about the lenses? Are they made to last with scratch  resistant materials? These are all things we include when discussing each of the top 10.

Best Running Sunglasses 6

Polarization: Glare protection is a game changer!

There’s no doubt adding a pair of sunglasses that provide polarization and glare protection can be quite beneficial. If you’re looking for clarity and reduced glare you’ll find that listed among our featured sunglasses as well.

UV Protection: Protect your sensitive eyes from the sun!

Most runners put on sunscreen prior to going out for a run in the sun and most sunglasses provide 100% protection  from UV rays as well. This is a great benefit to have while you are running and we’ve included it.

Fit & Size: A perfect fit is critical!

Are they too big, too small? Do they fit too tight or fall off? These are such important factors to know about when you’re running with a pair of sunglasses. You don’t want them bouncing all over the place so we’ve gathered valuable intel that allows you to make the best decision based on your face size.

 

Best-Running-Sunglasses-4

 

Weight: A heavy pair will not do!

No one wants a bulky pair sitting on top of their nose. That would just be distracting and weigh you down. From lightweight to extremely lightweight we’ve listed them so you can feel content that you won’t be bothered by the weight.

Price: Is the performance worth the cost?

Some are willing to pay an arm and a leg for a pair of really amazing sunglasses, although that’s not always necessary. If you peek at our reviews on affordable sunglasses you’ll find that a lot of them stand the test of durability as well and you’ll save a bit of money in the process too.

Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Sunglasses for Running:

When making your purchase for sunglasses it’s important to take some things into consideration. Let’s review why we should wear sunglasses, the value of frame material, sweat proof glasses, lens colors, and lens features. Below you’ll see that these are the topics we are covering:

 

Why Wear Sunglasses?

 

Best-Running-Sunglasses-2

 

An effective pair of sunglasses will allow you to partake in your activities without the sun’s glare affecting visibility, and subjecting you to danger or lack of awareness. Additionally, harmful UV rays can be nullified, depending on the lens. According to the American Optometric Association sunglasses are critical to protect the eyes from these Ultraviolet rays. Reasons to wear include:

Ultraviolet Ray (UV) Protection, which could cause serious eye damage, ultimately leading to cataracts.
Enable a higher range of vision, increasing overall safety and awareness of surroundings.

Protecting your eyes is a very important aspect of running, not just in terms of comfort but in terms of protecting your health beyond. Sun glasses that are not polarized or lack UV protection shade your eyes but only give the illusion of security. You can now look directly into harmful rays without protection, this can have serious consequences down the line.

Frame Material

 

Best-Running-Sunglasses-3

Frame material can be a preference, but it can also affect the durability of the glasses. Let’s take a look at the 3 categories: Plastic, Metal, and Hybrid:

Plastic

Sunglasses that have plastic frames tend to be inexpensive.  While there are several types of plastic materials the most common type being used is zylonite. Zylonite  frames are easily adjusted. Another popular plastic frame material is polycarbonate. Polycarbonate frames are primarily used with sports activities  or for safety glasses. This material provides impact resistance and eye protection which is great for those in sports.Plastic frames typically don’t come equipped with nose guards which can make it difficult for those with small bridges or little noses.

Metal

Sunglasses made from metal materials are typically high in durability. Metal frame materials include nickel, stainless steel, aluminum, and titanium. The frames of metal sunglasses are often thin. They have nose guards and pads that allow for comfort. The arms that go around the temples can often be flexible as well.

Hybrid

This is an idea that is becoming more popular, with metal and plastic materials being combined to give you a hybrid material. Typically they have a metal frame with plastic arms.

Sweat Proof

If you’re a sweater then you’ll want to look for glasses that are textured, and provide a grip for the nose. Some also provide temple pads to keep them from sliding off your face or nose while you run. Additionally, you’ll want to seek glasses that feature hydrophilic attributes that will assist in keeping sweat away.

 

Best-Running-Sunglasses-5

 

Lens Materials

There are 3 different types of lenses that you can look for. They are polarized lenses, photochromic lenses, and interchangeable lenses. Let’s take a look at the differences below:

Polarized lenses:

These will provide great clarity while reducing glare when you run. If you are sensitive to glare you’ll want to invest in these. Mirrored lenses can be an alternative if polarized ones cause problems for you.

Photochromic lenses:

These lenses will automatically adjust to changing light intensities. They will get darker on bright days, and lighter when conditions get darker. It can take longer to work in cold weather and doesn’t work for driving in your car, but other than that they are pretty fantastic.

Interchangeable lenses:

Removable lenses are pretty cool. You can choose which lens you might need for a specific weather condition, or for a specific activity.

Lens Colors

What do the colors of lenses actually mean? They are built to provide different functions. Dark colors and light colored lenses will make a difference in different weather conditions while you run.

Dark colors (brown/gray/green):

These are great for using everyday and for outdoor activities. They will reduce glare and reduce your eyestrain in brightly lit areas.

Light colors (yellow/gold/amber/rose/vermillion):

These will work great in low light conditions. People often use them for winter sports. They provide a great amount of depth perception, enhance contrasts, and improve the visibility of objects. Your surroundings will appear brighter.

FAQ

 

Q. What does VLT stand for and mean?

A. VLT stands for “Visible Light Transmission”. The amount of light that reaches your eyes through your lenses. It’s measured by the thickness of the lenses. 

0–19% VLT: Ideal for bright, sunny conditions.

20–40% VLT: Good for all-purpose use.

40+% VLT: Best for overcast and low-light conditions.

80–90+% VLT: Virtually clear lenses for very dim and night conditions

Q. What are the differences between sport, casual, and glacier sunglasses?

A. Casual are for everyday use and blocking the sun while doing normal activities. Sports sunglasses are specifically engineered for running, biking and other sports activities. Glacier are highly advanced to protect your eyes from the glare off of snow which can be quite intense.

Q. What is a hydrophobic coating?

A. It’s a substance placed on the glasses that can help keep sweat away, or repel water.

Q. Can anit-scratch and anti-fog coatings be helpful?

A. Absolutely! Anti-scratch coatings can allow your glasses to last longer since they are protected , and anti-fog coatings will allow you to run easily in the most humid of conditions.

Here are some sources we used while conducting our Research:

Sources

  1. Jeff Burke, 12 Best Sports Sunglasses, Staying active website, May 16, 2013
  2. Troy Bendinghaus, Sunglass Frames & Styles, Informational blog, Jul 06, 2016
  3. Sunglass Picks, Frame Material and Construction Differences,
  4. REI CO.OP, Sunglasses: How to Choose, Informational website,
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