10 Best Running Sunglasses Reviewed in 2018

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Now that it’s summer, it’s hotter than ever out there—which means it is important to take all necessary precautions to shield ourselves from sun damage. The best running sunglasses adequately shield us from the sun during our runs and allow us to enjoy our runs without having to squint. So, if you are on the hunt for the best running sunglasses then you have come to the right place. Here you will find the best options 2018 has to offer, as well as their Pros & Cons and what to look for before making your purchase.

Sunglasses, like running shoes, are an important component of the runner’s wardrobe. If you enjoy running outside, then you need sunglasses that take your needs and into consideration when they are designed. When looking for the best running sunglasses there are several factors you need to take into consideration. Running is a high demand support that takes a lot out of you, so it is important to ensure all of your needs will be met before making your purchase.

Last Updated: June 16, 2018
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent option brings several new sunglasses to choose from. They range from pricey to affordable—so there is an option for all budgets and individual preferences.

Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
  • Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Easily interchangeable lenses
  • Price: See Here
Under Armour Rival
  • Under Armour Rival
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Very durable
  • Price: See Here
Nike Vaporwing Elite
  • Nike Vaporwing Elite
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Specifically made for runners
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Running Sunglasses

 

1. Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses

The Oakley Radarlock Path Sunglasses are one of the best sunglasses for runners may by this company. Oakly is highly regarded and a favorite among many out there--and they have definitely earned their outstanding reputation. While this brand is pricier than others, their products are always worth the investment and are sure to last you for a long time.
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UV Protection
These sunglasses provide 100% UV protection.

Durability
Like all Oakley sunglasses, these are highly durable and can take a beating.

Polarization & Glare protection
These sunglasses can be purchase polarized or non-polarized. While the polarized version is more expensive, it is well worth the additional cost. Polarization further blocks the sun's glares, reduces and prevents any additional eye strain, and allows you to solely focus on your runs.

Weight
These sunglasses are ultra lightweight, which makes them easy to wear and barely noticeable.

Cost/Value
These are Oakleys, so they come with a steeper price tag than other options. However, they are meant to last and will be there for you for the long haul.

2. 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 a quite appealing look 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 sun rays 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 eye wear 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

3. Nike Vaporwing Elite

If you are looking for a sleek, minimalistic. and lightweight pair of glasses then these may be the perfect pair for you. The Nike Vaporwing Elite sunglasses are perfect for running as well as other athletic activities. They are versatile and provide a secure and comfortable fit during your runs.
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Style
These sunglasses have a sleek and minimalistic design that you can pair with anything.

Fit & Size
They feature a one-piece shield lens which helps provide maximum coverage and additional protection. They also provide you with an adjustable nose pad, so you get a custom and comfortable fit.

Durability
These glasses are highly durable and not delicate in nature whatsoever.

Polarization & Glare protection
Can be purchased polarized or non-polarized. These sunglasses were specifically designed for runners and their needs. They provide protection from glare, prevent fogging, and have a virtually indestructible design.

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

Weight
At just 23 grams, these sunglasses are ultra lightweight--you'll barely feel them there.

Price
These sunglasses are expensive--and the priciest on our list. However, Nike never disappoints and they made this pair with the needs of runners specifically in mind. They offer several necessary features and are pretty much indestructible--so you won't have to buy another pair for a long time.

4. Rivbos Polarized

4. Rivbos Polarized
For a great price you get a high-quality pair of sunglasses with a carrying case. The Rivbos are polarized and made with a TR90 frame, plus a mirror coating on the lenses to deflect as much sun as possible.
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Style
These Rivbos Polarized glasses are available in a sleek, minimalist design with nine colors from which to choose.

Fit & Size
Dimensions for these glasses are as follows: 40mm lens height, 64mm lens width, 140mm leg length, 30mm nose bridge, and 140 frame length.

Durability
Buyers get a 30-day money back guarantee and a lifetime breakage warranty on the frames and lenses. So if you accidentally drop them, step on them, or if they don't feel right when you buy them - no worries! The frames are made of high grade Swiss TR90 plastic. Each pair of glasses comes with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, pouch, and strap. What a deal!

Polarization & Glare protection
All these features include: TAC polarized, mirror-coated lenses, 100% UVA/UVB/UVC rays, protection from harmful blue light up to 400nm, restoration of true color despite colored lenses, elimination of reflected light and scattered, and perfect protection of the eyes.

UV Rays
Again, these glasses protect from 100% UVA/UVB/UVC rays.

Weight
There is no mention of exact weight, but judging by the minimal measurements, they certainly won't weigh much when wearing them.

Price
At $20 a pair, these are a great affordable choice for avid runners.
Pros
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Durable frames/lenses
  • Exceptional clarity
  • Polarized and mirror-coated lenses
  • Protective coverage
  • Lifetime warrant
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Glasses come with carry case, pouch, strap, and cleaning cloth
Cons
  • Some users had issues with distortion of phone screens - we recommend find these in a store and testing them before buying

5. BLUPOND Sports Sunglasses

5.  BLUPOND Sports Sunglasses
These BLUPOND sunglasses are a highly affordable option that provides you with all the necessary benefits a runner needs.
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Style
These sunglasses feature a sleek design that is both stylish and effective.

Fit & Size
Secure and comfortable fit.

Durability
These glasses are highly durable and made of high-quality material. They feature a metal frame--an alloy of aluminum and Magnesium to be precise. This allows them to be durable while also being lightweight. They are also shatterproof and can withstand quite a beating.

Polarization & Glare protection
They are semi-polarized and their blackout lenses also ensure you receive maximum protection from the sun.

UV Rays
They provide 100% protection from UV radiation.

Weight
At 26 grams, they are extremely lightweight.

Price
This option comes at a highly affordable price.

6. Julbo Zephyr

6. Julbo Zephyr
The Julbo Zephyr sunglasses are an excellent option for all runners--especially now that it is summer. They were specifically designed for heavy sweaters, which is almost everyone during these hot summer months. This is because they were specifically designed for heavy sweaters and are meant to remain secure and comfortable during all of your runs.
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Style
They have a sleek and sporty design

Fit & Size
Provide a secure and custom fit thanks to their bendable earpieces.

Durability
Pretty durable and meant to last a while.

Polarization & Glare
Non-Polarized and prevent fog build up.

UV Protection
100% UV protection

Weight
Very lightweight

Price
These glasses come at a moderate price.

7. Oakley Radar Shield

7. 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 that 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

8. Tifosi Wisp Warp

8. 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. Its 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

9. Duduma Polarized

9. 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

10. Oakley Half Jacket

10. Oakley Half Jacket
Another great Oakley option are their Half Jacket sunglasses. They are on the pricey side, but they are a highly durable and comfortable option that are built to last.
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Style
Sporty and minimalistic design

Fit & Size
Flexible frames that provide a secure and adjustable fit.

Durability
Highly durable, shatterproof, and built to last.

Polarization & Glare protection
You can purchase these glasses polarized and non-polarized. While the polarized are more expensive, they provide additional protection and benefits. They prevent glare and minimize sun exposure.

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

Weight
Very lightweight

Price
These glasses are a pricier option, but well worth the investment.

 

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. Sunglasses 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 many different types of plastic materials, however, the most common one is zylonite. Zylonite  frames are easily adjusted. Another popular choice is polycarbonate, which is used in frames made for sports activities or for safety glasses. Polycarbonate provides eye protection and is impact resistance, perfect for 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. Metals used in frames include titanium, stainless steel, nickel, and aluminum. 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 adjust to the changes in light intensity automatically. For example, on bright, sunny days, the lenses get darker while on dark, grey days, the lenses get lighter.  It can take longer to adjust 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 every day 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?

VLT stands for “Visible Light Transmission”.  This is how much light passes through the lenses and reaches your eyes.  It’s measured by the thickness of the lenses.  The different VLT percentages work well for certain conditions.  A VLT of 0-19% is good for sunny and bright conditions.  VLT 20-40% is good for everyday use.  40-80% BLT works best for overcast or low light conditions.  80-90% VLT is good for dark or night time conditions.

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

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

Q. What is a hydrophobic coating?

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

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

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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