Best Running Sunglasses – 2023 Buying Guide
We tested and reviewed dozens of the top models and found that the ChromaPop outperformed in multiple categories. What put Smith's sunglasses over the top was how they married cost and value with performance. Read our full reviews below.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Protecting your eyes from the sun is just as important as protecting your skin!
As runners, we are always on top of our game when it comes to protecting our skin by ensuring to wear the sunscreen and the best protective clothing out there. While this is a great thing that you should continue to do (or start doing if you aren't doing it already) it is also important that you start taking care of your eyes as well. By now you have taken a look at our list of the best running sunglasses, so you have a great place to start if you have never tried using a pair of running sunglasses before.
Wearing the right pair of sunglasses for you will prevent your eyes not only from getting sunburned (yes, your eyes can get sunburned too) but also protect them from long term damage and cancer. When you expose your eyes to UV rays for extended periods of time, it can cause corneal scarring and might even lead to partial scarring--not to mention that all the squinting can really cause a lot of discomforts--and even cause wrinkles to form over time. So, when looking for the best sunglasses for yourself, make sure to consider absolutely everything you need so you get the protection you need.
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.
Running is a high-impact sport which means your running gear is going to take a beating. Sunglasses are going to have to stand up to frequent use, weather, and a lot of sweat. They also need to have durable features. If they have a specific type of protective coating, it needs to stand up to a lot of use. We looked at sunglasses that resisted bubbling, scratching, and losing their protective qualities over time. Purchasing this type of accessory is really an investment in self-care.
Dealing with glare from your sunglasses or the environment around you can be extremely distracting.
It makes it difficult to see where you’re going, disrupts your field of vision, and can force you to put your head into an uncomfortable position to avoid it. All of the sunglasses that we looked at have superior polarization and glare protection. They’re designed to protect your sensitive eyes from the rays of the sun while making it easier for you to see and negotiate your footing. Where you live will also play a factor in the tint and type of protection that you need.
If you’re located in a really sunny area with a warmer climate, then you definitely need sunglasses that can stand up to the stronger UV rays. At the same time, if you’re living someplace with frequent snowfall and precipitation, then they need to be able to stand up to the weather. Take a look at all of these features, and choose the product that works best for you.
Sunglasses are just as fashionable as they are functional.
Finding good sunglasses means that you will have a product you can wear on and off the trail. It will be great for driving, running errands, or participating in high-impact sports. This is a versatile part of your wardrobe, and it’s important to choose something that complements your personal style.
There are a lot of different brands and options on the market. This is why we research such a huge variety of different products that come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you like something that’s neutral, or you want sunglasses with a little flair, there’s something here for you. Most runners own more than one pair. This is a good idea if you like to match accessories to your outfits when you run. It also helps to have a backup just in case your original sunglasses get scratched or broken.
If you want to really get the most out of the sunglasses, one of the most important factors to consider is how they fit you.
Just like clothes, shoes, socks, and everything else you wear, if your sunglasses don't fit well then you will end up either not using them or needing to replace them sooner than you wish. When we considered the fit when putting together our reviews we took into consideration several reviews from actual users as well--and we encourage you to do the same. Not everyone has the same head shape or comfort preferences so, while we like to rate all of our products by how they fit, it is very important that you try them out yourselves and see how they fit you.
When you go to choose the best pair of sunglasses for yourselves ask yourself if they are too big or too small and whether or not they fit securely or too tightly--you definitely want a pair of sunglasses that are secure without hurting your hit because they are too tight. While we highly encourage you to head to a store and try your sunglasses on, we also know that isn't entirely feasible for everyone. So, if you order online just make sure to measure yourself appropriately and try to stick to the sellers that offer exchanges--just in case you accidentally purchase a pair of glasses that don't fit comfortably.
All you need to know before buying Running SunglassesClick here to see more
Top 15 Picks
1. Smith Uproar ChromaPop
If you want something that marries style and versatility, this option from Smith is a great choice. It boasts a price tag that makes it more than a simple pair of throw away glasses, but this design is something you will really want to take care of. It has specific design features that make it ideal for those that want to put miles of pavement behind them.Read more
100 percent UV protection
The very first thing we wanted to talk about is the quality of the lenses. As always, it provides 100 percent UV protection to keep your eyes safe. It is also water and oil resistant as well so smudges are something that will keep your vision nice and clear.
The other thing that we loved about this option is that it boasts a stylish design that is also very functional. It is made from a lightweight plastic material that contours to the shape of your head for a comfortable fit. Omitting metal pieces means that there will be few places where it digs into your head.
Cost and value
If you are in the market for something that is made from quality materials to keep your vision crisp and clear as you put miles of road behind you, this is an excellent option. If you are ready to invest in a quality design that you will want to keep around and take care of, this option from Smith is worth checking out!
2. Julbo AeroLite
With their Reactive Zebra Light red lenses, the Julbo AeroLites provide you with a sharper visual contrast from dusk 'til dawn. They're durable, photochromic, and perfect for runners who want a product that works and feels great. Not to mention the fact that the sleek design makes them a fashion statement for any activity.Read more
Protection and clarity
These sunglasses are more than capable of protection your eyes and face from the harmful effects of UV rays. Additionally, their fog-resistant properties ensure your vision remains clear even while generating a lot of heat from physical activity. This is just one reason why the AeroLite is so perfect for runners.
Built to last
Runners who are worried about breaking these sunglasses should know two things. First, the Julbo AeroLite was designed to be slip-resistant so they won't fall off the wearer's face. Second, the lenses and frame of this product are designed to handle a surprising amount of abuse without being negatively affected.
Cost and value
There's no getting around the fact that these sunglasses cost quite a bit more than average. However, the excellent sun protection, durability, and long manufacturer warranty make this intimidating investment worthwhile for most customers: especially those who enjoy running in their spare time.
3. Goodr OG
Hate the idea of sporty utility frames? While the sporty designs that really hug your face are functional, they may not offer you the style that you want. This option from Goodr provides the style that you want with the functionality that you need. It is great for running the trails, but it also looks great for grabbing dinner with your friends. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that the frames look new and stylish and come in a wide variety of unique color options and frames. The structure of the frame is made from a grippy matte material that resists bouncing and slipping around, even as you start to sweat.
The lenses provided come in a variety of shades, but they all offer excellent UV protection from the sun. The lenses are polarized, which helps to reduce glare to keep the road ahead of your crisp and clear. Many users find that the tint of these helps keep the road clear and also enhances visibility as well.
Cost and value
If you are in the market for something that is made from quality materials that still provide a stylish look for wear all day long, this option from Goodr is a great option. Plus, it comes in at a price point that allows you to buy more than one color option if you can’t decide!
4. Under Armour Rival
The Under Armour Rival sunglasses are high-quality lenses meant to take on a variety of athletic activities. From the very moment these glasses fit over your eyes, you will notice a world of newfound stability and comfort.Read more
Fit and size
Manipulating the temples of these sunglasses immediately demonstrates their impeccable durability. Once applied to your face, the glasses are really locked in. These glasses will provide a snug fit on the bridge of your nose and the top of your ears. These Under Armour sunglasses also offer an appealing degree of flexibility.
Coverage and protection
Since these Under Armour sports shades are larger than the average pair, they can easily provide some of the best coverage around. It can even protect the wearer from eye damage as a result of debris or errant winds.
Cost and value
These sunglasses truly provide everything an athlete needs, so even though they admittedly have a steep price, they are worth every penny!
5. 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.Read more
One-piece shield lens
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.
Polarization and 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.
Cost and value
These Nike 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.
6. Rivbos Polarized
For a great price, you get a high-quality pair of sunglasses with a carrying case. These Rivbos sunglasses are polarized and are made with a TR90 frame, plus a mirror coating has been added to the lenses in order to deflect as much sun as possible.Read more
30-day money back guarantee
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 also comes with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, pouch, and strap.
All these features are included in these sunglasses from Rivbos: TAC polarized, mirror-coated lenses; 100% UVA/UVB/UVC rays protection; protection from harmful blue light up to 400nm; true color lenses; elimination of reflected and scattered light; and perfect protection of the eyes. All in all, these are a perfect choice for runners with sensitive eyes.
Cost and value
When considering all of the features incorporated into the design of the Rivbos Polarized sunglasses, and all of the extra accessories provided with an order, you might be led to the belief that this product would come with a high price tag. On the contrary, this is actually one of the most affordable products on this list and a fantastic budget pick.
7. O2O Polarized
This design from O2O is a great option because it marries style and function in a sleek pair of frames. The lenses provide users with excellent protection from harsh UV rays, and it also keeps your surroundings crisp and clear so you don’t need to squint in bright conditions. Plus, they come in at one of the most affordable options making our list!Read more
The frames of this design boast a curved frame that hugs your face and securely stays in place. We love that users can select from a variety of different frame color options than just basic black. Color options also include red, blue, and clear.
We also like that it has small features to help keep them securely on your face as you run. The frames boast a textured design that stays put even as you start to sweat. It even has loops in the back so that you can hang them down like a necklace so you won’t lose them.
Cost and value
If you are in the market for something simple and affordable that does a great job of staying in place and protecting your eyes, this option from O2O is a great choice.
8. Oakley Radar Shield
Many sports enthusiasts find these sunglasses from Oakley to be quite beneficial while on the move. And just about everyone who gives these sporty and stylish shades a shot enjoy its extended range of view in the upper peripheral region.Read more
Extended peripheral view
The Oakley Rader Shield has Unobtanium earsocks and nose pads that keep glasses in place: a three-point fit that secures placement and reduces pressure points. Additionally, what makes these shades so appealing for sports lovers is their extended peripheral view, making it easier to see what's around you while they're worn.
These are non-polarized glasses with no mention of glare protection whatsoever. However, the Radar Shield does have a 100% UV protection coating, so you can rest assured that the harmful effects of sunlight exposure will be blocked quite well while you run, train, or play sports.
Cost and value
Oakleys don't come cheap; there's a reason why T-Pain brags about owning so many of them! They can be quite expensive due to their name brand, but most agree they are well worth the money spent thanks to their look and build quality.