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10 Best Running Sunglasses Reviewed in 2018

last updated Oct 19, 2018

Running is much easier to do when you aren’t being distracted or dealing with uncomfortable running gear. This gear includes everything that you use, wear, and need to make your workout easier and more efficient. Anyone who’s ever run outdoors for any length of time understands the importance of a good pair of sunglasses. Not only does the sun limit visibility, but it can also have harmful effects on your eyes. Most runners understand the importance of wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, but many neglect their eyes. Sunglasses give you the UV protection that you need while improving your ability to see what’s in front of you and in your periphery.

Any time that you have to wear something on your face while you’re bouncing around, you need to make sure that it can stay in place. Finding the right sunglasses is as much a matter of comfort as it is protection from the sun. The last thing anyone wants is to spend money on a product that falls off and gets stepped on the first time they wear it. A good pair of sunglasses will be snug, resistant to slippage, and shield your eyes from the sun.

Sunglasses aren’t just relegated to summer. The sun’s reflection off of freshly fallen snow can generate a glare that makes it difficult to see. Runners need to be able to see where they’re going in order to react or to change course if there are obstacles or unsafe conditions. Dealing with a glare or having the sun in your eyes is dangerous when performing a high impact sport and moving pretty fast.

We looked at the best sunglasses on the market that have been reviewed and recommended by runners. Take a look below!

Researched Sources
10
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
6164
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated: August 31, 2018
By Patricia Howard:

We updated our number one pick and introduced the Julbo AeroLite sunglasses. We also took the time to include additional info that can makes your decision easier!

Sorting Options
Style Durability Advanced Features Protection Size By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Style
93%
Durability
96%
Advanced Features
98%
Protection
94%
Size
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$142.45
$190.00
Best Deal
$190.00
Best Deal
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Style
95%
Durability
91%
Advanced Features
88%
Protection
89%
Size
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Style
93%
Durability
89%
Advanced Features
86%
Protection
89%
Size
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$209.99
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Style
83%
Durability
88%
Advanced Features
93%
Protection
87%
Size
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$19.98
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Style
90%
Durability
85%
Advanced Features
83%
Protection
79%
Size
77%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$209.49
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.6
Style
84%
Durability
86%
Advanced Features
78%
Protection
81%
Size
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$24.02
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Style
82%
Durability
84%
Advanced Features
80%
Protection
81%
Size
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$107.37
$133.00
Best Deal
$163.00
Best Deal
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Style
73%
Durability
80%
Advanced Features
85%
Protection
83%
Size
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$21.99
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
Style
78%
Durability
82%
Advanced Features
75%
Protection
77%
Size
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$38.98
Best Deal
$64.90
$66.73
Best Deal
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.8
Style
73%
Durability
77%
Advanced Features
74%
Protection
75%
Size
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.10.18)
$62.96
$62.96
Best Deal
$69.95
Best Deal
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Julbo AeroLite
  • Under Armour Rival
  • Nike Vaporwing Elite
  • Rivbos Polarized
  • Oakley Radar Shield
  • BLUPOND Sports
  • Oakley Half Jacket
  • Duduma Polarized
  • Julbo Zephyr
  • Tifosi Wisp
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Julbo AeroLite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Julbo AeroLite
Style
93
Durability
96
Advanced Features
98
Protection
94
Size
95
best offer for today
more shops
$142.45
$190.00
Best deal
$190.00
Best deal
Pros:

Superior UV protection

Protective photochromic lenses

Durable frames

Cons:

More expensive than the average pair

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.

2. Under Armour Rival

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Under Armour Rival
Style
95
Durability
91
Advanced Features
88
Protection
89
Size
93
best offer for today
more shops
Pros:

Fits great

Provides flexibility while maintaining sturdiness

100% UV protection

Glare protection

Cons:

Not too many color options available

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.

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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!

3. Nike Vaporwing Elite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Nike Vaporwing Elite
Style
93
Durability
89
Advanced Features
86
Protection
89
Size
85
best offer for today
$209.99
Pros:

Decent style

Provides eye and face protection

Nearly indestructible

Cons:

Very high price tag

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

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.

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 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

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Rivbos Polarized
Style
83
Durability
88
Advanced Features
93
Protection
87
Size
82
best offer for today
$19.98
Pros:

Extremely lightweight

Durable frames/lenses

Exceptional clarity

Polarized and mirror-coated lenses

Protective coverage

Cons:

Hard to read screens while wearing them

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.

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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 also comes with a carrying case, cleaning cloth, pouch, and strap.

Polarization and protection

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.

5. Oakley Radar Shield

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.8
Oakley Radar Shield
Style
90
Durability
85
Advanced Features
83
Protection
79
Size
77
best offer for today
$209.49
Pros:

Extended peripheral vision support

Protection from harmful sunlight exposure

Fantastic sense of style

Cons:

Very expensive for its limited features

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

Fit and size

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.

Protection

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.

6. BLUPOND Sports

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81.6
BLUPOND Sports
Style
84
Durability
86
Advanced Features
78
Protection
81
Size
79
best offer for today
$24.02
Pros:

Protective and highly durable

Affordable with a bonus carrying case

Distinctive visual appearance

Cons:

Polarizing sense of style

These BLUPOND sunglasses are a highly affordable option that provides you with all the necessary benefits a runner needs. Although it may not have a similar style to many other running sunglasses, its distinctive appearance will certainly appeal to some runners.

Read more

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.

Style and weight

These sunglasses feature a sleek design that is both stylish and effective. As previously mentioned, it's not like most other products on this list. At 26 grams, the BLUPOND sports shades are also extremely lightweight.

Cost and value

Although these sports sunglasses aren't the cheapest on this list, they are far from the most expensive. Considering the fact that these come with a sturdy carrying case as well, it's fair to say that they provide an exceptional value for the asking price.

7. Oakley Half Jacket

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Oakley Half Jacket
Style
82
Durability
84
Advanced Features
80
Protection
81
Size
78
best offer for today
more shops
$107.37
$133.00
Best deal
$163.00
Best deal
Pros:

Tiered price options

Lightweight and durable

Stylish appearance

Cons:

Can be very costly

Another great Oakley option is their Half Jacket sunglasses. These stylish shades from a premium designer are on the pricey side, but they are highly durable and comfortable sports sunglasses that are built to last.

Read more

Polarization and protection

You can purchase these glasses polarized or non-polarized. While the polarized are more expensive, they provide additional protection and benefits. Because of this, buying the non polarized option will cause you to miss out on glare prevention and minimized sun exposure.

Weight and durability

These sunglasses from Oakley are very lightweight, making it easy to wear them all day and carry them while not in use. However, this lighter weight doesn't make them more fragile: quite the opposite, in fact. The Half Jacket is highly durable, shatterproof, and built to last.

Cost and value

When you are looking to buy a pair of Oakley sunglasses, there's no getting around the fact that you're going to pay an arm and a leg. However, the overall quality and suite of features provided by the Half Jacket make them worth the staggering initial investment.

8. Duduma Polarized

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.2
Duduma Polarized
Style
73
Durability
80
Advanced Features
85
Protection
83
Size
75
best offer for today
$21.99
Pros:

Very light and relatively durable

Uniquely versatile design

Extremely affordable

Cons:

Bulky appearance

While some of the higher range models of sports sunglasses have many benefits, you don’t always have to spend the big bucks to get a bit of performance. Here we have a solid, stylish, and strongly constructed pair of multi-use sunglasses that are great for running.

Read more

Durability and fit

The Duduma polarized sunglasses 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. Although these are a lightweight model, some find the design to feel a bit bulky.

Polarization and protection

The lenses of these sports sunglasses are HDPolarized, which means that 99% of the reflected glare gets filtered out. But with these shades, unlike with other polarized lenses, there is no optical distortion or haze. This is an impressive achievement on the part of Duduma's design team.

Cost and value

These glasses are very inexpensive, especially considering the features and benefits that they can provide for the wearer. For this reason, most if not all flaws can be overlooked and the Duduma can be easily bought on impulse.

9. Julbo Zephyr

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.8
Julbo Zephyr
Style
78
Durability
82
Advanced Features
75
Protection
77
Size
82
best offer for today
more shops
$64.90
$38.98
Best deal
$66.73
Best deal
Pros:

Adjustable frame for better fit

Decent UV protection

Not too expensive

Cons:

Lacks polarization and glare protection

The Julbo Zephyr sunglasses are an excellent option for all runners--especially now that it is summer. They were specifically designed for heavy perspirers, which is almost everyone during the hot summer months, and are meant to remain secure and comfortable during all of your runs.

Read more

Fit and durability

There's more to these Julbo sunglasses than their sleek and stylish design. The Zephyr's frame provides a secure and adjustable fit thanks to their bendable earpieces. Additionally, this entire product is pretty durable and meant to last a while.

Protection and visibility

These sunglasses are non-polarized, which is a mixed blessing: although phone and tablet screens are more visible as a result, glare may still be an issue. Fortunately, the Julbo Zephyr does prevent fog build up and provide decent UV protection.

Cost and value

These sunglasses from Julbo come at a moderate price that is more or less in the middle of the price spectrum for products on this list. They leave a bit to be desired due to the lack of glare protection, but there are many other features that still make them a worthwhile purchase.

10. Tifosi Wisp

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.8
Tifosi Wisp
Style
73
Durability
77
Advanced Features
74
Protection
75
Size
80
best offer for today
more shops
$62.96
$62.96
Best deal
$69.95
Best deal
Pros:

Lightweight with a snug fit

Nose pads prevent slippage

Lenses won't scratch easily

Cons:

Might be uncomfortable around the nose

And now for something a little different! Built for smaller faces, the Tifosi Wisp stays nice and snug on runners, even if they don't have very large heads. This makes for an excellent choice for children and teenagers looking to protect their eyes while running.

Read more

Style

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

Fit and size

These Tifosi shades are for smaller sized faces and should fit snug around them. You may want to check the dimensions prior to ordering if you're not sure whether or not you have a small face. Some users were displeased by the narrowness of the bridge for the nose, so be careful before ordering!

Cost and value

These glasses aren't so cheap as to be a quick impulse buy, but they aren't so expensive to be a major investment. Ultimately, smaller runners will find this cost to be acceptable since it can be very difficult to find glasses in this size with comparable features.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

UV Protection

Your eyes can get sunburned just like your skin. If they’re exposed to strong UV rays for a prolonged period of time, it can cause corneal scarring and partial blindness. If that isn’t enough to persuade you to purchase a good pair of sunglasses, there are a lot of other drawbacks as well. Your skin isn’t the only thing that needs to be protected from the sun!

Durability

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.

Advanced Features

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.

Style

Sunglasses are just as fashionable as they are functional. Finding a good here 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.

Overall Fit

Are they too big or 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.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criterias (According to our experts opinion)
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Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
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1
Protection
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2
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3
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4
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5
Durability
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Trust the Customer Reviews

Three words: read customer reviews! Reason being, you can find so much valuable information in these reviews. You can learn about how durable the sunglasses are, how flimsy they feel, or whether they feet lose or tight. Additionally, don't look just at the five-star reviews. Take the time to appreciate all customer reviews - even those in the four-or-three-star range. You may be surprised as to what you may learn!

Your Eyes Come First!

The whole purpose of sunglasses is to protect your eyes, right? Well, when purchasing a pair of running sunglasses, it's essential to find a pair that come with protective technology or properties. Being in the sun all day long can leave your eyes exposed to a significant amount of damage. If you want to keep a healthy eyesight, find a pair that come with UV protection.

Other Factors to Consider

Weight

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.

Value

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.

Breathability

If you’re the kind of person who sweats easily, 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.

Bottom Line

Why Wear Sunglasses?

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What does VLT stand for? What does it mean?
a:

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?
a:

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?
a:

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?
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.

Sources

  1. Troy Bendinghaus, Sunglass Frames & Styles, Informational blog, Jul 06, 2016
  2. Sunglass Picks, Frame Material and Construction Differences,
  3. REI CO.OP, Sunglasses: How to Choose, Informational website,