15 Best Running Sunglasses Reviewed in 2021
Most of you understand how important it is to wear sunscreen and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays—you probably even wear protective clothing to protect yourself further!
However, while we always watch out for our skin, many runners often don’t remember that they also need to protect their eyes! If you spend a lot of time running outside in the sun, you will definitely want to invest in the best sunglasses for runners.
Take a look at our list of the best running sunglasses below, enjoy!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Oil and water-resistant
ChromaPop filtered lenses
All you need to know before buying Running Sunglasses
Top 15 Picks
1. Smith Uproar ChromaPop
Oil and water-resistant
ChromaPop filtered lenses
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
Superior UV protection
Protective photochromic lenses
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.
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
Provides flexibility while maintaining sturdiness
100% UV protection
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.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
Provides eye and face protection
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
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
Polarized and mirror-coated lenses
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.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
Extended peripheral vision support
Protection from harmful sunlight exposure
Fantastic sense of style
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
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.
9. DUCO Sports Polarized
Protective and highly durable
Distinctive visual appearance
Many color choices available
Polarizing sense of style
Some issues with the lenses getting loose reported
These DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses are a wonderful option for runners because they provide all of the necessary benefits that running enthusiasts like you want and need. They are simple in design but have plenty of style and with polarization as well as UV protection, these are the glasses you are going to want for your sunny day outings!Read more
Secure nosepiece design
These glasses have been made from high quality material and they are more durable than they look. They feature secure nosepiece design that keeps the glasses securely in place while you are out on any terrain. This allows them to be durable while also being lightweight. DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses are made to last and will hold up well the wear and tear of frequent use.
It is moderate in weight leaning slightly towards the more lighter side of this top ten list which is a plus for many runners. There are a dozen different shades to choose from and it is easy to find all the colors you need!
Cost and value
With an affordable price tag, these are one of the cheapest glasses on the list yet they are still of quality design and are a great investment. You can easily afford several so you can have UV protection and polarized shades any time you need, in any color you could possibly want! The DUCO Mens Sports Polarized Sunglasses is a great investment for a great pair of running sunglasses.
10. Oakley Half Jacket
Tiered price options
Lightweight and durable
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
Polarized or non-polarized
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.
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.
11. ForceFlex FF500
Very durable lenses
Can fog up when running
If the function is your most important priority, the FF550 from ForceFlex is a really great option. It boasts a frame that really hugs your face and helps protect your eyes from the sun. The curved design stays put as you move, and won’t shift around on your face like some of the other frames out there on the market. Plus, it comes at a really affordable price point that makes it worth checking out.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it is made from a composite frame that can actually bend in half! Not only does this mean that it really hugs your face, but it is also much more resistant to breaking if you accidentally sit on them!
Exceed military ballistic impact standards
The blend of the frames and the lenses keep your eyes protected in more ways than one. The lenses protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun and keep the road ahead crisp and clear. It also protects your eyes from rocks that kick up from the road. These lenses exceed military ballistic impact standards, so they won’t crack or puncture.
Cost and value
If you are notorious for breaking your shades at some point, you will want to try this design from ForceFlex. This option is made to take a beating without bending or breaking while still providing excellent protection to your eyes. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank!
12. Duduma Polarized
Very light and relatively durable
Uniquely versatile design
Some users are not thrilled with the style
Some issues reported with uncomfortable earpieces
While some expensive and custom made sports sunglasses have many benefits, they often come with a price tag few can afford. Thankfully, you don’t always pay an arm and a leg to get quality. Here with the Duduma Polarized Designer Sunglasses we find a solid design and a cool style that is perfect for sunglasses that are made for avid runners.Read more
Fairly durable and rugged
The Duduma Polarized Designer Sunglasses are fairly durable and rugged compared to others on this list and though they look a little flimsy compared to some they are surprisingly resilient and hold up to wear and tear quite well. The fit is designed to be secure yet comfortable and are great for medium to larger sized faces.
Less visual distortion
The lenses of these sports sunglasses feature polarization to help improve UV protection and to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. The quality of the Duduma Polarized Designer Sunglasses is easy to see as there is much less visual distortion than what is seen with other polarized glasses from some other brands out on the market today.
Cost and value
These glasses are very inexpensive, especially considering the combination of protection and style that you get from the Duduma Polarized Designer Sunglasses. For this reason, these are among the more popular glasses used by runners who want good protection with a decent look without having to break the bank for a pair of sunglasses.
13. Julbo Zephyr
Adjustable frame for better fit
Decent UV protection
Not too expensive
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
Secure and adjustable fit
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.
Prevent fog build up
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.
14. BangLong Polarized
Difficult to change lenses
All not polarized
Different color lenses work in various lighting conditions. What we loved most about this option from BangLong is that users are able to switch out lenses to match the conditions to yield the best results. These utility frames may not be the most stylish design on our list, but they are packed with helpful features to keep your eyes protected and the frame securely in place.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it comes with a series of replaceable frames that include clear, gray, warm tones as well as cool tones. All shades protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, even the clear lenses.
The frame on this design may not be walking down any runways anytime soon, but they get the job done! They have a contoured fit that really hugs your face to keep them securely in place. The nose bridge is reinforced with a rubber grip to reduce the risk of slipping down your nose as you start to sweat.
Cost and value=
This design is also made from durable materials that are able to bend without breaking. Users find that they are lightweight and super comfortable to wear on long trips out on the trails. Plus, they come in at a really affordable price point that makes them worth checking out!
15. Torege Polarized
Lightweight with a snug fit
Very affordable glasses
Lenses won't scratch easily
Might be uncomfortable around the nose
Some sizing issue reported for smaller faces
We wrap up our top ten list of sunglasses with something a little different but still really cool! Built for a super cool look while still serving a practical purpose, the Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses keeps your eyes protected while still allowing you to look as cool as you wish. They are perfect for men and women and are a good choice for an easy to wear polarized sunglass that is perfect for running and any outdoor activities.Read more
The design of the Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses is all about style but it is still very practical and useful for protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. With many different color options available and with easily interchangeable lenses, you can get the exact look you need for any outing you have planned. The open style of the Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses means you will stay cool as wel as look cool and that is a win-win!
These Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses can fit most medium to larger faces and with a simple head strap addition they can easily work form smaller faces as well. You may want to check the dimensions prior to ordering just to make sure they will fit well. There are some reports of problems with the nose and ear pieces sizes but most find these glasses to be a good choice for stylish sunglasses.
Cost and value
Thee Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses are very affordable and easy to get, making them a great choice for casual wear or to have on hand for a good looking backup pair of sunglasses. You will not be disappointed with these shades and are sure to get lots of complements as well!
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
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!
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.
Polarized lenses boast a wide variety of benefits. They protect your eyes and reduce glare and brightness when outside without dimming the outside world around you. While they may seem like all the rage right now, they do come with a few setbacks. First, they limit your ability to look at your phone, they hinder low-light scenarios, and they can strain light-sensitive eyes. If these are deal breakers for you, non-polarized may be your best option.
Other Factors to Consider
This may be an obvious factor to consider, but we want to make a special note of it because it is a really important want to remember. Believe it or not, there are bulky and heavy glasses out there that can actually be quite annoying to wear for some of you. So, while all of the sunglasses on our list are lightweight, some are more lightweight than others--and no one wants to wear something on their face that is heavy or uncomfortable.
When looking at weight also make sure it has features that make them breathable. This will ensure that they stay lightweight throughout your runs and prevents them from slipping anywhere. Some sunglasses may have temple pads or additional features that are designed to keep them breathable and allow them to be moisture-wicking.
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 protecting 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: Should you run with sunglasses?
Yes! Many runners feel that popping on a pair of shades actually improves their performance. When your eyes are strained from filtering out too much sunlight, it causes the muscles in your face to tense up as you squint. When running, you need to conserve as much energy as you can! Popping on a pair of shades helps your face to relax so you can focus on the road ahead of you.
Additionally, when engaging in any outdoor activity, it is important that you protect your eyes just as much as your skin. Your eyes can become damaged when exposed to UV rays just like your skin. A pair of good shade will prevent your eyes from becoming damaged.
q: What does VLT stand for? What does it 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. If you know you partake in each of these activities extensively, it doesn't hurt to get more than one pair of sunglasses--while it may be pricier at first, you will find that you will get the most life out of your sunglasses this way.
q: What is a hydrophobic coating?
A hydrophobic coating is a substance placed on the glasses that can help keep wick away moisture or repel water. This is is especially important in a pair of running sunglasses since most of us sweat quite a bit. The last thing you want to do at the end of the day is wearing a pair of sunglasses that slip around and fall all over the place while you are on the go. The hydrophobic coating is an incredibly important factor to consider if you want a pair of glasses that you can rely on and won't drive you crazy while you are out running.
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. If you want to get the most durable glasses, you will want to look out for this since it will make them more resistant. At the end of the day, while sometimes it may be a little pricier to get a pair of glasses with this coating, it is totally worth it.
q: Does the color of the lenses play a role?
It does! Different colors of lenses actually can help you see better in certain types of conditions. It is important to note that lighter color lenses will protect your eyes from UV light just as much as super dark lenses. So, feel free to pick the style and shade best suited for your needs.
Gray lenses, for instance, reduce glare, which makes them great for working or playing out on the open water. Green lenses filter out blue light, which is great for those bright sunny days as well as reduces glare. Warm tones, such as brown or amber, are typically worn on dark and cloudy days to brighten things up to get a better gauge on the road ahead of you.