Running sunglasses are an essential add-on to your running gear. When you are out outside running for prolong periods of time, you need protection. In particular, protection for your eyes. And running sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
It’s not that UV rays are so dangerous that you’ll sizzle up once the light hits them. We are not vampires. Running outside in the sun itself is not dangerous. But if you are serious about running, and plan to run a lot, then it’s critical to protect your eyes from PROLONG exposure.
There’re also a few other key benefits from wearing running sunglasses. Read on for each.
How to Pick Out A Pair of Running Glasses
So, you are ready to pick out a pair of running glasses. That’s fantastic. But…um…where do you start?
And that’s a typical question. Most runners have no idea where to start. I know I didn’t.
First and foremost, before anything, make sure they offer superior UV protection. Let’s hit that subject first.
- UV Protection
The number one reason to run with a pair of sunglasses is to protect your eyes. And mainly, it’s to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. The sun is your friend, but too much of a good thing can lead to problems.
So, make sure they sufficiently block out the sun. Look for at least 98% of UVA and UVB sun protection. Sunglasses on this list offer 100%. All excellent quality glasses will provide this amount.
And what if your eyes are super sensitive?
Well then, you want a wraparound style of running sunglasses. This way you are confident they protect your entire eyes, not just part of them.
So now that you are positive your running sunglasses have UV protection, let’s jump into the frame shape. After safety, you want your sunglasses to fit well too.
- Frame Shape
When I run in sunglasses, I make sure they are not just lightweight and comfortable. But I use a pair that fit snug too.
And I suggest you do the same.
Trust me, you don’t want your sunglasses sliding down your nose when running. It will distract you from your goals. This holds especially true when you are focused on speed. The faster your run, the easier a pair of sunglasses can fall off. That’s why it’s essential to invest in a quality pair of sunglasses.
And if they do bounce around, return them, and try out a new pair. A good quality pair of sunglasses should have an even better return policy.
I’ll never forget the time I ran with a cheap pair of sunglasses and a cheap pair of headphones. Every few seconds I was either repositioning my sunglasses or reinserting an earbud.
It drove me crazy!
When you run, especially when you are pushing your limits, you don’t want any distractions. So, find a pair that fits your head!
How do you find a pair that fits your head?
Consider if your head is oval, round, heart, or square, and pick a frame that fits you best.
There are total cover frames, wrap-around, curved wrap, curved temple, and even panoramic sunglasses. And the choice of style is endless. So, pick one that’s best for your head shape as well as whatever style you prefer.
For example, I have a big oval/round head. So, I do well with total cover lenses and a thick frame. A narrow wrap-around style would be too small and cause problems. Plus, I’d probably look like Cyclops from the X-men.
All jokes aside, consider your head shape and pick a frame best for you.
But above all, make sure they are comfortable, snug, and lightweight.
A Few Fit Considerations
- Overall, they should fit snug but not rub or pinch.
- You want to feel a balance between your nose and ears.
- Some glasses will bend to shape.
- Some nosepieces are adjustable and can be pinched to fit better.
- Lens Tints
So now that you found sunglasses with UV protection, and a frame for your head shape, let’s pick out the type of lens tint.
Tint helps with different weather conditions. They provide clarity thus enhancing your vision.
You will choose from the following: polarized, mirror, and dark colors. Here’s a brief explanation of each:
- Polarized Tint
A polarized tint is my favorite type and is worth the extra money if you can swing it. Polarized tint provides a better visual running experience. Overall, it sharpens clarity and reduces glare…by A LOT! If you are out clocking some serious mileage, then polarized tint is your best option.
I’ve never run with a pair of mirror tint lenses, but users say they perform incredibly well on sunny days. The outer lens has a mirror coating that reflects the sun. Definitely a preferable option for those who live in hot and sunny areas.
- Dark/Color Tint
Dark and color tint makes your surroundings much more vivid. They are ideal for running off-road if you do not choose polarized sunglasses. But if you are choosing between clear or dark/color tint, I recommend going with the latter.
Now that you chose a tint, let’s touch on weight.
When you are choosing a pair of running glasses, you want to make sure they are lightweight. But the truth is, all running sunglasses are lightweight. Actually, when you think about it, ALL sunglasses are lightweight.
As long as you find a pair of “running sunglasses” that are snug and comfortable, the weight will not be a factor. Although some companies make “ultra-light” sports sunglasses. These aim at eliminating the feeling of wearing sunglasses entirely. But remember, no matter how light they are, if your sunglasses are not comfortable it won’t make much of a difference. So above all, find a pair that fits, and then double check the weight compared to other glasses.
Lastly, i will run a list of a few add-ons to consider…
- Cord Attachments
- Interchangeable lenses
The 10 Best Running Sunglasses of 2018 Reviewed
So now that you know the basics in choosing the best running sunglasses, let’s pick out a pair. Keep reading for the top 10 best running sunglasses of 2018.
1. Oakley Half Jacket – Best Choice for Performance
The primary objective of the Oakley Half Jacket is to provide ultimate performance. And that’s based on results, as well as protection. But regardless of how well they perform, they still remain comfortable. With its lightweight O Matter composite frames, interchangeable lens, and 100% UV protection, this pair of running sunglasses have you covered. Or should I say…they have your eyes covered.
Enjoy them on a short jog around the block or a long run in adverse weather conditions. And they are Oakley, so you can even wear them when you are not running. Right here is a quality pair of running sunglasses made by a quality company. Maybe even the BEST sunglass company. Its users praise them for their high definition optics and how well they sit in place when while running.
- Extremely light.
- Super comfortable on the nose and temples
- Slick design
- Excellent quality provides a long lifespan
- Prescription lenses available
- High price
2. Tifosi Wisp – Best BANG for Your Buck
If you are looking for a pair of running sunglasses with 100% UV protection at a great price, then consider the Tifosi Wisp. Through their causal design and durable frames, they are a top choice for many runners. They even come with three pairs of scratch-resistant lenses. And that’s in addition to their adjustable temple pads and hydrophilic nose pads that prevent slippage. One of the best features is their vented design. This way you get a significant amount of airflow that prevents fogging. No one wants to run with a foggy pair of glasses, I know I don’t. Its users love their lightweight feel and anti-glare lenses.
- Glare-free running experience.
- Excellent comfort and lightweight.
- Great for all head sizes
- Snug fit. You may forget you are wearing them.
- No slide down from the nose pads
- Lenses do scratch (comes with extra and replacements are available)
3. Under Armour Igniter 2.0 Sunglasses – Best Choice for A Wide Field of Vision
There is so much to say about the Under Armor Igniter 2.0 running sunglasses. But what stands out the most is their wide field of vision. They are a rimless design providing an increase of 20% peripheral vision. Their frames are rather unique too. They are built from a blend of titanium and grilamid making them both light and durable. Definitely a combination you want in a pair of running sunglasses.
With 100% UV protection, the lenses not only block out the sun, but they repel water and are scratch resistant. Its users love the three-point grips and adjustable nose pads for a snug fit. Overall, these glasses are built for runners, and the best part is they come in multiple color options.
- Crisp vision through their wide and polarized frames.
- Soft nose piece provides superior comfort.
- Super flexible, especially by the ears.
- Multiple color options.
- Made by Under Armour, a top company in Athletics.
- Excellent price.
- Stick off your face bit.
4. Oakley OO9290 PRIZM ROAD JAWBREAKER – Best Choice for Durability
When you first look at the Oakley OO9290 Prizm Road Jawbreakers you can’t help but think “durability.” These glasses are built strong. And don’t worry long runner’s, they are super comfortable on your face too. You may even forget they are on. Oh, and when you take them off, you’ll miss the way the world looks. That’s because, besides a comfortable and secure fit, they use a colored non-polarized Iridium lens. Speaking of lenses, changing them is hassle-free through their signature switch-lock technology.
Now, they are not the cheapest sunglasses on the market, but they are indeed worth their value. Its users love how defined their vision is no matter how sunny or cloudy the weather becomes. They also appreciate their anti-fog capabilities.
- A crisp view in all lightning.
- Minimal fogging issues.
- Big frame and wrap around lenses provide ultimate protection
- Made by Oakley, a dominant force in the sunglass industry.
- Ease of adjustability for a custom and comfortable fit.
- High price
- Overall style (for some)
5. Smith Pivlock Asana – Best Choice for Lightweight Sunglasses
The Smith Pivlock Asana are known for being light…like REALLY light. Definitely one of the best minimalist running sunglasses on the market. Sleek in nature, the frames provide superior comfort around the temples. Then throw in the two-position adjustable nose piece, and they become an excellent choice for long-distance running.
Personally, I’m a minimalist runner, I don’t like wearing much or fueling much for that matter. I keep my running light. So naturally, that’s what I love about these sunglasses. I love their minimalist nature. A few other beneficial features are their auto-lock hinges as well as their seven base lens curvature. Its users praise these running glasses for how well they fit.
- Excellent fit. They sit high enough for most without pinching the nose.
- Adjustable nose piece for superior comfort.
- Near goggle-like protection.
- Lightweight and minimalist style keeps things simple.
- Easy lens change functionality
- Small fit for some when compared to other Smith glasses.
6. Julbo Aerolite – Best Choice for A Smaller Profile Face
The lightweight Julbo Aerolite running sunglasses are just that..lightweight. Specifically designed for runners with smaller faces, these sunglasses are robust. That’s why it’s a favorite for many trail runners. Women tend to favor them most.
If you ever wondered why some sunglasses are rimless, the answer is to help reduce weight. Well, these sunglasses are rimless alright and ventilate extraordinarily well. There’re various color options to choose from and you can even pick from two different lens types: photochromic or spectron. Its users love these sunglasses for their overall style and design.
- Excellent fit, providing relief for any length run.
- Anti-fogging lenses, especially beneficial when running in the rain.
- Extremely lightweight (“light as air”)
- Air link temple system for superior comfort.
- Lack of lens options.
- Not great for runners with larger heads.
7. Nike Vaporwing Elite EV0913 – Best Choice for Marathon Runners
You can’t have a list of the top running sunglasses without adding Nike into the mix. Meet the Nike Vaping Elite EV0913’s, and they are ideal for serious runners. Especially runners that are looking to crush their next (or first) marathon. You can even use them for fast track workouts. Their innovative composite frame & lens design is made for SPEED. They are aerodynamic and are a favorite for many marathon runners across the world. Its users praise these glasses for their wide frames.
- Designed for SPEED, great for marathons or track meets.
- Built by NIKE, a leading company in running.
- Built to last, can even use them on the trails.
- Superior eye protection through wide frames.
- High Price.
8. Rivbos Polarized – Best Choice for Shopping on A Budget
Not only are these glasses low in cost, but you can choose from 9 different color lenses. Talk about options! If you are new to running, or just new to the idea of running sunglasses, these may be worth a try. They are low in cost, built with a TR90 robust frame, lightweight, and available in polarized or mirror lenses. At their price, you may just pick up one of each. And they come with an accessories set. You will receive a hard case, belt attachment, cleaning cloth, polarized test card, headwrap, and an instruction booklet. Talk about an ENORMOUS amount of value for your money. Its users love these glasses for their low cost.
- Excellent comfort & protection around the eyes.
- Superior durability.
- Multiple color options, plenty of color lenses to choose from.
- Super low price, great for beginners.
- Known for excellent customer service.
- Far distance vision not as clear as other glasses.
9. Adidas a427 3Matic – Best Choice for A Causal Style
When you hear the name “Adidas” you may not think “running sunglasses,” but don’t count them out. The Adidas a427 3Matic provide a stylish rectangular polarized pair of sunglasses. The rectangle style has become popular over the years. With 100% UV protection, a polycarbonate frame, and a traction grip insert, they become ideal for runner’s looking to crank out a few miles in style. They’re available at a decent price considering Adidas makes them. It’s users love these glasses for their big and bold style.
- Excellent UV protection from the sun.
- Superior grip to keep glasses on ears.
- Quality Adidas case comes with the glasses.
- Rectangle shape is stylish
- Made by Adidas, a top brand.
- Fair price
- A prescription lens can be inserted.
- Not built for speed.
10. Blue Bond Sport – Best Choice for Low-Cost Rimless Sunglasses
If you are looking for a low-cost pair of rimless sunglasses, then the Blue Bond Sports may be for you. Sometimes when you hear “low-cost”, you may think “cheap.” But with Blue Bond, this is not the case. These running sunglasses are made with durable metal frames and shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. Made with anti-fogging light-neutralizing lenses, they are fully framed. Some runner’s say it’s the ultimate eye experience. Yes, they offer incredible clarity as well as the ultimate protection. And they are comfortable too with integrated nose pads and rubberized support system. Its users praise these glasses for being low-cost yet incredibly durable.
- Anti-fogging capabilities so good that shooters use them.
- 100% UV protection for your eyes.
- Ultimate durability through shatterproof polycarbonate lenses
- High-definition quality vision.
- Comes with Extra Accessories: car clip, bag, case, mini screwdriver, and cloth.
- Lens size a bit small for some.
Running outside, absorbing the sun rays, getting some exercise…what could be healthier? But to achieve maximum benefits of running outside, you need to protect yourself. Just like we wear shoes to protect our feet from the road, we need to wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from prolonged sun exposure. So, find a pair that’s best for you, and get outside with a level of protection that will last for every mile of your run.