Best Sunglasses for Running Reviewed
Regardless of whether you do your runs in the morning, at sunset, or whenever you can squeeze one in during the day, you need to be aware of the harmful effects of the Sun’s UV rays on your eyesight. The right protective gear will not only keep your eyes safe, but it will also make it more comfortable to exercise, ensuring clearer vision and better awareness of your surroundings.
The list below looks at the ten best running sunglasses currently available for purchase, with products from leading manufacturers whose eyewear you’re sure to enjoy.
Top 10 Running Sunglasses
1. Kaenon Kore
Kaenon is a company born out of the idea that there’s still room for improvement when it comes to sports eyewear. Founded by former Oakley employee, this company takes active sunglasses seriously, providing customers with some of the most durable products of this kind. They don’t come in too many color options, but you can choose a matte or glossy finish in the frame, as well as a couple of lens variations.
The most important feature of these sunglasses have to be the lenses. Instead of opting for glass or polycarbonate which are the most popular options among manufacturers, Kaenon makes their gear with SR91 which is the material to use if clarity in a lens is prioritized, according to all official durability tests conducted in America. These will be the perfect choice for trail running, cycling and even extreme sports, especially considering that all five lens shades are polarized.
Another notable thing about the Kaenon Kore is that the lenses are interchangeable, so you can purchase a single frame and a couple of lenses for versatility. The TR-90 frame is durable, with hydrophilic nose and ear pieces that become more sticky when wet. Another notable feature are the hypoallergenic nose pads which are the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin. As for cost association, these cost quite a bit, with a price that’s higher than average. Nonetheless, if you’re after a product you’ll be using for years, the Kaenon Kore is an investment worth making.
2. Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
Athletes looking to purchase running eyewear, will already know of Oakley’s reputation when it comes to performance. Designing eye protection gear that is meant to maximize eye comfort and minimize distractions is the guiding force behind this company, so choosing to invest in a pair of Flak 2.0 XL’s will definitely prove to be a good choice. These sunglasses were designed to offer a standard sized frame paired with oversized lenses so that wearers can enjoy excellent peripheral vision and performance increasing features.
The frames of these are made with a lightweight O Matter material. This is a special compound developed by Oakley as an alternative to regular acetate frames. Oakley sunglasses made with this technology are 25% lighter, do not deform with time, and have a higher impact resistance. To increase comfort and grip, Unobtanium tips are added to the ear and nose areas for increased comfort that isn’t impacted by perspiration.
The lenses on the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL come in a huge number of options. You can opt for a photochromic lens which will block 100% of all UV rays but adapting to the light conditions, so you can even wear them inside. If you’re a fan of high-tech lenses, you can also opt for the brand’s Prizm line which was introduced in 2014 and which offers maximized contrast and enhanced visibility. It can also be purchased in polarized versions to reduce glare near highly reflective surfaces. These sunglasses rank higher than average in terms of price, and depending on the lens technology you decide to go with, the price may go up or down. Nonetheless, seeing that Oakley products are designed with athletes in mind, they’re a great choice for those who train on a daily basis.
3. Oakley Radar
The reason we landed the Radar running sunglasses from Oakley in our number one spot is that it has all of the features that you would want when training hard in bright conditions. The frame is easy and lightweight, and after a while, you may even forget that you are wearing anything at all! The lenses are also light enough that you won’t be washed away in the darkness, but they are just tinted enough to keep you from squinting and will prevent you from the dreaded squint induced headache!
The frame for these sunglasses is made from a very lightweight plastic that is going to hug your face, and the arms stretch around your head to provide a very secure fit. The lenses aren’t wrapped in a frame and remain open and breezy, so as you start to heat up you won’t have to deal with a sweaty brow or fogged up lenses.
Users will have the option to select from a few stylish frame and lens designs. There are three frame color choices that include basic black, white with gray arms, and neon yellow with gray arms. Lens colors include basic black, blue, orange, and purple.
What users respond to most to this design of runner's sunglasses is that the lenses and frame are large enough that it is not going to obstruct your view in the slightest. Plus, it offers superior UV protection so you will receive all of the benefits of protective eyewear without feeling like you are wearing anything at all!
4. Under Armour Zone 2.0
If you have trouble finding a pair of shades that feels comfortable on your head, you might want to check out this design from Under Armour. It has a lot of features to help you gain the perfect fit, such as adjustable nose pads and adjustable auto grip arms that are made to stretch. Plus, it is going to give you all of the protection that you need from harmful rays.
As with all Under Armour products, you know that you are getting something that is made with active people in mind. As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest things that we loved about this design is that not only are the arms made to fit most head shapes, but it also comes with a pair of nose grips that are able to be adjusted to ensure that you get a snug and secure fit so that you might even forget that you are wearing them on your next trail run!
As far as style is concerned, there are a few choices that you can select from. The frames are pretty much the same across the board- they offer simple black plastic frames that have a little pop of color on the arms and on the logo. The lenses are offered in colors that include basic black and orange.
Along with a great fit comes excellent UV protection. These lenses are going to be able to shield your eyes from UVA, UVB, and UVC rays. If you are in the market for something that is made from high-quality materials that will be able to keep up with your pace, this is going to be one of your better options.
5. Ray Ban New Wayfarer Polarized
There are very few products in the fashion industry that have become as iconic as a pair of Ray Bans. Whether you want to look cool in a pair of Aviators, are after a movie star look with Wayfarers, or decide to go with the funky Clubmaster, you can rest assured that purchasing sunglasses from this company guarantees satisfaction. As far as sunglasses go, they don’t have a model that was made for fitness activities in particular, but the New Wayfarers are a popular option among enthusiasts, and they offer added value seeing that you can wear them throughout the day, not just while exercising.
What makes these special is the attention to detail when it comes to the lenses. Our suggestion would be to go with Ray Ban’s Green Classic G-15 glass. This glass is a versatile option ideal for both sunny and cloudy weather, and if you’re going to be around big bodies of water, definitely choose the polarized version. Polarized running sunglasses eliminate glare, increase clarity, increase contrast and protect your eyes from large reflective surfaces. For darker conditions, you may choose to go with a gradient lens option, which will increase visibility.
The frame of these Ray Bans is made from nylon, and is a durable, lightweight option that’ll look good on almost anyone. You can choose between three sizes - large, standard and small, as well as several color options, with black and tortoise being the most popular options. Of course, you can even customize these, choosing a design that will fit in perfectly with your favorite running gear.
These come in a leather protective carrying bag, and can even be purchased in versions that fold for maximum space saving. As for price, they rank average compared to other high quality running sunglasses, so if you’re after something that’s truly protective and guaranteed to last you a lifetime (with the right care), the Ray Ban New Wayfarer is definitely it.
6. Costa Del Mar Blackfin
The Blackfin by Costa Del Mar is a pair of eye protection gear that any runner would be lucky to have in their arsenal. While not originally designed as running sunglasses, these are one of the most performance oriented items on our list. Originally, the Blackfin was designed for fishermen who needed comfortable, lightweight sunglasses with premium quality lenses that would help them see better in varying light conditions, protect their eyes from large reflective surfaces, as well as increase their awareness of their natural surroundings.
When shopping for a pair of sunglasses like these, you’ll find yourself faced with a choice between seven lens options. If you’re looking for absolute clarity, you’ll go with glass. If, however weight and durability are your priorities, you’ll choose the polycarbonate versions. For runners who love running at sunrise or sunset, we highly recommend the Sunrise Silver Mirror color, while those running in variable light might benefit from the Copper lens color. If you’re just after a pair that’ll do well in most conditions, you may also want to go with Gray or Gray Silver Mirror.
The frames of the Blackfin are made with injection molded plastic that’s flexible and highly durable. Lightweight, these don’t come with too many accessories, but runners will find that a simple wire or silicone retainer can ensure safety on any run, preventing these from falling off and becoming damaged. In terms of price, these are one of the most expensive items on our list, however, do keep in mind that the cost will depend on the frame and lens combination you choose.
7. Nike Tailwind
If you like to travel fast and hate the idea of fogged up lenses as you start to build up a sweat, this is going to be a really great pair to have on your head. The style of these sunglasses for runners is a lot more open and airy than many of the other designs, and they are made to fit like you aren’t wearing anything at all. If you don’t typically wear shades but need to protect your eyes when out on the trails, this style from Nike is worth checking out.
The very first thing that we noticed about this pair of running sunglasses is that the top layer of the lens isn’t connected directly to the top of the frame. While it may look a little odd, it actually serves a pretty practical purpose. Shades typically slide off of your face when your brow begins to sweat, but the open design of this model will keep air flowing right though, while the lenses will protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Colors and design are a little limited with this option. Users will only be able to select from a basic black frame that sports moderately tinted black lenses. We did, however, really like the little added pop of neon yellow on the classic Nike logo on the side of the arm. This unit also offers a loop on the back of the arm so that you can fasten a cord that runs along the back of your head to ensure that they stay securely in place!
As with all products from the Nike line, this design is made for those that are on the move. The innovative design will protect your eyes from UV rays, but it is also going to give your head a little more room to breathe over many of the other designs that we have seen out there on the market.
8. Tifosi Tyrant 2.0
The Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 was originally made for cyclists with a design that favors comfort and aerodynamics. Made by a reputable manufacturer who is a favorite amongst athletes, the Tyrant 2.0 is perfect for those in need of medium to small fit running sunglasses, who want multisport sunglasses that excel during strenuous physical activity. These come in a good number of color options, and the best thing about them is that they include a soft protective case and three pairs of interchangeable lenses so you can quickly adjust your experience on the go.
The frame of the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 is made with a lightweight nylon frame that has multiple adjustment points to offer the best possible fit. It is flexible and temperature resistant, so you won’t have to put up with fit issues in varying weather conditions. The arms are adjustable, as are the hydrophilic nose pieces which become grippier when exposed to water or perspiration, meaning that these sunglasses won’t slide off as you move. You can also purchase nose and ear pieces in case they become worn out, or you want to experiment with a different wearing experience.
As mentioned above, these running sunglasses come with three polycarbonate lenses included in your purchase. They’re easy to change, and offer 100% UV protection. Additionally, they’re shatterproof, and only weigh one third of traditional glass lenses. You will also be happy to hear that the lenses that are compatible with the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 have ventilation holes which increase comfort and prevent fogging. The price these sunglasses go for is quite affordable compared to products by more famous manufacturers, so if you want a product that is of great quality, without having to spend a fortune, these are well worth checking out.
9. Adidas Raylor S
If you love the look of your classic wireframes but want something that is made to move, the Raylor S design from Adidas is going to be one of your better choices. It offers a sleek and simple frame that isn’t as bulky as some of the other running sunglasses that we have seen, and it has a few features that will make it a perfect fit for those that are on the move and need something that is going to stay in place.
The very first thing that we noticed about this design was the sleek and simple frames. It is made from a high-quality plastic material that will be able to take a beating if you are known for being not-so-kind to your sportswear. However, the incredibly slim frame is going to feel very lightweight on your face, and you may forget that you are even wearing them!
Color choices for these sunglasses for running are a little bit more limited than some of the other designs that we have found, but they still offer a simple and sleek elegance to the frame. Users will be able to select from classic black or white frames that boast the classic Adidas logo, and lens options are limited to a shiny but non-reflective brown.
Users love this design because it is simple and lightweight, and it still protects your eyes from those harmful UV rays. Plus, the lenses are coated with polarized materials that are going to keep from washing out your surroundings.
10. Woosh Polarized
The style of these running sunglasses from Woosh is slightly different than the sporty designs that we have seen so far. This option has more of a trendy design, but it is still something that you will want to wear out on the trails. The wider frame offers an enhanced field of view without sitting as close to your face, and the high-quality lenses do a great job at protecting your eyes from harmful rays.
As we mentioned earlier, the very first thing that we noticed about this style was the sleek styling. Instead of sitting so close to your face and wrapping around the back of your head, this option is worn much like you would wear your casual shades. However, the quality of lenses used means that it is going to be something that will be perfect when out on the trails for extended periods of time.
Users will have the option to select from basic black frames, but they can also choose clear plastic frames that are very on trend. As far as the lenses are concerned, you will have the option to select from basic black lenses, or you can also select blue or orange tinted lenses. The clear frames with the colored tinted lenses are certainly something that is going to make all of the other trail runners a little jealous at your practical style.
For those that don’t want to sacrifice their personal style in the name of functionality- this design from Woosh is the perfect pairing of current eyewear trends with the function that you want when out on the trails.