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Best Oakley Sunglasses for Runners in 2021

 

Sunglasses are an essential piece of a runner’s kit.

They may be a small part, but you’ll be thankful for them when you’re running into the sun in the heat of the day, or blinded by a sunset you can’t actually see because you’re squinting!

Apart from shielding your eyes from damaging rays, they also increase your safety. If you can’t see where you’re going, there’s more chance of you running into traffic or tripping over obstacles in your path. They are also a barrier over your eyes, protecting you from branches or other debris.

If Oakley is your brand, you’re in luck! They have a wide variety of sunglasses that are perfect for running.

Coming in on top of our list of best Oakley sunglasses for runners is the Half Jacket 2.0 XL. They feature ear and nose grips made of Unobtanium, impact-resistant PRIZM lenses, and lightweight frames that means you hardly feel them on your face.

Oakley has many other styles and sunglasses for various budgets. We’ve found the top picks for all sorts of runners.

Here’s the full list so you can choose your favorite!

Top 4 Best and Favorites

 

Half Jacket 2.0 XL

 

  • Unobtanium grip technology
  • Interchangeable lens system
  • Lightweight O-Matter frame
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Radar EV Path

 

  • Variety of PRIZM lens choices
  • O Matter stress-resistant frame
  • UV Protection filtering
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M2 Frame XL

 

  • Interchangeable lenses
  • 100% UV protection filtering
  • High Definition Optics
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Evzero Stride

 

  • Three-point fit
  • Rimless, built-in frame
  • High Definition Optics
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Best Overall

1. Half Jacket 2.0 XL

The Half Jacket wins our top spot.

If you’re a sporting type of person, these sunglasses are a super investment. They’re built for hardcore action and have some features that make them really great for wearing while you’re on the move.

One of the things we like most about these glasses is their extreme grip. If you’ve ever run with a pair of glasses that kept slipping off your nose, you know how important this is!

The ear and nose grips feature “Unobtanium” material, which becomes more grippy the more you sweat.

The lenses are crafted from Plutonite, an extremely tough polycarbonate that can withstand high impacts. They’re made by melting down Plutonite and reforming it into lenses.

The great thing about this is that there’s no UV coating that can get scratched. The protection is infused into the actual lenses. That being said, they can get scratched quite easily, so if you want clean and clear lenses, you’ll need to look after them well.

The lenses are also interchangeable. If you happen to scratch a lens, or simply want a different tint, you can easily remove the ones on the glasses and replace them with another set.

It’s important to note that not all the lenses on these glasses are polarized! When choosing your color/lens combo, you’ll see that some are polarized and others are Iridium or photochromatic. Keep this in mind when choosing your preferred pair.


PROS:

  • Unobtanium grip technology
  • Interchangeable lens system
  • Lightweight O-Matter frame
  • PRIZM Lens Technology

CONS:

  • The lenses can be scratched easily

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Top Non-Polarized

2. Radar EV Path

If you prefer a sportier look to your sunglasses, you may like this single-lens pair. You may not be able to wear them with your formal clothes, like our top choice, but that won’t matter if you’re looking for something exclusively for sporting use.

The lenses on these glasses aren’t polarized, so be aware before you buy. You can choose from almost 40 different frame and lens combinations, all of which feature PRIZM lenses.

Each PRIZM lens is designed for something different. For example, PRIZM Road is created to help runners spot subtle texture differences in the road and avoid potentially dangerous surfaces. PRIZM Bronze enhances color and detail in the surroundings.

Each has a different light transmission percentage, so you can browse through them and choose what suits you and your running environment the best.

Each one has 100% UV protection, as well as impact protection. The lens shape also offers a wider range of vision, giving extra space to check blind spots without obstruction. Oakley’s HDO (High-Definition Optics) is designed to provide a super clear vision.


PROS:

  • Variety of PRIZM lens choices
  • Patented High Definition Optics (HDO)
  • O Matter stress-resistant frame
  • UV Protection filtering

CONS:

  • If you’re planning on wearing these glasses for other sports, the arms may be too long to wear a helmet comfortably
  • They’re a little pricey for non-polarized lenses

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Best Sunglasses with Prizm Lens

3. Flak 2.0

As we explained in the review above, PRIZM lenses come in a wide variety, each of which is geared for a different situation and environment.

In this case, you can choose between Black Iridium (polarized or non-polarized), PRIZM Golf (designed to help the wearer spot subtle differences in surfaces), and Flame Iridium.

Although the above pair has more lenses to choose from, this design may be more comfortable for most runners. It’s a two-piece lens system, with Unobtainium rubber nose, temple, and ear grips for a tight but comfortable grip.

The lenses are the classic Oakley Plutonites. They filter out most UVA, UVB, and UVC light, and have an 8.75 base lens curvature, which means there’s some side coverage too.

Although it can be easy to scratch these lenses, when you buy you’ll get a soft case to store them in for extra protection.


PROS:

  • Contoured design
  • Rubber nose piece
  • Improved frame strength and flexibility
  • Unobtanium temple grips

CONS:

  • Lenses are non-polarized Iridium

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Top Full Frame

4. Turbine Rotor

If you’re more of a full-frame kind of person, these are the Oakleys for you. Once again, they feature Oakley’s PRIZM lenses, which is a good thing and allow you to choose the best fit for the environment you run in most often.

Their three-point fit means that, despite the flat design, they only touch your face on the bridge of your nose, and behind each temple. There’s no chafing or hotspots to create sweaty areas.

The O Matter frame is stress-resistant, and can withstand a whole lot of dropping, bending, and sitting on. Despite the heavy-duty construction, they are featherlight and easy to wear without discomfort.

The only downside we can see is that these may be too big to fit on small faces.

Thankfully, we have a whole article dedicated to running sunglasses for small faces, so if that’s you, check them out here!

Or keep reading to see our top Oakley pick for small faces.


PROS:

  • Full-frame design
  • PRIZM everyday lenses
  • Three-point fit
  • Interchangeable lenses

CONS:

  • May not fit smaller faces

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Best for Trail Running

5. Jawbreaker

Trail runners, one look at the Jawbreaker and you know it’s meant for more serious stuff than just road running.

The Jawbreaker has a strong, robust design that will go perfectly with your rugged trail running shoes.

Like the others, they feature a range of PRIZM lenses. There’s a lens created specifically to handle the demands of trail running – the PRIZM Trail.

They’re created to help you spot differences in the trail surface, like moving from sand to gravel, and keep your eyes from struggling with transitions in and out of shady areas.

You don’t have to worry about those sunny spots either, with 100% UV ray protection. Oakley’s HDO (High-definition optics) ensure you have the best clarity possible as you run on uneven surfaces.


PROS:

  • Trail-specific tint
  • 100% UV protection
  • Nose and temple pads keep frames in place
  • PRIZM Lens technology

CONS:

  • The frame is straight instead of curved at the temple and behind the ear which may have some people feeling as if the glasses are unstable

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Top Lightweight Sunglasses

6. EVZero Path

If weight is a concern, then these sunglasses would be your best bet. You’d be surprised at how much weight you save by removing the frame!

The EVZero Path is a frameless design, utilizing light support built into the lenses and extending to the sunglasses arms.

Like all Oakleys, they feature Plutonite lenses that block UVA, UVB, and UVC light, and Unobtanium ear and nose pads for a comfortable fit. None of the lenses available for choosing here are polarized, and they vary quite a bit in price.

These are great if you’re looking for something very light, but be aware that if you like to switch lenses on your glasses, you won’t be able to with these!


PROS:

  • Frameless design
  • Changeable nose pad
  • Photochromic lens
  • Features O-Matter technology

CONS:

  • You can’t change the lenses

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Best for Large Faces

7. M2 Frame XL

Runners with large faces may struggle to find sunglasses that fit comfortably! The M2 Frame XL could be the right choice.

They’re slightly wider than most others, so those with wider-than-average faces would most likely find these to be a good fit, both on the face and for eye coverage. The lenses are slightly larger than average, so you’ll be covered all-round.

You can also interchange the lenses on this pair of glasses. If you find the frames to be comfortable, you can get a lens for every situation!

They feature all the classic Oakley technologies to make the sunglasses as comfy and practical as possible. Unobtanium padding, HDO, PRIZM Plutonite lenses, and an O Matter impact-resistant frame.


PROS:

  • Enhanced lens coverage
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • 100% UV protection filtering
  • High Definition Optics

CONS:

  • If the arms aren’t tightly to your head, it may be hard to place these glasses on top of your head – they’re a little top-heavy

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Best for Small Faces

8. EVzero Stride

There are a few things that make these glasses great for small faces. One, they’re the Asian fit, which is always slightly smaller than the US fit.

Two, they’re frameless. This doesn’t compromise on their quality – it just means that the frame is built-in to the lenses and isn’t really visible. It makes them lighter weight and a little more compact, so they may fit and look better on a smaller face.

These two things make these the best Oakley sunglasses for runners with small faces. Apart from those, they feature all the good stuff that Oakley is known for:

Grippy Unobtainium padding on the bridge of the nose and temples (three-point, non-chafing fit), high-definition optics for better vision, PRIZM Plutonite lenses, and a couple of different lenses to choose from when you buy.

You can buy extra lenses to swap out if you run in a variety of different conditions.


PROS:

  • Three-point fit
  • Rimless, built-in frame
  • Wider nose bridge
  • High Definition Optics

CONS:

  • No polarized options

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Top Classic Design

9. Eye Jacket Redux

If you’re familiar with Oakley, you’ll know that these were modeled off of the original Eye Jacket design that came out in the 90s.

The vintage feel is complemented by the full range of Oakley technologies. These may look just like the originals, but they perform like the modern models.

The full-frame design is stylish and unique. You can choose from a range of frame/lens combos, which vary quite a bit in price so don’t get caught out!

The look is certainly old-school, but you’ll be benefiting from total UV protection, shock-resistant lenses, a choice of lens technologies, and an extra-lightweight frame.

You won’t be able to switch out lenses to suit your every run, but these are worth the buy if you’ve been an Oakley fan since the original products.


PROS:

  • Variety of lens choices
  • 100% UV protection
  • O Matter frame
  • Old-school cool with new-school tech

CONS:

  • Can’t swap out lenses

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Best Modern Design

10. EVZero Blades

These light, frameless glasses are the ultimate modern design. They feature a single-piece, wide lens that offers an unobstructed view and high-definition, superior clarity.

In true modern, minimalistic style, this pair of sunglasses weighs only 0.7 ounces! You’ll barely feel them on your face, whether you’re running, cycling, or relaxing on the beach.

You can choose from quite a few different PRIZM lenses. If you spend a lot of time running in one particular environment, you can bet they have a lens that suits that. If not, you can choose whichever one catches your eye – they all have a built-in tech to make running easier in one way or another.

Some may feel that the glasses are of lower quality or more prone to bending or breaking due to their frameless design. If you’re worried about breakage, you may be better off with a more robust pair.

That’s not to say these are of lower quality! They’re every bit as good as any other Oakley pair, just with a stylish, light, modern design.


PROS:

  • Lightweight at 0.7 ounces
  • Toric shield of Plutonite
  • Full rimless design
  • PRIZM lens technology

CONS:

  • Some people may feel that glasses are too flexible and flimsy due to lack of a frame

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FAQs

Want to know more about the best Oakley sunglasses for runners before you buy? Here are some of the most common questions and their answers to help you make the best decision.

What is the History of Oakley Sunglasses?

When Jim Jannard started Oakley in 1975, he was making motorcycle handle grips for motocross bikes. Even before Oakley became famous for their glasses, Jim was known for being innovative. This was also when he created Unobtainium, which gave the riders better grip, especially in wet conditions.

Fast forward to 1980, and Jim had invented the first motocross goggles – the legendary O-frames. They became popular as they helped provide a clear and wide field of view for the riders.

Jim didn’t stop there. Three years later, he brought out ski goggles and in 1984 he launched Oakley Factory Pilot Eyeshades. These were the first sports-performance sunglasses, and when Greg LeMond won the Tour De France wearing the Oakley Factory Pilot Eyeshades, it skyrocketed the brand’s popularity.

In 1985, the casual-style Oakley Frogskin was launched and this opened up new markets for Oakley. Jannard continued to be innovative, looking for ways to better his iconic glasses.

Since their start, Oakley has been a pioneer when it comes to sports-performance and lifestyle glasses. In 2007, they were bought out by Luxotica, one of the largest eyewear companies in the world.

What is Oakley’s PRIZM Lens Technology?

Oakley has used technology and research of color science to fine-tune their PRIZM lenses to emphasize color. The lenses are designed to maximize contrast and enhance visibility of the road, track, or trail, effectively improving your performance and increasing your safety.

Oakley incorporated hyperspectral imaging technology to create lenses that emphasize certain colors in the environment, while reducing the “noisy” light. This helps to reveal what may not be seen by the naked eye while running or cycling.

PRIZM lenses come in a large range of different types. When buying a pair of Oakley glasses, make sure that the PRIZM lens you get is suitable for the activities that you’re going to be doing.

For example, if you’re looking for glasses to help shield you from the glare while road running, PRIZM Road would work best.

These lenses emphasize the subtle texture changes on the road, which helps you see hazards like potholes, a change in surface textures, and rocks, even in bright light conditions.

If you’ve taken to the trails, the PRIZM Trail lenses help emphasize rough surface textures, allowing you to run or cycle comfortably and safely. You’ll also be able to move between bright sunlit areas to shade, without having to wait for your eyes to adjust.

For runners, you could also try one of the following “Everyday” PRIZM lenses:

  • Jade
  • Sapphire
  • Bronze
  • Ruby

These lenses increase contrast and enhance color, which makes the environment you’re in more vivid, warmer, and more vibrant with greater detail.

If you play multiple sports and want to keep using Oakley sunglasses, then interchange the lenses. This will allow you to go from running the trails to playing golf without having to have more than one pair of glasses!

PRIZM lenses will never lose their color, as Oakley melts the Plutonite into a liquid, then adds a dye for the desired tint and color. The UV protection is infused into the lens, and you won’t be able to scratch it off like you can on other sunglasses.

The Wired Runner