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The Best Sunglasses for Running in 2022

 

It’s likely that if you’re a runner, you’ve got a good pair of running shoes, great workout clothing, and a high-tech GPS watch. But protecting your eyes is just as important as protecting your feet.

Selecting sunglasses is a highly personalized decision. You may want polarized lenses or frames that allow swapping lenses for different light conditions.

Depending on the shape of your face, you may want a specific style. For example, runners with small faces often have difficulty finding sunglasses that fit (check out this article if you need sunglasses designed for small faces).

Before you get going on your daily run, look at our list of the top sunglasses recommended for runners. Remember, your eyes are important, and it’s never too early to start protecting them.

Our top men’s choice is the Oakley Flak 2.0. For women, we like the Tifosi Vero.

And if you live in a climate that seldom has sunny days, keep in mind that harmful rays from the sun come out on bright days, but they also exist when it’s damp and cloudy.

 

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Oakley Flak 2.0

 

  • Snug, comfortable fit
  • 100% UV Protection
  • Great clarity
Check Price

 

Tifosi Vero

 

  • Shatter-proof technology
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • 100% UV protection
Check Price

 

Goodr OGs

 

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • 100% UVA and UVB protection
  • Anti-reflective, anti-glare
Check Price

Best Overall for Men

1. Oakley Flak 2.0

The Oakley Flak 2.0 is a stylish pair of sunglasses optimized for excellent visual definition and contrast.

What We Like

Oakley Flak 2.0 sunglasses come with a wide range of lens options, from sport-specific to polarized and standard colored lenses.

You have plenty of choices, but you should note that polarized and Iridium lenses will cost you more than the standard Prizm lenses. You can easily switch out the lenses if you want to.

The standard lenses use High Definition Optics technology to enhance the color, contrast, and clarity of what you see. They provide excellent protection against the sun and effective glare protection.

A durable, lightweight O Matter frame makes them easy to wear and a good investment for long-term use.

Sizeable rubber nose and ear pads—made of Unobtanium—grip the skin and won’t bounce or slide even if you sweat. They’re also big enough not to cause hotspots or leave marks on your face.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay more if you want to use the polarized or Iridium lenses rather than the standard non-polarized lenses.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses look great, are extremely versatile, and have a wide variety of interchangeable lenses.

PROS:

  • Versatile glasses that can be used for all outdoor activities
  • Rubber nose piece provides a secure fit even when sweating
  • Interchangeable lenses allow you to adapt to the conditions and environment
  • Durable, lightweight frame

CONS:

  • You need to upgrade and pay $30 more for Polarized and Iridium lenses
 

Best Overall for Women

2. Tifosi Vero

Ladies will love the sleek yet sporty design of the Tifosi Vero sunglasses. They’re a great fit for women with smaller faces.

What We Like

The Tifosi Vero sunglasses are a very stylish pair of sunglasses and will look great while running or in casual social situations.

It’s ideal for ladies with more petite faces, as the lens size is on the smaller side. However, the lenses are wide enough to provide extensive coverage against UV rays.

The lenses are also well vented, so it’s rare for these sunglasses to fog up, no matter what weather or temperature you’re wearing them in.

You can choose from 5 different lens tints, although you’ll have to make do with that tint in all situations unless you buy more than one pair, as the lenses are not interchangeable.

They are decentered for the best quality, non-distorted view, and they offer 100% UV protection to keep you safe in all conditions.

They’re also polarized, but instead of a coating over the lens, they use a layer of injected polarized material, making these sunglasses much more durable and immune to scratching.

The frame itself is also extremely durable, made from a unique compound that has a very high bending strength, as well as resistance to UV and chemical damage.

The rubber ear and nose pieces prevent slipping and can be easily adjusted for the perfect fit.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses are good-looking and effective at protecting your eyes while you run or do any other kind of activity. They have a number of features to help keep you safe and comfortable while you run.

PROS:

  • Wide lens provides plenty of coverage and protection from UV
  • Sleek, contoured design with vented lenses to prevent moisture accumulation
  • Easily adjusted for a secure fit
  • Available in 5 different lens tints that reduce glare and enhance color

CONS:

  • You can’t switch out lenses on these sunglasses
 

Best Value

3. Goodr OGs

These sunglasses are one of the most affordable pairs on the market. In addition to their attractive price tag, they also look cool and have a number of excellent features for runners.

What We Like

The Goodr OG sunglasses are very well-built for their price point, and they fit into just about every runner’s budget.

They’re quite stylish and can be worn in sporty and more casual settings. The frame is light but sturdy and has a unique non-slip coating, so it won’t slide around when you’re moving.

Although they have a very reasonable price tag, they come with polarized lenses that are resistant to scratches and block UVA and UVB rays.

These sunglasses also come in a wide variety of different colors for both the frame and the lenses.

Why We Like It

The Goodr OG sunglasses are bold and fun while also being protective and extremely comfortable; however, they may be susceptible to water damage.

PROS:

  • Light, sturdy, and non-slip frame that’s comfortable on the face
  • Polarized and scratch-resistant lenses block harmful UVA and UVB rays
  • Available in a variety of fun, bold colors
  • Affordable enough to suit every budget

CONS:

  • The lenses may show water marks if splashed
 

Top Polarized

4. Oakley Radar EV Path

The Oakley Radar has traditionally been one of the best pairs of glasses for cycling, but it also fits the bill as one of the best running sunglasses you can get.

What We Like

The Oakley Radar EV comes in a large variety of lenses, many of which are polarized, although you should note that the polarized lenses may be a little more expensive than non-polarized.

Whichever lens you choose, they’re designed to enhance contrast and color. The tall lens design also has an extra 5 mm at the top of the lens, increasing your field of vision without compromising on your peripheral vision.

The lens is large and has a semi-wraparound design, offering the best protection for your eyes against both sun and debris.

They’re also well-vented, allowing your glasses to stay as clear as possible, so your vision is never obscured.

The lenses are made of Oakley’s proprietary O Matter, which is strong and flexible and fits lightly and comfortably onto most faces.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses offer excellent protection against wind, debris, and the sun. Choose from a wide variety of lenses, but make sure you don’t accidentally choose one that isn’t polarized if you specifically want a polarized lens.

PROS:

  • Large, semi-rimless wraparound lens protects your eyes
  • Raised lens enhances your field of vision without interfering with your peripheral vision
  • Vents along the top edge enhance air circulation and reduce fogging
  • Durable, stress-resistant frame is comfortable on the face

CONS:

  • Not all of the lens tints are polarized, so you may want to double-check before buying
 

Best Value Polarized

5. Nathan Summit Polarized Sunglasses

These sunglasses are well-priced considering they’re polarized and have excellent grip so that runners can wear them even when sweating.

What We Like

The Nathan Summit Polarized Sunglasses are excellent value polarized sunglasses that almost everyone can afford.

One of the best things about them is that the polarization doesn’t come in the form of a coating—instead, it’s embedded directly into the lenses for extreme durability.

The lenses offer complete protection from UV rays, and also provide excellent clarity when moving from one brightness to another.

The lightweight frame is temperature-resistant, impact-resistant, and covered with a soft-feel Grip-Coat, to help it stay on your face while you run. There’s also a grippy nosepiece that helps to stop sliding when your face gets sweaty.

They’re also compatible with prescription lenses; however, not everybody will like the old-school style and there are no other styles to choose from.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses are very affordable for their quality and their embedded polarization.

PROS:

  • Grippy nosepiece stops the glasses from slipping down
  • Polarization is embedded into the lenses
  • Excellent clarity even when moving from shade to direct sunlight
  • Compatible with prescription lenses

CONS:

  • Old-school style may not be for everyone
 

Best for Small Faces

6. Tifosi Wisp

These sunglasses are ideal for small faces as they have a petite lens size and a slim frame. They come in two different colors, brown and “race pink”.

What We Like

The Tifosi Wisp is a pretty, petite pair of glasses with an open-frame design that works well for socializing and exercising and looks great on a smaller than average face.

The best thing about these sunglasses is that they come with 3 different lenses, each made for a specific lighting condition. You can easily interchange them to have the perfect type of protection for every situation.

Although the lenses aren’t polarized, they provide excellent protection against UV rays. They’re also scratch-proof and specially shaped to allow for airflow so they don’t fog up.

The Grilamid TR-90 frame is light and flexible but remains extremely durable. They’re also resistant to UV damage and other chemicals.

However, if you’re looking for polarized lenses, these won’t be for you.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses suit small faces very well and look sleek, stylish, and in proportion. They also come with 3 lenses!

PROS:

  • Open-frame design sits comfortably on small to medium faces
  • Frames are made from rugged material
  • 100% UV protective lenses with scratch-resistant coating
  • Comes with 3 interchangeable lenses for different lighting conditions

CONS:

  • These lenses are not polarized
 

Top Lightweight Sunglasses

7. Optic Nerve Tightrope

The Optic Nerve Tightrope sunglasses have a minimalist design, although their lenses are big enough to provide excellent coverage.

What We Like

If you’re looking for the most lightweight glasses, these weigh less than an ounce—0.8 oz—and you’ll hardly feel them on your face.

The lowered weight is helped by the semi-rimless design, which also gives these glasses a sleek modern edge.

Polarized lenses provide excellent clarity of vision and enhanced contrast and color. They’re also a little wider than usual, offering superb coverage and protection against wind, sun, UV rays, and debris.

The nose and ear pads are soft and grippy to keep the glasses safe on your face, whether you’re walking calmly or running at speed.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses are extremely lightweight and feel great when wearing them. Some people may think that the super light frames aren’t durable, but they seem to last a long time.

PROS:

  • Sleek, semi-rimless wrap-around design is lightweight
  • Polarized lenses provided enhanced clarity
  • Soft, grippy nose and temple pads keep the glasses in place
  • Provides plenty of coverage and protection from wind and UV

CONS:

  • Some may feel that the frames are too lightweight and not durable enough
 

Best Nike Running Sunglasses

8. Nike Windshield Elite

The Windshield Elite is a great pair of athletic sunglasses made by sporting giant Nike. If you’re a fan of the brand, these are worth considering.

What We Like

The wraparound style of these Nike sunglasses creates great aerodynamics whether you’re running or doing other sports.

A “floating” nose pad and comfortable—although non-adjustable—rubber earpieces make these glasses easy to wear. There just not as customizable as other sunglasses.

Ventilation above the eyes allows you to run comfortably without your glasses fogging up and ruining your vision.

The lens is removable, so you can swap it out for another depending on the situation. They come in a variety of tints.

Why We Like It

Nike fans will appreciate these sunglasses. They’re sporty and modern-looking, with a one-piece aerodynamic lens.

PROS:

  • One-piece lens is aerodynamic with narrow ventilation points
  • Crystal clear and distortion-free vision
  • Removable lens is available in a variety of tints
  • Ventilation at top of frame for no fogging

CONS:

  • The earpieces are not adjustable
 

Top Frameless Sunglasses

9. Tifosi Seek

If frameless is your favorite style, the Tifosi Seek is a great choice. It’s light, good-looking, and effective.

What We Like

While these sunglasses are virtually frameless, the part of the frame that does exist is made of Grilamid TR-90 material, which is highly durable and unusually strong and flexible.

Although the frame is barely there, the Enliven lenses are extremely strong. They’re shatterproof, polarized, and color-enhancing, as well as providing good coverage against things like wind, water, sunlight, and dust.

Adjustable ear and nose pieces allow you to get a custom fit on your face, and they’re made of a grippy rubber material that sticks to your skin, so the more you sweat, the less chance of them falling off.

Why We Like It

These frameless sunglasses are stylish and lightweight. However, some may find that the temple arms are a bit too long.

PROS:

  • Strong, frameless design that’s UV-resistant
  • Enliven lenses provide better contrast and enhance colors
  • Grippy rubber nose piece won’t create pressure points
  • Lightweight and fits most face shapes

CONS:

  • Some people may find the temple arms to be uncomfortably long
 

Best Wraparound Sunglasses

10. Under Armour Gametime

If you’re looking for full coverage, these wraparound sunglasses from Under Armour will do the job well.

What We Like

The lens on the Under Armour Gametime is a wraparound style, providing excellent coverage and good-looking comfort.

Double-check which lens is on your favorite pair before buying it, as not all the tints are polarized. They all have a mirror coating for improved durability, water and scratch resistance, and UVA/UVB protection.

The frame itself is lightweight, impact-resistant, and hypoallergenic. An auto-lock feature on the temple arms helps to provide an excellent fit, and the non-slip pads on the nose and temples keep the glasses firmly on your face when exercising.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses provide optimal coverage thanks to their wraparound shape.

PROS:

  • Large wraparound lens offers the perfect balance of coverage and comfort
  • Tint reduces glare, blocks UV rays, and provides crystal clear vision
  • Auto-lock on temple arms provides a sturdy and secure fit
  • Mirrored lenses are water and scratch-resistant

CONS:

  • Not all the lens tints are polarized
 

Top Sunglasses With Interchangeable Lenses

11. Rudy Project Rydon

These sunglasses are extremely versatile and adaptable, so if you get bored easily or do a number of different activities that require different lens tints, we highly recommend the Rudy Project Rydon.

What We Like

The Rudy Project Rydon sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses, and they’re extremely easy to change out. They’re also compatible with prescription lenses.

The sunglasses are sleek and slim, with a compact design that’s excellent for people with smaller faces. You can choose from up to 25 different frame designs!

However, some people may find that the more compact lens size doesn’t offer as much coverage as other pairs of sunglasses.

Interestingly, the frames are made of metal—the company calls it Kynetium—made of magnesium, titanium, and silicone. This offers the best combination of strength and flexibility.

The nosepiece and temple arms are easily adjustable, allowing you to get a good, comfortable fit.

Why We Like It

These sunglasses have very customizable lens options, and they’re extremely quick and easy to change.

PROS:

  • Fully adjustable for a comfortable and secure fit
  • Lens tint helps reduce eye fatigue while providing clarity
  • Lenses and frames are available in a variety of colors
  • Customizable with interchangeable lens and prescription options

CONS:

  • Some may find that the lenses don’t provide enough coverage
 

Best for Running and Cycling

12. Koo Demos

Love to run and cycle? We recommend the Koo Demos to provide you with the best possible protection for both activities.

What We Like

These glasses offer excellent coverage. The large single-piece lens covers the eyes very well and protects them adequately from all external hazards.

Venting at the top and bottom of the glasses allows your vision to remain clear with no chance of the lens fogging up.

The lenses have anti-reflection technology, which reduces the strain on your eyes and enhances color and contrast on the road or trail.

They’re also easy to interchange if you want different lenses for running and cycling, or for different weather conditions.

The nosepiece is also removable and interchangeable, so you can get the ideal fit on your face for the best level of comfort when wearing these sunglasses.

Why We Like It

The Koo Demos are large enough to provide optimal coverage and protection against the elements. The lenses are also easy to remove and change.

PROS:

  • Large, one-piece lens provides optimal coverage and protection
  • Anti-reflective technology enhances contrast and reduces eye strain
  • Easy to remove and switch lenses
  • Interchangeable nose pieces for the perfect fit

CONS:

  • Some may feel that the sunglasses are a bit too big for their face
 

Running Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide

All runners need a pair of running sunglasses that will protect the eyes from dangerous UV rays in a comfortable way that won’t distract you from your running. Even if it is not sunny out, a good pair of glasses protect your eyes from both light and debris.

Eyes need to be protected from a couple things. Most obviously, from physical hazards such as stray branches, the occasional bit of flying debris, and the far more common flying insect. Less obviously, your eyes need protection from the sun, and specifically from UV rays. Your eyes are susceptible to harmful UV ray exposure throughout the day, from as early as 8 am, to early evening. Mornings are one of the most popular times to go for a run, so eye protection needs to be a concern.

But not just any pair will do. Good athletic sunglasses will stay in place despite how much you sweat. They’ll offer full protection to your eyes and resist fogging up. In other words, the best running sunglasses are not what you’d wear for a nice walk on the beach!

UV Protection

Obviously, the most important part of running sunglasses should be the UV protection, as you want to shield your eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, especially if you’re going for a longer run. If you run a lot when it’s sunny outside, you want to prevent prolonged exposure to UV rays. Hence the need for a good pair of sunglasses.

With UV protection, you won’t have to worry about frying your eyes while you take in some Vitamin D and maybe even get a slight tan. Plus, you’ll be able to see the path ahead without having to squint. Be sure that the sunglasses you buy have at least 98% UVA and UVB sun protection.

Adjustable Nose Piece and Frames

Make sure that you purchase sunglasses that fit properly and won’t slide down your face. It’s important that the nose piece and frames can be adjusted in order to improve the fit. This is particularly necessary if you’ll be running sprints or hurdles.

Vents to Prevent Fogging

You’ll want the glasses to be able to withstand sweat and moisture, and vents to prevent lens fogging will assist in keeping your vision clear. You may also want to want to look into partially hydrophobic lens as well.

FAQs

What Are Running Glasses?

Running sunglasses are designed specifically to handle the motion of running without slipping down your nose or falling off your ears.

They also have extra ventilation so they don’t fog up in any weather, and they often use wraparound, polarized lenses to offer better peripheral vision and heightened contrast to help you see better while running.

How Are Running Sunglasses Different?

Unlike normal sunglasses, the best running sunglasses are made of tacky material that “sticks” to your face, preventing them from bouncing or sliding while you’re running.

They’re also usually very adjustable, on both the nose pieces and the ear pieces, so you can get a better fit.

What Color Sunglasses Are Best for Running?

The color of the frame doesn’t matter. However, the color of the lenses makes a big difference to your vision.

Darker shaded lenses are best for bright, sunny conditions. You should choose your color based on what you will need when running, rather than what you like.

Amber, brown, and yellow lenses are great choices for running as they increase the contrast without distorting color too much. Yellow is particularly good for night running.

Rose-colored lenses are excellent for providing great contrast and transition well from light to dark areas—for example, if you run into a shady patch from the sun.

Are Polarized Sunglasses Better for Running?

You don’t have to use polarized lenses for running; however, they can reduce glare if you’re running during the day. Most people will be just fine with a non-polarized lens, as long as they have built-in UV-light protection.

How Long Does UV Protection Last on Sunglasses?

The more often you wear your sunglasses in the sun, the faster the UV protection wears out. However, the rough rule of thumb is if your glasses are exposed to sunlight for about 2 hours every day, you should replace your sunglasses every 2 years.

Ben Drew

Ben Drew

Ben is an avid road and trail runner, and has completed multiple marathons and ultras. A former running store owner, he now shares his knowledge and experience writing these articles.

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