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The best running sunglasses in 2024

Eliška Malinová, Bc.

Medically reviewed by Eliška Malinová, Bc., Optometrist, on 11 Apr 2023. Written by Lentiamo

Table of contents

For runners, having the right sunglasses can be just as important as having a comfortable pair of running shoes! Running sunglasses should protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation, reduce glare and improve overall visibility.

For those who wear contact lenses, sunglasses can be especially beneficial as they provide an extra layer of protection against pesky wind, dust and other debris outside.

Whether you're hitting the trails or pounding the pavement, do so with one of Lentiamo's top seven picks for the best running sunglasses. In this article, our eyewear experts explore the best sunglasses for different environments and examine the pros and cons of each. You'll find key features that make up a good pair of running sunnies and you'll get answers to some frequently asked questions.

How we chose the best sunglasses for running...

  • Research – From frame designs, lens features and more, we researched the best of the best to determine the advantages and disadvantages of each. We looked at popular brands and models to determine what elements make running sunglasses just right.
  • Customer reviews – We looked into our best-selling designs to see what brands and models users actually wear and like.
  • Optometrist approved – Lentiamo optometrists offered their expert opinions on the best lenses, materials and designs for sport sunglasses.

Best running sunglasses

person wearing red mirrored running sunglasses

7. Esprit ET19673 538 57

If you're in need of running sunglasses for your daily jog around the neighbourhood, look no further. These sunglasses from Esprit offer great value for money with an uncomplicated and stylish design.

The matte black frames are lightweight for increased comfort and stability. Because of their quality and versatile style, these Esprit shades are the best sunglasses for running and casual wear.

Pros

  • Brown lenses for accurate colour representation and filtering of reflections
  • Stylish design for both running and casual wear
  • High UV 400 protection for bright days

Cons

  • No adjustable features

6. Polaroid PLD 2125/S 3U5 5Z 66

For long days on the road, these Polaroid sunglasses offer fantastic optical quality. The green mirrored lenses effectively block bright sunlight to keep eye strain at bay. High-quality plastic frames offer durability in case of dirt, drops or the occasional dangling tree branch.

Because of the mirrored lenses and thick frames, we think these Polaroid shades are best running sunglasses for bright sunshine.

Pros

  • Lightweight plastic frames for running comfort
  • Polarised lenses to reduce glare and reflections
  • Category 3 UV filter is suitable for intense sunlight

Cons

  • No adjustable features

5. Cébé CINETIK 2.0 CBS090

Cébé sunglasses are the perfect accessory for runners who want to protect their eyes and enhance their performance on the track or trail. These sunglasses are designed to fit snugly on the face. The adjustable nose pads and temple tips provide a comfortable and secure fit during even the most intense workouts.

We think CINETIK 2.0 are the best running sunglasses for women, men and anyone with a slimmer face.

Pros

  • Rubberised temple tips for greater stability
  • Lightweight plastic lenses for comfortable wear
  • Interchangeable lenses for intense sunlight, darker days and foggy conditions

Cons

  • Slim fit might be uncomfortable for some

4. Oakley Flak 2.0 XL

Every runner has probably considered investing in a pair of Oakley sunglasses. With years of research behind their lens and material technologies, you can rest easy knowing they offer a fantastic product for any sport. State-of-the-art Prizm technology enhances colour contrast and clarity in different conditions, resulting in improved vision and depth perception.

Oakley Flak 2.0 XL feature a half-rim frame for unobstructed views down to the ground. The mirrored lenses expertly reduce light transmission on even the brightest of days. These are our top pick for the best running sunglasses for long-distance runs as they provide quality sun protection and excel in comfort.

Pros

  • Oakley Prizm lens technology enhances colours, contrast and details
  • Adjustable Unobtainium rubber nose pads ensure a comfortable, non-slip fit
  • Lightweight O Matter frame construction for comfort

Cons

  • High price tag

Shop Oakley Flak 2.0 XL

Did You Know? Oakley's state-of-the-art Prizm technology enhances colour contrast and clarity in different conditions, resulting in improved vision and depth perception.


3. Fila SF9326 7FZX 99

Whenever it's important to see exactly where your feet land, reach for these fashion-forward sunglasses. The sleek monolens ensures a wide field of view and provides great coverage from the sun and rain, dirt, dust, and other debris.

The gradient lenses filter direct sunlight while ensuring better visibility through the bottom half of the lenses. That's why these Fila shades are the best running sunglasses for daytime runs on bright or sunny days.

Pros

  • Adjustable nose pads for a more comfortable and secure fit
  • Grey lenses preserve natural colours while reducing light
  • Lightweight and durable plastic frames

Cons

  • Mirrored lenses are more prone to scratches

2. Esprit ET19669 507 72

These modern monochromatic sunglasses from Esprit are a stylish yet functional accessory. The blue lens colour is perfect for bright sunlight. Take these on runs along rivers, oceans and lakes and not only see but feel the difference!

With lightweight frames, durable plastic lenses and adjustable nose pads, these are the best budget running sunglasses in our guide.

Pros

  • Adjustable nose pads for a better fit
  • Blue lenses to enhance contrast and minimise light reflections.
  • Vented lenses to prevent fogging

Cons

  • Non-polarised lenses

1. Oakley Radar EV Path

For sunglasses that don't lack optical quality, style or comfort, Oakley Radar EV Path are a fantastic option. The red lenses enhance contrast for a clear view of what's going on around you. See the contours of an uneven trail and to notice green trees in greater detail with these shades.

With HDO (High Definition Optics), the lenses eliminate image magnification and colour distortion. Oakley Radar EV Path are our top pick for the best sunglasses for trail running or any adventure you have planned.

Pros

  • Oakley Prizm lens technology enhances colours, contrast and details
  • Adjustable Unobtainium rubber nose pads ensure a comfortable, non-slip fit
  • Lightweight O Matter frame construction for comfort

Cons

  • High price tag

Shop Oakley Radar EV Path

Did You Know? Oakley's O Matter is a patented nylon composite used in some of their sunglasses and goggles frames. It's durable, flexible and sweat resistant!

What should a good pair of running sunglasses offer?

person running in mirrored sunglasses

Comfort

It will come as no surprise that running sunglasses should be comfortable. For runs of any length, the last thing you want is for sunglasses to squeeze too tightly or rattle around. Uncomfortable sunglasses can be distracting and affect your performance.

UV protection

When running outdoors, it's important to wear sunglasses that shield your eyes from bright sun and reflective surfaces. Roads and other surfaces can produce glare, which can cause discomfort and even impair your vision. Choose running sunglasses that provide high UV protection to keep your eyes safe from damage and reduce the amount of light that enters the eyes.

Still not sure? Let our sunglasses virtual try on feature help you try frames online.

Lenses

In addition to choosing the right sunglasses lens material for optical quality and durability, lens colours can affect what you see and how well you see it. Different sunglasses lens colours can be useful in different situations.

  • Grey lenses – A neutral choice, grey lenses offer great light reduction qualities in bright light and keep colours natural.
  • Red lenses – Red lenses filter out blue light and can boost colour contrast with yellow road signs, traffic lines and green trees.
  • Brown lenses – Brown lenses enhance contrast in bright or varied lighting conditions.
  • Yellow lenses – Great for low-light conditions, yellow lenses increase contrast and improve visibility for foggy or dark days.

Another feature to consider is polarised sunglasses. Polarised lenses reduce glare which can be helpful when running in bright, sunny conditions or near water. Some runners may find, however, that polarisation significantly darkens surroundings or changes depth perception. Depending on your preferences and running conditions, running sunglasses don't need to be polarised but they can enhance your overall experience!

Lightweight frames

When it comes to running sunglasses, lightweight options are ideal because they can prevent discomfort on the face and nose. Heavy or poorly-fitting sunglasses can create pressure points, causing headaches and leaving marks on the skin. Lightweight sunglasses are also less likely to slip down the nose or bounce around during a run, which can be distracting and uncomfortable.

Pro Tip: Lentiamo optometrist Eliška reminds us that sport sunglasses should be lightweight and comfortable. Moreover, they must be made from high-quality, durable materials to withstand bad weather conditions, strong sunlight, sweat, debris, and more.

Fit

The right size glasses should fit snugly without rubbing or pinching. Running sunglasses should stay securely on your face without falling off when running at a fast pace or when looking down. They should be chosen for both functionality and aesthetics. Frames that fit your face shape will be more comfortable and look better as well.

Durability

Sunglasses must be durable to withstand the physical demands of running outdoors. Exposure to sweat, moisture, the occasional impact, and sunlight can take a toll on low-quality shades. Look for lenses and frames made from materials like lightweight and durable polycarbonate.

Closing thoughts from Lentiamo

If you've been looking for the best sunglasses for running, we hope this guide helps you find the perfect pair that can keep up with you. Our experts have selected a variety of shades for different occasions. Whether you're ready for a marathon or a mile, keep these key features and products in mind!

Frequently asked questions

What are the best budget sunglasses for running?

As with any sunglasses, budget running glasses should offer high UV protection, provide good visibility, be durable, and fit comfortably. Our top picks for the best budget sunglasses from Esprit and Polaroid. They offer great optical clarity and a variety of sporty designs. You can also find lower cost Oakley sunglasses that are suitable for running.

Are Ray Bans good for running?

Many runners enjoy Ray-Ban sunglasses for the optical clarity and durability they offer. Many models are lightweight and have added features like polarised lenses. Ray-Ban has many stylish and reliable shades for trail runs or quick jogs through the city.

What are the best Oakley sunglasses for running?

Oakley offers a variety of top-of-the-line sports sunglasses. Many of their models are ideal for running. With optimised frame shapes, lightweight materials and superb lens technologies, you can't go wrong. Oakley Radar EV Path, Oakley Flak 2.0 XL and Oakley Sutro Lite models for their optics and comfortable, quality designs.


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Interested in other sports? Check out more sunglasses for mountain biking and cycling today.

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