The 9 Best Running Sunglasses of 2021
Sunglasses are real lifesavers for runners, not only when the sun is on fire but also when it is freezing outside. It is the real eye protection from the sun rays, random dirt and flies, wind, and anything that disturbs your ride. Well, thanks to lens technology, there is no shortage of performance eyewear items that provide top-notch optics for active lifestyles. Our team of testers at Best Running Accessories have tested a variety of best-rated sunglasses from different brands for runners of all types and preferences and have mustered up the cream we found out.
But before we delve in, there is something you should know about what features make a pair of sunglasses best for runners.
- Added protection that locks more than just Ultraviolet (UV) rays.
- A nice and soft-grip keeps the frame in place.
- Adjustable frames-tailor made for one’s face.
- Wider lens options for panoramic vision.
- Ability to get through a combination of lighting.
- Perfectly vented construction that prevents fog.
- And comfortable pair of running sunglasses that can tackle long-hours outdoor.
These factors are pretty much what shapes a perfect pair of running sunglasses and cherry on top can be a style that makes these specs more versatile.
Best for Gender
Some pairs of sunglasses seem to fit just any face, men and women alike, however, most of them look particularly tailored specifically to men or women’s faces. That is because their face cuts are different, their needs are different, their sizes and style preferences are different, features and preferences for colors do not match, and the need for overall frame balance obviously varies.
Generally, most pairs of sunglasses worn by men are less ornate, featuring a simple and generic shape with a bit of detail along the arms, darker colors, while the major and more noticeable feature is the size which is normally bigger than that of women’s. Women’s sunglasses on the other hand are a little fancy, have fun elements, cool prints, dots, stripes, and swirls, they are more flamboyant, and of course smaller in sizes than men.
So, when it comes to running, their needs are more towards functionality, and comfort rather than style and colors. UV protection, stability, comfort, durability, and grip hands-down are essential.
Keeping things in mind, we have tested and rounded up two pairs of sunglasses that tick most of the boxes for both genders (overall) when it comes to running.
100 Percent Legere Round
Best Running Sunglasses for Women
- ✔️ Great grip coating
- ✔️ Super durable
- ✔️ Lightweight
- ❌ A bit pricey
|They are perfect for running overall but these are the best sunglasses for someone who bounces a lot while running and someone who needs a perfect sporty yet lifestyle look.|
Tying performance with style for female runners, the Legere Round running sunglasses by 100 Percent is as technical as it is stylish. There are a bunch of reasons besides their apparent style that we chose this one best for running are: They are handcrafted, feel super light, and are scratch-resistant that makes them so durable. The material seems to be high in quality and the rubber nose grip coating piece keeps the frame in place. We loved how nice their Hydrophobic lens coating + Oleophobic lenses throw away dirt and moisture. It also offers nice full-spectrum UV protection that includes harmful UVA and UVB rays, and UV400 wavelengths.
Parallel Max 2 Polarized Sunglasses by Smith Optics
Best Running Sunglasses for Men
- ✔️ Very durable
- ✔️ Handles glare
- ✔️ Interchangeable Polarized lenses
- ❌ Lenses pop-out
|These are best for medium-size-faced men seeking a large lens coverage set of shades. They are perfect,hiking, river fishing, road running, trail running, and even backpacking.|
With stunning features that offer nice clarity, we had to choose this one best for male runners. Parallel Max 2 Polarized Sunglasses by Smith Optics has a pair of three impact-resistant interchangeable lenses that you can change in case you need a replacement or the lens falls out and breaks. Apparently, they give true vibes of sporty looks and we really feel they are actually bombs when you put them on. We liked the grip their nose and temple pads provide over a long-ass run over a combination of terrains and they never slide down! Besides their performance and construction, what most testers in our team appreciated about this product is it feels super lightweight also. Only there were issues with the lens that often falls out when you’re cleaning or pressing sometimes.
Best Trail Running Sunglasses
Julbo Aero Polycarbonate Sunglasses
- ✔️ Adjustable nose pads
- ✔️ Handles glare
- ✔️ Super comfortable
- ❌ Non-scratch-proof
- ❌ No aqua-repellent layer
- ❌ A bit expensive
|They are mainly targeted at mountain bikers but work perfectly for trail runners. We would suggest this one for any trail runner seeking an ultra-lightweight and ventilated sunglasses pair.For trail runs that combine forest and full-on sun exposure.|
A dedicated pair of trail running sunglasses can reduce eye fatigue and make your trail run more comfortable. However, not all trails are created equal — You have a combo of dark tree shadows and scorching sun on the head and unforgiving hikes and jumps that can make your shades fall off. Well, one pair of shades that we tested sounds true to the trail running job is the Julbo Aero Polycarbonate Sunglasses, and here is why!
The grip was solid over the nose and temple, the lens construction is suspended to keep the air flowing, come with dual protective interchangeable lenses that darken the bright sun and got clear as we descend into darker forests. One thing that is commonly preferred when on trails is a clear panorama vision, these shades tick this box as well featuring a wide lens surface. Most of the testers in the team appreciated the lightweight feel and that solid grip.
Best Cheap Running Sunglasses
Tifosi Dolomite 2.0 Polarized
- ✔️ Super durable
- ✔️ Adjustable fit
- ✔️ Shatterproof lenses
- ✔️ UV protection
- ❌ Lacks style
|These glasses are an all-day-wear for a wide range of outdoor activity but we would suggest this best for trail runners as the grip is nice and adjustable. For any smaller face runner seeking a tailored fit frame, this one is perfect.|
Going for cheaper products costs you even more in the long run. However, if you dig deep for gear that costs cheap but sounds high in quality and durability is smart. Give us a high-five because we have lifted heavy for a
pair of sunglasses that is cheap and cheerful—The Tifosi Dolomite! They are made to fit just anyone as they are customizable and adjustable from the nose, ears, and face. For just 79 bucks, you will get a complete package of grip, comfort, UV protection, durability, and comforting features. It is made from durable UV-protected material and the lenses are interchangeable. The thing that we loved about these pocket-friendly sunglasses with Polarized lenses is the quality and durability at this price point. You will surely get more than what you will pay for. So, if you are in search of the best budget running sunglasses in the market that offer a more sporty look, we would suggest considering investing in them. However, if you are seeking the best running sunglasses under $50, we would suggest checking out The FF500 ForceFlex.
Best Sunglasses for Running and Cycling
Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 Rectangular Sunglasses
- ✔️ Superb UV protection
- ✔️ Flexible frame
- ✔️ Prescription-ready
- ❌ Lacks style
|Oakley made these shades for golf but these are versatile enough to get you through marathon races and biking, we would recommend this to people who want more grip over the face and for people who sweat a lot.|
The Half Jacket 2.0 rectangular glasses by Oakley are world-famous when it comes to a great amount of sun protection and versatility and they are the best Oakley running sunglasses for runners if you are an Oakley fan.
Their interchangeable non-polarized lenses are the most impressive feature that offers 100% UV protection. The frames are made of polycarbonate materials that are super durable. The best thing about this Oakley frame for which we chose this one best for cycling is the semi-rimless frames which eliminate any possibility of the bottom of the frame getting in the way of your vision which is highly needed when you are cycling. Furthermore, it comes XL size as well that has extended lenses for further coverage and sun protection.
Also, one more noticeable feature that our testers couldn't’ get past without raising their brows is Unobtainium ear socks and nose pads that provide a solid grip especially when you start to sweat.
Best Running Sunglasses for Small Faces
Tifosi Wisp Sunglasses
- ✔️ Solid grip
- ✔️ Hydrophilic rubber channels
- ✔️ Custom-fit
- ❌ No fog vent
- ❌ Thin lenses
|These are the best Tifosi running sunglasses, designed only for small-faced athletes seeking a perfect fit and wider lenses. From cycling in the sun or jogging/running in and out of shaded wood, these are the best sunglasses.|
If you have a small face shape, we understand it is oh-so-frustrating when you always have to adjust your sunglasses and it is so risky to find perfect-fitting sunglasses when you are dealing with several bounces and strides. Constantly having to push up sunglasses is not only annoying but can also cause friction against the skin, eventually leading to discoloration and irritation. If you can relate to the feeling of loose shades distracting you on the road, we have glad tiding for ya’—these sunglasses specially made with small and extra small faces in mind.
Tifosi Wisp sunglasses tick all the boxes of performance for runners and athletes with a comforting fit for small and extra small-faced runners.
You get heavy UV protection, custom grip to further set the nose and temple grip tailored to your face and then you have polycarbonate lenses to virtually eliminate distortion and give sharp peripheral vision. We liked this one, check if they are a YAY or a NAY.
Best Running Sunglasses for Large Heads
- ✔️ Durable construction
- ✔️ Lightweight sunglasses
- ✔️ Impact-resistant
- ❌ Harsh nose piece
|These glasses are best for large-faced runners and fishers.|
If you are a large or even extra-large head runner, you must check out Costa Permit sunglasses that pack a good deal of nice features and qualities. Starting from the appearance, the frame is made of TR bio Resin Nylon which really helps moist situations. Furthermore, there are nice grips on places that keep the fame in place with hydro lite temples and a nose bridge. The best part for almost all of our testers was the air venting system that works nicely combating fog. We only wished there was a rubber cushion on the nose so it would sit comfortably.
They are made keeping big-headed runners in mind but still if they are still tight for you, we would suggest checking Cota Fisch out.
Best Prescription Running Sunglasses
- ✔️ High-quality construction
- ✔️ Stylish and versatile
- ✔️ Nice color options
- ✔️ Amazing UV protection
- ❌ Non-adjustable nose-grip
|These glasses are best for anyone seeking prescription sunglasses that are high in performance and style.|
Grabbing plastic shades and wrestling them over prescription eyewear is a pain in the ass for runners! Glad we have the option to get the best of both worlds in a frame and nothing says this better than 100% Centric sunglasses. Well, functionality apart, just look at the style that sets it everyone’s favorite desk-to-date-to-outdoor type of thingy. Our testers were really impressed with its unique angular cut that checks boxes of style and performance. The lenses are prescription ready and HYDROLIO treated which nicely keeps water, dirt, and oil at bay. They are pretty much packed with amazing features ranging from quality, protection, grip, and durability so the $130 price tag justifies.
Best Anti-fog Sunglasses for Running
Costa Diego by Costa Del Mar
- ✔️ Excellent airflow
- ✔️ Sticky grip
- ✔️ Moisture-repellent
- ❌ Bit too expensive
|These glasses are great for everyday walking, hiking, running, golfing, and tennis.|
Whether it is due to humidity, condensation buildup from running, cycling, or hiking, we all hate those pauses to wipe accumulation from sunglasses. Well, there are a bunch of anti-fog sunglasses in the market and some of them really do wonders for runners and hikers. One product among those we tested that united all of our testers in the team was Costa Diego sunglasses by Costa Del Mar. They are built mainly for water sports but go perfectly for a range of outdoor activities as well. These sunglasses feature a vented spring hinge system that not only gives a nice grip on the nose but maintains a nice airflow so the lens never fogs. Moreover, the material is BIo-Resin Nylon that is built to take on the salty air, sweat, and water without corroding. We only wish it was a little cheaper than a new pair of running shoes.
One thing many runners forgot to gear themselves up with when running is to wear sunglasses on. They provide ocular health and visual protection from drastic damages caused by UV rays, random bugs and dirt so are as important as running shoes. Your running life becomes much better when you have geared up with a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes and enhance your style. With a host of sunglasses popping in the market, finding the right pair is pretty much daunting and can cost you money. This article is backed with real tests and swashes of popular eyewear for runners that athletes can swear about. Just know your needs, pick the best pair for you, put them on and go enjoy your run.
Polarized lenses provide coverage, protection, and strength and reduce the exposure of sunlight and its harmful rays on your eyes. So, when you are out with bad exposure to the sun, polarized sunglasses are a must-have.
Sunglasses protect runners from UV light, keep the eyes healthy, protect you from eye strain, improve ocular health and provide visual comfort when running. So, it is highly recommended for runners to wear a pair of sunglasses.
Best sport sunglasses for women: 100 Percent Legere Round