Andrew Parker

Best Sunglasses for Running – Buyer’s Guide

Best Sunglasses for RunningDue to the bright glare and the harmful ultraviolet radiation, many people decide to protect themselves by getting a pair of sunglasses. Of course, depending on what you are doing and what you need the sunglasses for, one pair will suit your needs better than others.

For example, if you need to be able to use your sunglasses at night, you might want to make sure they have yellow lenses, which will lighten your entire view. Conversely, if bright glare is a problem for you, then you would do well getting a pair of sunglasses that are polarized. The same applies when looking for the Best Sunglasses for Running (READ MORE: Step-by-step Guide for Choosing Best Swimming Goggles).

Best Sunglasses for Running 2018

Figuring out which pair of sunglasses best suit your needs can be confusing. That is why we have put together a list of the 7 best sunglasses for running, highlighting what each does better than the others. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best sunglasses for running to suit your needs.

Product
Lens
Frame
UVPolarized 
Duduma
(People’s Choice)
Polycarbonate
TR-62 Nylon
100 percentFilm
PolycarbonateAluminum and
Magnesium
100 percentYes
Oakley
(Editor’s Choice)
Plastic
O-Matter
100 percentSome
Polycarbonate
O-Matter; Nylon
100 percentSome
J+S Active
(Best Price)
Polycarbonate
Polycarbonate
100 percentNo
Polycarbonate
TR-90
100 percentNo
Polycarbonate
TR-90
100 percentFilm

1. Duduma Polarized Designer Fashion Sports Sunglasses – Most Popular Sunglasses for Running (People’s Choice)

Duduma Polarized Sports SunglassesThe Duduma sports sunglasses checks so many boxes, it is not difficult to see why these are the most popular sunglasses based on consumer reviews. Easily one of the best qualities of this pair of sunglasses is that they run on the less expensive side. Considering how often people accidentally break or lose their sunglasses, this becomes more important than for other, more sedentary products.

The frames of these glasses are a bit of a mixed bag. While they offer some distinct advantages to many of the other frames on our list, they are not the best in all categories. As such, you have to decide which qualities in your frames are the most important. For example, if durability is an issue, these may not be the best pair of sunglasses for running.

Frames

Specifically, these frames are made out of TR-62, a type of molded nylon that is incredibly flexible and lightweight. In fact, these frames can be twisted a complete 180 degrees without snapping. Another advantage of TR-62 is that it is the lightest material used to make frames out of any pair of sunglasses on our list.

That said, the flexibility of TR-62 nylon does not translate into universal durability. In fact, these sunglasses are noted specifically for breaking along the hinge where the small size does not afford any advantage to the material’s durability. Duduma does at least offer a lifetime warranty on all of their frames and will send you a new pair of sunglasses in under two weeks if your frames break.

Lenses

Much like the frames, the lenses of this pair of sunglasses carry with it both good and bad qualities, though the lenses are far more definitively a positive rather than a mixed bag. In fact, the only negative thing about these frames in how they are shaped and sit on your face. Essentially, the lenses are noted for trapping sweat and other perspiration as it rolls down your face. Though, this will be heavily dependent on the shape of your face.

On the plus side, these lenses are made from 7 different layers. The most important part is that these lenses provide both 100 percent UV protection as well as a polarization that will help to cut down glare during sunny runs. It should be noted that the polarization of these lenses is a film and may either wear out over time or be applied to the lenses unevenly.

Style

Depending on what you need to use these sunglasses for and where you will be wearing them, style may be a larger concern, or it may not matter at all. If you are more style conscious, the Duduma’s come in 9 different combinations of frame and lens color. Keep in mind, the color of the lens will also affect under what conditions it is most appropriate.

Pros:
  • A less expensive pair of sunglasses for running
  • Exceptionally lightweight sunglasses for running
  • The frames will bend and flex
  • Frames have a lifetime warranty
  • Comes in 9 different styles
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
Cons:
  • The polarization is a film
  • The lens design can trap sweat
  • TR-62 nylon is not the strongest
  • The fit runs a bit tight

2. BLUPOND Sports Sunglasses – Best Polarized Sunglasses for Running

BLUPOND Sports SunglassesWhile all of the manufacturers on our list specialize in sunglasses, BLUPOND is one of the few that makes it a point to produce sunglasses that are designed for specific scenarios. The brand offers a wide variety of nighttime sunglasses, driving sunglasses, and sports sunglasses. While most sunglasses can be used during these tasks, BLUPOND sunglasses are designed especially for them.

This pair of sunglasses actually blends two of those categories together into a seamless whole. The BLUPOND Titans are designed both for use during sports activities as well as for driving. That said, not every pain of Titan sunglasses is designed to accomplish each task, but both tasks are covered.

Frames

The BLUPOND Titans are unique on our list in that they are the only pair of sunglasses whose frames are not made out of some kind of synthetic material. Instead, the Titan frames are made out of an alloy of aluminum and magnesium. Combined, these metals provide a durable, rigid frame that is also surprisingly lightweight.

Of course, even lightweight metals can be only so light which ultimately leaves these as some of the heavier sunglasses for running that we reviewed. Still, if durability is a primary concern, it is hard to go wrong with these frames. Aside from their material, the hinges are also reinforced and made using a heavy-duty design. If they do happen to break, BLUPOND offers a lifetime warranty on them.

Lenses

The BLUPOND Titans actually offer some of the best lenses that we saw. Made out of shatterproof polycarbonates, these lenses provide 100 percent protection from every type of UV radiation as well as harmful blue light. Even better, the Titans provide some of the best polarization out of any pair of sunglasses that we reviewed.

The reason that the polarization of these sunglasses is better than the others is that the polarized substance is actually injected directly into the polycarbonate during the layering process rather than stretched across or sandwiched in between as a film. This allows the polarization to generally be more uniform and not wear away like other types of polarization has a tendency to.

Quibbles

The frames and lenses taken into account, there are a number of qualities about the BLUPOND Titans that are far from ideal. For one, these sunglasses are a bit more expensive than many others we saw, though not exorbitantly so. However, it is some of the design choices that create the biggest issues. Also, the nosepiece on these sunglasses is reflective.

This can allow light to reflect off the nosepiece and into your eyes, completely bypassing the high-quality lenses and their various forms of protection. On top of that, the lens and frame design itself does not sit flush against your face, which further allows more light to reach your eyes before passing through the protective lenses.

Pros:
  • The aluminum and magnesium frames are durable
  • Provides an injected polarization
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
  • Comes with a complete kit
  • Hinges are reinforced
  • Frames have a lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • A somewhat expensive pair of sunglasses for running
  • Will not completely block out sun
  • Reflective nose piece creates a glare
  • The fit is a bit tight

3. Oakley Men’s Half Jacket 2.0 XL Iridium Sport Sunglasses – Best Sunglasses for Running Oakley (Editor’s Choice)

Oakley Men's Half Jacket 2.0 XL Iridium Sport SunglassesOakley is one of the most well-known and well-respected brands of sunglasses manufacturers on the planet. Founded over four decades ago in 1975, Oakley has positioned itself as a brand that manufactures premier sunglasses specifically for sporting and outdoor purposes. These days, Oakley is actually owned by the glasses super conglomerate Luxottica.

Their products are known for being a premium grade, but they are also known for coming at a premium price. In this case, only one of those statements are true, and it is not the statement that you would prefer. That said, these are not a poor quality pair of sunglasses, but neither do they necessarily live up to the lofty standards that the Oakley brand has set out for itself.

Frames

The Oakley frames are a bit hit-or-miss in that they offer a number of features that are not found on too many other sunglasses on our list, but they also come with some significant drawbacks. Possibly, the worst part about the Oakley frames is their material. Made out of their patented O-Matter plastic, these frames are similar to TR-62 nylon in almost every way except they are not as good. O-Matter is not as flexible or light as TR-62 nylon, but neither it provide a significant boost to durability either.

Also, some of Oakley’s design choices with their frames might make them the only brand you would choose. For instance, this is one of the few pairs of sunglasses on our list that can be fitted with prescription lenses. On top of that, this is the only pair that can fit prescription lenses, which will not need a special plastic insert.

Another advantage of the Oakley frames is their use of hydrophobic rubber around the nose and earpieces. This type of rubber repel water, like sweat, and help keep the sunglasses on your face where they belong.

Lenses

Much like the frames, the lenses Oakley uses in these sunglasses offer some unique advantages, but they come at the cost of legitimate disadvantages as well. To get the bad out of the way, these lenses are not made out of the highest quality material. While they are unlikely to break, they have been known to scratch easy.

Instead, these are likely the truest lenses out of any pair of sunglasses on our list. What we mean by that is that these sunglasses do not distort your vision nearly as much as some of the others we saw. As a bonus, Oakley sells a number of different types of lenses for these sunglasses, and those lenses can easily be swapped out–though they will need to be purchased separately.

Like the other sunglasses on out list, the lenses provide 100 percent UV protection. Some of the lenses are polarized but not all of them, so you will have to make sure you select the polarized models if you want that features. Unfortunately, all of the lenses come in some shade of black–either matte or iridium black.

Pros:
  • Can fit prescriptions lenses
  • Nose and earpiece are hydrophobic
  • Lenses are interchangeable
  • Lenses are optically true
  • Some of the lenses are polarized
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
Cons:
  • Most expensive sunglasses for running we reviewed
  • Plastic frames are not the best
  • Plastic lenses are not the best
  • Only come in black lenses

4. Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses – Best Sunglasses for Trail Running

Torege Polarized Sports SunglassesTorege is an online exclusive company which generally allows a business to sell their goods for less money. In this case, Torege decided to charge a similar amount as their competitors but provide far more product for the same amount of investment. In fact, buying a pair of the Torege sunglasses is essentially like buying 5 pairs in one.

Lenses

This is main value of the Torege sunglasses. This product comes with 5 different types of lenses that can be switched out depending on your setting and needs at the time. You will receive a pair of dark, clear, red or rainbow, nighttime, and polarized lenses. The only potential downside to this setup is that none of the lenses provides all of the features in one.

As such, you will be forced to switch the lenses out depending on which feature you need at the time. Still, these lenses are all-hydrophobic and will repel water. Besides, the darkest lenses are the darkest on our list, permitting only 8 percent light transmission.

Frames

The frames are the definite weak point of the Toreges. They are made out of the same O-Matter that Oakley uses. This means that they are a bit flexible, but not as much as TR-62 nylon. They are somewhat durable, but not as much as TR-90 nylon and better. Ultimately, they sit in a Goldilocks position when that is not the ideal place to be.

Pros:
  • Comes with 5 different interchangeable lenses
  • Frames have a lifetime warranty
  • Comes in 7 different styles
  • Some lenses are polarized
  • Some lenses offer the least light transmission
  • Some frames can fit prescription lenses
  • The frames are exceptionally flexible
  • Frames have a lifetime warranty
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
  • Lenses are hydrophobic
Cons:
  • A bit heavier than some other sunglasses
  • Frames are not the most durable
  • The nose piece is uncomfortable
  • The fit runs a bit large
  • Lenses may pop out
  • Lenses will scratch easier than others

5. J+S Active PLUS Cycling Outdoor Sports Athlete’s Sunglasses – Best Budget Sunglasses for Running (Best Price)

J+S Active PLUS Cycling Outdoor Sports Athlete's SunglassesJ+S sunglasses are not the best on our list. There really is no getting around that fact. Though in fairness, this is likely in part due to the fact that J+S actually does not hinge their business model on sunglasses. Instead, J+S makes it a point to sell glasses designed to ease your eyes if you look at a computer screen all day. Their sunglasses are more because they may as well.

Frames

Their material makeup is all polycarbonate. While this has the advantage of making them more durable than most of the other sunglasses on our list, it also makes them less flexible. One glaring flaw with these sunglasses is that the nose piece does not feature a rubberized surface and digs into the skin.

Lenses

In terms of quality, these are as basic as it gets. They provide 100 percent protection from all types of UV radiation. The lenses are not polarized at all; making this one of the few pairs of sunglasses we reviewed which does not even offer a polarized film. Easily the best thing about these sunglasses is that they are the least expensive we reviewed.

Pros:
  • Least expensive sunglasses for running we reviewed
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
  • Polycarbonate frames are more durable than some
Cons:
  • Frames are not flexible
  • Lenses are not polarized
  • Nosepiece is not rubberized

6. Tifosi Slip Wrap Sunglasses – Best Sunglasses for Running Womens

Tifosi Slip Wrap SunglassesTifosi is one of the few brands on our list that, like Oakley, specializes in sports sunglasses. Founded in 2003, Tifosi made it a point to manufacture sunglasses that would serve especially well for bikers, golfers, and runners. In that regard, these sunglasses work wonderfully while also providing a diverse sense of style.

Lenses

As is more or less the standard at this point, the Tifosi lenses provide 100 percent protection from all forms of UV radiation. But, these lenses go a step above and beyond and also offer models that are photochromic. This means, when exposed to sunlight, the lenses will darken, and they will lighten once the sun is no longer shining on them.

On the downside, these lenses are not polarized and they are known to scratch easily. Also, while the ventilation will help prevent these sunglasses from fogging up, the vents will also allow stray rays of sunlight to reach your eye before they can be cleared of UV radiation.

Frames

These sunglasses use frames made out of TR-90 nylon. TR-90 nylon is similar to TR-62 except that it trades a bit of flexibility for a bit more durability. Though considering neither TR-90 nor TR-62 is all that durability, this may not be such a great trade.

One of the best qualities about the Tifosi sunglasses that is unique on our list is the ability to alter the position of the nose and earpieces. While these frames have a tendency to run a bit large, they are still fit more people’s heads than any other we reviewed.

Pros:
  • Lenses are easily interchangeable
  • Frames are somewhat flexible
  • Lenses are vented
  • Comes in 15 different styles
  • Exceptionally lightweight sunglasses for running
  • Hydrophobic rubber prevents slippage
  • Some lenses are photochromic
  • Bridge and earpieces can be adjusted
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
Cons:
  • Non-Flush lenses can let light in
  • Fairly expensive sunglasses for running
  • TR-90 nylon frames are not the most durable
  • Lenses are not polarized
  • Lenses scratch easily
  • The fit runs large

7. RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses – Best Running Sunglasses for Small Faces

RIVBOS Polarized Sports SunglassesRIVBOS is another brand that focuses exclusively as an online brand. In this case, the business model pays off for the consumer as these are one of the less expensive pairs of sunglasses that we reviewed. Of course, unlike the other exclusively online brand on our list, this one does not offer quite as many extras. Still, it is a solid value.

Frames

Easily the most distinctive quality about these sunglasses is that frames are not rimless. Every other pair of sunglasses for running we looked at favored the lighter rimless frame design. The main advantage that this has it that it allows these sunglasses to block more light from around the edges of the lenses.

The biggest issue that this design presents is that it is a tad heavier. Though, the frames are made out of TR-90 nylon, so the weight is not significant. This material is important because it provides the RIVBOS sunglasses some flexibility but also offers a bit more durability than TR-62 nylon. That said, the frames are not especially durable, though they do come with a lifetime warranty.

Lenses

The polycarbonate lenses of the RIVBOS sunglasses provide the requisite 100 percent protection from all forms of UV radiation. As a plus, they also provide polarization. The polarization comes in the form of a film though, so it will wear away over time and may not be consistent across the lens.

Pros:
  • A less expensive pair of sunglasses for running
  • Frames are somewhat flexible
  • Offers a lifetime warranty
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
  • Blocks out more light than other sunglasses for running
  • Comes with a decent kit
Cons:
  • TR-90 nylon frames are not the most durable
  • Polarization is a lens coating
  • A bit heavier than some other sunglasses for running
  • Fit runs a bit large

Best Sunglasses for Running Review – Buyer’s Guide

UV Protection

Sunglasses UV ProtectionThe main point of sunglasses is that they protect your eyes from the sun. To be more precise, sunglasses actually protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. While sunglasses that protect your eyes from both UV alpha and UV beta rays are more expensive, it is an investment worth making.

Polarization

Sunglasses PolarizationPolarized sunglasses effective reduce or altogether eliminate glare coming from sun rays reflected off of other surfaces. Polarized lenses can either use a film, an injection method, or a polarized material. The film is the least expensive, but it is also temporary and will wear away. The injection method is permanent, but it is not also homogenous. A polarized material is the best type of polarized lens.

Frame Material

Sunglasses Frame MaterialThis factor often determines the overall durability of your sunglasses. Metals are the strongest materials used for sunglasses, but they are not flexible. As such, you may break them if you accidentally sit on them. Polycarbonate is not as strong as metal nor is it especially flexible. For running glasses, a form of molded nylon–either TR-62 or TR-90 is the most common material used for frames. These materials are exceptionally flexible and lightweight.

Nose and Ear Pieces

Nose and Ear ProtectionWhen it comes to sunglasses for running, the nose and ear pieces are more important than sunglasses for other purposes. The main thing to look for is rubberized nose and earpieces. If the nose and earpiece rubber are also hydrophobic, meaning it repels water, this will help prevent the sunglasses from sliding down or off of your face.

Conclusion

When looking for the best sunglasses for running, it is important to consider whether you intend to use the sunglasses for running and nothing else or if they double as a general pair of sunglasses. If it is the former, then the best performing pair of sunglasses for running and nothing else is either the Duduma or BLUPOND. The Duduma are more flexible while the BLUPOND are more durable.

The Oakleys are also a great choice, especially if you need a pair of running sunglasses that can easily accept prescription lenses. The Torege offer arguably the best all-around value due to the inclusion of multiple, specialized lenses, while the Tifosi are the best non-polarized sunglasses for running.

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