The 11 Best Running Sunglasses That Protect Your Eyes *and* Stay Put, According to Runners
No matter how often you run outside to put in some miles, sunglasses are a must. Not only do running sunglasses protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays, but they protect you from glare, fend off gnats, and look cool, too. The last thing you need to worry about while on a run is if your sunglasses will annoyingly slip down your nose—so we looked for sporty sunglasses that check off *all* the boxes when you're on the go. Whether you’re out for a leisurely jog, or putting in a long run to train for a marathon, you should be able to hit the trails without a second thought as to which sunglasses you need to be wearing (because you'll already have the perfect ones!)
How exactly did we compile this list? Well, we asked experienced runners to share which sunglasses they reach for as they head out the door for a run. And they delivered. From sporty neon options to classic shades you can wear no matter the activity, read on for the best running sunglasses.
The best sunglasses, at a glance
Best Value: Goodr OGs
Best Splurge: Maui Jim Koko Head Polarized Classic Sunglasses
Best RX Option: Tifosi Smoove
Best Wraparound: 100% HYPERCRAFT Polished Lavender HiPER® Lavender Mirror Lens
Best Vision Technology: Oakley Radar EV Path
Best Narrow Fit: Goodr See You At The Party, Ritcher
Best Everyday Wear: Tracksmith The Charles
Best Lightweight: Knockaround Fast Lanes Sport
Most Durable: ForceFlex FF200
Best in Humidity: Rudy Project Propulse
Best Interchangeable Lenses: Smith Shift MAG
Best Aviator: ROKA Phantom Titanium
What to look for in running sunglasses
When shopping for running sunglasses, there are a few requirements a pair must check off before you click “add to cart.” First of all, they should be lightweight. You don’t want anything weighing you down during a run, much less a heavy pair of sunnies. Alex Randall, founder and CEO of Revel Sports, a fitness blog for runners, agrees. “The frames should be lightweight and have a secure fit to prevent them from slipping down your nose or bouncing around on your head,” he says.
Another factor—perhaps the most important—to consider is UV protection from the sun’s rays. Ultraviolet light is harmful even on cloudy days, so you must protect your precious eyeballs, especially when you’re logging extended time outside during your runs. Glare protection tops the list, too. As beautiful as sunrises and sunsets are, running during them can be dangerous if you’re not protected with glare-proof sunglasses.
“When looking for running sunglasses the most important consideration is the level of protection that the sunglasses offer from UV radiation,” says Randall. “Many running sunglasses also offer additional protection from wind and debris. The lenses should be curved to match the contours of your face and offer a wide field of vision, while the lens color should provide good contrast and help you see obstacles and other runners in low light conditions.”
The perfect pair of running sunglasses balances technical features – UV protection and polarized lenses – with a comfortable fit. If they’re stylish too, all the better. These 11 running sunglasses check all of those boxes.
Nearly every runner we talked to has a pair (or two) of Goodr OGs in their collection. It’s easy to understand why. At $25, they’re a sensible purchase to keep the sun out of your eyes during runs. Plus, they’re ultra lightweight and durable, making them especially great for traveling. (If you lose them, oops! They aren’t a big investment.) Don’t be too rough with them though; if you toss them into your gym bag willy nilly they can scratch easily.
Kelly Collins, STRIDE XPRO for Xponential+ and co-founder of SISSFiT, is one of many who name Goodrs as her favorite running sunglasses. She specifically loves their line of OGs. “I love that they are lightweight and stay put while running or doing any outdoor workouts,” she says. “They’re polarized and super affordable, so you can justify multiple pairs.”
Available in lots of fun colors
Not all colorways are polarized
Can scratch easily
Connor Berry, a Peoria, Illinois-based runner, names these Maui Jim sunglasses as his top pick. Since buying them a year ago, he has run exclusively in them, noting how comfortable and lightweight they feel. While they aren’t marketed as running sunglasses, Berry insists they are super secure—a must for extra strenuous runs.
“I have run a few hundred miles in them, from sprint workouts to long runs, and they have never fallen off my face,” he says. You just might catch Berry wearing these Maui Jim sunglasses when he runs the Chicago marathon this fall. “They run a little bit on the expensive side, but as someone who uses them daily, I think it is worth the investment.”
Fit narrow faces
Not available for prescription
Glasses wearers are well aware that getting a prescription pair of sunglasses can be costly. Not with these Tifosi running sunglasses, which start at a reasonable $100. Their lenses come with advanced lens coatings for maximum clarity and contrast, meaning you won’t be squinting through your run—not because of the sun, and not because of your not-so perfect vision either. Choose between multiple tinted and polarized options, which all include 100 percent UV protection. And yes, you can use your FSA or HSA to pay for them!
“I was a little skeptical at first, but after receiving and wearing my sunglasses for a few weeks, I’m really impressed with the quality of the lenses,” says one reviewer. “I can not only see in my prescription, but the clarity of the lenses is impressive for how dark they managed to make them. These are my favorite prescription sunglasses I’ve ever had, because they’re actually dark enough to help my eyes while being in my prescription!”
Shatterproof and scratch resistant
Includes nose pads that prevent slipping
No wraparound protection
When it comes to these running sunglasses, 100% seems to have thought of everything. The HD lens is made from crack- and chemical-resistant material. The cylindrical shape of the lens doesn’t let light stream in from the sides, increasing your peripheral view. The ultra-grip rubber nose and temple tips ensure they aren’t slipping and sliding as you’re running. Plus, they offer full-spectrum UV protection, including UVA, UVB and UV400 wavelengths.
Convinced? Josh Cook, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based marathon runner, is. “The 100%s are really cool,” he says. “I’ve had my eye on them and the company seems fun.” While you’ll pay a pretty penny for these, they should last you for hundreds of miles to come—especially since you can easily take good care of them with the included hard case, microfiber cleaning bag, clear replacement lens, and extra alternative fit nose pad.
Peripheral view protection
Durable, lightweight frame
Pricier than other options
Randall has worn many sunglasses over the course of his evolving running career. One pair stands out though. “I can honestly say the best I have ever used—and to this day, still do—is the Oakley Radar EV Path,” he says.
Why? So many reasons: They’re lightweight, have an adjustable nylon strap to get the perfect fit, and are super snazzy, for starters. But these are special for including innovative technology that keeps you safe. “The Oakley Radar Ev Path sunglasses include Oakley’s Prizm technology, which is a lens technology that is meant to improve your vision when you’re wearing the glasses,” says Randall. “The technology enhances your vision when you’re in low light conditions, as well as protects your eyes from the sun when you’re out on the trail, as I so often am.”
Includes lens technology to improve your vision in low light conditions
The flashy design isn’t for everyone
List the characteristics of an ideal pair of running sunglasses, and these Goodr ones check all the boxes. Lightweight? Check. Polarized? Yep. Reasonable price point? Also yes. A perfect fit? Definitely. Margo Feeny, a Boston-based runner, can concur.
“I have a small, narrow head but they don’t bounce while I run, and they’re lightweight, so they don’t make me sweat,” she says. “They also represent my lively personality and colorful running outfits, they are polarized so I can see my phone if I need to use it, and they’re easy to clean—just run under a little soap and water and air dry. I wear them about five times a week to fend off the hot sun, wind, and afternoon gnats while looking cute.”
Fit smaller heads
The outer coating on the lenses can chip
Only available in pink
One of the downsides of running sunglasses is that they can look like, well, running sunglasses. If sporty isn’t your go-to style, opt for these sleek Italian-made sunnies from Tracksmith. They have a classic silhouette that you can wear everyday, for any occasion, with built-in perks for running, like UV protection. These can be worn on your run, and for a celebratory beer after you’ve logged your miles. We love their barely-there feel with very-much-there style.
If you’re accustomed to that heartbreaking crack you hear when you accidentally sit on your sunnies, opt for The Charles. You wouldn’t know by looking at them, but these sunglasses are resistant to damage due to their durable and adjustable frame. A tonal silicone nose pad holds them in place, and silicone pads wrap comfortably around your ears too. They’re practical and they’re pretty.
Can bend under pressure
Contours to your face
Polarized with glare protection
An investment piece
For a pair of inexpensive, indestructible glasses that you don’t have to be too precious with, nab a pair of Knockaround’s Fast Lanes Sport sunnies. They’re made of a lightweight rubberized plastic and feature embedded rubber nose pads, so they won’t slip—even during your sweatiest runs. (So lightweight, you might forget you’re wearing sunglasses.) The polarized lenses themselves are just as protective, with UV400 protection. If you don’t take your runs or your sunglasses style too seriously, these are the pair for you.
Fit medium to large faces
Might be too large for smaller faces
You won’t fool anyone into thinking these were expensive
Just try me. If these running sunglasses could talk, that’s what they’d say, asking you to try to break them. They are called ForceFlex, after all. Chances are, you won’t be able to. They’re so flexible, you can bend them 180 degrees in any direction without them snapping. No matter how rough you treat them, they’ll forgive you, snapping back into place without so much as a scratch. The fact that they provide UVA/UVB protection and cost just $26? The cherries on top.
“These are great for running and water sports,” says one Amazon reviewer. “They are light, comfortable, don’t fog up, and don’t bounce all over the place. I like the lens tint as well—cool blue, [which] really helps with eye strain in very bright conditions.”
Includes an anti-fog and anti-scratch coating
If you’re hitting the trails (or track, or road) for long distances, consider a pair of Rudy Project’s Propulse sunglasses. With their ultralight wraparound shape, they’re designed to stay perfectly in place with a natural compression fit that doesn’t put any additional pressure on your head, especially for those among us with smaller heads. They’re particularly indispensable in hot, muggy weather, since the all-over venting system on the front chassis, lenses, and temples reduces fogging.
“Great glasses,” says one Amazon reviewer. “Ruby delivered on all fronts: lightweight, great fit (adjustable), no pressure on the head and behind the ears, stable (got them for running), great eye protection due to the wide lenses, and the last but not least (the main feature I chose this glasses for)—antifogging! Those vents really do prevent fogging! Great design, great product. So happy with this purchase.”
Includes vents to prevent fogging
Might be too narrow for some face shapes
If you couldn’t tell from looking at this futuristic pair of running sunglasses, Colorado-based Smith got its start making goggles for skiers and snowboarders. Since then, the brand has expanded into sunglasses, apparel, and accessories for all kinds of athletes, including runners. Hence these ultra cool performance sunglasses, which will stay put thanks to their two-position nosepiece and no-slip temples. Their best feature, though, is the ability to switch out the lens without feeling like you’re going to snap either the lens or the frame. Simply snap the magnet on one side for a quick lens change, fingerprint-free.
Adjustable nose pad
Easy to switch out the lens
On the expensive side
To feel your most Top Gun-like, nab a pair of these ROKAs. Not only to these aviators look cool, and transition well from a run to any other social activity, but they work hard to stay in place for your entire workout. That’s due to the nose and temple padding, made of their patented GEKO fit, which is inspired by the soft—but sticky—feet of a gecko. The titanium frame is indestructible, even though the frame and arms are thin as can be. They’re also light-as-a-feather—just over half an ounce!—so forgive yourself if you accidentally wear them indoors a little too long. There’s a good chance you’ll forget you’re even wearing them.
“My boyfriend and I agree that these are the best sunglasses we have ever had,” says one Amazon reviewer. “They are lightweight and stylish. They fit great and don’t slide down our faces.”
No pressure points
Effortlessly cool design
Won’t give you full wraparound-like coverage
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