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Fact: Tinted Sunglasses Are the Best for Outdoor Sports—Here’s Why

Tehrene Firman

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You’ve definitely seen skiers wearing tinted goggles for better clarity and depth perception while tearing up the slopes, and tinted sunglasses can have the same effect for other outdoor activities, too.

According to optometrist Brad Brocwell, vice president of clinical operations for Now Optics, tinted sunglasses can offer numerous benefits for a wide variety of outdoor sports and activities, whether you’re running, cycling, or playing tennis. Or, you know, playing pickleball, since it’s all the rage. “Tint can reduce eye strain, decrease glare, decrease brightness from the sun, increase contrast, [and it can also] increase brightness in low-light situations,” he says.

Not only are they safe for you to use during workouts, but Dr. Brocwell says they’re recommended. “Tinted sunglasses can offer better comfort and visual performance during sports and activities, but they also offer eye protection,” he says. “This protection can be physically protecting the eye from moving objects, and also protecting the eye from the harmful effects of UV rays from the sun.”

When you’re buying a pair of tinted sunglasses, there are a handful of colors to choose from—each of which offers different benefits for different activities and lighting conditions. Here are the best tinted sunglasses to shop, depending on your specific needs.

The 5 best tinted sunglasses for your summer sports

While Dr. Brocwell says tinted sunglasses can be a personal preference, each color has different benefits. Here’s what he wants you to know about each, as well as the best options to try.

The Best Tinted Sunglasses to Try

Grey Tint: HULISLEM S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses, $22

What Dr. Brocwell says: “Grey is the most common tint color. It doesn’t change the appearance of other colors when you’re looking through the lenses, but it helps reduce glare and eye strain.”

What it’s great for: biking, running, and golf

Shop now: HULISLEM S1 Sport Polarized Sunglasses, $22

Green Tint: NoCry Sports Safety Sunglasses, $13

tinted sunglasses

What Dr. Brocwell says: “Green is another [option] that doesn’t change the appearance of other colors, [but it] offers a better contrast than grey.”

What it’s great for: biking, running, baseball, tennis, and golf

Shop now: NoCry Sports Safety Sunglasses, $13

Brown Tint: Nike Endure Sunglasses, $68

What Dr. Brocwell says: “Brown changes the appearance of colors when you’re looking through the lenses—this helps improve the contrast of objects. Personally, I’m a fan of brown-tinted glasses for golf. They help me see the ball much better and read greens when putting.”

What it’s great for: golf, baseball, biking, running, and water sports

Shop now: Nike Endure Sunglasses, $68

Yellow Tint: JOJEN Polarized Sports Sunglasses, $20

tinted sunglasses

What Dr. Brocwell says: “Yellow is good for improving vision in low-light situations by enhancing the brightness.”

What it’s great for: trail running and mountain biking

Shop now: JOJEN Polarized Sports Sunglasses, $20

Polarized: Oakley Women’s Moonlighter Round Sunglasses, $186

tinted sunglasses

What Dr. Brocwell says: “Polarized is a type of sunglass lens that has a filter that blocks horizontal reflected light. It can really help reduce glare and eye strain when you bike and run, and it’s also great for reducing glare off the surface of water. It comes in both brown and grey.”

What it’s great for: biking, running, and most water activities

Shop now: Oakley Women’s Moonlighter Round Sunglasses, $186

Experts Referenced

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