Crisp, Clear, Under Control
The Best Performance Running Sunglasses for Every Face Shape
People who run with sunglasses tend to fall in one of two camps: you either want to be able to wear your sunnies all the time (outside of just logging miles) or you want something that performs at the elite level and basically, you don’t really care how you look. We get it; you’re serious about your sport. We’ve pulled together all of our favorite top-performing running sunglasses — that means lightweight, scratch-resistant, nose grips, UVA and UVB-protection and most importantly, they don’t fall off when you run or sweat. Regardless of your face shape, there’s guaranteed to be a pair that works for you.
Offered in a satin chrome frame, the Elmonts come with Oakley’s sun-blocking standard (100% of UVA, UVB and UVC rays), in a lightweight alloy frame. The shape of the aviators naturally offers breathability for runners, and you can upgrade to a polarized lens in a variety of lens colors — there are ten total options to choose from.
Roka Phantom TI
The aviator style is a classic for a good reason — who doesn’t want to look like they’re an extra in Top Gun? These titanium aviators come in two sizes (regular and large) and seven lens colors, plus the GEKO nose and temple pads keep them in place. You barely notice you’re wearing them thanks to the lightweight construction. And they’re anti-everything: scratch, fog, reflective.
At $90, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pair of running sunglasses. Ryders is a trusted brand in the space, and for good reason. The photochromic lens on the Trestle stands next to some of the highest-end lenses on the market and comes in at around half the price. If you’re into the shape, there’s really no reason to look elsewhere.
Izipizi #D Kaki Green
A rubbery compound creates frames that are bendy, flexible and lightweight — seemingly perfect for sports. Each arm bends out to fit all sorts of face shapes and sizes. The variety of colors is unparalleled to all the sunglasses on this list. Best of all, these sunglasses are the only ones you need to pack on a trip. They’ll work for any situation from running to catching the train to sprinting around a track.
These sunglasses are the latest release from Sunski, the brand that set out to make affordable, yet high-performing sunglasses that can take you from the beach to the slopes and work in either locale. These slightly rounded aviator-style sunnies are inspired by the glacier goggles, with removable side panels to complete the look — they cut glare on especially sunny days, and are easily removable. The lenses are quite dark, so you might want to leave these at home on darker days.
A new style for Adidas running that veers back toward lifestyle, the Pacyr is still packed with features. The frame is shatterproof and comes with adjustable nose pads to properly fit your face. The frames are slightly curved toward you, to improve the field of view, and best of all they look great.
District Vision Nagata Black Rose Lens
Inspired by the time the founders spent out on the trails and realized that the light changes frequently, the Black Rose lens is made to perform in a variety of conditions. The sunglasses themselves are featherweight, and they’re cool enough that you can slide into any bar in running gear.
Oakley Flak 2.0XL
Oakley knows how to craft lightweight, yet high-performing sunglasses that never slip and provide exquisite clarity, which is especially important when you need to find the slight ebs and flows of the road. The Flak 2.0 is a classic shape, and when paired with the High Definition Optics lens, they are hard to beat.
Nike Vaporwing Speed Tint
Worn by the likes of Shalane Flanagan (who won the NYC marathon last year), the Speed Tint is built for performance. Offered in four lens and frame combos, these are aerodynamic at their core. They are extremely lightweight and breathable, and will never get fogged up.
Smith Attack Max
The brand that delivers top-notch performance on snow has a pretty good idea of what works on the road as well. The newest addition to Smith’s line, the Attack Max, features the brand’s ChromaPop lens, and the option to swap it out. The nose piece wraps around the lens, so you get 260-degrees of coverage, and the lenses are slightly larger than glasses past, which provides more visibility. These are also great for cyclists.
Native Eyewear Catamount
These N3 lenses block up to four times as much infrared light as standard polarized lenses, so if you’re outdoors a lot, this level of protection is recommended. The lenses are interchangeable, so if on race day (or training day) the skies look a little grey, it’s a quick swap to brighten everything up.
The oversized, semi-rimless lens offers a huge field of vision, and the customizable temples and nosepiece mean you’re guaranteed to get a tight, just-for-you fit. Upgrade to the photochromic lenses that brighten or darken depending on that day’s conditions. The anti-fog treatment comes standard, as does the waterproof and oil-proof coating, so anything the weather or road or trail spits up at you slides right off.
The Aerospeed, the newest style from Julbo, is slightly larger than the previous Aerolite, thanks to feedback from ultrarunners and mountain bikers. The field of vision is immense, and it’s the go-to pick for athletes like Mike Foote, who summited over 61,000 feet in 24 hours.
Tracksmith Charles Sunglasses
These featherlight sunnies are built to help you go fast. Designed by runners and creatives, the collaboration between boutique running brand Tracksmith and revered Article one is a beautiful one. A classic silhouette means these can go anywhere with you, and the rubberized nose bridge sticks out just enough to keep them in place over the course of long sweaty days, but also not get in the way of a stylish piece of art on your face.
Goodr Grass Fed Babe Steaks
The price point and fun names of each Goodr sunglass are unique in this category. For just $35, you can get a practically weightless pair of sunglasses in bright (or standard) colors. The wide frames and long temples work for those with larger heads, or people who prefer a bigger look. Gradient lenses help your sight in the middle of the day when the sun is directly overhead, and the silicone inserts along the nose and temples prevent slippage.
A classic shape for Revo, these rectangular performance sunglasses bring lifestyle-worthy aesthetics to performance optics. The graphite lenses cut out 100% of UVA, UVB and UVC light, and feature 100% polarization to eliminate glare.
Zeal Optics Incline
Super lightweight frames are necessary when you’re logging miles. The Inclines are built for long-distance training, and as a part of the Z-Lite collection, you get a resin-based plastic frame with a bio-plastic polarized lens to make all the blues and greens really pop. It’s good for the environment, too. These are ready right off the shelf, or are easily customizable with your prescription.
Smith Optics Lowdown 2
The iconic style gets an upgrade with a more performance-focused frame and lens. During trail run testing, these stayed put, and also looked great next to the campfire after a long day outdoors. They still come with the ChromaPop lenses, so your field of vision is crisp.
Native Eyewear Braiden
Built with N3 polarized lens technology, when you put these on you get a high-contrast and super crisp and clean field of vision. These tend to fit medium to large faces better than small ones, but the temple and nose grip secure them to any face.
Popular among the NYC running crew world, this pair of crossover sunglasses offers performance features that we’ve come to expect from Nike. Offered in eight frame and lens colors, the Bandit is feather-light with floating nose pads to increase ventilation, lowering the chance of fog. Even the arms are ventilated to help prevent fogging.
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