8 Best Running Sunglasses for Athletes

photo of a running sunglasses

It is common knowledge that running is good for your body (except, maybe, for your knees). However, what most people do not know is that running can expose you to different elements that can affect your eyes. Whether it’s dust, sunshine, or rain -- or even a combination of all these -- you need the best running sunglasses to protect your eyes if you are a frequent runner.

Olympic athletes understand the importance of high-quality sunglasses all too well. You will notice that they wear sunglasses while running during the day and sometimes at night to protect their eyes from the glare of stadium floodlights. One of the popular Olympic sunglasses by Oakley is considered performance enhancing due to their amazing features. Whether you are an Olympic runner or simply an avid runner, one thing is certain, you need the best running sunglasses for maximum eye protection as well as improved running experience.

Best Running Sunglasses for Athletes Comparisson Table

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Important Things You Should Know About Running Sunglasses

a man  participating in a marathon and is wearing a cap and running sunglasses

There is more to running sunglasses than what meets the eye. The best running sunglasses have unique features that protect your eyes when you are running outdoors. For this reason, you should consider it essential to have some background knowledge about running sunglasses before you decide to buy a pair. Here are some of the things you ought to know about sunglasses for running.

Does it matter which running sunglasses you use?

Yes. Your choice of running sunglasses matters. The best running sunglasses for you will depend on how long and in which conditions you run. For instance, if you are a trail runner, you would benefit the most from category one sunglasses which have an almost transparent lens. These are important for protecting your eyes from disruptive elements of nature such as sand and insects.

On the other hand, if you are an Olympic runner or you run for extended periods of time during the day, category three sunglasses are the best running sunglasses for you. These feature a darker tint, UV protection, and anti-glare features

What are polarized sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses are glasses that are designed to reduce glare-causing reflections from flat surfaces like water and the road. They contain a special filter that blocks this intense light thereby reducing glare. Boat riders, outdoor enthusiasts, and some light-sensitive people including individuals who have undergone cataract surgery use these types of sunglasses.

What does UV 400 mean?

UV 400, also known as 100 percent UV protection, refers to sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVB and UVA radiation. Most expensive sunglasses have 100 percent UV protection, but it is also possible to get this feature in cheaper models.

How much UV protection do sunglasses have?

three sets of racks for sunglasses in different colors and style

The amount of UV protection varies depending on the brand of sunglasses you buy. However, to get the best protection for your eyes, you should go for sunglasses which have UV 400 protection. These protect your eyes from light rays with wavelengths of up to 400 nanometers. You should also consider wraparound sunglasses. The design helps prevent harmful UV rays from entering the sides of the frame.

Can wearing sunglasses indoors damage your eyes?

Sunglasses help protect your eyes from UV rays and glare. Wearing them indoors might seem cool, but it does not help much. However, there is no harm in wearing them indoors because they do not damage your eyes.

Can UV rays damage your eyes?

Yes. UV rays can damage your eyes. They can lead to macular degradation which is a leading cause of blindness among Americans. UVB rays can also cause cataracts which is a condition where your eyes’ natural lens becomes cloudy. Skin cancer around the eyelids has also been linked to prolonged exposure to UV rays.

How We Reviewed

close-up photo of a cyclist wearing a cap and running  sunglasses

To come up with this list of the best running sunglasses, we compared customer reviews for different top rated sunglasses and checked what experts have to say about the sunglasses. In addition to this, we examined the features of the glasses. This gives us an idea of what level of protection they give you and whether or not they work well for runners.

Overall Price Range of Sunglasses for Running

The price range of running sunglasses is $ to $ depending on the brand.

8 of the Best Running Sunglasses

Choosing the best running sunglasses is not an easy task because there are so many options available. To ensure you get the best running sunglasses, you will need to consider how long you run and what conditions you expose yourself to. The best lenses offer 100 percent UV protection and are polarized to minimize glare. There are also sunglasses that come with interchangeable lenses and others where you will have to buy the lenses separately. If you don't like the idea of switching lenses, you should consider photochromatic lenses. These react to changes in light. If you are concerned about the fit, go for sunglasses with grippers on the arms and nose or sunglasses with adjustable nose pads that give you a bespoke fit.

We reviewed 8 of the best running sunglasses, from budget options to top brands, that enjoy popularity among athletes.

1. O2O Polarized TR90 Frame Sunglasses

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O2O Polarized TR90 Frame Sunglasses are among the best running sunglasses for several reasons. These sunglasses feature polarized lenses that offer 100 percent UV protection. For this reason, you not only get UVA and UVB protection but also anti-glare benefits that make intense light tolerable as you run. Also, the sunglasses have a TR90 Frame, which features soft rubber nose and earpieces for comfort.

What’s more, the sunglasses have seven protection coatings. The first layer is polarized. The second and third are adhesive layers to enhance durability. 

The fourth and fifth also provide added UV protection. The sixth and seventh shatterproof layers help prevent breakage. The manufacturer describes these sunglasses as unbreakable and super-light. O2O offers a lifetime warranty on breakage and 30-day money back guarantee. Amazon users seem very impressed by this pair of sunglasses. Most users like the fact that the sunglasses provide scratch-resistance. They praise the lightweight design as well. Also, the polarized lenses and included storage case and lens cloth seem to impress owners. The only thing several users complained about is the fit. Individuals with smaller faces claim the sunglasses did not stay on well. 

2. Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses

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Similar to the O2O Polarized Sports Sunglasses, the Torege Polarized Sunglasses also feature a TR90 Frame. The sunglasses have polarized lenses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. They also have soft nose pads that offer a comfortable fit. What’s more, the manufacturer provides a lifetime warranty on breakage, and 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Although the Torege sunglasses have many similarities with the O2O sunglasses, one thing makes them better. They have four interchangeable lenses. 

The main lens is a colorful lens, the yellow lens is meant for night activities, the black one is polarized and great for driving, and the clear one is great for cloudy conditions. Users love the fact that these sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses, are light and comfortable, and provide excellent UV protection. However, there have been complaints about the polarized lens. Users claim they are too thin and don’t fit as perfectly as the others. Apart from this, some users have also said that the lenses are too fragile and prone to breakage. 

3. Gear District's Polarized Unisex Sunglasses

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Gear District's Polarized Unisex Sunglasses also have a lot of similarities with the O2O and Torege sunglasses. They feature UVB 400 protection, polarized lenses, and lightweight frames. The only advantage they have over the brands mentioned above is that they have an anti-fog coating which makes them perfect for running in low-temperature conditions.

Amazon users liked that these polarized sunglasses come with a neck strap, a holding clip for your sun visor, and a case. Some users also loved that the sunglasses have a comfortable fit. However, some users have complained about the fragility of the lenses. 

4. Siren Polarized Sunglasses

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If you are in the market for budget-friendly sunglasses, Siren polarized, shatterproof Counter sports sunglasses might be a great choice. Going for only $ to $, these sunglasses have several impressive features. They are polarized sunglasses offering 100 percent UV protection. Also, they have TR90 nylon frames, which are lightweight and sit comfortably on your face. What’s more, the lenses are shatterproof and distortion-free. The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty for the sunglasses and 30-day money-back guarantee.

Customers love the price of this product, the fact that they are lightweight and comfortable, and that their polarized lenses work well. There haven’t been any complaints about these sunglasses.

5. JOJEN Polarized Unisex Sunglasses

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JOJEN Polarized Unisex Sunglasses are also among the best running sunglasses because they offer fantastic protection and comfort for your eyes while running. These sunglasses feature HD polarized lenses with 100 percent UV protection. These lenses have nine layers of coating. The first is an anti-scratch and strengthening film. The second and eighth are bonding layers meant to increase durability. The third, fourth, sixth and seventh layers offer UV protection. The fifth is a UV filter membrane. Lastly, the layer is a compressive strengthening protection layer. The sunglasses also feature the TR90 lightweight and durable frame. 

You get a lifetime warranty and 100 percent money-back-guarantee when you purchase these sunglasses. Users love that these sunglasses are lightweight, clear, and that they stay in place. However, some users have complained that the fit is too tight.

6. Tifosi Single Lens

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Tifosi Single Lens is among the mid-range priced sunglasses, going for $ to $. They have some incredible features you will not get in many sunglasses. For one, they feature hydrophilic rubber nose pads. These provide not only a custom fit but also prevent the sunglasses from slipping as you run. In addition to this, the sunglasses have adjustable earpieces that give you a custom fit and increase overall comfort. These sunglasses also have the TR90 frame which makes them extra light and durable.

Customers love that the sunglasses have an incredible fit, are light, and come with a storage case, cleaning cloth, and instructions. They didn’t like that these sunglasses are not polarized which is a huge miss, considering you can get polarized sunglasses for half their price. 

7. Duduma UV400 Polarized Sunglasses

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Duduma UV400 Polarized Sunglasses are also one of the best pairs of running sunglasses you can get. These offer you polarized lenses with UV400 protection. In addition, they have a high-quality TR90 frame which is not only lightweight but also unbreakable. The anti-scratch coating on the lens is also a great feature because it ensures your sunglasses stay in good condition longer. When you purchase the Duduma UV400 Polarized sunglasses, you get a lifetime warranty for breakage and 30-day money back guarantee.

Users love that these sunglasses come in different colors and that they are lightweight, polarized, and have an anti-scratch lens coating. The only complaint users have made is that the sunglasses lack great fit for smaller heads. 

8. Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Sunglasses

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The Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Sunglasses are the most expensive sunglasses on this list going for $ to $. Flak 2.0 XL sunglasses not only offer you excellent UV protection but also bring style along for the ride. These sunglasses provide a standard-sized frame that features enhanced lens coverage with every millimeter of the lens optimized with High Definition Optics. What’s more, the sunglasses are very lightweight. They also feature the Oakley patented XYZ Optics that offer incredible clarity and grip.

Amazon users love that these sunglasses fit perfectly and they are very comfortable. 

Some users also liked that they couldn’t feel the sunglasses while wearing them due to their lightweight frames. The only complaint customers had was getting fake Oakley sunglasses. You should, therefore, be careful when purchasing these sunglasses, lest you get a knockoff.

Which Running Sunglasses Offer You the Most Value for Your Money?

a cyclist in the middle of a race wearing running sunglasses

You will not go wrong with any of the running sunglasses on this list. However, if you are on a tight budget but still want to enjoy the benefits of high-quality shades, the Sirens give you a great option for the money. These sunglasses give you most of the features in high-end sunglasses at a throw-away price. On the other hand, if you are in the mood to splurge on some high-end eyewear, the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is an excellent pair of sunglasses. They have incredible features and incredible style.


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