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The Best Performance Running Sunglasses for Every Face Shape

Fast meets fashion in these stylish sunnies ready to tackle every mile.

best sunglasses for running
Gear Patrol

People who run with sunglasses tend to fall into 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 looks can fall into your road dust. (We get it; you’re serious about your sport.) There's no right or wrong, but now, thanks to the work of sports brands big and small, there is a happy middle ground.

Good running sunglasses are lightweight, scratch-resistant, have nose grips and provide UVA and UVB protection. Plus, most importantly, they don’t fall off your noggin when you run or sweat. Regardless of your face shape, there’s guaranteed to be a pair that works for you.

Should you look for polarized running sunglasses?

Polarized sunglasses can be a great upgrade to consider when looking for a performance boost in your specs. Polarization works by helping block reflected light of flat surfaces, which can keep your eyes protected and offer enhanced visual clarity. But should you be looking solely at polarized lenses for your running sunglasses? Well, that depends on your typical running environment.

Because of the lower light conditions – and need to make split-second directional changes – trail runners might want to steer clear of polarized lenses. Polarization can sometimes lead to altered depth perception, which can cause eye strain or lead to missteps along your path. Instead, look to wear your polarized shades in sun-filled running environments or where you’ll most likely encounter glare, like off car windows or bodies of water.

Which tint tops the list?

Another common question you may be asking is, “Which lens color do I need?” Again, this comes down to which running environment you frequent most. If you’re running mostly in low-light or overcast conditions, yellow or orange lenses can provide enough contrast to help you see your way. For sunnier jogs, rose, red, amber and brown lenses are a good choice to consider.

Above all else, make sure your running sunglasses provide plenty of UV protection. Shades rated UV400 should be a good benchmark when searching for your first pair.

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BEST OVERALL RUNNING SUNGLASSES
Sunski Foxtrot
Huckberry

There's a lot to like about Sunski's Foxtrot sunglasses. There's the aviator-style shape, the polarized lenses, the 100-percent UV protection, the rubberized nosepiece and the fact that they're featherlight at 0.58 ounces. For $68, all that's hard to argue with, which is why they're our top pick for running.

BEST UPGRADE RUNNING SUNGLASSES
Ciele x Article One GTGlass
Ciele Athletics

To compliment its beloved running hats, Ciele tapped the eyewear team at Article One. The result is a pair of sunglasses with a lightweight, durable TR90 polymer frame and a grippy, adjustable nosepiece. The sidearms are double-jointed, so you don't have to be too dainty with them, and each pair comes with a rugged protective case to keep your specs safe in-between workouts.

BEST BUDGET RUNNING SUNGLASSES
Goodr OGs
REI

Good-looking, polarized sunglasses shouldn't be this affordable. But we're not going to argue with it, and we're happy to recommend Goodr's Wayfarer-reminiscent frames for your next run — they have silicone inserts for grip and are comfortably lightweight.

Roka Phantom Titanium
Roka

Aviators are classic for good reason (who doesn’t want to look like they’re an extra in Top Gun?). This titanium pair, available in two sizes and six lens options, features Roka's GEKO nose and temple pads for a more secure fit on your face. You barely notice you’re wearing them, thanks to the lightweight construction. And they’re anti-everything: anti-scratch, anti-fog, anti-reflective and – most importantly – anti-uncool.

Ryders Seventh Photochromic
Ryders Eyewear

The photochromic lens on the Seventh stands next to some of the highest-end lenses on the market. Featuring a flat top for a more casual appearance, these shades are capable in any environment. And you can even customize your fit to your face thanks to the adjustable hydrophilic nose pads and temple tips.

Izipizi Round Sunglasses #D
MoMa

A rubbery compound creates frames that are bendy, flexible and lightweight, which is ideal for sports, even though these may be more fashion-oriented. Each arm bends out to fit all sorts of face shapes and sizes. Best of all, these sunglasses will work for any situation, from running to commuting and everything in-between.

Sunski Treeline
Sunski

Sunski set out to make affordable yet high-performing sunglasses that can take you from the beach to the slopes without sacrificing protection or style. These slightly rounded aviator-style sunnies are inspired by old-school glacier glasses and have removable side panels to complete that look — they cut glare on especially sunny days, and you can remove them when they're unnecessary. The polarized lenses are quite dark, so this pair is great for sunny runs. And, with the addition of a new Navy Silver colorway, these shades offer a variety of color to boost any running ensemble.

Knockaround Fast Lanes Sport
Knockaround

Looking to add a splash of creativity to your run? These Fast Lane Sport sunnies from Knockaround are right up your alley. Boasting embedded rubber nose pads for supreme grip, polarized lenses and UV400 protection, these shades are, in Knockaround’s terms, “really good looking and made to take a beating.”

District Vision Koharu Eclipse
District Vision

Another great example of District Vision's unique take on how performance and fashion can coalesce without sacrifice, the Koharu Eclipses are constructed from a shatterproof polycarbonate. These sunnies also feature D+ Amber Mirror lenses for maximum sun protection, and are cool enough that you can slide into any bar without going home for a different pair.

Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
Oakley

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 ebbs and flows of the road. The Flak 2.0 is a classic shape, and when paired with the Prizm lens, they are hard to beat.

Nike Windshield Elite
Nike

Nike's product development chops don't just cover running shoes — the brand's sunglasses are equally fast. This model has a one-piece lens and a full wrap to prevent side glare, but still manages to pull off more of a retro look than a hardcore performance one.

Smith Shift MAG
Smith Optics

The brand that delivers top-notch performance on snow has a pretty good idea of what works on the road as well. The Shift MAGs come equipped with color-enhancing ChromaPop lenses, as well as an additional clear lens. The larger frame provides plenty of protection against dust and seasonal debris, while Smith’s MAG technology allows you to change lenses quickly, depending on your conditions.

Julbo Aerospeed
Backcountry

The Aerospeed is slightly larger than Julbo's older Aerolite, and that's thanks to feedback the brand gathered from ultrarunners and mountain bikers. The field of vision is immense, and its photochromatic lens adapts to changing light conditions, which is ideal for trail runners going in and out of shade.

Tracksmith The Charles Sunglasses
Tracksmith

These featherlight sunnies are built to help you go fast. The result of a collaboration between Tracksmith and Article One, The Charles was made by runners and designers. These sunglasses follow a classic silhouette you can go anywhere with, but include a rubberized nose bridge that sticks out just enough to keep them in place over the course of long sweaty runs.

The Best Hats for Running
Courtesy

Enhance your miles with style and shade.

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