The joy of running is that you can pick it up whenever you want, and almost wherever you want, without needing extra gear that other sports might require. But should you wear sunglasses when running? We think so! You can still enjoy the minimalism of running while wearing sunglasses with the right grip, fit, and coverage. Explore our running sunglasses buyer’s guide to discover exactly what to look for in a frame you can wear for miles and miles.
Running Sunglasses Buyer’s Guide
1. What to Look for in Running Sunglasses
2. Frame Technology
A. Frame Material
3. Lens Technology
A. Lens Material
4. Are Polarized Lenses Good for Running?
5. Top Running Sunglasses
A. Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
B. Nike Adrenaline 2
C. Rudy Project Rydon
6. Get Prescription Running Sunglasses Online at SportRx
Join Eyeglass Tyler as he covers the features that make a pair of sunglasses a runner’s (or sprinter’s) best friend.
So how do you choose the right running sunglasses? The keys to what makes good sunglasses for running are in the frame and lens technology. Read on to learn how to choose the best sunglasses for your next run!
Vital to any sport, but especially for running and sprinting, is a frame that helps you focus rather than distracts you. Let’s talk about some key running frame features.
Runners will want a lightweight, durable frame material that is not only easy to wear for a long time, but hard to break. Choose materials like nylon, TR-90, Grilamid, or Oakley’s proprietary O Matter™ to achieve that feather-light feel you need when it’s time to push through that final lap.
Avoid potentially heavy, fragile materials like acetate and metal that are better suited for lifestyle frames.
Rubber grip on the nose pads is a must-have in a runner’s sunglasses, but it’s nice to have it on the temple tips, too. Grip combined with a lightweight frame secures your sunglasses in place, and prevents them from bouncing up and down as you run. And since running is conducive to sweating, most rubber grip gets tackier with moisture, so there’s no holds barred when you’re setting that new PR.
When you try on your running sunglasses, make sure the temples don’t put too much pressure behind your ears, because they’ll end up giving you a headache in the long run (pun intended). As for sizing, SportRx has taken the guesswork out of it with your SportRx Frame Width (SFW). Check it out to discover your ideal sunglass size.
Head here for even more details on how your running sunglasses should fit.
Next, we’ll dive into some key lens features that will enhance your running experience.
Similar to choosing frame material, choose a lens material that is lightweight and impact-resistant, like polycarbonate or Trivex. While the goal is to keep your sunglasses secure on your face, running has its hazards just like any other sport, so it’s important to be prepared for unexpected obstacles from the environment.
Glass lenses definitely don’t belong in a running sunglass, as they’re heavier, prone to shatter, and often more expensive than their more durable counterparts.
For an enhanced visual experience, definitely go for a rose, copper or brown lens. These colors boost contrast, improving depth-perception cues that make it easier to read subtle details in the terrain. An amber tint is a great option for contrast enhancement that also lets in plenty of light, and some brands have super sport-specific lens tints, like Oakley’s PRIZM™ Road or PRIZM™ Trail.
Polarized lenses are best known for reducing glare, so it depends on the type of running you’re doing. For instance, we don’t recommend polarized lenses for trail running. Recent studies suggest polarized lenses affect depth perception, and trail running is all about making split-second decisions to navigate often unpredictable terrain. But wearing a polarized lens while running on the road or in a super bright and sunny environment is perfectly fine! If you run in areas that introduce glare, like from reflective bodies of water or car windows, then this might be the right option for you. At the end of the day, whether you wear a polarized or non-polarized lens comes down to personal preference.
For even more information, check out Should You Get Polarized Lenses for Running?
Hit the ground running with a few of our top picks for running sunglasses! Be sure to check out our other blogs on our favorite women’s running sunglasses, men’s running sunglasses, and Rx-able running sunglasses. If you have questions about Transitions or prescription options, or simply want a professional opinion, reach out to a friendly Sports Optician.
Oakley Flak 2.0 XL has it all. From a lightweight frame and lens design, to grip, and a variety of tint options like PRIZM™ Road and PRIZM™ Trail, this is the ultimate sport sunglass that runners and sprinters alike will appreciate.
Key Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Features:
- Lightweight & durable O Matter™ frame
- Unobtainium™ earsocks and nosepads for non-slip grip
- Taller lens design (XL) for full coverage from sun and wind
- PRIZM™ lens technology
Nike’s Adrenaline 2 sunglasses feature a full-coverage, 8-base frame and a versatile design you can take from the trail to the track without breaking a sweat. Its lightweight frame offers all-day comfort without sacrificing its durability.
Key Nike Adrenaline 2 Features:
- Lightweight & durable nylon frame
- Full coverage for long runs in the sun
- Durable, high-tension hinges that can hang on for miles
For a fit so comfortable you forget they’re even there, we give you the Rudy Project’s Rydon sunglasses. Its frame is ultra-flexible, and features an easy swap-out lens system to quickly change lens tints to accommodate your environment.
Key Rudy Project Rydon Features:
- Flexible & durable frame
- Adjustable rubber nose piece & temples
- Vented lens design for added airflow
- Quick change lens system for ideal vision in any environment
Need your running sunglasses in prescription? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your perfect running sunglasses.
Ditch risky online shopping with our See Better Guarantee™. Try your running sunglasses for 45 days and if you’re not completely satisfied, send them back. Get a full refund, exchange, or credit towards a better pair. And return shipping? Covered. Get your pair of prescription running sunglasses at SportRx today!