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Sunglasses are an essential accessory whenever you run outdoors as it protects your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. Contrary to common assumptions, sunglasses are not only needed on bright summer days but even when it’s cloudy as 80% of the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds.
One important thing to look for when choosing the right sunglasses is that it doesn’t bounce whenever you’re running fast. Sunglasses that bounce distract you and could interfere with your performance. I have tried several sunglasses over the years and have found a few favorites.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my 5 best running sunglasses. But before that, let’s go over what to look for in running sunglasses.
What to Look for in a Running Sunglass
Since the whole idea of wearing sunglasses when running outdoors is to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, you want a sunglass that offers full protection against UV rays. Look for sunglasses that shows “100% protection from UVA and UVB” or “UV400”.
Polarized or Non-Polarized?
Polarized sunglasses have a special coating to reduce the light glare, therefore, reducing strain on your eyes. That said, it is best used when running in extremely sunny weather or in areas where there is reflected light. However, polarized sunglasses do alter what you see making them unsuited for activities where details of depth and contrast matter (like trail running on a technical trail). They also tend to be more expensive.
Non-polarized sunglasses, on the other hand, does not offer the same amount of protection on horizontal light waves but they do not distort your view making them a better choice when small details matter like trail running on a technical trail.
Fit and Stability
There are many sunglasses that offer protection from UV rays and add class to your outfit, but not all of them fit well for strenuous activities such as running.
When looking for running sunglasses, look for wraparound designs with good nose pads like the Rudy Project Propulse. Those give your sunglasses the stability it needs without the added pressure of the frames making it the perfect choice for long runs.
Stylish running sunglasses, like the Goodr OG, does not have the wrap-around design but do have a tighter fit at the sides giving it the same stability but may sacrifice comfort on long runs.
When buying running sunglasses, you certainly don’t want to spend money on knockoffs that are going to get scratched or shattered in minor accidents. Ideally, you want a scratch-resistant, shatterproof lens to ensure safety and longevity.
You also want to make sure that the frames are not made of cheap plastic or metal that breaks or bent easily. Since you will be using these sunglasses for sports, getting durable sunglasses is one way to make sure you won’t have to replace your sunglasses often.
Without further ado, let’s check out the 5 best running sunglasses that don’t bounce.
Whenever we think about sports sunglasses, we immediately imagine rectangular, slightly curved sunglasses that looks unmistakably used for sports. Sure, they look cool whenever you’re running, but I find they look outdated and can’t be used on other occasions.
The thing I like most about the Goodr sunglasses is that it’s stylish and can be worn casually. It looks just like a regular pair of casual sunglasses. I wear it to the beach, whenever I’m going out, and of course, when I’m running.
Goodr sunglasses gives out the young, rebellious, and fun vibe. You can see it in their marketing and the unique names of their sunglass models (mine is “going to Valhalla witness“). They have many different styles that could appeal to everyone. From neutral color frames for those who like to keep a low profile to flashy multi-colored frames for those who want to stand out.
Performance-wise, these sunglasses are light, polarized, and fit perfectly. They don’t bounce, slip, or fall off even when you run fast or downhill. Not to mention, they’re also very affordable (around $25 a piece). For a fraction of the price of other running sunglasses, you get good-looking, durable, and versatile sunglasses that you can wear in and out of sports.
I highly recommend Goodr sunglasses for those looking for the best bang for the buck.
Rudy project is a brand associated with outdoor sports and has created some of the best sports eyewear in the market.
Rudy Project Propulse is designed with runners in mind. Although I am not a big fan of sporty-looking sunglasses, I appreciate Propulse’s comfort and fit. It has a wraparound frame that contours to the shape of your face making it very stable without the feeling of pressure at the top of your ear. I find this very useful in long endurance events where you are running for multiple hours and any minor discomfort can turn into an annoying thing.
I also noticed that these sunglasses resist fog thanks to the vents on the lens and frame. Although fogging is not an issue during fair weather, it could become a problem when trail running on mountains or in cold weather.
The wide, wraparound lenses also give you a wide field of vision allowing you to see the corners more clearly. Lenses can also be switched according to your preference. Overall, Rudy’s Project Propulse is highly recommended for long-distance runners.
A sunglasses list will not be complete without an entry from Oakley. Although most performance Oakley sunglasses fit well and can be used for running, my favorite is the Oakley Radar. These sunglasses are fully customizable. Lenses are available in Oakley’s stores and website so you can change them to different colors and styles as you wish or depending on the brightness of the sun.
Bright lenses like red or orange are usually best for dark/cloudy conditions while blue and green are usually good for bright conditions.
Oakley is also known for the quality of its products. Its lenses are scratch and impact resistant so you don’t have to worry about dropping them or going through thick leaves and small branches when trail running. Not to mention they are very clear and fog-resistant allowing you to run with no hesitation.
Its frame is non-slip and wraps around your head making it more stable and preventing it from bouncing or falling off. Design-wise, however, these sunglasses look too sporty for casual wear.
Personally, these are my go-to trail running sunglasses due to their wide field of vision and high-definition optics which are needed when running through trails with plenty of obstacles. I should also mention that these are not polarized so if you’re using it on the road you might have some issues with glaring.
Bose Frames Tempo is unlike all the sunglasses on this list because aside from being high-performance sunglasses, it also has built-in open-ear audio speakers. Basically, you have a sunglass that doubles as your earphones.
Like all the other sunglasses on this list, it fits well and does not bounce when running. It comes with different sizes of nose pads to customize its fit based on the size of your nose. Its lenses are also interchangeable allowing you to choose different color lenses depending on your preference.
Bose is known for its crystal clear speakers and the Bose Frame Tempo is no exception. Its open-ear speakers are crisp and well-balanced yet it doesn’t block your hearing allowing you to stay aware of your surroundings.
If there’s one thing I do not like very much about the Bose Frames, though, is that it has a large frame in order to house the speaker which isn’t very nice aesthetically. But other than that, I enjoy wearing Bose Frames whenever I’m running. I can answer phone calls as well as increase and decrease volume directly through the frame.
This running pair of sunglasses are perfect for those who want music and eye protection.
Another affordable option is the Tifosi Swank sport sunglasses. Like the Goodr sunglasses, Swank sports sunglasses are stylish and modern. They come in many different colorways and designs to choose from.
Tifosi Swank boasts non-slip pads and an anti-bounce texture ensuring you can perform without distraction. It also has a shatterproof and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lens ensuring quality.
This pair of sunglasses offer 100% UVA and UVB protection without breaking the bank. Not to mention, you can wear it in style for every occasion. However, keep in mind that these are not polarized so I wouldn’t recommend it in very sunny conditions.
For their price, good performance, and great design, I highly recommend these sunglasses for casual runners.
When looking for running sunglasses, your primary goal is to find one that provides full protection and fits according to your preference and intended use. For casual runners who run just around an hour a day, there is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on premium sunglasses. The Goodr OG or Tifosi Swank will give you what you need for a fraction of the cost.
Long-distance runners and trail runners, however, may need to get premium sports sunglasses. Premium sports sunglasses are designed to give lasting comfort for long endurance events like ultramarathons, and stellar performance (like fog-resistance and high-definition optics) for technical trails.