The Best Running Sunglasses, According to a Running Coach

The Smith Optics Parallel Max 2 sunglasses are good for all light conditions

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The Best Running Sunglasses, According to a Running Coach

Verywell / Chloe Jeong

Sunglasses help runners protect their eyes from the sun's harmful rays no matter what season it is. Wearing running sunglasses can help with sun protection, and safeguard your eyes from wind, sand, dust, bugs, and other debris. Sunglasses can also keep you from squinting and can provide high contrast so you can see and avoid obstacles.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top overall pick for women is the Smith Optics Parallel Max 2 sunglasses for their excellent grip and light weight making them good for long training runs and races. The Oakley Men's Half Jacket 2.0 sunglasses are a good pick because they stay put and reduce glare.

Sunglasses that come with interchangeable lenses for different light conditions are a good choice if you run in all types of weather. Anti-fog and water-resistant coatings are good features to consider and all running sunglasses should have UVA and UVB protection. For this roundup, we reviewed running sunglasses based on their grip and secure fit, affordability, durability, lens options and coatings, and overall weight.

Here are the best running sunglasses on the market, according to a running coach.

Best Overall for Women: Smith Men's Parallel Max 2 Polarized Sunglasses

Smith Parallel Max 2 Polarized Sunglasses

Courtesy of BackCountry

  • Excellent grip

  • Interchangeable lenses

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Water- and oil-resistant

  • Lens options don’t include clear

  • Lens can pop out when cleaning

What do buyers say? 92% of 200+ Amazon reviewers rated these sunglasses 4 stars or above.

Our top pick is the Smith Optics Parallel Max sunglasses because they are lightweight and comfortable, whether you’re wearing them for a short morning run or a marathon. The impact-resistant, polarized lenses effectively cut glare, maximize definition, and enhance depth perception in low light.

They have a water- and oil-resistant coating to give you a clear view, even during long, sweaty runs. And with grippy nose and temple pads, they stay put and won’t slide down your face.

These shades come with two interchangeable lenses, so you’ll be prepared for bright sun as well as low-light conditions. They also come with a microfiber bag and a hard case to keep both the sunglasses and extra lenses secure and protected.

Coating: Polarized, UV protection, hydroleophobic coating | Materials: Polycarbonate lens, TR90 nylon frame | Shape: Rimless

Best Overall for Men: Oakley Men's Half Jacket 2.0 Rectangular Sunglasses

Oakley Half Jacket Sport Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Secure, comfortable fit

  • Athletic design

  • Durable

  • Excellent lens quality

  • Expensive

  • Not too versatile for everyday wear

A popular pick among runners, these sunglasses from Oakley provide all-day comfort and 100% UV protection needed for outdoor runs. The polarized lenses excel at reducing glare. The high-definition optics provide razor-sharp vision while amping up clarity.

No matter your pace or how much you sweat, these shades won’t slip or budge. Half Jackets also feature interchangeable lenses, so you can adjust them for various conditions to optimize your performance.

Oakley’s Three-Point Fit system holds the lenses in place for a secure, precise fit and alignment. In addition, the durable, stress-resistant frame and unobtainium temple tips and nose pads increase grip and ensure maximum comfort. 

Coating: Polarized, UV protection | Materials: O-Matter and unobtanium; Plutonite lenses | Shape: Semi-rimless

Best Unisex: Knockaround Premiums Polarized Sunglasses

Knockaround Premiums Polarized Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Affordable

  • Very durable

  • Comfortable fit

  • Stylish

  • Multiple lens and frame colors

  • Less wrap-around coverage

  • Not sweat-resistant

With impact-resistant lenses and a durable frame, these Knockaround sunglasses truly live up to their name and can withstand multiple drops and scrapes. The sporty-yet-stylish shades are popular among all runners, and the flexible-yet-sturdy build works well for different head sizes.

The impact-resistant lenses offer polarized and UV400 protection—a feature not often found in an affordable pair of shades. The nose and temple pads are made with a soft, grippy thermoplastic compound that helps keep the sunglasses in place during long, sweaty runs.

While the quality may not be on par with pricier sunglasses, the Knockarounds are an excellent value option, especially if you like your running shades to show off your style.

Coating: Polarized, UV protection | Materials: Plastic frame | Shape: Full-frame

Best Budget for Women: Goodr OG Sunglasses

Goodr OG Sunglasses

Courtesy of REI

  • Sturdy and bounce-free

  • Inexpensive

  • Durable

  • Stylish

  • Might not work for wide faces

  • Lenses are not extremely dark

If you frequently misplace your running shades, it’s smart to have several pairs on hand to avoid going outside without adequate protection. Well-built, stylish, and very affordable, Goodr OG sunglasses are perfect for stocking up and stashing in your running bag so you’re always prepared.

Despite the low price tag, they’re polarized, scratch-resistant, and have a snug, lightweight frame that’s designed with a comfortable fit to prevent bouncing. Goodr sunglasses also have a special grip coating on the frame to eliminate slippage when sweating. Plus, they’re stylish and can easily transition from a morning run to an outdoor brunch.

Coating: Polarized, UV protection, scratch-resistant | Materials: Not disclosed | Shape: Full-frame

Best Budget for Men: Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Inexpensive

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Durable

  • Lifetime breakage warranty on frames

  • Switching out the lenses takes some practice

  • May not work for larger faces

These Torege sunglasses are affordable yet extremely durable and versatile. They come with three interchangeable polarized lenses for different light conditions, so it’s like getting three pairs of shades in one.

Made of Grilamid TR90 nylon, the frame is lightweight and comfortable for running, but also works well for cycling, water sports, or regular casual wear.

The scratch-resistant lenses are designed to block 100% of harmful UVA and UVB rays and the soft, rubber nose pads provide a secure fit to prevent them from sliding down. On top of being a comfortable pair of shades, Torege sunglasses also come with a lifetime breakage warranty on the frames.

Coating: Polarized, scratch-resistant | Materials: Grilamid TR90 nylon | Shape: Wrap, rimless

Best for Running and Cycling: Rudy Project Propulse Sports Sunglasses

Rudy Project Propulse Sports Sunglasses


  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Don’t fog up

  • Good for triathletes

  • Stellar lens quality

  • Expensive

  • No hard case included

If you like sunglasses to serve double-duty for both running and cycling, you’ll appreciate these shades from Rudy Project. Although they’re designed with runners in mind, they’re lightweight and comfortable, even with a visor or bike helmet on.

Wide, wrap-around lenses ensure you’ll get plenty of coverage, protection from wind, and a deep field of vision, which is beneficial whether you’re on foot or on your bike.

The soft, adjustable nose piece and grippy arms deliver a compression fit and keep the frames in place, without being too constricting. The vents on the front chassis, lenses, and temples prevent fogging and overheating during muggy runs or rides.  

Coating: Polarized, UV protection | Materials: Composite frames and lenses | Shape: Semi-rimless, wraparound

Best Lightweight: Tifosi Seek Wrap Sunglasses

Tifosi Seek Wrap Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Reasonably-priced

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Durable

  • Not polarized

  • Lenses are not replaceable

These affordable shades from Tifosi are so lightweight you may even forget you have them on. They feature shatterproof polycarbonate lenses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, help to minimize distortion, and allow for good peripheral vision.

The tough, durable frame resists chemical and UV damage, while the adjustable temple and nose pad keep them in place.

These shades also allow for good air circulation, so you don’t have to worry about overheating or fogging issues. Sleek and comfortable, they’re a good value and ideal for runners who prefer streamlined, light shades.

Coating: UV Protection | Materials: Grilamid TR-90 Nylon frame; Polycarbonate lens | Shape: Rimless

Best for Distance Running: Oakley Men's Flak Jacket Rectangular Sunglasses

Oakley Men's Flak Jacket Rectangular Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable for long runs

  • Exceptional lens quality

  • Durable

  • Might look too sporty for casual wear

  • Expensive

If you’re looking for a reliable and comfortable option for long runs and races, these popular Flak Jacket sunglasses from Oakley are a solid choice. They’re made with Oakley’s proprietary O-Matter frame material for a lightweight, durable design.

The shatter- and scratch-resistant lenses feature the superior clarity of Oakley's High Definition Optics, as well as curvatures that enhance peripheral views.

The comfortable earsocks and nose pads have a coating that actually increases grip with perspiration, allowing for a secure fit. While they’re ideal for running, these sporty and durable shades also work well for other activities, including cycling, golf, and water sports.

Coating: Polarized, UV protection | Materials: Not disclosed | Frames: O-Matter and unobtanium; Plutonite lenses | Shape: Semi-rimless

Best for Small Faces: Tifosi Wisp Sunglasses

Tifosi Wisp Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Sporty look

  • Lightweight

  • Comfortable and durable

  • Great lens quality

  • Not enough coverage for larger faces

  • May not work for casual wear

The Tifosi Optics Wisp sunglasses are designed specifically for those with narrow faces, so you can get an optimal fit if you have a smaller head. In addition to providing 100% UVA and UVB protection, the shatterproof polycarbonate lenses help to eliminate visual distortion and unwanted magnification, and the coating reduces glare and decreases eye fatigue.

With a sleek, streamlined design, these shades also protect your eyes from the elements and are comfortable enough to be worn for hours at a time. Plus, they fit nicely underneath a hat or visor. Made with Grilamid TR-90 nylon material, the frame is incredibly light and durable enough to resist chemical and UV damage.

The hydrophilic rubber ear pieces and adjustable rubber nose pieces also limit slippage and keep these sunnies secure. If you’re prone to accidentally sitting or stepping on your sunglasses, you’ll appreciate the included hard-shell case that keeps them protected.

Coating: Polarized, UV protection | Materials: Grilamid TR-90 Nylon material; polycarbonate lenses | Shape:  Semi-rimless

Best for Large Faces: Oakley Radar EV Path Sunglasses

Oakley Men’s Radar EV Path Rectangular Sunglasses

Courtesy of Amazon

  • Large, wraparound lens provides maximum coverage

  • Rubberized nose bridge keeps the large frame in place

  • Durable

  • Great lens quality

  • Expensive

  • May not work for casual wear

The Radar EV Path sunglasses are another top choice from Oakley. They have a large lens and frame, which makes them a good choice for the runner who has trouble finding glasses with adequate coverage and a comfortable fit.

The tall, wraparound lens offers excellent coverage from the sun, as well as protection from wind and debris. Oakley’s stress-resistant, thermoplastic O-Matter frame is strong, flexible, and designed to withstand shifting or deforming over time.

Despite the size and durability, these glasses are lightweight and still have a “barely there” feel. You can also find a pair to fit your style needs thanks to a wide range of frame colors and lens options.

Coating: Polarized, UV protection | Materials: O-Matter and unobtanium; Plutonite lenses | Shape: Semi-rimless, wraparound

Best for Trail Running: Julbo Aero REACTIV Performance Sunglasses

Julbo Aero Zebra Sunglasses

Courtesy of Back Country

  • Photochromic lens

  • Wide lens with plenty of coverage

  • Comfortable, secure fit

  • Good ventilation

  • Not versatile for casual wear

  • Expensive

If you like to stick to trails while running, you’ll want a pair of shades with lenses that provide excellent contrast, especially for technical trails. These versatile Julbo Aero sunglasses fit the bill, thanks to a photochromic lens that gets lighter or darker depending on the amount of sunlight.

Lightweight and comfortable, they’re perfect for a day on the trails, even if you’re starting early or the weather and light conditions are constantly changing.

With a 3D-fit nose piece and flexible rubber earpiece, you can get a custom, secure fit. The wide mono lens gives you plenty of coverage and protection from wind and debris, while the shock-absorber insert enhances the overall comfort. Plus, there’s ample venting to prevent fogging and to help keep you cool on the trails.

Coating: UV protection | Materials: Polycarbonate | Shape: Semi-rimless

Best Anti-Fog: Nike Tailwind Road Tint Sunglasses

Nike Tailwind Road Tint

Courtesy of Nike

  • Excellent ventilation

  • Adjustable fit

  • Sleek design

  • Comfortable

  • May not work for large faces

  • Not polarized

You won’t have to slow down to wipe your glasses when you’re wearing these Nike Tailwind Road Tint sunglasses. With a sleek, contoured design and engineered air circulation, these shades will keep you cool and focused. The ventilated temple arms prevent fogging and moisture accumulation, and the floating nose pad also helps to optimize airflow.

The lenses’ speed tint blocks bright sunlight on the roads, tracks, or trail, while Nike’s MAX Optics provide precise clarity from all angles. Made of acetate plastic, the frame can be easily adjusted for a perfect fit. If you sweat a lot on the run, these shades are a smart choice.

Coating: UV protection | Materials: Acetate plastic frame and lenses | Shape: Semi-rimless

Final Verdict

If you’re new to running or you don’t want to invest a lot of money in a pair of shades, we recommend Goodr OG sunglasses (view at Amazon) and Torege Polarized Sports Sunglasses (view at Amazon) for their affordability, comfortable features, and durability. They’re also stylish enough for casual wear and can be used for other sports, so you’ll definitely get a lot of bang for your buck.

For experienced runners and those who have high expectations for their running sunglasses, you can’t go wrong with the Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 Sunglasses for men (view at Amazon) and the Smith Parallel 2 Max Polarized Sunglasses for women (view at Amazon). These high-quality options from well-renowned sports sunglasses brands will give you the peak performance, comfort, and versatility you need in a pair of running shades.

What to Look for in Running Sunglasses 


Make sure that you choose running shades that have 100% protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Polarized lenses help reduce glare and haze, making them a good choice if you frequently run near water or in very bright conditions. Some higher-end running sunglasses may also have anti-fog and water-and oil-resistant coatings.


Different colored lenses can improve visibility under certain conditions, so when choosing your tint, you should consider where and what time of day you typically run. If your daily runs are usually in bright sun or on blacktop roads, you might want to opt for an extremely dark lens. Yellow lenses work better in low-light conditions, and rose-colored ones provide greater contrast, which is useful for those who do a lot of trail running.

If you want versatility in your running sunglasses, look for ones that come with or sell interchangeable lenses that can be switched out based on the conditions or activity.


When choosing running sunglasses, look for a pair that offers the best protection for your face shape and size. Wraparound style glasses usually offer the most protection and have the widest field of vision, but other styles will still offer defense against the sun, wind, and debris.


Your sunglasses should fit snugly without slipping, bouncing, or pinching above the temples. Look for sunglasses that have grippy nose pads and temple tips for a secure fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why should you wear sunglasses when running?

    In addition to sharpening runners’ vision and keeping them from squinting in the bright sun, sunglasses can protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays that are dangerous even when the sun is behind the clouds. They also shield runners’ eyes from debris, bugs, wind, rain, and other irritants.

Why Trust Verywell Fit 

Certified running coach and fitness writer Christine Luff has spent years researching, testing, and recommending fitness and athletic products and knows that the right gear can tremendously improve performance and comfort.