Most runners take every measure to find the best footwear and clothing possible to make their runs consistently comfortable and relaxed. They do so because they know this usually equates to faster and more enjoyable runs. What they don’t realize is the difference a good pair of sunglasses can make to not only keep eyes healthy and safe but to also improve running quality. Specifically, sunglasses help runners by:

  • Protecting eyes from the elements. Quality sunglasses provide at least 99% protection against the sun’s harmful rays as well as shield eyes from wind, dirt and insects.
  • Improving visibility. With the plethora of lens tints and coatings now available, every runner can be assured of clear vision regardless of conditions.
  • Easing tension. Wearing sunglasses relaxes facial muscles, which in turn relaxes the rest of the body and promotes more relaxed breathing. A relaxed run means a faster and more enjoyable run. (Visit Oakley’s official homepage for extended information and studies supporting this.)

With the benefits of sunglasses for runners hopefully obvious, the next step involves choosing the right sunglasses.

How to Choose the Best Running Sunglasses

  1. Look for a secure fit. Sunglasses should not bounce or move during a run.
  2. Consider visibility. If possible, purchase sunglasses with interchangeable lenses, like the high-end running eyewear made by Oakley, to allow for optimum visibility in a variety of lighting conditions. Another option involves sunglasses with photochromic lenses that adjust as conditions change without the need to switch lenses. Since these option are usually more expensive, many runners choose a single pair of sunglasses with a tint that fits the condition they run in the most.
  3. Be ready for the elements. Many sunglasses come with anti-fog and anti-glare coatings. These prove especially invaluable when runners find themselves in unexpected rain or in cold or hot conditions.
  4. Get adjustable if possible. Having adjustable nose and ear pieces not only helps reduce lens fogging, but it also helps ensure a secure fit regardless of the wearer.
  5. Understand lens tints. The right lens tint not only improves visibility as already mentioned, but it also reduces squinting to ease tension. Use “Your Guide to Sport Sunglasses Lens Tints“ to help decide the best tin option(s).

When choosing sunglasses, cost becomes a deciding factor for many runners. Since price generally increases as features are added, decide which options exist as non-negotiables, which are optional and go from there.

Many less expensive sunglasses meet basic needs, and they are an especially viable option for runners who tend to break or lose sunglasses often. Fortunately, there are plenty of different sunglasses available to meet any runner’s budget and still meet basic needs of comfort, protection and reduced tension.