5 Best Running Sunglasses for Trail, Road or Beach
Buying the best running sunglasses is crucial.
When most guys decide to break their winter hibernation by doing a little running to lose that gut we've been cultivating all winter, we usually do 2 things: 1) Find the best shoes and 2) Avoid onionskin shorts. We forget to think about wearing the best sunglasses for running.
Too protect your eyes from the glare, wind, dirt, bugs, and other hazards of the road while you run, here are five of the best running sunglasses for trail, road or beach. Some are polarized, some transition from light to dark depending on conditions. Others make the road ahead crystal clear. They do not, unfortunately, protect your eyes from seeing other guys jogging along in onionskin shorts. Sorry.
ClimaCool shirts and shorts keep the heat and sweat at bay on the trail, and the new adizero tempo sunglasses from adidas (the company that doesn't believe in capital letters) are using the same technology to keep your face from melting, with an integrated ClimaCool system between the frame and lenses. These $160 tempos feature Flex Zones in the frame and Traction Grip at your temples hold these lightweight, wraparound shades in place as you get your run on or whip your head around to check out the hottie running past in Spandex.
From the company that pioneered performance athletic eyewear, the Radarlock Path wraps your eyes in a layer of ventilated protection, with surge ports integrated into the lenses and frame to allow for air flow when running. Heading to the trail for a rock and dust run? How about the beach for a barefoot training run in the sand? The $220 Radarlock Path's have you covered. Oakley's Switchlock interchangeable lens technology lets you quickly swap lenses to turn them into the best running sunglasses for whatever conditions you're in—Polarized to cut glare on runs near water, Iridium for tuned light transmission, or photochromatic for changing conditions during that triathlon you've been threatening to compete in. And the Radarlocks come with earsocks and nosepads made with Unobtainium that actually increases grip as you sweat. Just don't tell the Na'vi how you got it.
Nothing will put you junk first into a fire hydrant faster than fogging lenses. The Road Machine running sunglasses from Nike have lenses with strategic laser cut holes that keep these shades from clouding up like a fall morning in San Francisco. The 6 Base frame is incredibly lightweight for comfort when tackling an extended training run for that half-marathon, but unlike other popular running sunglasses, they are full-frame with a modern urban style, so you can wear them all-day from running trails to running errands.
A little rough on your sunglasses? Sport the Saber from Ryders when you're competing in that mudder. They've got a frame made from TR90 thermoplastic, giving them extreme flexibility and durability to handle whatever punishment your run dishes out. And the scratch-resistant and shatterproof lenses on the $79.99 Saber are made from the same polycarbonate used in bulletproof glass, riot shields, and astronaut helmets. So while you may not take a meteorite to the face at 17,000 mph, it's good to know your eyes are protected against most other flying debris.
Designed for outdoor racing enthusiasts who take their runs to the extreme, the Dust from Julbo are rugged enough to survive an endurance event over the toughest terrain, with a frame that's made to fit easily under a hat or helmet without digging into your head and driving you insane. The oversized, suspended Zebra lenses provide protection from UV light and glare and are able to transition from light to dark in under 30 seconds. They're more ideal for rough and wooded trails than polarized running sunglasses because polarized lenses are meant to reduce glare from a shiny surface and some can cause slight depth distortion. Not too many shiny surfaces in the woods, but there are roots and rocks you're gonna want to navigate clearly.