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How to Choose Running Sunglasses

Sunglasses are an important accessory when running outdoors. Your eyes need sun protection just as much as your skin and sunglasses can deliver the protection you need. In this guide, you'll learn how to choose the perfect pair of sunglasses for your next run.

Different Tints and Coatings

You need a tint that's suitable for your outdoor lighting. Whether it's a bright, sunny day or dark and cloudy, there's a tint perfect for each condition. The following is a list of tints and their purposes:

  • Polarized tint: This tint heavily reduces glare and improves clarity. Intense glares can happen when light reflects off water, cars, and asphalt. If you tend to run on roads or near lakes, polarized lenses will help reduce unsightly glares that are painful to look at.
  • Mirror coating: A mirror coating is ideal for exceptionally sunny days. The outside lens has a mirror coating that gives a reflective mirror appearance. Much like a real mirror, the lenses reflect light and reduce glare. Mirror coatings are great for snowy conditions when light reflecting off white snow creates intense glares.
  • Clear: Although 'clear' is not technically a tint or coating, clear glasses work as a barrier between your eyes and windy conditions. They help prevent your eyes from drying out or tearing up.
  • Yellow tints: This tint will help sharpen your running environment and filters out blue light. It's best to use this tint in low light conditions such as dusk or overcast days.
  • Dark tints (green/gray): Like golden/yellow tints, dark tints can sharpen the appearance of your surroundings. This tint is best for bright, sunny days. If you live in an area with good, moderate weather, you'll most likely get the most benefits out of a dark tint.


Sunglasses typically have metal or plastic frames. Metal frames are lightweight and durable. Most metal sunglasses are incredibly sleek as well. However, it's very possible to dent a pair of metal sunglasses. Although you can bend your glasses back in place, you risk distorting the fit depending on how bad the dent is. In contrast, plastic glasses can absorb impact and are ideal for rough use. For example, you can toss these in your gym bag or drop them without denting.

UV Protection

The whole point of sunglasses is to protect your sensitive eyes from the harsh sun. Sunglasses with adequate UV protection will prevent damage to your eyes. You want a pair of sunglasses that blocks out 98% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses should come labeled with this important information. If you can't find this information, it's best to move on to another pair. For especially sensitive yes, sunglasses with a wraparound design will protect your eyes from all angles in addition to UV protection.

Other Features

UV protection and the type of tint are the most important characteristics of running sunglasses. However, there are other features that can make a simple pair of sunglasses truly spectacular. Here's a list of some features:

  • Anti-fogging.
  • Scratch-resistant.
  • Adjustable nose pads.
  • Interchangeable lenses for different light conditions.
  • Lightweight frames.

Protect Your Eyes

Running sunglasses are a necessary investment for not only your well-being but for ease of running. Your exercise experience will be more comfortable when you're not constantly squinting from the harsh sun. In addition, you'll feel unstoppable once you experience the clarity of quality running sunglasses. The next time you go for a run, don't leave the house without them!

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