The 7 Best Running Sunglasses of 2023, According to a Pro Runner

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three pairs of the best running sunglasses of 2023 on a blue background
Goodr The OGs running sunglasses on a blue background
Smith Optics Ruckus running sunglasses on a blue background
Roka Matador Air running sunglasses on a blue background
Oakley Sutro Lite running sunglasses on a blue background
Article One x Ciele Active Creative running sunglasses on a blue background
District Vision Keiichi running sunglasses on a blue background
Nike Windshield Pro Course Tint running sunglasses on a blue background
The right pair of running sunglasses will take your run to another level (and protect your eyes, too).
Image Credit: LIVESTRONG.com Creative

Sure, the best running shoes and stellar workout shorts can help you level up your runs. But running sunglasses could be the game-changer you need to really crush your next set of miles.

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After all, squinting at bright lights can scrunch up your whole face, meaning tighter muscles in your neck and shoulders — and less energy and focus to devote on your runs.

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But what makes a good pair of running sunglasses? And can you get a style on a budget that still looks good? Here's what you need to know to find your perfect pair.

The Best Running Sunglasses

How We Chose

We talked to Allie Buchalski, a pro runner with the Brooks Beasts, about what exactly to look for in your running glasses. Then, we evaluated the seven best running sunglasses below on the following criteria:

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  • Polarization
  • UV protection
  • Material
  • Colors
  • Cost

1. Best Budget: Goodr The OGs


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  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌plastic
  • Colors: ‌25+

For the price, it's essentially impossible to beat Goodr's sunglasses quality. They're no-bounce, polarized, scratch-resistant and only $25.

Equally important, they look as good as they feel on, Buchaliski says. These Goodr sunglasses come in zillions of colors, shapes and styles, so you can express yourself with some neon or be easier to spot on the race course.

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Buy it:Goodr.com, REI.com; ‌Price:‌ $25

2. Best Basic: Smith Optics Ruckus

  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌plastic
  • Colors: ‌7

These are, without a doubt, the best running sunglasses if you're looking for a streamlined, classic look.

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Made with all-day comfort in mind, this Smith pick comes with two interchangeable lenses — one great for daytime miles and the other perfect for lower-light strides. The frame itself is flexible, meaning it sits comfortably on the face and moves with you.

"Some sunglasses can create pressure points around your nose or dig into the sides of your head," Buchalski says. "So you want a pair that sits comfortably without irritation." Plus, this pair has AutoLock hinges, making them easy to remove with one hand in a (literal) pinch.

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Buy it:Amazon.com; ‌Price:‌ $60.94 to $229

3. Best for Triathletes: Roka Matador Air


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  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌TR-90 nylon
  • Colors: ‌2

Ideal for sunny or overcast conditions, this pair of glasses increases the contrast on the trails and roads — meaning the lens brightens green and yellow colors. And at just 25 grams, they're super lightweight.

"You don't want to think about your sunglasses on the run," Buchalski says. "So a lightweight pair makes them like a second skin." Plus, this style will fit perfectly alongside a bike helmet, making them a great choice for a triathlete.

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Buy it:Roka.com; ‌Price:‌ $240

4. Best Oversized: Oakley Sutro Lite


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  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌nylon
  • Colors: ‌12

The Oakley Sutro is statement pick that's guaranteed to get you noticed.

"Rectangular styles are my favorites," Buchalski says. "I think they normally look good on most face shapes and are versatile enough for everyday wear, too." Bonus: Frames on the larger size offer more coverage from the sun in every angle. But expect the bottom of the lenses to sit close to your cheeks.

Buy it:Oakley.com; ‌Price: ‌$184, ‌Buy it:Amazon.com; ‌Price:‌ $89.99 to $204

5. Best for Style: Article One x Ciele Active

  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌plastic
  • Colors: ‌3

Expect to get a ton of compliments when you wear these polarized running sunglasses. The frames are super durable, and the back side has an extra anti-reflective coating to counteract any unwanted reflections.

Plus, they come with a retainer strap, making them easy to remove post-workout without fear of losing them as you take a sip of that post-sweat coffee.

Buy it:ArticleOneEyewear.com; ‌Price:‌ $275

6. Best for Competition: District Vision Keiichi

  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌nylon and titanium
  • Colors:‌ 7

Tested in New York City, this frame is a popular pick and splattered across marathon starting lines around the globe.

The anti-fog glasses are made with what the brand refers to as "Calm-Tech" — a porous lens that absorbs moisture, including fog and rain droplets, to make things look more clear. This ultimately reduces eye strain, allowing runners to really focus on the effort at hand.

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Bonus: These polarized running sunglasses comes in seven different lens and frame combinations.

Buy it:DistrictVision.com; ‌Price: ‌$220

7. Best Nike: Nike Windshield Pro Course Tint

  • Polarized: ‌yes
  • UV Protection: ‌yes
  • Material: ‌plastic
  • Colors: ‌3

Nike's running sunglasses are so popular they get their own category. This pair is built with strategic ventilation in mind, complete with contoured lenses that provide that Goldilocks fit runners crave when they're cutting corners and moving quickly. And, you won't have to deal with any blind spots in these.

Buy it:NikeVision.com; ‌Price: ‌$175, Amazon.com; ‌Price: ‌$82 to $122

5 Things to Consider When Buying Running Sunglasses

Whether you're picking up the pace or simply heading out for a long walk, protecting your eyes from the sun's rays is imperative — regardless of the season.

Aside from safeguarding you from damaging UV rays, the best sunglasses for running can also help protect your eyes from dirt, dust and wind. And on stormy days, rain, too. There are a few features that make a great pair of sunglasses ideal.

1. Stay-Put-Ness

"You need them not to budge on your face," Buchalski says. "This can be difficult with all of the jostling that happens when you run."

Fortunately, a lot of brands have a "megol" at the nose bridge — a soft rubber that provides a comfortable, no-slip fit. You can find that same grip on the glasses' temple pads for additional support during your fastest miles.

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2. Durability

"These glasses sustain a little more wear and tear than regular ones do," Buchalski says. "So perks like anti-scratch lenses and a strong frame will go a long way. Keep the case on you for when you take them off and throw them in your bag, though!"

A strong frame can come in many different materials. Whereas your classic, non-sport sunglasses may be made with metals, most sweat-friendly pairs are made with weight in mind — engineered with plastic and infused with nylon.

3. Tint

Also important: the lens. Running sunglasses come in different tints, which means whatever you're looking at may appear to be a different hue when you wear them.

  • Gray/Black:‌ Darker tints may help cut down on the intensity of the sun. Gray and black shades provide true color perception and are good for all-purpose wear between runs.
  • Yellow/Tan:‌ These glasses help to filter out blue light that can cause eyestrain, making them perfect when moving at a fast clip and trying to focus. Note: These may distort colors from what you'd see when you're glasses-free.
  • Blue:‌ Blue lenses boost the colors in the scenery around you and reduce glare. They're ideal for misty or foggy conditions.
  • Red/Pink:‌ A favorite for snow runners, pink and red lenses are great for increasing your overall depth of field. This makes it easier for eyes to adjust to contrast between light and dark.

4. Polarization (Sometimes)

Polarized running sunglasses are made with a special chemical treatment that enables them to filter light differently. As a result, they cut down on glare (like from roads and passing cars) and make whatever you're looking at look a bit clearer.

Granted, polarized styles often come with an additional cost and may not be necessary if you're sticking to trails. Or, for example, if you're running on slick roads, you may want a non-polarized pair so you can spot the glare from ice that could otherwise go unseen.

5. UV Protection

For a pair of sunglasses to say it provides UV protection, it has to block out between 75 and 90 percent of visible light. It also must offer both UVB and UVA protection to block 99 percent of UV radiation.

Just because a pair may have dark lenses doesn't mean it checks those boxes. Make sure to read product descriptions carefully and/or give a label a cross-check when you're at a store.

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