Running is possibly more popular now than it’s ever been, particularly with the rise of events like Park Run and an ever-increasing number of marathons and half-marathons seeing record attendances all over the country.
While running is undoubtedly good for both body and mind, it’s not always good for your eyes if you don’t have the right pair of sunglasses. Running inevitably exposes you to the elements, many of which can have a negative impact on your eyes if they’re not properly protected. Whether its UV rays from the sun, dust from building sites, debris kicked up by the wind or good old British rain hampering your vision, protective eyewear is an absolute must-have for anyone who runs on a regular basis.
Before we dive into our recommendations for the best 3 pairs of sunglasses, it’s worth covering the basics of what you should be looking for when it comes to suitable eyewear. Lenses in your sunglasses should always offer 100% protection from UVA, UVB and UVC rays, but ideally they will also be polarized to minimize glare (often this is only available on higher end frames). Many pairs will give you the option of interchangeable lenses, but if you’re happy to pay a premium you can opt for photochromatic lenses, that will react to the light conditions and change accordingly to offer you the best level of protection.
You also want to think about the grip of the frames – as you’ll be running there’s a good chance of them falling off, so look for grips on the arms and adjustable nose pads to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Similarly, you can expect to sweat during your run, and if you’re in the UK there’s always a strong chance you’ll encounter rain, so look for lenses with a hydrophobic coating that will repel water and keep your vision clear.
With that out of the way, let’s look at three of the best pairs you can buy when it comes to keeping your eyes protected while running:
- Oakley Radarlock Path
These high-tech Oakley sunglasses aren’t the cheapest option at around £250, but they’re almost certainly the most advanced pair of sunglasses you’ll find for running. The lenses are incredibly clear, and they’re polarized to ensure 100% protection from glare. The lenses also curve round your face, offering total protection from wind, rain and dust and providing 100% UV protection from all angles.
They also feature photochromatic lenses and excellent adjustable grips, meaning they will stay in place and protect you regardless of the weather conditions or how much you sweat. Essentially, these are the ultimate in running sunglasses, which is probably why you will regularly see them worn by athletes all over the world.
- Adidas Evil Eye Evo
A cheaper option that the Oakley pair at around £170, these frames from Adidas also boast some great technology to keep your eyes protected. They feature curved, mirrored lenses with an extremely clear view and they’re remarkably strong, ensuring full protection from dirt and debris.
Like the Oakley pair they also boast adjustable nose pads and temples, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. They don’t have quite the same quality feel as the Oakley frames, but they’re a bit reduction in price and still an excellent choice if you want a high-quality pair of running sunglasses.
- Sunwise Waterloo GS
The cheapest option in our trio, the Sunwise Waterloo GS frames will set you back around £70, and they’re the best when it comes to protection from the sun, offering polarized photochromatic lenses with a crystal-clear view. The lenses don’t wraparound as far as they do on the Oakley frames, but they’re still big and offer fantastic anti-glare and UV protection. As they’re photochromatic they react to changing light conditions, and will get darker as the sun gets brighter, meaning you’re always completely protected from glare, reflection and UV.
They’re also very strong given the price, but remain very lightweight and easy to wear. They’re also adjustable, allowing you to tweak the position of the rubber grips on the nose pads and the arms, so they’re always well fitted and comfortable.