AMR Gears Up: Running Sunglasses

Running Sunglasses: the next edition of Another Mother Runner Gears Up. We have #motherrunners put key running gear to the test, then deliver the results to you so you can grab the gear that works best for your running and body. 

Even for those of you who live in cloudier climates, running sunglasses are critical--and not just for sunny summer jaunts. 

Besides protecting eyes from standard threats like sunburn, wind, flying debris and bugs, and poorly aimed squirts of hydration, a good pair of sunnies can help to protect against cataracts, glaucoma, and the fine lines that come from squinting against the sun.

In fact, our ranking of run essentials goes bra, shoes, sunglasses, then black capris, of course!

As you consider a pair of running sunglasses, take into account the quality of the lenses and the protection they offer, as well as comfort, functionality, and style.

The good news? Whether you want to spend a little or a lot, there are loads of stylish, functional glasses for you to choose from.

We had testers from coast to coast run in many of the latest styles; cast your eyes on their reviews--and then grab a pair that works best for you.

Goodr “What in Carnation”Running Sunglasses

Tester Rating: 5

Review: Thanks to the rubberized frames, these running sunglasses stay put with no bouncing or sliding, even when you’re sweaty and running in 110% humidity. While these have a fun flower flair to accompany the polarized lenses (amazing at this price), depending upon the style you choose, you can go full sporty (in solid frames) or be stylish and know that you are good to break into a run anytime. For the ultimate endorsement, the husband of our Houston tester said, “You look like one of those cool, strong runners that’s secure enough in your running ability that you don’t need to work your marathon training into every conversation.” Remember to try them on for size, as one of our testers felt these let in more light from the sides than her other glasses. 

Price: $25

Perfect For: Syncing up and styling with your run squad.

Grab them here:

Oakley Low KeyRunning Sunglasses

Tester Rating: 5

Review: Our tester said the polarized Prizm lenses were her favorite feature of the glasses for the crystal clear, vibrant, and undistorted vision they provided. These also fit like a dream with no pressure points and no fiddling on hour-long runs, two-hour bike rides, and window shopping strolls around San Francisco. Look at these as a worthwhile investment. “If you are the type of person to consider high-quality sunglasses because you hold on to them for several years, invest in a pair of Oakleys," said our tester, "They are the gold-standard for shades (in this case, the rose gold standard!)”

Price: $166

Perfect For: The stealth runner who doesn’t want to look like she’s going straight from work to a 10K. 

Grab them here:

Sunski MattinaRunning Sunglasses

Tester Rating: 5

Review: With bold, cat-eye frames and dark lenses, these stylish champagne-colored shades garnered plenty of compliments for our tester. On the functional front, they stayed put without slipping or bouncing and have a comfortable fit. Polarized lenses give eyes a relaxing break to make sure you’re ready for your best finish-line photo yet!

Price: $68

Perfect For: Those who want every run to feel like a glamorous vacation. 

Grab them here:

Tifosi Optics Swank SLRunning Sunglasses 

Tester Rating: 4.5

Review: This sleek, rimless style of glasses has a welcome hint of femininity integrated into their inherent sportiness. Outfitted with polarized, polycarbonate lenses that are shatter- and impact-proof, these sunnies have soft rubber on the ear and nose pieces, to keep them in place as you go. One tester, who’s been running in sunglasses for more than 30 years, was more than impressed with all the Swank SL offers at a sweet price. “Yes, these are another $25 option, but with higher-quality lenses than Goodr.” These were marked down half a point because they come in a soft case instead of a hard one and because our tester feared the piece at the bridge of her nose might cause discomfort on longer runs. 

Price: $25

Perfect For: Runners who are serious about protecting their eyes and getting the best deal going. 

Grab them here:

Julbo ElevateRunning Sunglasses

Tester Rating: 4.5

Review: Our tester, who called these the ‘athleisure of sunglasses’ loved the photochromic lenses (which automatically adjust according to light levels) most of all, with their crazy, light weight coming in a close second. These glasses will carry you from trail to town in style and stay-put comfort. Be sure to try them before you buy; one tester said she felt some pressure behind her ear while another said the frame rested on her cheekbone. (A good reminder to keeping trying on glasses until you find the style that works for you.)

Price: $130-$209 depending upon the lenses

Perfect For: For trail runners who go from blaring sun to dark shade in a step--and others who want the just-right-lens for every situation. 

Grab them here:

Roka OsloRunning Sunglasses

Tester Rating: 4

Review: Performance functionality is combined with sleek European design for on-point style. "These would work as well running the Paris Marathon as they would strolling the streets of Paris," says one tester. Hydrophilic nose and temple pads hold the glasses right where you need them, although they can pull on hair a bit. A bonus with purchase? Two differently sized nose-pad pieces, so you can customize your fit.

Price: $150

Perfect For: Those who refuse to sacrifice serious style for sweat. 

Grab them here:

Knockaround PremiumsRunning Sunglasses

Tester Rating: 4.5

Review: While one tester said these ran too large for her face, another said these were her absolute favorite of all the glasses she tested because of the perfect fit. (Not to sound like a broken record but try them on for the best and most flattering fit!) Even at the lower price, the glasses perform like their much more expensive counterparts. They're great for going bold with your accessories or sprucing up a running costume. Rest assured, underneath those bold colors is a pair of glasses that perform. 

Price: $15/$20 polarized

Perfect For: Anyone who likes a crazy good bargain!

Grab them here:

Check out all of the AMR Gears Up columns here!

Did we miss your favorite pair of running sunglasses?
Let us know in the comments below!

14 responses to “AMR Gears Up: Running Sunglasses

  1. Goodr sent me replacement lenses and glasses when I had the polarized lenses peel on several pair (I have a slight Goodr addiction). The customer service was awesome and I was so happy they made it right. I just tried Knockarounds and am equally impressed. Especially with their price point and variety of great styles.

  2. Nice to see Julbo Eyewear in the mix! These guys hands down make the best lenses on the market, that REACTIV lens is simply amazing. They are awesome people too, I’ve dealt with them several times. Really nice to see them in your mix!

  3. GODR girl all the way! First time I heard about the controversy so thank you for sending the link. Looks like they’ve learned a lesson and apologized.

  4. Give me Goodr. They simply don’t bounce when I’m running. They stay put. I love the colorful frames and choices for a price that doesn’t wreck my pocketbook. Good for you AMR! These sunglasses are just as badass as you are!

  5. I have $400 Oakleys. Wish I could get some of these cute and much less expenses sunglasses but I have a crazy insane prescription! For every day casual running (is there such a thing?) I tend you just wear last year’s prescription sunglasses and save the Oakleys for when I am serious.

  6. I would add that if you have a smaller face I would go with Tifosi over Goodr, also for those of us that like a crisp view – Tifosi over Goodr. the polarization of the Goodr is simply a film that early peels off or scratches (I own both Tifosi and Good ended up giving the Goodr to my children) I also have Oakley, you have to decide if they are worth the difference in price but definitely have the clearest lens) Great to have options at all price points.

  7. As a runner past the age of 40 that can’t read small print – my sunglasses have to have readers so I can read my Garmin. I don’t think any of these brands have that availability. You can find them -but you have to research. Just wanted to give a different perspective.

  8. Goodr will continue to get my money because they issued a sincere apology and they sell a well-made, affordable product that actually fits my big-ass head! BF Goodrs are a life saver! No other product comes close!

  9. Great article! Thanks so much AMR! And I agree with LeeAnn, the apology looks sincere to me. I still love and wear my Goodr daily. I just bought a new pair this past Sunday and my last one didn’t survive a swim in the ocean at the end of June… 🙁

  10. I read the link (thank you Jayma) and I’m not sure I see the “joke” in their apology. Yes, their campaign was foolish and insensitive, but they issued a sincere apology. This has happened many times in advertising. We definitely have the right to choose where to spend our dollars, but if the product is good, it will survive a poorly conceived marketing campaign and apology.

  11. Anneke, Can you share more about your comment? I’ve been considering Goodr, but if what you say is true, I’ll look at the other brands here.

  12. Very disappointed Goodr was even considered. They promote drug use as recovery and when called out made a joke of it. Our nation is suffering from an opioid epidemic and not to be made a joke. AMR I’m actually ashamed and saddened that you would back them in any way.

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