AccessoriesGear ReviewsSite Feature

10 Best Running Sunglasses For 2021

We love our running shoes here at Believe in the Run, but we also love to accessorize. After all, why should looking good stop at our ankles? Sunglasses are some of our favorite accessories to pick up because they make you think of summer… or at least nice weather. Yet the world of running sunglasses can be vast and unforgiving, so we’re here to lend you a hand.

Alright, maybe unforgiving is an exaggeration, but there are tons of shades to choose from. We’ll dive into a few of our favorites across a number of price points to give you someplace to start. By the way, the team has actually worn and run hundreds of miles in all of these glasses, so this isn’t a paid promo like you’ll find on most sites. When we say we want you to have the best running gear, we mean it.

The sun is high and the weather is just right, so let’s get into the best running sunglasses around.


» AO x Ciele GTGlass

Price range: $275

Ciele is all about keeping you safe from the sun, and the company makes some of the best running hats in the game. It makes some pretty kickin’ sunglasses, too. There’s only one model for you to try on, the GTGlass, but these shades are packed with aviator style. Right now, your options are the Red Rocks colorway or the Wallace International version – the Whitaker version is sold out.

Our resident stability wizard Aldren tapped the GTGlass as his favorite running sunglasses, and we can’t say we blame him. Robbe also rocks these all summer long, paired perfectly with his mustache for that ’70s gigolo-on-the-strip vibe (not sure if it’s entirely legal). The shades are made in Italy out of TR90 polymer plastic. You’re also peeping through CR-39 polarized lenses that are rated for 100% UVA/UVB protection. Just be ready for that $275 price point.

Shop GTGlass

» goodr

Circle Gs

Price range: $25-$35

We’re not all made of money, so about half of the team named goodr as their pick for the best running sunglasses, myself included. The full range of shades kicks off at just $25, though we melonheads have to turn to the slightly more expensive BFGs to get our kicks. Don’t worry, they don’t look goofy, they’re just slightly larger versions of the classic OGs. Goodr’s OGs are your favorite wayfarer style, packed with fun names and bright colors. Also, if you lose or scratch a pair, it really ain’t the end of the world.

Think of the name Vincent’s Absinthe Night Terrors, or maybe Ninja Kick the Damn Rabbit, what comes to mind? Probably not sunglasses, but here we are. I have EMOMs (Envy My Octopus Muscles) and Grass Fed Babe Steaks of my own. You just have to embrace it. Carl (goodr’s flamingo mascot) is in charge of the naming department, and he serves up hit after hit.

Shop goodr Sunglasses

» 100 Percent Vision

Legere Round ($120)

Price range: $120-$195

If you’re on the hunt for tight-fitting performance shades, 100 Percent Vision might be the place to look. We can’t say that the frames will make you run any faster, but you’ll certainly look the part. You can even take the sun out of the glasses and just get some premium eye protection while you bomb it down the trails.

Robbe’s gotten more compliments and “what are those” questions on the Legere Round (above) than any sunglasses he’s ever worn, and for good reason – they’re a beautiful classic-yet-modern design. And they now come in black. The UltraCarbon frame makes them impossibly light at only 17 grams, so much so that you’ll probably think they won’t stay on your face. Except they do, and better than almost any sunglasses we’ve worn.

Word of warning – don’t forget where they are. Like in a jacket pocket that you’re stuffing into a backpack. Because then you’ll snap them in half (true story). Luckily they sent a replacement! Also, the straight arms don’t work great with hats, but we’re willing to overlook it for how much we love everything else about these.

Looking at other designs, the Speedcraft is 100 Percent Vision’s classic model, and you can grab alternative designs like the SL for smaller faces. It’s the go-to design for Peter Sagan, world champion cyclist, so the Speedcraft is probably doing something right. You won’t really get any classic options with two lenses though, so be ready to stand out in races or around the park.

Shop 100 Percent Vision

» adidas

Sport Sunglasses SP0018

Price range: $140-$160

The Brand with the Three Stripes partnered with Marcolin for its running sunglasses, but the designs are classic adidas. You’ll find lightweight and flexible frames just about anywhere you look, but don’t expect classic naming conventions. The SP0018 is our favorite of the lot. Maximum face coverage provides a borderline-cycling look, but also works great for – you’ll never guess – protecting your vision on those bright-ass summer days. 

Ultralight polycarbonate lenses adorn the orange version, while the black version has standard lightness. An aeration system your vision won’t fog up prevents fogging and they’re crafted with a lightweight and flexible TR-90 wrap frame and adjustable nose pads for a comfortable fit. At 25 g, the glasses are barely there on the face, despite their size.

Also, you just look badass in these.

Shop adidas Sunglasses

» Tifosi

Swank

Price range: $25-$100

Tifosi is hot on goodr’s tail, with Austin vouching for the Swank SL and Hollie pitching in with the Shirley for the ladies. Not only are they popular with the team, but Tifosi products are pretty light on the wallet. Some of the shades start at just $25, though the performance options inch closer to $80 and $100. You won’t get quite as many fun names as you will with goodr, but you have almost as many colors to check out.

Austin’s Swank is a solid shot at a classic wayfarer, though the SL version ditches the bottom half of your frame. You won’t always find us running though, and Tifosi gets that. It has options for golfers, cyclists, and even safety options. If you find the right style of Tifosi sunglasses, you might not ever have to take ‘em off.

Shop Tifosi Sunglasses

» Knockaround

knockaround-deja-views
Deja Views

Price range: $20-$30

Knockaround has spent a few years soaking up the sun in San Diego, so they’ve had a little while to lock down the shades game. They’ve had so much time, in fact, that they’re just churning out new styles on what feels like a regular basis. Knockaround is also perfectly happy on the affordable end of the spectrum, with non-polarized options starting at just $20.

While some of Knockarounds’ frames are decidedly lifestyle, Meaghan spent most of 2020 rocking the Deja Views. The Classics are, you guessed it, wayfarers, but the Torrey Pines are probably your best bet for sport shades. Sure, they’re named for a golf course, but what is a golf course but a place to run and practice your dodging skills?

Shop Knockaround

» ROKA

roka-cambridge
Cambridge

Price range: $140-$275

ROKA is all over the board when it comes to pricing, but we can’t say that we mind. You can easily filter down to running sunglasses, but you’ll notice that just about any style will do. Whether you want to chug away the miles in aviators or get classy with the Cambridge frames, ROKA is a solid polarized pick. ROKA’s shades are lightweight, fingerprint resistant, and the no-slip GEKO pads should keep ‘em locked to your noggin.

Alex offered ROKA as her pick for the best running sunglasses, and the C3 Optics lenses come in plenty of colors. If you’re worried about every last gram, the Phantoms (aviators) boast a titanium frame that’s light as a feather.

Shop ROKA Sunglasses

» Oakley

oakley-jawbreaker
Jawbreaker

Price range: $140-$300

No list of sunglasses is complete without Oakleys. Matt claimed the Jawbreaker as his pair of choice – a full-framed wraparound pair of shades. Right now, the Kokoro collection is the hot pattern on the block, with a bright mix of pink, white, and blue hues. Of course, you can always customize your pair, right down to the very last detail.

If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can always live like your favorite superhero. Try Flash Gordon? Maybe A-Train? Also, the Oakley Over The Tops is the funkiest pair of running sunglasses in the world. They’re not available straight from the company anymore, but they’re absolutely worth a look.

Shop Oakley Sunglasses

» Smith

smith-ruckus
Ruckus

Price range: $119-$219

Courtney claimed Smith (and our next entry, Julbo) as her favorite running sunglasses. You’ve got quite a few more styles to choose from, and all of the color options you could ask for. Smith’s Reverb and Ruckus go for the full-coverage wraparound style, while the Pinpoint and the Pathway head for a more classic route.

Once you nail down your frame color, you also have the freedom to match your lenses for a little extra style. Smith’s ChromaPop lenses boost natural colors and give your contrast a kick so you can catch every last detail as you rack up the miles. If you really, really want to make some Smith shades your own, the Reverbs use a handy PivLock system to swap out lenses like we swap out running shoes.

Shop Smith Sunglasses

» Julbo

Fury

Price range: $129.95 – $229.95

Like Smith, Julbo is big on the wraparound design and far from short on variety. If you’re hoping to get in on the ground floor without spending too much money, the Fury is your best option at $129.95. They’re plenty large enough to cover your eyes and more, and you can give either Spectron polycarbonate lenses or Reactiv Chromatic lenses a try.

On the other hand, those of you hoping to splash major cash can check out the Rival or the Rush at $229.95. The Rivals look more like classic frameless sunglasses, while you could probably look at the Rush like the Fury on steroids. And hey, if you like to get your cycling in, Julbo’s products are helmet-friendly.

Shop Julbo Sunglasses

How we make our picks

We run in lots of shoes here at Believe in the Run, but we also test out tons of gear. We’ve run in just about all of these sunglasses on roads and trails, and our picks come from our own experiences. However, we also take community opinions into account and we seek to recommend sunglasses that you can actually purchase.

4 Comments

  1. Maybe it’s my stupidly wide face, but I get terrible lens distortion with Goodr sunglasses. Had the same problem with two pairs.

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