Sun protecting sunglasses are an important accessory when running outdoors since your eyes need sun protection just as much as your skin does. In this guide, you'll learn how to choose the perfect pair of sunglasses for your next run.
Lens Tints and Coatings
Different lens tints are suitable for the different types of outdoor lighting. Whether it's a bright, sunny day or a dark, cloudy evening, 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 squint-inducing glares that are painful to look at.
- Mirror coating: A mirror coating is ideal for exceptionally sunny days. This type of outside lens has an outer coating that gives a reflective mirror appearance. Much like a real mirror, these lenses reflect light and reduce glare. Mirror coatings are great for wet or snowy conditions when light reflecting off of the white snow creates intense glares.
- Clear: Although 'clear' is not technically a tint or coating, clear glasses work still create a barrier between your eyes and the wind. Clear lenses help to prevent your eyes from drying out or tearing up.
- Yellow tints: Yellow tinted lenses help to sharpen your view of the running environment by filtering out the darker blue light. These lenses are best 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. Green and gray tinted lenses are best for bright, sunny days. If you live in an area with good, moderate weather, you'll likely get the most benefits out of a dark tinted lens.
Sunglasses are typically made with a metal or plastic frame. Metal frames, while lightweight and durable, often feature incredibly sleek designs. Keep in mind that it is sometimes possible to dent a pair of metal sunglasses; you can often bend the glasses back into place, but you risk weakening the metal and distorting the fit depending on how bad the dent is. In contrast, plastic glasses are designed to absorb impact, making them ideal for rough use.
The whole point of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the harsh sun and sunglasses with adequate UV protection prevent harmful damage to your eyes. A pair of sunglasses that blocks out 98% of UVA and UVB rays is best. For especially sensitive eyes, sunglasses with a wraparound design are best as they protect your eyes from all angles.
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. Other features include:
- Anti-fogging: For a consistently clear view.
- Scratch-resistant: For durability.
- Adjustable nose pads: For customizable comfort.
- Interchangeable lenses: For different light conditions.
- Lightweight frames: For comfort.
Protect Your Eyes
Running sunglasses are a necessary investment. With a pair of sunglasses, your exercise experience is more comfortable since 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!