Chase the Sun - Running in Sunglasses

Running is more than just a workout; it's an exhilarating adventure that lets you embrace the great outdoors, break a sweat, and feel the wind in your hair.

It’s not just about you and the pavement anymore - as any seasoned runner knows, the right accessories can make all the difference. This might be a new pair of running trainers, are some additional kit, anything from some bone-conducting headphones to a belt for your phone, keys, and a drink. You might have a Garmin running watch to track your times and fingerless gloves for those chilly mornings out on the road.

Among popular accessories, sunglasses emerge not just as a style statement but as a game-changer for your run. Picture this: you, pounding the pavement with a steady rhythm, the sun casting a warm glow on your path. Without sunglasses, you get momentarily blinded and stumble….

Now picture this – the same scene, but on your face is a sleek pair of shades adding that extra cool factor to your stride. Glare? No such thing as you power forward on your way to a personal best. Let's delve into why these are not just fashion whims but essential gear for every runner.

Why You Need Sunglasses for Running

Running under the open sky is invigorating, but it comes with its challenges. The sun can be a relentless adversary to your eyes, causing a multitude of problems. That's where sunglasses come in. Beyond being a trendy accessory, they are your shield against the sun's potent UV rays. Prolonged exposure to these rays can lead to eye strain, fatigue, and even long-term damage. Imagine squinting through your entire run, your eyes battling the glare –not exactly the calming jog you envisioned.

However, running involves constant movement, and that can mean sunglasses are uncomfortable. You have to balance that with the effects of the environment - anyone who's ever tried running against the breeze knows the struggle of keeping their eyes wide open. Sunglasses act as a barrier, keeping wind, dust, and other airborne nuisances at bay. Ever felt a speck of dust or a stray insect in your eye mid-stride? Sunglasses make sure your focus stays on the path ahead, not on clearing debris from your eyes.

Also, the importance of glare reduction cannot be understated. Whether you're running on a beach boardwalk, a city street, or a forest trail, reflective surfaces are everywhere. The sun bounces off cars, water, or even fellow runners! A good pair of running sunglasses with polarized lenses protects you from glare, ensuring you maintain optimal visibility and reducing the risk of accidents.

There are considerations – you can’t just grab any old pair of sunnies. If they’re not the right fit, you’ll be constantly adjusting ill-fitting sunglasses mid-run. With that in mind, here are the main considerations when identifying a pair of running sunglasses to add to your kit.

Recommended Sunglasses for Running

First and foremost, UV protection is non-negotiable, so you should look for sunglasses that offer 100% UVA and UVB protection. However, you need to pair those with something comfortable. Lightweight frames and adjustable features ensure a snug fit without causing discomfort. Remember, the last thing you want is for your sunglasses to become a distraction rather than an asset.

Lightweight doesn’t seem to fit with durability, but you’ll need a strong pair, just in case they fall off. Opt for frames made from robust materials that can withstand the occasional bump, sweat, or accidental drop. Running is an adventure, and your sunglasses should be up for the ride.

Also, the lenses are important. We’ve mentioned polarized already, and that’s important in reducing glare. However, you should also pay serious consideration to the lens color. While personal preference plays a role, certain tints can enhance visibility in specific conditions. Gray lenses maintain color accuracy in bright sunlight, brown lenses enhance contrast in varying light conditions, and yellow lenses are great for low-light settings.

There are a couple of brands which come highly recommended. One manufacturer with a reputation for making running sunglasses is Oakley. Their BXTR model boasts plant-based BiO-Matter®* frame material that provides lightweight comfort and durability whilst running, but they’re also durable – they’re designed and undergo high-velocity tests to ensure they’re fit for high-octane situations.

Bolle also has a reputation within the sports eyewear sector, and they’re another option. They have the C-Shifter among their popular running models, with polycarbonate shatterproof and impact-resistant lenses. There’s also a half-rim shield lens that provides excellent airflow for particularly demanding runs.

Finally, CEBE offers a budget-friendly range for those runners who might hang up their trainers after they’ve got fit. They have the Outline model, which comes with an ultra-lightweight frame and shatterproof lenses. They tend to be more multi-use rather than for running, but at the lower end of the scale, they’re certainly a budget option.


Sunglasses - they're not just a finishing touch to your running ensemble; they're your armor against the elements, your shield against UV rays, and your style statement on the go. Running is about freedom, and with the right sunglasses, you're chasing miles, but you don’t have to run away from the sun.

posted Wednesday February 14th