Best Sunglasses for Running

Did you know wearing the wrong sunglasses could actually result in a bad run? I am a little ashamed to admit this, but I have spent a lot of years running without sunglasses because they bothered me or didn’t make me look just this cool.
Luckily as part of my Oakley ambassadorship I was able to tour their rolling O Lab for a truly eye opening experience. If you, like me, have never purchased an expensive pair of sunglasses and can’t even fathom why you would need them PLEASE read this.  I was amazed, awed and learned some really important lessons.

In the very cool rolling O Lab we were treated to a number of demonstrations about the durability, flexibility and more of these glasses.  In picture one you can see a machine where they fire bb’s at the glasses to help show you the power that these glasses can absorb…meaning when that truck flings a rock up at your face they won’t break and thus damage your eye. The cheapy sunglasses many of us try to make due with will shatter..ouch.
They also take that HUGE spike and drop it down a tube on the glasses to show that the frame will flex with impact and again not crack and break your face or eyes.
BUT the one that really GRABBED MY ATTENTION. On the screen below is a clearly focused image…they then placed sunglasses in front of the lens to show how different glasses actually DISTORT the picture and make things blurry. When this happens your brain needs to work a great deal harder to make sense of what it is seeing and try to get you back to clear.

Let’s think about this…if my brain is working so hard to help my eyes out while I am also asking it to focus on my muscles for a two hour run…yeah it just doesn’t work out well. Your entire body is zapped of energy! Knowing that the cheap glasses are effecting my performance is enough to convince me, but paired with everything else now I truly understand that paying more is actually about getting more, not just getting a name in this case.
Honestly that single demonstration and thinking about how hard my brain is working convinced me that better sunglasses are now a requirement for my workouts.  And if you are not wearing any sunglasses, let me remind you they protect against eye cancer, they protect that cute little skin around your eyes that you don’t want to be all wrinkly in the future and they provide general protection of course from things flying around while we run along the roads.

Did you know all of this? Am I late to the game on why good sunglasses matter? Do you wear sunglasses?
Gratitude Journal
July 28sig
I am grateful for good moisturizer
I am grateful for headbands
I am grateful for dry fit hats
I am grateful for free audiobooks
I am grateful for cacao beans

Shot of Greens
Fiber Up!


  1. says

    I have yet to find a pair of sunglasses I can wear in the summer. I feel so much hotter (I mean unpleasantly warm in this context) with shades than without.I have a pair (bought at a both at an expo) that I love for cool, sunny days, but if it's warm and sunny I've had better luck with a visor. (Which is a very recent addition to my running gear).I haven't tried buying an expensive pair of sunglasses, though, since I tend to lose or break sunglasses.

  2. says

    That's interesting. I may only wear sunglasses a few times a year. I have never found a pair I like and I also had laser eye surgery several years ago and I hate to have any type of glasses on now…even if it is sunglasses. I guess I should keep shopping and find something that I can work with. I know its important to protect my eyes.

  3. says

    My mom drilled the sunglasses rule into my head when I was younger. Because we live at such a high elevation here in Colorado, the sun does a lot of damage on your eyes–you can see old timers that never got the glasses memo, and the whites of their eyes are yellow!!!Only problem I have with glasses is that I have long eyelashes and I have yet to find a pair that don't smush them! SUPER annoying!

  4. says

    Very cool! I'm switched to a pair of expensive glasses when the hubby and I started mountain biking. Never tried Oakley but I'm a Native Sunglasses girl. When you find that right pair, you become hooked.

  5. says

    you are stylin' in those shades. i still don't wear sunglasses running, but i always wear a headsweats cap that shades my eyes and protects my face from sun. I could use some good glasses for cycling though; wearing some cheap pair from kmart

  6. says

    been desperately looking for just the right pair of running glasses – I've tried several – the most expensive being at the $75 mark. Still didn't like them – I wear sunglasses at ALL times when I'm outside (in fact, sometimes, I forget to take them off inside & wonder why it's so dark in the house/building). Maybe I'll have to save up for Oakleys, the same way I save up for new running shoes – in my change jar, very slowly!

  7. says

    I hate spending a lot on sunglasses because they are so easy to break or lose. But my dad found me a good pair on sale for my birthday and they really are worth it.

  8. says

    Whoa…news to me…I have a cheap pair of glasses I use…Come to think of it, it is the only thing I have cheaped out on as it relates to my run gear.

  9. says

    I didn't know this until I splurged on myself and bought my Smiths….I fell in love, left them on the top of my car and cried a little, ok a lot – then splurged a second time to buy the same ones, because running without them for that week made me realize how incredibly helpful they were to my runs!Great description of the reasoning for the glasses!

  10. says

    You look super cute in those! I never bought a pair of good sunglasses until I started running. They make such a difference and I love them! When you run it is so nice to have a pair that are light, fit right, work well and stay put.

  11. says

    I run with sunglasses but they are my everyday prescription sunglasses that I wear everywhere. They are a little too loose for running and I am always pushing them up when they get sweaty and slip down. It is time for me to get a new pair and a separate running pair.

  12. says

    oh i'm a sunglass wearer (it all goes back to shielding myself from sun;). i have bolle's right now but am seriously considering some nike running glasses, the cute purple frames (go k-state;) don't hurt my decision either. glad you got on the bandwagon!

  13. says

    Good post, that is awesome that you were able to visit the Oakley truck! I knew that while running your brain works harder if it has to squint (no shades) than if it did not have to squint (wearing shades). Though I didn't know that if the lenses are distorted that your brain has to work hard too. Great info!

  14. says

    wow great info, I'm one who does NOT wear sunglasses because I don't feel comfortable in them and have yet to find a pair I like that feels right, etc….now I may have to go rethink this and search!

  15. says

    I had always used inexpensive sunglasses until my wife bought me some expensive Oakleys as a present. I was too scared to put them on — I was sure I would lose them or break them. but once on, WOW. It really did make things clearer. I use a bronze or rose tint and absolutely love them. They really, really did make a difference.And for us older folks, it helps with eyes drying out. the sunglass moves air around the eyes instead of right into them. On cloudy days, I have taken to wearing clear lens. (My young daughter gets a kick out of that. "Dad! They are called SUNglasses! Sun? Get it?")Of course, I did lose them like a month later. So I had to go out and buy a new pair.

  16. says

    I don't wear sunglasses while running but do other times of the day. I've always just assumed that they would bounce up and down on my face and that it wouldn't be comfortable on my large nose.

  17. says

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Oakleys!!!! I have 2 pairs, 1 for everyday use and 1 specifically for biking and running. I cannot say one bad thing about them. They are perfect in every way imaginable!! Being bright pink helps make them awesomer too! :-)

  18. Katie @ Legally Fit says

    Great info! I have a nice pair of oakley sunglasses for running but more often than not I'm not wearing my contacts so I need to wear my prescription aviators. They seem to stay on my face more comfortably for some reason!

  19. says

    I always wear sunglasses outside and always wear them when I run. I have Oakleys for working out with really neat yellow lenses. I think they intimidate others and make me look cool.

  20. says

    I run in Oakleys and love them! Best running glasses and are worth every cent:) No bounce and they have the cutest women's line. Ahhhh so jealous that you are an ambassador!!! Go girl!

  21. says

    Oh what a great post. I stopped running in sunglasses when I started wearing a hat (both didn't mix well) and now I don't even wear the hat. Sunglasses and bondi band would do well and there is alot of sun in Hawaii.But I guess the $5 sunglasses I buy don't cut it. Oh bother….dear Santa, please bring me some good sunglasses….I know I already got my present early but perhaps…..

  22. says

    I've never spent much on sunglasses because I'm so clumsy, but the cheap ones seem to work just fine for me. I actually need to buy a new pair of athletic sunglasses for running/beach volleyball. There's an Oakley Vault nearby, so I might check them out. Thanks for the suggestion!

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