How to Buy Lightweight Sunglasses for Running – Our Guide 2020

Even though running is one of those sports activities that don’t require much, there are some accessories to consider, the main ones being sunglasses. But not just any sunglasses – you need to get those specifically made for running.

You need lightweight sunglasses for running. Typical ones are much heavier, and when you are constantly bouncing, even these small weight differences mean a lot. That’s not the only benefit of using sunglasses specifically made for running as they can make your life easier in so many ways.

However, when shopping for running sunglasses, it can be difficult to find the right products. This isn’t a fully developed niche yet, and there’s only a handful of information out there. That’s why we’ve decided to talk about these types of glasses in general.

In the second part of this guide, we’ll give you an overview of the top 10 sunglasses for running in our opinion. So let’s start.

Dealing With Tints

Tints are a very important consideration when shopping for glasses. They behave differently depending on the current lighting.

Some are better with direct sunlight; others are made for cloudy conditions, and so on. Some sunglasses come with different tint options. It’s not only about how they look, but also about practicality:

Gray tints

Gray tints reduce brightness overall. However, they don’t disrupt colors in any way. They are best for outdoor running in bright light.

Green tints

These tints increase contrast. They don’t disrupt colors while reducing glare and some blue light. They reduce bright light strain and give better precision.

Dark brown and amber tints

These tins block a lot of blue light. They increase visual acuity as well as contrast. They are especially good for getting good contrast during blue skies and when running on grass.

Orange and yellow tints

These tints are great for low-light conditions outdoors as they increase contrast in the shade. They also give better focus by filtering blue light.

Red, rose, and amber tints

They offer a nice contrast for partially sunny or cloudy conditions. However, they can cause lots of color imbalance.

Mirror coating tint

This is a great option if you like running during extremely sunny days. For example, if you want to lose weight and sweat as much as possible. Similar to mirrors, these sunglasses reduce glare and reflect light. They are also a good option for snow or rain when there is a lot of reflective light.

Mirror coating tint

This is a great option if you like running during extremely sunny days. For example, if you want to lose weight and sweat as much as possible. Similar to mirrors, these sunglasses reduce glare and reflect light. They are also a good option for snow or rain when there is a lot of reflective light.

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UV Protection

UV protection is probably one of the most important features of sunglasses. Just because some sunglasses are dark or change contrast a lot doesn’t mean that they offer good UV protection. Cheap sunglasses usually have really low UV protection.

What’s even worse about them is that they give people a false sense of security. People tend to lose more directly into the light even though they aren’t protected. It could lead to serious damages, especially for people with sensitive eyes.

Ideally, you should look for sunglasses that offer 98% protection against both UVA (ultraviolet A-rays) and UVB (ultraviolet B-rays). If you are really sensitive to light, look for sunglasses that have a “wraparound design” to ensure protection no matter the angle of sunlight.

Lens Polarization

Sunglasses with polarized lenses have great glare-reducing capabilities. However, when it comes to trail running, they aren’t the best option. Lens polarization affects the perception of depth. With trail running, this can be an issue as you need to go through tight spaces, corners, and make quick decisions on where to step.

These types of sunglasses can trick you, resulting in a misstep and even injury. But if you plan on running on a straight road or grass that is fairly flat, you won’t have problems with these glasses. Still, a lot of people use this type of glasses for all kinds of running because they are used to them.

They understand the change in perception, and it doesn’t present a problem. Another important thing to know is that lens polarization doesn’t affect UV protection in any way.

Comfort and fit

Comfort is important, no matter what kind of glasses you are buying, especially those you will be using for running. When wearing running sunglasses, they need to be very comfortable so that you don’t get any pain or irritation.

On the other hand, if they aren’t the right fit, chances are they will fall off easily or dangle around. That’s something you don’t want. The first thing you need to make sure is to find lightweight sunglasses for running. In our list, all of them are lightweight and don’t cause any stress during running.

Some of the best frame materials for running glasses are plastic, nylon, and TR-90. They are all light, comfortable, and don’t slip. When it comes to actual fit, the best way to go is to simply try them out. Everyone has a different face, and you absolutely need to test the glassless before buying.

Some even have an adjustable part to make them even more comfortable; this is something to consider but expect a higher price.

Additional Shopping Tips

  • Always make sure to try the shades on. You can get all the information you want online and learn about some pair of sunglasses, but you won’t know if they are the right fit until you’ve tried them on.
  • Go through different stores. Shades are often priced differently, and you can almost always find a cheaper option.
  • Consider the shape of the frame. Not all shapes “sit” the same with everyone’s face. You don’t have to go with one style of sunglasses.
  • Do those shades come with add-ons? A lot of brands offer add-ons for their running sunglasses that can help your experience, improve practicality, help carry them around, and so on.

Top Running Sunglasses Suggestions:

ForceFlex F5

ForceFlex F5

  • Basically indestructible
  • There’s no added contrast which makes them less suitable for running trails
  • Completely blocks UVA and UVB rays
  • They recover when bent
  • Soft rubber
  • Inject-bonded lens

The name ForceFlex breathes speed, and the F5s are made for intense situations. Even though they weigh just 34 grams, these glasses are extremely durable. If they fall down while running, they won’t break unless you are running next to a 1000 ft cliff.

They’re also quite flexible and can be bent freely. On top of that, they offer 100% UVA and UVB reduction and reduce glare. If you add this to the fact that they are the most durable running sunglasses buying them is a no-brainer. On top of that, they are very affordable.

Our TOP5 Running Guides

Julbo AeroLite Pro

Julbo AeroLite Pro

  • One of the lightest pairs out there
  • They offer a fantastic field of vision
  • Adjustable nose pads
  • Very comfortable
  • One of the most expensive products

Julbo is one of the most reputable brands when it comes to sunglasses made for sports activities. All of their products look amazing. The AeroLite series is designed for both trail and road runs. They have a frameless design making them extremely light with 26 g weight.

They are quite comfortable due to arms with flexible rubber pieces. Especially good for trail runs as their lenses offer a clear view in the shade. It’s an exclusive series that has a changing lens tin that adjusts to different conditions.

Extremely lightweight sunglasses for running. They look really amazing and will suit any running needs. However, they are quite expensive.

Nike Vaporwing

Nike Vaporwing

  • Lightweight 23 g
  • Single-piece lens
  • Aggressive look
  • Aerodynamic
  • Adjustable nose pads

Nike is one of the most known sports brands. Their Vaporwing Elite sunglasses are top of the line product with an aggressive design and nice features. They have a polarizing lens with a singular wraparound. Made of rigid rubber that ensures stability and featherweight, they are really reliable for long runs.

Lens are made of polycarbonate, which ensures durability and flexibility. With 23 g weight and amazing clarity makes it easy to wear them for a long time. Even though they look amazing and offer solid performance, their peripheral vision isn’t the best.

Additionally, Nike Vaporwing sunglasses are ridiculously expensive. I guess you have to pay the price if you want to wear one of the most popular brands in the world.

4. Tifosi Svago

Tifosi Svago

  • They come in three sizes
  • A lot of tint options
  • 23 g weight
  • Hydrophilic rubber
  • Polycarbonate lenses
  • 100% UV protection
  • Affordable

This pair of running sunglasses stands out from most because they don’t look “sporty”. Tifosi made running sunglasses that look almost like regular sunglasses while still being quite practical for this use. Simply put, you can wear them even when you are going out on a walk through town.

When you put on the Tifosi Svago sunglasses, you instantly feel that they are very stable. That’s because they have added rubber on the temple area. Because of this, it’s very difficult for them to fall off. These glasses have three different sizes and polycarbonate lenses that block out sunlight.

On top of all of this, they are extremely lightweight, with only 23 g. IF you don’t want to be excessive about your running and would like glasses that you can use in other situations as well, Tifosi Svago is a good option. On top of that, they are affordable.

Under Armour Rival

Under Armour Rival

  • Multiple lens options
  • A single size that I suitable for most people
  • Made of plastic with non-slip grips
  • Complete UV protection

As soon as you put these sunglasses on, you notice that they are very stable and comfortable. They offer great vision, solid protection, cool style, and many color options. They lock in really lovely when you put them on but without being uncomfortable. They are quite sturdy but have enough flexibility to adjust to anyone’s face.

They offer great protection from debris, wind, or water because they have a fair bit of eye coverage. Under Armour has added its “ArmourSight” feature, which improves peripheral vision. They calm down bright lights, turning them into a pleasant orange and repel sun rays effectively.

Under Armour Rival offers 100% UVC, UVB, and UVA protection. They are an excellent value, with the price going around $100.

Rivbos Polarized Sports

Rivbos Polarized Sports

  • Complete UV protection
  • Polycarbonate lens
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Mirror coating lens
  • Include a cleaning cloth, pouch, and a strap

These sports sunglasses come with a lens that has impact resistance, HD polarization, and quality UV protection.

They come with several different lens color options. Their frame is made of TR90, which is very durable and flexible. Rivbos Polarized Sports also come with a wraparound design that offers good view coverage and comfort.

Different lens color options allow you to get the exact specification you need. The brand doesn’t offer information about weight, but when we tested them, it was 30 g. These sunglasses also have a unique spring system on arms to add durability and security.

Their price is really low, which makes them a bargain purchase. The only real downside is that they have a really simple and generic design.

Read our running guides

Suncloud Hotline Polarized Sunglasses

Suncloud Hotline Polarized Sunglasses

  • Nice durability
  • Polycarbonate lenses
  • Flexible and comfortable frame
  • Nice wraparound design

Suncloud Hotline running sunglasses offer great performance for a low price. They are very flexible, making them comfortable even for people who have a bigger head. The wraparound design makes them very secure without compromising stability.

Both the temple and nose pads are made of comfortable thermoplastic material, which feels nice and ensures that the shades stay glued to your face even in high temperatures. The 26-gram weight is extremely competitive, and when you add a polarized lens, these shades bring great value.

Oakley Half Jacket

Oakley Half Jacket

  • Synthetic hades
  • 100% all-UV protection
  • Nice clarity of vision
  • High definition optics
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Comfortable pads and frame

Oakley Half Jacket Sport Sunglasses have a half-frame. They are another pair of sunglasses that don’t have the typical wraparound design. Apart from looking differently, this also gives users the option to change lenses. Depending on the time of day and your needs, you can easily switch the lenses.

All of the lenses offer 100% UV protection HD optics for high clarity and visibility. They block UV rays and blue light as they are made of polycarbonate. The hydrophobic lenses prevent any debris from getting stuck on the shades, including water and dust.

Krewe Laborde

Krewe Laborde

  • Expensive
  • Locking hinges
  • Prescription ready
  • 100% UVA and UVB protection
  • Anti-smudge
  • Fog protection
  • Reflective

These are one of the best sunglasses we tried out. They offer the full package but are a bit more expensive. Even though they don’t have a wraparound design, they stay in place while running. They have a nice fall-proof system that further secures them on your head.

They have a special coating that prevents fogging, sweating, and smudging. The Laborde shades are really good. You just have to put them on your face and run without worrying about a thing.

Goodr OG

Goodr OG

  • Very affordable
  • Nice UV protection
  • Very stable
  • Polarized lenses

If you are looking for a quirky, weird, and cheap option, this is the one. We’re not saying that these shades are bad, they are a quality product, but can’t be compared to some of the other products on our list. Still, they block 100% UVA and UVB rays and have a sturdy protective lens.

They have a grip coating that ensures stability and protects the shades from stains. The manufacturer also says that people who wear these shades won’t get attacked by leopards. I guess they have an added safety feature.


Before you go, you should know that we tested all of these lightweight sunglasses for running in an objective manner. You really can’t go with either of these. Of course, when it comes to style, it’s up to each individual.

Make sure to check the prices online because they might have changed. In the end, remember to try out the sunglasses before you buy them. Don’t order them blindly and expect that you will get a refund. Happy shopping!


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