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Your Position: Home - Timepieces, Jewelry, Eyewear - The Best Sports Sunglasses, Tested by an Expert

The Best Sports Sunglasses, Tested by an Expert

Based on our research and testing, here are the best sports sunglasses on the market.

We also had an RRCA- and USATF-certified running coach from our Review Board review this article for accuracy surrounding what to look for in sports sunglasses, how they should fit, and whether they can boost athletic performance.

To find the best sports sunglasses, we interviewed running and cycling coaches as well as sunglasses experts, and we researched details about more than 30 pairs of shades. Once we narrowed down our choices, we put 12 sunglasses through our testing regimen and spent about 70 hours wearing them for various outdoor activities, as well as for casual wear. We evaluated each pair on a scale of 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) for its fit, features, performance, durability, appearance, and value.

When selecting sports sunglasses, eye protection is the most important consideration, but you should also “choose a pair that is strong and durable yet lightweight for comfort,” Nicole Lord, VP of Merchandising for Now Optics, says. Consider how and when you’ll be using them, since certain styles and features are more suited to some activities and conditions. Polarization will reduce glare, for instance, while different lens colors help you see better in sunny or low-light conditions.

Protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays while you're outside being active is important year-round. A good pair of sports sunglasses will also keep your eyes safe from impact and shield them from wind, dust, and other debris.

Best Men's Overall

Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Polarized Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    5

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Exceptional lens quality

  • Durable

  • Lightweight and comfortable

Cons

  • Expensive

  • Too sporty for casual wear

When it comes to all-around sports sunglasses, the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL PRIZM Polarized Sunglasses were a clear winner for our men’s best overall slot. The PRIZM lenses are built to enhance contrast and color for better views, and they are polarized to cut glare, reduce haze, and eliminate distortion. During our test, the lenses offered exceptional protection and clarity, contributing to a perfect  score of 5 out of 5 for performance.

The frames, which are made with Oakley’s proprietary O-Matter frame material, felt lightweight and comfortable, earning the shades a nearly perfect score of 4.5 out of 5 for fit. Grips on the nosepiece and at the temples keep the glasses in place, with our tester noting that they didn’t slide or bounce during a sweaty run.

While they have a lightweight, flexible feel, these shades are very sturdy and performed well in our durability test. They also come with a hard zippered case to protect them when not in use.

Testing Notes: “These sunglasses are very lightweight, and the contact points are made from a rubber-like material that does not slip when sweating. They have a snug fit, and, despite the smaller lens size, the glasses have great eye coverage.”

Overall, these sporty, durable shades are ideal for golf and tennis, but they also work extremely well for other activities, like walking, running, cycling, and water sports.

Price at time of publication: $234

Key Specs:
Polarized:
 Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Plastic lens, acetate frame | Style: Half-frame | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best Women's Overall

Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Polarized Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Comfortable

  • Bounce-free design

  • Lightweight but sturdy

Cons

  • Low-profile lens is not very wide

  • Too sporty for casual wear

Our best women’s pick, the Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 sunglasses, are a lightweight yet sturdy option that is ideal for running, cycling, water sports, or other outdoor pursuits.

The sunglasses’ durable nylon frame and shatterproof lenses helped them earn a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for durability. Both the nose and ear pieces are made from a comfortable hydrophilic rubber that increases grip as your sweat. Our tester noted that the glasses felt very lightweight on her face, even when wearing them for long periods of time. The comfortable materials and design also earned these well-made sunnies a 4.5 out of 5 for fit.

As for features, the polarized Fototec lenses provide 100% UVA and UVB protection from the sun's harmful rays and get lighter or darker, depending on the amount of sunlight you’re exposed to. Exceptional polarization that cut down on glare also helped these shades secure a score of 4.5 out of 5 for our features attribute.

The glasses performed well during our sweat test, staying in place even when wet. Vents at the top of the lenses help to increase airflow and prevent fogging. They even work when you're using your balance board at home.

Testing Notes: “I really like the fit and lightweight feel of these glasses. They didn’t pinch my nose, and the arms didn’t feel too tight on my head, yet they stayed in place and were bounce-free.”

The glasses come with a zippered shell case and cleaning bag, to protect and care for them. Although the sporty style may not be suitable for non-athletic wear, these sunglasses are a comfortable choice for active people who are looking for an all-day-wear pair.

Price at time of publication: $100

Key Specs:
Polarized:
Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Polycarbonate lenses, nylon frame | Style: Wrap, half-frame | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best for Running

Rudy Project Propulse Sports Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Vented design prevents excessive fogging

  • Excellent protection

Cons

  • May be too small for larger faces

  • Expensive

  • Doesn’t come with hard case

Runners need sunglasses that offer excellent protection, but that can also go the distance without slipping, bouncing, or feeling too heavy or tight. Designed for running, the Rudy Project Propulse sunglasses tick all of those boxes and more, making them a perfect companion for short- and long-distance running.

During our test, they felt lightweight and comfortable and were easy to wear during runs, even underneath a running visor. The soft, rubber nose piece and grippy, pliable arms provided a snug fit and helped to keep the shades in place. Yet, our tester noted that they didn’t feel overly constricting or put pressure on the head, even when worn for long periods, which helped them earn a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for fit.

Although they’re very lightweight, the wide, wrap-around lenses provide plenty of coverage. Our tester noted that the shades offered better periphery protection from the sun and wind than some of the other glasses we tested.

Our tester was also impressed with the glasses’ ventilation on the lenses and temples that helped to prevent fogging and overheating. The ventilation is small enough to allow for good airflow, without sacrificing the glasses’ exceptional coverage.

Testing Notes: “These sunglasses are very lightweight and comfortable and provide excellent protection, especially on the periphery. They really block out the sun and wind but are also well ventilated to allow for cooling and to prevent fogging.”

These versatile, high-performance sunglasses are a terrific pick for runners, as well as triathletes who want sunglasses that can easily go from cycling to running.

Price at time of publication: $174

Key Specs:
Polarized:
 Yes | UV Protection: Yes | Materials: Polycarbonate lenses | Style: Wrap-around | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best for Cycling

Oakley Sutro Lite Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Excellent coverage

  • Fit under bike helmet

  • Comfortable and durable

Cons

  • Expensive

A solid choice for cyclists, we love these Oakley Sutro Lite sunglasses because they are versatile, durable, and comfortable for long rides. They’re wide and tall enough to provide good protection from the sun and wind while cycling but still fit under a bike helmet.

During our test, they were comfortable to wear, thanks to the soft rubber nose piece, flexible arms, and lightweight feel. Our tester did not notice any slipping, bouncing, or pinching, which contributed to the glasses’ score of 4.5 out of 5 for fit. 

The Plutonite lenses provide exceptional clarity and impact protection. Our tester also noted that the size and shape of the lenses provide an unobstructed view, which is critical for riding. They also didn’t fog up during our sweat test.

Testing Notes: “I was really impressed with the lenses and the contrast and clarity they produced. It was easy to clearly view the road surface. Plus, these sunglasses are really lightweight and comfortable, which is important for long bike rides.”

Like other Oakley sunglasses we tested, these shades are clearly built to last and can definitely take a beating, earning a score of 4.5 out of 5 for durability. While their bold, sporty style may not be for everyone, these sunglasses are a nice pick for cyclists who value excellent performance and protection.

Price at time of publication: $184

Key Specs:
Polarized:
 Yes | UV Protection: Yes | Materials: O-matter (Oakley’s patented lightweight nylon) and Unobtainium, Plutonite lenses | Style: Full frame | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best for Small Faces

goodr Circle Gs Polarized Sunglasses

REI shop

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4

    /5

  • Quality

    4

    /5

  • Appearance

    4.5

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Budget-friendly

  • Bounce-free

  • Stylish

Cons

  • May not be as durable as other options

  • No anti-fog coating

If you have trouble finding sports sunglasses that aren’t too wide for your face, we recommend these goodr Circle GS polarized sunglasses. Despite an inexpensive price, they feature polarized lenses that block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays.

We like that they’re lightweight and offer a comfortable fit. During a test run, they didn’t bounce, pinch or feel too tight, which contributed to their 4.5 out of 5 rating for our fit attribute. The grip coating kept the shades in place, even with sweat dripping down during a sweltering run. That being said, our female tester has a small face, so the glasses might not offer the same fit for those with wider faces.

Our tester noted that the lenses provided a crisp, vibrant view and helped to cut down on glare. However, the shades don’t offer some other features that higher-priced sunglasses may have, such as anti-fog coating.

Testing Notes: “I have a small face frame, so I really appreciated the shape and size of these sunglasses. The size felt ‘just right’ for me, and I didn’t notice any bouncing, slipping, or uncomfortable tightness when I wore them for exercise and casual wear.”

If you frequently misplace your sports shades and like to have multiple pairs on hand, these sunglasses are a great option for stocking up. They’re also pretty cool-looking and can serve double-duty for casual wear.

Price at time of publication: $25

Key Specs:
Polarized:
Yes | UV Protection: Yes | Materials: Polycarbonate frame, Triacetate cellulose lenses | Style: Full frame | Anti-Fog: No

Best Men's Budget

TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4

    /5

  • Appearance

    4.5

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Budget-friendly

  • Durable

  • Lifetime breakage warranty

Cons

  • May be too small for larger faces

Versatile and stylish, these Torege sunglasses are affordable yet built to last. Our tester immediately noticed that the frame, made of Grilamid TR90, felt lightweight and comfortable, even for long-term wear. The soft, rubber nose pads kept them securely in place, helping to earn them a 4.5 out of 5 for fit.

The scratch-resistant and shatterproof lenses performed well in testing, providing crystal-clear views with no distortion. They also effectively repelled water and oils, which make them a nice choice for activities on the water or sweat-inducing sports.

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The sunglasses passed our durability test, with no scratches or damage after being dropped. Our tester also noted that the spring hinges on the arms are strong and flexible, which seems like it would help prevent breakage. They come with a lifetime warranty on the frames and lenses, so the manufacturer definitely stands behind their product.

Testing Notes: “Finally, here’s a pair of running glasses that perform well and are versatile enough to wear casually. These glasses are lightweight and very flexible with classic styling.”

Our tester was also impressed that the glasses came with a hard, zippered case, which was unexpected at such a budget-friendly price. If you’re looking for a versatile pair of high-performance shades, these are a great value.

Price at time of publication: $26

Key Specs:
Polarized: 
Yes | UV Protection: Yes | Materials: Grilamid TR90 | Style: Wrap, rimless | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best Women's Budget

Tifosi Swank Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4.5

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Scratch-resistant, polarized lenses

  • Stylish

Cons

  • Branding on lenses is a bit large

  • May be too small for larger faces

Polarized lenses at a budget-friendly price? That’s what you get with these Tifosi Swank sunglasses, plus a whole lot more. We love them for their stylish look as well as their bounce-free fit.

During our test, the shades’ rubber nose pad kept them from sliding down, even when wet. The fit was so lightweight and comfortable that our tester almost forgot she was wearing them during a run. She also noted that the shades stay put and feel comfortable when worn on top of the head or a visor.

Despite the affordable price, these glasses boast durable, shatterproof, and scratch-resistant lenses as well as polarization and 100% UVA/UVB protection. They also can handle being accidentally dropped or sat on, and they sailed through our durability test, helping to earn them a score of 4.5 out of 5 for durability.

Testing Notes: “They are extremely comfortable and lightweight. I almost forgot that I had them on during my run!  I also really like that they’re not very sporty-looking, making them a more versatile option than some of the other sunglasses I tested. I would definitely wear them casually.”

We certainly can’t neglect to mention one of the Swank’s best attributes: its sleek, very cool-looking design. Unlike some other sports shades we tested, they don’t have an athletic look but are quite stylish. They also lay a lot flatter when folded, compared to some other sports shades—a plus for those who like to stash their shades in a pocket or pouch when not needed during a run, hike, or bike ride.

Price at time of publication: $60

Key Specs:
Polarized:
 Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Grilamid TR-90 nylon frame, polycarbonate lens | Style: Full frame | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best for Hiking

Smith Parallel 2 Unisex Polarized Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4.5

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Impact-resistant

  • Comes with two sets of lenses

  • Anti-slip design

Cons

  • Expensive

For a durable option that’s ideal for hiking, trail running, or running on an indoor elliptical, we recommend this sturdy pair from Smith. During our test, the polarized lenses offered exceptional visibility and clarity, which proved to be a huge asset when hiking on technical trails. They come with two sets of impact-resistant, interchangeable lenses, so you can switch them out based on conditions and terrain. The lenses were easy to change, but they stayed securely locked in place.

Our tester appreciated the sunglasses’ lightweight feel and snug, comfortable fit, noting that the shades were a nice choice for all-day wear. They also were resistant to fogging and performed well during our sweat test. With all their effective options and functionality, we awarded these sunnies a 4.5 out of 5 in both the performance and features categories.

Testing Notes: “I really like the lightweight feel and sleek, modern look of these sunglasses. They’re also extremely comfortable and come with two sets of interchangeable lenses, so they’re a nice choice for all-day activities such as hiking, where you may be dealing with changing conditions.”

As for durability, the glasses made it through our drop test without a scratch and feel like they would hold up for long-term use, helping to earn them a 4.5 out of 5 for durability. They also come with a hard zippered case and a soft microfiber pouch to keep them protected when not in use.

Price at time of publication: $140

Key Specs:
Polarized:
 Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Polycarbonate, super-elastic memorized resin (TR90 nylon) | Style: Frameless | Anti-Fog: Yes

Best for Tennis

Duduma TR8116 Sports Polarized Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4

    /5

Pros

  • Budget-friendly

  • Scratch-resistant

  • Versatile

Cons

  • No anti-fog coating

  • May be too small for larger faces

Tennis players need sunglasses that have good protection and clarity, but will also stay securely in place. Bounce-free and lightweight, this pair from Duduma is definitely an asset on the court and comes with an affordable price tag. During our test, the sunglasses’ polarized lenses cut down on glare while also enhancing colors, making it easy to spot a tennis ball soaring over a net.

Our tester was also impressed with the shades’ comfortable fit and grip, noting that they stayed put during a sweaty tennis session. They could easily be worn for long periods, which helped them earn a 4.5 out of 5 for fit. They also sit comfortably on top of the head or a visor when not in use. However, our tester did note that the shades are designed for smaller faces, so they may not be the right fit or look for those with wide faces.

Testing Notes: “For such an affordable price, I was impressed with the quality and durability of these sunglasses. The polarization was top-notch, and the lenses offered good clarity and protection for playing tennis, as well as other outdoor sports and activities.”

The affordable price means that these shades don’t come with some extra features, like anti-fog coating. During our test, the lenses did fog up a little from moisture, but they cleared up fairly quickly. In general, these versatile shades are a good value and a nice choice for tennis, as well as running, hiking, and other outdoor pursuits.

Price at time of publication: $25

Key Specs:
Polarized:
Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Polycarbonate frames, plastic lenses | Style: Half-frame | Anti-Fog: No

Best for Skiing

Sunski Treeline Polarized Sunglasses

REI Shop

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4.5

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible

  • Versatile

  • Excellent protection

Cons

  • Some lens types are very dark

  • No anti-fog coating

If you like to wear shades, rather than goggles, for skiing and other snow sports, we recommend these Sunski Treeline polarized sunglasses as a stylish and very effective option.

Right out of the box, our tester was impressed with the sunglasses’ cool design. They feature Sunski’s Magni-Snap Sidekicks—plastic side shades that help to shield your eyes from glare, wind, and snow, without blocking your peripheral vision. The side screens are perforated with tiny holes for ventilation, and they detach easily when you want to wear the glasses casually.

During our test, the rubber nose pads felt comfortable and really kept the sunglasses in place, helping to earn the sunglasses a score of 4.5 out of 5 for fit. The glasses felt lightweight and flexible—a great alternative to goggles, which are often bulky. They also fit nicely under a helmet, hat, or visor. Our tester found the sunglasses’ polarization to effectively reduce glare and allow for crisp, clear views. However, she also noted that the Forest lenses are very dark, so they might not be ideal for use under cloudier conditions.

Testing Notes: “I like that they have a comfortable fit and are very lightweight, but they aren’t flimsy and feel very durable. The side screens are a really effective feature and helped to block out light and debris, but they didn’t affect my peripheral vision at all.”

With a sleek, cool style, these sunnies can easily go from the slopes to après ski drinks at the lodge. We also like that they come with a zippered safe case to protect them if you stash them in your pocket or gear bag.

Price at time of publication: $89

Key Specs:
Polarized:
Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Triacetate cellulose lenses, recycled polycarbonate frame | Style: Full frame | Anti-Fog: No

Best for Fishing

Knockaround Torrey Pines Polarized Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4

    /5

  • Performance

    4.5

    /5

  • Quality

    4

    /5

  • Appearance

    4

    /5

  • Value

    4

    /5

Pros

  • Budget-friendly

  • Comfortable

  • Impact-resistant

Cons

  • May be too large for smaller faces

  • No anti-fog coating

When you’re fishing, a quality pair of sunglasses with UV protection and polarization can protect your eyes and cut down on the glare. During our test, the Knockaround Torrey Pines polarized sunglasses proved to be a comfortable, high-performance option for all-day wear on the water.

The extra-wide lenses provide plenty of coverage without being too bulky, although our tester noted that they may overwhelm a small face. The lenses are impact-resistant, and the arms have spring hinges, so they have some give. Both features helped to earn the shades a 4.5 out of 5 for durability.

The glasses offered a comfortable, snug fit without feeling constricting. During our test, they did an excellent job of blocking bright sunlight and reducing glare. These sunglasses are a bit heavier than some other options we tested, so they may not be the best choice for running or cycling.

Testing Notes: “I’d recommend these sunglasses to anyone who wants an inexpensive but good-quality pair of polarized sunglasses to use for fishing or other water activities. I don’t think I would wear them for running or cycling, but they’re a nice option for going to the beach or lake.” 

Overall, we like them for fishing, boating, or a day at the beach, and, with a very budget-friendly price, you won’t feel too guilty if you accidentally drop them into the water.

Price at time of publication: $34

Key Specs:
Polarized: 
Yes | UV Protection: 99-100% | Materials: Polycarbonate lens and frame | Style: Full frame | Anti-Fog: No

Best for Kids

Duco Kids Sunglasses

Amazon

Our Ratings

  • Fit

    4.5

    /5

  • Performance

    4

    /5

  • Quality

    4

    /5

  • Appearance

    4.5

    /5

  • Value

    4.5

    /5

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Durable

  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Not adjustable

  • No anti-fog coating

Whether your kids are playing at the beach or on the baseball field, these Duco sports sunglasses can protect their eyes from harmful rays, as well as from sand, dirt, and other debris. The polarized lenses block 100% of UVA, UVB, and UVC rays and did an excellent job of reducing glare during our test.

The sunglasses are impact- and scratch-resistant and have a flexible rubber frame, so they’re perfect for active kids who can be rough on their gear. Our 13-year-old tester was impressed with the glasses’ durability. They didn’t get scratched or damaged at all during our durability test, and the arms were flexible enough to hold up to bending and pulling. The shades even come with a hard, zippered case, which can definitely help extend their life and prevent kids from misplacing them.

Testing Notes: “I thought they did a good job in bright sunlight. I could see clearly, and they felt comfortable.”

Our tester found them to be very comfortable and noted that they stayed in place when running and jumping. However, he did note that they slipped a little when they were wet. Overall, these kid-sized sunglasses are a high-quality option for protecting youngsters' eyes without spending a fortune.

Price at time of publication: $20

Key Specs:
Polarized:
 Yes | UV Protection: 100% | Materials: Thermoplastic Elastomer frame, triaceta

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