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(The Gear Loop) - If you’ve spent the winter clocking up the training miles, the summer can seem like an absolute joy. No more hooded jackets to fend off the rain, or psyching yourself up at the front door before dealing with a run into gale-force winds. Just sun, fresh air and minimal clothing. Heaven.

Running in the warmer months isn’t without its hurdles though, especially when the temperature starts to pick up. If you don’t take the right precautions, it can be the most dangerous time to run – there’s a reason why people training for a marathon prefer to do it in the colder months.

SunGodBest sunglasses for running: lifestyle photo 2

That’s when you need to pick up the right kit for tackling the sun: a water bottle, some high protection suntan lotion and a good pair of running sunglasses. After all, there’s very little more annoying than a splitting headache caused by squinting against the harsh light, or worse, eye damage from spending too much time in the sun without the right UV protection.

When it comes to running sunglasses, we’ve tested dozens of options out there to make sure you’re ready for the worst the summer can throw at you, from multi-use shades to the lightest options for race day.

The best sunglasses for running

IzipiziBest sunglasses for running: product photo 3

Izipizi Speed

For

  • Wide field of vision
  • Fashionable design
  • Multiple lens options for different conditions

Against

  • Quite bulky

Although Izipizi’s range covers far more than sunglasses designed for running, it’s a brand well worth a look if you want performance benefits alongside a design that wouldn’t be out of place at London Fashion Week.

The Speed is a multi-sport pair of shades that may be reminiscent of high fashion ski goggles from the 80s, but that doesn’t stop them being an impressive option when it comes to handling a heatwave. There are three different lens versions available, one is 100 per cent UV category 3 engineered to preserve natural colours in all weather conditions, with two other options built for low light and more intense sunlight.

The large lenses offer a wide field of vision, as well as extra protection from the wind and obstructions like branches, while the curved arms offer a comfortable fit that holds them securely against the head. 

£60 | Buy now from Izipizi

OakleyBest sunglasses for running: product photo 2

Oakley Re:Sub Zero

For

  • Very light design
  • Wide field of vision
  • Comfortable

Against

  • Expensive
  • Fairly outrageous

If your focus is speed, your design preferences are likely to veer away from 80s fashion and more towards the lightest performance options out there. At just 24 grams, the Oakley Re:Sub Zeros are some of the leanest options out there for race day.

Despite the almost unnoticeably-minimal frames, the Re:Sub Zeros are packed with features to limit the effects of the sun on your training. At the top of that list is Oakley’s Prizm lens technology, engineered to not only protect your eyes but also enhance contrast and colour on the run, which is a bonus if you’re heading out onto the trails.

The bug-like one-piece design also offers a wide field of vision, so you can easily spot obstructions like dodgy terrain or oncoming traffic, without an external frame getting in your way.

As one of the priciest picks on this list, the Re:Sub Zeros may not be for everyone and the futuristic design means they’re not a great option for daily use, but for racing and training at speed in the heat, they’re our top choice.

£210 | Buy now from Oakley

BolléBest sunglasses for running: product photo 6

Bollé Icarus

For

  • Wide field of vision
  • Lightweight build
  • Polarised lens option

Against

  • Expensive
  • Design limited to performance activities

Bollé’s range of products are a staple for adventurous types, covering everything from cycling to water and snow sports. As a result, the technology used is some of the best out there, designed to protect folk carrying out demanding activities for long periods of time.

At only 24 grams, the Icarus is one of the best options out there for runners that want to tackle the sun with the least weight possible. The frameless design features Thermogrip rubber on the temples and nose grip to keep them in place when picking up the pace, becoming even grippier when it comes into contact with sweat.

As well as the classic frame design offering 100 per cent UV protection in the lenses, the Icarus also comes in two modified versions: the Volt+ lens gives 30 per cent more colour enhancement, increased depth perception and high performance polarisation, while the Phantom boast photochromic lenses for increased clarity, anti-fog and high-impact resistance.

£115 | Buy now from Bollé 

CimAlpBest sunglasses for running: product photo 5

CimAlp Vision One Sport

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For

  • Lightweight frames
  • Good ventilation
  • Excellent grip

Against

  • Feel cheaper than other performance options
  • Fit can take a while to get right

CimAlp’s Vision One Sport sunglasses are a good option if you’re looking for performance-level shades at a cheaper price point than some of the higher end models available.

Designed for trail running, the lightweight build is barely noticeable on the head, which is a big plus point for long runs in the heat. That’s partly due to six air vents dotted across the upper section of the lenses, stripping their weight but also helping to improve airflow to your sweaty face.

As well as 100 per cent anti-UV category 3 lenses, they feature a handy metal core design in the nose bridge and temple ends, which means you can easily adjust the fitting to meet your specific cranial needs.

GoodrBest sunglasses for running: product photo 4

Goodr OG

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For

  • Excellent value
  • Great for daily wear
  • Lots of design options

Against

  • Bulkier than sport-specific options
  • No protection from peripheral sunlight

Like the SunGod Tempest, the Goodr OG sunglasses are designed for general use, as well as running, so the styling look more like conventional shades than those engineered for sport. They’re also some of the best value options available today, which is why they're a favourite for all types of runners (and non-runners).

The OGs, as the name suggests, pack traditional style frames that wouldn’t be out of place in Risky Business or The Blues Brothers. But despite that lifestyle look, they’re no slouch when it comes to performance benefits.

As well as a special coating to stop slippage when you start to sweat, the frames are built to offer a secure fit on the head to prevent them from bouncing around with consistent impact. The lenses are also glare-reducing and polarised with UV400 protection, blocking 100 per cent of UVA and UVB rays – you won’t get that from a £5 pair of shades from the petrol station.

The main reason that Goodr is so popular around the globe is the sheer number of design options available. There are dozens of colourways, with new ones added all the time, ranging from subtle monotone styles to neon versions, movie tie-ins and band merch.

SunGodBest sunglasses for running: product photo 1

SunGod Tempest

For

  • Can be used everyday
  • Anti-glare lenses
  • Excellent grip

Against

  • Not very aero
  • A heavier option

Unless you’re competing through the hottest months of the year, you’re likely to want a pair of shades that work for daily use as well. That’s where the SunGod Tempest comes in. The conventional design means that you can wear them for anything from long trail runs to summer garden parties, offering a slick style that doesn’t make you look like you’re about to step onto an Olympic track.

Despite the subtle appearance, the Tempest is far from your average pair of fashion shades, featuring a heap of performance features that make them a perfect option for runners that want a Jack of all trades.

At the top of that list is the high-performance technology used in the lenses. Ranging from the standard 4KO option to an 8KO version that features anti-glare and contrast-enhancing polarisation, they can tackle even the brightest days./

Other benefits include SunGod's Grip-Lock build on the arms and nose pads to hold firm without feeling tight or restrictive, impact-resistant frames and scratch-proof lenses. And you also get SunGod’s lifetime guarantee, meaning that if they break you can get them repaired for free, for life.

£65 | Buy from SunGod

GoodrBest sunglasses for running: lifestyle photo 4

What to look for in a pair of running sunglasses

Get a solid level of UV protection

The big difference between good sunglasses and cheap ones you get from the market is protection. Sunlight can not only make it difficult to see but the UV rays can be harmful to the eyes. Look for sunglasses that offer high UV protection, with UV400 filtering out up to 99 per cent of UVA and UVB rays - they are the harmful ones.

Polarisation will help to prevent glare

It’s not just the direct sun that you need to be worried about when you’re out running. Glare from objects and surfaces can have an almost equally hampering effect on your vision. Polarised sunglasses can help to reduce the effects of this glare by absorbing horizontal light while allowing vertical light to pass through.

Weight makes a difference

Most people wouldn’t class any pair of sunglasses as being heavy, but when you’re out for hours in the heat and sweat is pouring down your face, the weight of your shades is going to make a difference. The lighter the shades, the less likely they are to be a problem when they get wet, with heavier options prone to slipping down your face.

Get the right frame type

Performance running sunglasses are designed for more than just futuristic looks. The wraparound style is built to fit the head as securely as possible while at the same time offering as much protection from the sun’s rays as possible. If you’re planning to be out in the heat for a while, wraparound options are a good option, because they help to stop peripheral sunlight coming through the sides, which traditional style sunglasses won’t do.

Writing by Tom Wheatley. Editing by Leon Poultney.