Best Sports Sunglasses

Updated September 2023
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Oakley Flak 2.0 XL PRIZM Sunglasses
Flak 2.0 XL PRIZM Sunglasses
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Bottom Line

Our fitness expert owns and recommends these super durable, stylish sunglasses for running, hiking, skiing, and more.


Wide field of coverage against sun, wind, and debris. Lenses reduce glare and improve visibility in bright environments like dry sand or snow. Nose and ear pieces get grippier, not slicker, when wet from sweat. 100% UV blocking.


Pricey. Not polarized.

Best Bang for the Buck
Goodr OG Sunglasses
OG Sunglasses
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Budget Friendly
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Both stylish and durable, we found these affordable glasses to hold up in a variety of situations during trials.


Completely polarized, they kept our eyes from straining even on the sunniest of days. The temple design allows them to stay on without slipping during activities such as running. Our team really loves how affordable these are for the performance value they provide.


Some users may find the color variations to be too bright for their taste.

JiMarti JM01 Sunglasses
JM01 Sunglasses
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Best for Everyday Use
Bottom Line

They’re not Oakleys, but they perform well and are a fantastic deal.


Shatterproof lenses and frame. A great choice for a variety of sports. Has a mirror flash coating. Bendable. Nose and ear pieces made of soft rubber, which allow for day-long comfortable wear.


Tends to fog slightly during heavy perspiration.

TOREGE Polarized Sports Sunglasses
Polarized Sports Sunglasses
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Most Stylish
Bottom Line

While they look good and have some nice features, they also have some reported issues.


Lightweight and versatile. Owners like how light they feel and how attractive they look. Offer interchangeable lenses: a colorful one, a yellow for night activities, and a polarized one.


Nose guard tends to come off. Lenses are not easy to change. Small.

Bose Frames Tempo
Frames Tempo
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Surprising Sound
Bottom Line

Our testing found these Bluetooth sunglasses ideal for outdoor use where open ears come in handy.


Comes with polarized, UV-blocking lenses. Plays music directly into the ear from angled drivers in the arms. Sound quality amazed in our testing. Leaves ear canal open to hear the environment and surroundings.


Sound bleeds a little in quiet surroundings like an office or workplace.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best sports sunglasses

Whether you enjoy tennis, hiking, bicycling, running, or another outdoor sport, the benefits of exercise, especially exercise in the great outdoors, are many. However, one part of your body that might not appreciate so much time spent outside is your eyes.

The sun’s UV rays are quite damaging to these delicate windows to the world. Excessive exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, eye cancers, macular degeneration, and keratitis, just to name a few. Add in wind, dust, and squinting due to overly bright light, and the problem becomes even worse.

So, do lovers of the outdoors have to settle for staying inside? Not if they have a good pair of sports sunglasses. These shades go far beyond the average sunglasses in protecting eyes and vision from the sun’s damaging rays.

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Did you know that even if sunlight doesn’t bother your eyes, it’s in your best interest to wear sunglasses? Sports sunglasses in particular are designed to protect your eyes from harmful rays that could lead to retinal damage.

What are sports sunglasses?

While your regular sunglasses might look great as you drive around town on errands, their main function is looking stylish. Protection from UV rays is more of a secondary purpose.

Sports sunglasses, on the other hand, are designed specifically to protect your eyes as much as possible from UV rays, dust, dirt, and wind. Most of the benefits of sports sunglasses are in their design:

  • They wrap slightly — or a lot, in some cases — around your eyes, rather than sitting in front as regular sunglasses do.

  • Most have nonslip nosepieces, so you won’t lose them while you bike or run.

  • Sports sunglasses generally have polycarbonate lenses. Some are made with an even stronger plastic, such as Trivex.

  • Their frames are lightweight plastic and very strong.
  • Many sports sunglasses have adjustable frames, so you can tweak them for the perfect fit.

  • The lenses come in a wide range of colors that are suited to outdoor activities.

  • Some sports sunglasses allow you to switch out the lenses so you can match light intensity or color needs.

  • The best sports sunglasses block not only 100% of UV light, but also high-energy visible radiation (HEV), otherwise known as blue light. These are often labelled “Blue Blockers.”

  • Good sports sunglasses are injection-molded into their wrapped shape, which lowers the amount of distortion through the lenses. Lower-quality sunglasses are bent into shape after production, which distorts vision.

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Expert tip
Polarized lenses are generally not recommended for action sports on land since they affect depth perception and make reading your smartphone or watch difficult.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Lens tint and lens darkness

Unlike regular sunglasses, which usually have either a gray or brown tint, sports sunglasses can be found in a wide range of tints.

While the perfect color for your lenses is, to a certain extent, simply a matter of style and preference, it’s also true that the right sunglass lens tint can help you in your preferred sport by increasing contrast between your object of focus and the background.

  • Gray is a neutral tint. It’s good for just about any activity in bright outdoor light.

  • Green lenses provide just a little bit of contrast, but they don’t interfere with color perception and are excellent for sports like baseball and golf.

  • Brown or dark amber lenses block a great deal of blue light. They’re a suitable choice for sports where you want contrast against sky or grass, such as golf, bicycling, hunting, and water sports.

  • Red or pink lenses distort color, but they’re helpful in cloudy conditions where you need a lot of contrast, such as hunting, skiing, water sports, and cycling.

  • Yellow or orange lenses provide excellent contrast, but they distort color. As such, they’re best for overcast or low-light situations and for indoor sports like handball and racquetball.

The darkness of your sunglasses is another factor to consider. Obviously, if you have very light-sensitive eyes, you’ll want darker lenses. The same applies if you spend concentrated amounts of time in bright, sunny areas.

But if you mainly cycle in the early morning — or if you live in an often-cloudy climate — you would probably be happy with lighter lenses.

"Some manufacturers sell their sunglasses with interchangeable colored lenses. For example, you might wear blue lenses on the beach, yellow lenses in the evening, and so on. This feature enhances versatility and adds utility to your purchase."

Visible light transmission

Sports sunglass manufacturers use visible light transmission (VLT) to indicate how much light the lenses allow to pass through. The lower the VLT, the less light that passes through the lenses. Often, the VLT is given as a category from 0 to 4.

Category 0

These are for use in very low light or nighttime conditions.

Category 1

These glasses are good for cloudy or poorly lit locations. They’re also suitable for use early in the morning or at dusk.

Category 2

These glasses are designed for use in average lighting. This is the best bet for most people.

Category 3

Sunglasses in this category are good if you’ll be wearing them mostly on bright, sunny days.

Category 4

These sunglasses are designed for the brightest conditions, such as snow skiing on a very bright day

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Expert Tip
Polarized lenses work best for water sports since they can mitigate the piercing glare of the sun’s reflection on the water.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

How much should you spend on sports sunglasses?

You’ll find sport sunglasses with prices ranging from $15 to $150.


Generally, the cheapest sunglasses cost between $7 and $25. They are the least likely to fully protect your eyes from 100% of UV rays and are much less likely to block out HEV.


For most people, sports sunglasses in the $30 to $75 price range will be just right and provide adequate UV protection.


The most expensive sunglasses will provide you with excellent protection, superb fit, and a range of colors to choose from. Expect to pay between $75 and $150.

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UV eye protection isn’t just for adults. Kids may spend even more time in bright outdoor light than adults, and their eyes need protection from the sun’s damaging rays, too.


Q. What are polarized lenses, and should I make sure my sports sunglasses have them?

A. Coated with a film to protect the eyes, polarized lenses reduce glare more than regular lenses. You may find it easier to see clearly when wearing polarized lenses than non-polarized lenses.

Athletes who work and play outside — runners, golfers, cyclists — appreciate polarized lenses in particular. However, not all sports sunglasses include polarized lenses. If this feature is important to you, check the specs before investing in a new pair of sports eyewear.

Expert tip
When cleaning the lenses of your sunglasses, I highly recommend using a microfiber cloth (most come with them) with a little bit of water and mild lotion-free dish soap to prevent microscopic scratches that can come from using paper towels or ordinary cloths and towels.
BestReviews Fitness Expert

Q. I’m intrigued by the thought of owning a high-quality pair of sunglasses. But what if I spend a lot of money and then break them?

A. Ideally, the pair of sunglasses you buy will be extremely durable and capable of withstanding all types of abuse. Lots of high-end sports sunglasses come with some sort of manufacturer protection to help allay consumer fears about breakage. If you’re concerned, look for a manufacturer that stands by its lens and frame quality.

Q. Can I put my prescription lenses in a pair of sports sunglasses?

A. Some sports sunglass frames can accommodate prescription lenses. For example, EyeLove offers several frame designs that will do this. But not all manufacturer models do, so be sure to read the fine print on any pair of shades you buy if this is your goal.

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