What to Look For in Running Sunglasses
Written By: SportsShoes
We all know that running is one of the best things we can do for our physical and mental health but spending more time outdoors can also mean added exposure to harmful UV rays, even on cloudier days. This is where a good pair of running sunglasses comes in, both to provide added UV protection, but also to reduce the discomfort caused by glare and to shield the eyes from bugs, dust and other debris for a more comfortable run. Here’s what to look for in your perfect pair.
Maximise UV Protection
Over exposure to UV light is a leading cause of eye damage, affecting both our vision and general ocular health, as well as increasing our risk of developing eye conditions and diseases such as cataracts and even cancer. That makes ensuring maximum UV protection your number one priority.
As a minimum your sunglasses should offer full and guaranteed UV protection. Sunglasses with lenses certified to UV400 provide 100% protection from both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Always opt for a Category 3 lens when choosing sunglasses for running.
Consider Tint to Help Reduce Glare
Once you’ve established that the lenses are certified to UV-400, you can consider your preferred tint. The tint of your sunglasses can help to reduce glare, but this isn’t necessarily a matter of automatically choosing the darkest colour to deliver the best protection – you should also consider colour distortion and contrast and how this can affect your run. Yellow, orange, rose, brown, grey and amber tinted lenses are generally considered to be good options for running – amber is particularly good for trail running.
Polarised or Non Polarised
Polarised lenses have a filter which blocks intense reflected light. In practice that means reduced glare from the road, cars and other surfaces, delivering a more focused and comfortable run in bright sunlight. Bear in mind however that polarised lenses are not beneficial in low light conditions. They can also make it trickier to identify surface variations and imperfections, a no-no for trail runners, especially in variable light conditions.
Consider Which Frame Design is Best For Your Needs
It goes without saying that the frame should be light and sit comfortably and securely without unwanted pressure. A wrap-around design delivers better overall protection from both stray UV light and any debris you might encounter on your run such as mud, grit, insects and weather elements.
Check the Safety Standards Kitemark
Always check for the CE label on the inner side of the temples to ensure that your sunglasses correspond with EU safety standards. A darker tint doesn’t automatically mean the sunglasses offer more protection and this label is the quickest and easiest way to find out whether the sunglasses offer the minimum protection level you need to keep your eyes safe from UV rays while running.
Once you’re set up with the perfect pair of running sunglasses, make sure you’re kitted up with everything you need over on our Running Store. For more running advice, product recommendations and inspiration, check out our Running Hub.