Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, or poolside accessory. They are there to protect your eyes from UV rays, while stopping you from constantly squinting against the sun.
When it comes to sports and high endurance activities, they also play a bigger part. Whether power walking or competitive running, cycling or setting sail, wearing the right type of sunglasses is paramount to your performance. There are all sorts to choose from and lots of things to consider when browsing for the best pair.
What to look for when buying performance sunglasses?
Sharon Copeland, an optician at Feel Good Contacts, explains what to look out for when choosing your performance sunglasses, including the lenses, frames and arms.
When it comes to this decision, there are either mirrored or polarised lenses. Sharon suggests that “if you’re out in a sunny environment, mirrored lenses are a stylish and practical choice. I would recommend polarised lenses when for instance cycling on the road as these provide the ultimate protection against glare and keep you safe when riding in various conditions. They help filter out reflections from bright, smooth surfaces allowing you to identify risks clearly.”
Lens colour is also something to consider. Sharon adds that “you should avoid choosing tints that are too dark as they will make it hard for you to see in shady areas, such as under trees, tunnels, and bridges”.
Have a look at the shape and size of the sunglasses’ frames. Larger frames will provide complete coverage and protection, while wraparound frames are a good option to maintain peripheral vision.
Sharon recommends paying attention to the arms of the sunglasses when you’re making your decision: “check that the arms and hinges are sturdy enough to keep your frames firmly in place, even over the roughest terrains.”
Other features to look out for include UV protection, scratch-resistant materials and adjustable nose pads to provide a more personalised fit, and ensure a more durable, long-lasting pair.
Here we’ve rounded up the best performance sunglasses for sports…
Bollé C-Shifter Performance Sunglasses
The latest arrival from Bollé – the market leaders in high-performance sports eyewear – is the C-Shifter design. A bold cylindrical style with ultra-technical features, wear for your action-packed adventures and protect your eyes at all times, while looking super slick and professional.
The frame, made of TR90 nylon, is super lightweight and flexible to ensure a comfortable fit, and they also come with an adjustable nose piece and temple tips with Thermogrip rubber to provide a secure grip no matter your sweat levels.
Buy now £116.00, Wiggle
SunGod Ultras Performance Sunglasses
British brand SunGod has a mission: to ‘See Better’. Get your hands on the innovative Ultras sunglasses, designed specifically for runners, and enjoy panoramic views throughout your city jogging, trail running or track sprinting.
Featuring a lightweight frame (weighing just 26g), and 8KO nylon lens technology, this pair is the ideal running companion. There’s even a triple-layer scratch-resistant coating and 100 per cent UV protection.
Buy now £130.00, SunGod
O’Neill ONS Zepol 127P Performance Sunglasses
Secure these sunglasses from O’Neil onto your eyes using the wraparound frame and don’t let anything stand in the way of your activity. These make a great choice for running and cycling outdoors in the sun.
Made from a durable thermoplastic, TR90, they are featherweight and flexible to each unique face shape, while the mirrored, polarised lenses provide UV protection, reduce glare. They bring the style points, too.
Buy now £30.00, FeelGood Contacts
Oakley Pitchman Performance Sunglasses
Train in style with Oakley’s vibrant sapphire-coloured lenses in a chic round shape to frame the face. The lenses feature Oakley’s Prizm technology to provide optimum colour definition and crystal-clear vision and the frame is slightly curved to fit each sporty individual securely and comfortably. Wear for a host of activities to show off their practical yet stylish design. Suitable for both men and women.
Buy now £152.00, Oakley
Nike Gale Force Performance Sunglasses
Look the part with Nike’s Gale Force tinted-lens sunglasses. This model is lightweight to give that barely-there feeling and has small slits to provide ventilation and airflow during strenuous exercise to avoid fogging up. The ergonomic design is built for comfort and to maintain the durability. They also feature grips at end of the frame to keep in place and offer UV protection.
Buy now £64.94, Amazon
Ronhill Munich Performance Sunglasses
For that pro edge to your cycling or running, Ronhill’s athletic, high-performing sunglasses need to play a part in your kit. Choose from one of the three interchangeable lens options and be set for all weathers, from clear conditions to low and strong lights – they’ll have you covered. Anti-scratch and anti-fog, your activities will be hassle-free and extra comfy with the rubber nose pads.
Buy now £40.00, runnersneed
Julbo Explorer 2.0 Cameleon Performance Sunglasses
Splash the cash for these top-quality, highly effective sunglasses, which will provide the ultimate protection and performance during your activities. They boast a large coverage with a nose grip to avoid any slipping while on the move and 360° adjustable temples to keep the frames in place. Pop them on and step into action. The Cameleon lenses have anti-fogging properties and the intelligent design of the frame means there is a natural front venting for air.
Buy now £160.00, Cotswold Outdoor
Conquer Sport Performance Sunglasses
Swap and change your lens type with Conquer’s versatile sunglasses – pick from mirrored blue, amber or clear and tailor to your activity conditions.
Suitable for sports such as cycling, running and sailing, these sunglasses will keep your eyes shielded from sun and wind, while the contemporary semi-rimless and cylindrical design will keep you looking stylish on the road, water or slopes. Available in pink, grey, blue or green frames.
Buy now £79.00, Panda Optics
Quechua MH570 Performance Sunglasses
Avoid the sun’s glare while hiking or cycling in these compact and streamlined sunglasses that have anti-UV tinted lenses. Made from a bio-sourced material – Rilsan Clear G850 Rnew – the frames are light and flexible to wear and their wraparound shape protects the eyes all over, including the sides. Put them on at the beginning of your sporting activity and they’ll be with you for the long run (literally)– an affordable pair which are just as efficient.
Buy now £27.99, Decathlon
Rapha Pro Team Frameless Performance Sunglasses
When kitting yourself out for your sporting exploits, you can always count on Rapha – and these sunglasses are no exception. They are designed for a vast field of vision - no matter the activity you are doing and wherever it takes you. Place onto your face with the megol arm grippers to provide a secure fit and be well on your way. The curved frame creates a tailored fit for each individual and can come in an array of fun colours. Made from a high-strength moulded Grilamid material, these are designed to last.
Buy now £84.00, Rapha