There’s a reason why people come speeding around the bend on a bike or during a run in a sleek pair of wrap-around sunglasses with an extended shield style. Not only do these shades contain cutting-edge technology that enhances performance, but they can also help sharpen your vision helping dodge any oncoming obstacles to avoid collision or injury.
When it comes to biking or running on the road, there are certain details you want to make sure your shades have:
*Adjustable frames allow you to tweak the fit (of typically the nosepiece and temple tips) to ensure they stay securely locked in place. *Lens technology with photochromic features (where the lenses lighten or darken depending on their exposure to UV light—i.e. going dim when introduced to UV light) so you can achieve a crisp, crystal clear view with improved depth perception of enhanced visual contrast no matter what the light conditions are. If they don’t offer photochromic lenses, then look for ones that come with an extra set of tinted lenses (like a rose hue which is meant for low light settings like trails or a bronze tint which is meant for water environments) as well as an interchangeable lens mechanism so you can easily swap them out when encountering those environments. *UV protection helps shield your eyes from the harsh sun, providing you with a clear view ahead. *Polarized shades are a plus so you can block out glare from water or pavement. *A sleek wide design offers an unobstructed view. *Great grip thanks to strategically placed pads of rubber (typically on the nosepiece and temple tips) ensure the shades stay put when you're moving in every direction. *Durable materials that are shatter resistant are great if you're the type to forget you put them on your head when you stopped at a water fountain. *And a stylish pair doesn’t hurt, either.
Here we garnered up 10 top-of-the-line shades featuring the latest in design and technology (like all of the above) so you can reach peak performance with optimal levels of comfort. The following pairs will fine-tune vision, promote clarity, fit great, reduce fog, and stay in place whether you’re an elite or more casual athlete.
Oakley just rolled out a limited one-time collection for this summer and Rio’s Olympic Games called Green Fade. The collection features a slew of shades that are splattered with green (hence the name), which was the color featured on the brand’s first performance product in 1980. Now, they’ve brought back the hue in some of their top performance shades like these Jawbreakers which are made for cycling. Infused with Oakley’s signature “Prizm” technology, this pair delivers crystal clear clarity, razor-sharp vision, and precise color-tuning in an expanded shield design that provides an unobstructed panoramic view. They feature a quick-switch mechanism to easily release the mounted lenses so a new one can be quickly popped in. They’re lightweight, durable, and will remain locked in place thanks to strategically placed pads on the nose and temples that won’t put too much pressure on your skin.
Experience clarity—literally—during your rides and runs with this pair from Smith Optics. They come with two adjustable nosepieces and slide-on temple tips that will naturally grip to your skin and stick throughout wet conditions. The lenses will wick off any water droplets that hit the surface, are easily interchangeable, and come with an additional set which includes the original layer as well as a rose-tinted option which is ideal for low lighting environments like the trails because it provides enhanced visual definition of objects. They’re lightweight, comfortable, and have a wide fit that’s ideal for masculine face shapes yet will fit under a chunky helmet when you hit the road.
Take this pair of Tifosi shades with you to the pavement whether you’re cycling or running on it. The innovative technology infused into these lenses allows them to cut out glare, eliminate distortion, reduce fog, and auto-adjust lens color to match the ambient light in a matter of 10 seconds. The rubber pads on the nose and temples will ensure a stay-put fit without feeling too tight thanks to its self-adjustable ear pieces. They’re highly flexible, sturdy, and are topped with a scratch and shatter-proof finish.
This cutting-edge pair from Nike is constructed in a sleek, lightweight, shield style, sculpted in a way that cuts through oncoming wind, reducing resistance. Looking through the lens provides pristine clarity with top-notch color definition to enhance attention to detail ahead. The material on the temples and nosepad will naturally grip to your skin if you start sweating, allow air circulation to the skin, and are self adjustable so you can enjoy a secure, comfortable fit.
These photochromic lenses deliver quality definition, great visual clarity, and are interchangeable so you can easily swap them out to dive into any light condition. Achieve a fully customizable fit with its self-adjustable temple tips, which can rotate a full 360 degrees, and nosepiece, which can be tweaked to fit the bridge shape and width of your nose—both of which contain non-slip properties for a fixed fit that can withstand any heat conditions. They’re comfortable, durable, have air flow vents to impede fogging, and have special fold-in-hinges without sharp edges to ward off injury in case you fall.
These Duduma polarized lenses will block out glare while enhancing visual clarity and resisting impact. They’re incredibly lightweight for a barely-there feel, fit securely, and have a soft rubber coating on the legs and nose bridge allowing them to comfortably remain in place. They’re ideal for multiple sport environments ranging from running to cycling to golfing or climbing, and if you’re concerned about them shattering, they come with a lifetime breakage guarantee, which at this price point, is totally worth it.
These lightweight Julbo shades offer a universal fit, are comfortable, and are designed to naturally promote air circulation while reducing fog no matter how sweaty your workout gets. Grip pads on the nose and temples can adjust in every direction to provide a personalized fit. The lenses are photochromic, deliver a wide, clear field of view, and come with an extra set of photochromic lenses that are ideal for mountain biking and trail running for when you take your activity to the hills.
Constructed of tough titanium, scratch- and smudge-free properties, and a highly flexible fit, these Under Armour shades are a must-have option for any road excursion you take on. The lenses will deliver ultra-precise definition and supreme clarity in your peripheral vision while still allowing natural colors to come through. Its special airflow technology will provide constant breeze to your sun-soaked skin during rigorous training sessions. And it includes an adjustable nosepad with autogrip temples to ensure a cozy, fastened fit without squeezing your pressure points.
Interested in an unbreakable pair at an unbeatable price? Meet REKs Optics, the up-and-coming sunglass brand offering quality performance shades at just $50. These sunglasses are built with shatter-resistant lenses and "memory-flex polymer" frames that can bend in every direction without breaking. Fit them under your helmet during a bike ride or try them on a run; their infused polycarbonate and polarized lenses will protect your eyes whilst offering supreme visual definition, while their lightweight feel and comfortable, secure fit make them perfect for any actvity. For that price, you still get a water-repelling finish to boot.
Best for Fashion, Non-Competitive Running and Cycling
If you have an active lifestyle but aren’t necessarily finishing races on the daily, opt for a fashion-centric pair that lets you crush your workouts in style. This pair from Adidas includes lenses that will fine-tune your vision, which are also scratch-resistant. They have a double-snap nose bridge with grip pads that will adjust to the width of your nose for a secure fit without putting too much pressure your skin. Includes quick-release hinges to easily remove and reinsert temple pieces for convenience. And they’re are incredibly lightweight, flexible, durable, and have an oversized fit that work great for male face shapes yet still fit under your headgear like a helmet.