Jun 21

Made in the Shade – The Best Running and Cycling Sunglasses

When I first started running I never wore sunglasses. Way back then I was overly concerned about how I looked and not at all concerned about my eye health. It wasn’t until I started cycling on the regular that I realized how helpful (and necessary) sunglasses are on both the ride and run. It also helped tremendously that they went from looking like this:

To this:

My love of sunglasses for running and cycling has grown over the years and I have tested and tried many different kinds. I’ve also spoken with sunglasses reps and salespeople for various articles I’ve written and have been blown away by the technology used in so many products today. If you haven’t upgraded your specs in a while, now is your chance:

ROKA | Phantom C3 | $275

I find these are the best for running because they are lightweight, stay in place, don’t fog up (even in this God awful humidity we’re having!) and are not too dark so you can still see where all the potholes are. Plus, they look cool as hell and I wear them when I’m not running too:

“Running” to and Orangetheory class last month.

TIFOSI | Crit | $79.95

Tifosi was the very first brand of cycling glasses I owned and I have had at least one pair for the past 7 years. Most come with interchangeable lenses which are useful for varying cycling terrain and weather patterns. I have to say that I leave my rose-colored ones in most of the time since that’s the way I want to see my cycling world. However, I would definitely NOT wear this pair anywhere but on the bike:

Which is why I also have this pair at $49.95:

All bundled up and ready to run!

xx2i Optics | France 2 Crystal Green Flash | $59.99

I was sent a pair of these because they are the official eyewear of USA Triathlon and, after wearing them on the bike and run, I know why! They are hands down the most comfortable sunglasses I own, never slip or fog and have changeable colors and lenses. I mean, really – – what else could I ask for? Ok so I can’t (or won’t) wear them anywhere but on the bike and run but I kind of like it that way.

Cycling in Cuba with my xxi2 optics!

ZEAL | Magnolia | $149

Although I don’t have a pair of these I was super impressed with this company’s philosohy when I spoke with a ZEAL rep for an article I wrote. I’m sure you (and my husband) will agree that I have enough pairs of sunglasses for now but, I thought these were worth mentioning, even though I haven’t tested them.

The guiding philosophy of ZEAL is use less, give back, explore more and itโ€™s lived out loud. Their offices are zero percent waste in partnership for a clean environment and the open front space of their headquarters is reserved for community events, held 2-3 times per month, where they work with various non-profit organizations.

Whether or not you believe the actual scientific facts about global warming, buying a pair of ZEAL shades could actually make the world a better place.

No matter what you chose to wear for your outdoor rides and runs make sure you wear something! Not only do sunglasses protect your eyes from harmfulย UVB and UVA rays they also prevent you from squinting and scrunching up your face which creates extra tension and uses precious energy.ย 

Stay cool out there my friends.

Do you wear sunglasses for running or riding?

How many pairs do you have?





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  1. I have a pair of RayBans for every day and a pair of Smith Optics for cycling. But the ones I really love are my Goodr sunglasses for running. I don’t always wear running sunglasses but these are amazing. Lightweight, fun, polarized and only $25? Hard to believe. I bought some for my guys and they wear them for every day.
    Wendy recently posted…5 Reasons and 6 Tips to be More Mindful on the RunMy Profile

    1. You know I didn’t include my “everyday” sunglasses which are Smith and I have had them for about 6 years. I love them!!
      And, not sure if you saw my tweet my I immediately went to the Goodr site and ordered two pair. Thank you!! I can’t wait to try them.

    • Jen on June 21, 2017 at 8:32 AM
    • Reply

    I have had the same pair of Smiths (with interchangeable lenses) for the last 10 years. The frame has been broken and repaired at least twice, but I just can’t give them up. The nose pads stink and I have sunblock all over the lenses, but I love the things too much to get rid of them! Before that, I had an awesome pair of Oakleys that I loved and lost. Maybe I’ll invest in a new pair one of these days…

    1. Hey – there is something to be said for having the same gear forever. I get it. However, once you get a new pair you will probably wonder why you waited so long ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I actually don’t wear sunglasses while I run! I wear a hat and pull it down low like a gangsta. I like those first ones though–they’re super nice. I like the pink hat you’re wearing too–where did you get it?
    Suzy recently posted…Pregnant and Running: 29 Week UpdateMy Profile

    1. I used to only wear a hat on runs but then I started cycling and wearing them all the time and it just kind of overflowed into running. Sometimes I wear both now because I’m crazy like that ๐Ÿ™‚
      The hat is from Bic Bands believe it or not and they still sell it: http://www.bicbands.com/trucker-hats/

      1. Okay, awesome thanks!
        Suzy recently posted…The Bored MeetingMy Profile

  3. I have zero pairs…I’ve been wanting to get some for SO long. This is the perfect guide, thanks Allie!!

    1. WHAT???? OMG get some right now!!

    • danielle on June 21, 2017 at 1:21 PM
    • Reply

    oh wow, i love this!!!! i love sunglasses. pre baby i used to have several pairs of glasses for running and cycling. i loved the oakley’s, can’t remember the name but they were huge and chunky and loved them for cycling, not so much for running. the running ones i used and still use are cheapo running glasses i’ve bought at all the race expos or gas stations during a ride, LOL.
    i never wear sunglasses these days since i’m not cycling and when i’m running i just run and don’t care too much. BUT i’m totally going to check out these because i deserve a new pair. new shades make you cool and faster, right??? ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. LOL yes, definitely! Sounds like you have the same obsession I do when it comes to eyewear. Happy shopping!

  4. What’s the sun? I have a pair of regular sunglasses I wear on runs during the few sunny weeks, but in rainy season they just get foggy and make it hard to see. Those ones that you have from Tifosi are super cute!
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…How to Become a Stronger Hill RunnerMy Profile

    1. HAHAHA – seriously. I feel for you but I’m sure you can use them once and a while…and a lot have great anti-fog technology now. You could really put them to the test!

  5. I have a pair of Oakleys that I wear on the run and on rides. Not all the time though. But the best sunglasses I own are a cheap $10 pair from Target. I have had them for years and they don’t fog up. So weird!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…16 Getting to Know Me ThingsMy Profile

    1. That is seriously awesome! Is there nothing Target cannot do?

  6. Mine are cheap ๐Ÿ˜€ The first pair of running glasses that I got were a bit more expensive, and they lasted me for years and years but the ones that I have now I think are from Walgreens?
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Fueling Up : Full and Half Marathon Training Nutrition (Coaches Corner)My Profile

    1. Gotta love that and hey, whatever works well, right?

  7. Nope! I’m terrible! I really need to pay more attention to this… especially as a fair skinned person with sensitivity to sun and light. Thanks for this kick in the butt to make it happen!
    Laura recently posted…How Runners Can Get Fitter While InjuredMy Profile

  8. I can’t believe those Rokas are running glasses! I’d wear them just for fun. I only have one pair right now – they’re Ray Bans and I can wear them for literally anything.
    Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted…Thin Mint Protein Dough BallsMy Profile

    1. Ray Bans are old school cool. I would definitely stick with those but yes, I felt the same way about the ROKA’s which is why I had to have them!

  9. I need a new pair of sunglasses for running. Although I’m not sure why since most of my runs are on the treadmill…doh! Seriously though, I have a pair of Oakley’s but I don’t really like them that much. They were given to me, so I wear them, but I dont find them cute or flattering, and let’s face it those two things are pretty important ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I also don’t want to break the bank. Thanks for the ideas!

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