How To Build the Perfect Pair of Running Glasses

Traditionally, running and eyeglasses have had an either/or relationship: If you run hard or in hot and humid environments — conditions that ordinarily cause glasses to fog up — you may prefer running in contacts or ditching your sunglasses altogether. But the benefits of running with sunglasses far outweigh the negatives. At Rudy Project, we design and manufacture sunglasses specifically for runners. From lenses to frames to prescriptive options, premium running sunglasses blend form and function to make every run safer and more enjoyable.

Running Glasses 101: The Lenses

The number one job of high-performance sunglasses is protection. You want 100 percent protection from UVA and UVB rays. You also want wrap-around lenses that provide full face coverage to prevent dust and wind from getting into your eyes. That full coverage coupled with a curved lens lets you see clearly to the sides and underfoot without distortion. Shatter-resistant lenses such as Rudy Project’s ImpactX lenses add even more protection against errant branches, rocks, or other debris that could damage your eyes.

Do you run on shaded trails or forest paths? Urban parks or roads with very little shade? At dawn or dusk, or in the middle of the day in the bright sun? The right lens color matched to your favorite running environments will let you see sharper contrasts and spot troublesome roots, pavement cracks, snakes(!), or other obstacles that could trip up your stride. In general, brown, red, and copper colors are best all-around. Green works well in lush environments, and gray or black lenses are best for seeing true colors. 

Running Glasses 101: The Frames

The ideal pair of running sunglasses shouldn’t feel like you’re wearing them. They should fit snugly but not so tight that they give you a headache or so loose that you constantly push them back into place. They should be featherweight-light. If you’re looking for a pair that checks all these boxes, check out Rudy Project’s Propulse sunglasses. They use proprietary Hi-Grip rubber on the temple tips and the adjustable nose piece to keep them in place. The frames and the lenses feature strategically placed vents that prevent fogging by pulling cool air in and drawing warm air out and away from the eyes. The lack of a frame around the bottom of the lens allows rain and other moisture to roll off the lens instead of pooling along the bottom of the frames.

Running Glasses 101: The Prescription Solution

For a running sunglass lens that does it all, consider a photochromic lens, especially if you’re a runner who wears Rx eyeglasses. These lenses respond to UV rays hitting the lens, swiftly darkening in bright sunlight and turning nearly clear just as fast in shade or an underpass. They can be your go-to sunglasses for sunrise runs and pre-dawn marathons that finish in the late morning under a bright sun. Photochromic lenses offer an ideal solution for runners who wear prescription eyeglasses. They’re the only pair of sports glasses you’ll need, whether you wear prescription glasses or not, no matter the conditions or time of day.