Wearing shades while running or cycling is important for safety as well as protecting your vision. Wind, flying dust, and bits of gravel kicked up from passing cars can make eyes dry or injure them. The best glasses for running and cycling are wraparound or close fitting styles that shield your eyes physically (polycarbonate lenses work well) as well as optically. Notice the close fit and brown lenses on the shades worn by Patrick Dempsey, pictured here:
Particularly if you wear contact lenses, you want wraparound glasses to prevent your contacts from drying out. Look for a frame with air holes or channels at the frame’s top to prevent fogging. Even on overcast days, you should wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation. Aside from that, you need lenses that enhance contrast so you can spot hazards more easily. Here are your best choices in lenses for running and cycling
Yellow and Orange Lenses
Yellow and orange lenses enhance contrast, particularly in hazy or overcast conditions. These lens colors also filter out blue light to help you maintain sharper focus on the road or trail. Not only are yellow and orange lenses good for running and cycling, they’re also great if you enjoy shooting, snowboarding, or tennis. The 7Eye Churada is a wrap frame designed for ultimate performance and protection. Orbital Seal technology keeps irritants out, and the vented seal helps prevent fogging. This is a small-medium style with glossy black frames and photochromic lenses that go from yellow to brown.
Rose and Red Lenses
Rose or red lenses heighten contrast when it’s sunny to partly cloudy, but you have to be careful with rose or red lenses, because they cause color imbalances. This color lens can be useful for running, cycling, fishing in shallow stream beds, as well as snowmobiling, skiing, and hunting. Oakley “Switch” style comes in a polished white frame with Red Iridium polarized lenses. You can also buy lenses in other colors to pop in and out of these frames, increasing the versatility of this wraparound style. Below you’ll see a wraparound frame with red lenses on actor and avid cyclist Shemar Moore.
Amber and Brown Lenses
Amber and brown lenses block significant blue light, enhancing visual acuity and contrast. They’re particularly good for improving contrast if you’re running or riding on trails and in blue-sky conditions. Amber and brown lenses work well for running and cycling as well as fishing in marshy conditions, plus golf and skiing. The Arnette Heavy Hitter is a large, rectangular wraparound style with a dark brown and tan frame and brown lenses. These would be good for running or cycling in bright, sunny conditions.
Lens Colors Not Recommend for Running and Cycling
Green and gray lenses aren’t tops for cycling, because they don’t heighten contrast as well, meaning you could miss road or trail hazards. Additionally, gray and green lenses reduce brightness, which is terrific if you’re lounging on the beach, but not ideal if you’re cycling or jogging.