running sunglasses

Do I Need Polarised Sunglasses for Running?

March 25th, 2024

In the realm of running, where the environment and conditions can drastically sway one’s experience, every piece of gear holds the potential to uplift or dampen the spirit of your run. Among the plethora of running accessories, polarised sunglasses often surface as a topic of curiosity and debate. 

The question, “Do I need polarised sunglasses for running?” resonates with many in the running community, from the enthusiastic beginner to the seasoned marathoner. 

This blog aims to shed light on this subject, guiding runners through the advantages and potential drawbacks of using polarised sunglasses, and ultimately aiding in making an informed decision on adding them to their arsenal.

Understanding Polarised Lenses

At the heart of polarised sunglasses lies the technology designed to combat glare. Polarised lenses are equipped with a special chemical film that filters light, reducing glare from reflective surfaces like water or wet roads. This technology blocks horizontal light waves, allowing only vertical waves to pass through, which significantly enhances visual clarity and reduces eye strain.

The Runner’s Perspective: Advantages of Polarisation

For runners, the allure of polarised sunglasses isn’t merely a matter of reducing brightness; it’s about enhancing the quality of their visual environment. Here’s how polarisation can transform your run:

  • Enhanced Visual Clarity: By cutting down glare, polarised lenses allow for crisper, clearer vision. This can be particularly beneficial when navigating uneven terrains or spotting obstacles.
  • Reduced Eye Strain: Constant squinting in bright conditions can lead to eye fatigue. Polarised sunglasses alleviate this strain, making for a more comfortable run.
  • Improved Safety: With better visibility comes enhanced safety. Runners can react more swiftly to their surroundings, reducing the risk of accidents.

Potential Limitations and Considerations

Despite their benefits, polarised sunglasses are not without their caveats. One notable downside is the potential difficulty in viewing digital screens, such as smartphones or GPS watches, which could be inconvenient for those who rely heavily on tech gadgets during their runs. 

Additionally, in very low light or foggy conditions, polarised lenses might not offer significant advantages and could potentially alter your depth perception.

Choosing the Right Sunglasses for Running

When scouting for the ideal pair of polarised sunglasses for running, consider the following attributes:

  • Fit and Comfort: Ensure the sunglasses sit snugly without causing discomfort, even during vigorous movement.
  • UV Protection: Look for lenses that offer 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.
  • Lens Tint and Frame Stability: Different tints can enhance contrast and visibility under specific conditions. A stable, lightweight frame is essential for a distraction-free run.

Cost vs Benefit Analysis

Polarised sunglasses often come with a higher price tag compared to standard running sunglasses. To decide whether the investment is worthwhile, consider the environments in which you typically run. If you frequently face glare from water or roads, especially in the Australian summers, the benefits could outweigh the costs. 

However, if your running trails are predominantly shaded or you run mostly during low-light conditions, you might not experience as significant an improvement.

Alternatives and Recommendations

For runners who may not find polarisation essential, there are high-quality, non-polarised running sunglasses that still offer UV protection, comfort, and visibility enhancement. Brands like Oakley, Adidas, Nike and Goodr offer a range of options catering to different needs and budgets.

At the crux of it, what works best for you can come from trailing different pairs. When it comes to your search, take the advice from those in the running community and just figure out what it is you love and hate about polarised sunnies and go from there.

Check Out Our Range of Polarised Sunglasses at Pure Running!

So, to answer the question, ‘Do I need polarised sunglasses for running?’, it comes down to your personal preference, what you usually run in and just how sensitive your eyes are to the sun’s glare. They can be a great additional piece of running gear to have on hand, but it’s important to take into consideration just exactly what you use on your runs. 

goodr running sunglasses

By considering your specific needs and running environment, you can make a cost-effective choice that enhances your running experience without unnecessary expenditure. Remember, the best running gear is the one that meets your unique needs, allowing you to focus on the joy of the run.

If you are on the lookout for a set of polarised sunglasses, check out our collection at Pure Running. Everything we stock has been curated by runners, for runners, so you can set off on your next trip knowing we’ve put our sunglasses to the test.