Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

What pair of inexpensive sunglasses are good for running?

I looking for a pair of sunglasses to wear while running. I a woman, with a smaller fre and a small face. I like glasses that are half rims and wrap around the sides—but I don't want them so huge that they cover my whole face—with a light lens that don't distort the true colors. And I'd prefer to not go bankrupt, either— I can't believe what I've seen pricewise for a pair of sunglasses. I delusional? Connie Cleveland, OH


No, you're not delusional. I don't mean to diss high-end eyeglass makers, and I have worn expensive sunglasses that certainly seem to work better in different light conditions than lesser pairs. But $150 and up for a pair of non-prescription glasses that, let’s face it, are essentially fancy plastic? I share your disbelief, Connie.

The Athena

So what to do? Frugal eyeglass shoppers have several choices:

You could buy "house brand" eyewear. Performance Bicycle, for instance, have a very good line of glasses under their own name. Check out the Athena glasses ($49, on sale now for $30), which have the frame and design you seek, a choice of red/silver/smoke frames, and they come with three different lenses (grey, amber, and clear). And they're not cheaply made; they have good-quality nylon lenses, nice looks, and tough polycarbonate lenses. Name-brand equivalents are twice as much. Also check out as well the Nashbar Zurich ($59, and on sale now for $45) and L.L. Bean's Multisport Polarized Sunglasses($49).

Or you can hunt around for special deals. I often buy glasses from Campmor, which usually has several dozen pairs on sale. Recent example: Tifosi Scatto Fototec Polarized Sunglasses, which have a nice trim look and two lenses. Retail is $90, Campmor's price is $39. Meanwhile, over at Sierra Trading Post, Bolle Kickback Modulator sunglasses, which are fully polarized, go for $80. That’s half of retail. Sweet. Also, check out sites like or find the glasses you want and head to eBay. You'll find 'em, easy.

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: RunningSunglasses
Lead Photo: courtesy, Performance Bicycles