The Athena
The Athena (courtesy, Performance Bicycles)

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

The Athena

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 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.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021 Lead Photo: courtesy, Performance Bicycles