Our Favorite Sunglasses for Every Activity
6 stylish shades that also have performance chops
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
No accessory is as essential for summer, especially in sunny New Mexico, as a pair of sunglasses. Besides blocking harmful UV rays, the perfect shades can add pizzazz to a casual outfit, prevent glare on the water, or shield your eyes from bugs and branches when biking. Like most gear, sunglasses are designed to be sport-specific. Here are my go-to models for the activities I do the most.
Kaenon Clarke ($180)
Best For: Everyday Wear
With its classic Wayfarer styling, thick black frames, and polarized lenses, the Clarke is my go-to for casual, everyday use. The narrower fit and a touch of sticky rubber on the nose make these glasses comfortable for all-day wear. And I like the neutral lenses, which are dark enough to shade my eyes but don’t make me feel like I’m constantly looking through an Instagram filter.
Julbo Renegade ($190)
Best For: Mountain Biking
Don’t let its looks deceive you. While the Renegade is stylish enough to wear to the café, these sunglasses have the technical chops to keep up on the trail. My favorite feature is the photochromic Reactiv lenses that darken and brighten to suit the light conditions. In general, they stay on the lighter side, making them great for after-work rides at dusk, when darker shades would be a hazard. Curved lenses and wraparound frames are standard on crossover glasses (the wide field of vision is appreciated on the trail), but the Renegade pulls it off nicely without looking too sporty.
Shred Stomp Polarized ($200)
Best For: Traveling
A no-compromise option, the Stomp seamlessly blends urban style with a badass, performance-oriented mindset inspired by Olympic skier and Shred founder Ted Ligety. While expensive, there’s a lot to like for both street and serious outdoorsiness. These are the lightest, most flexible glasses I own, thanks to the NoWeight frames, which have a sleek exterior but are cut away from the inside to reduce material in minimal stress areas like the tips. The neutral polarized synthetic lenses boost contrast just enough to punch up the view. While I love these sunglasses for travel, they’re perfect for everything.
Sunski Treeline ($90)
Best For: Ski Touring
Glacier glasses are essential for winter travel, because the leather shades seal out sun reflecting off snow and ice. Unfortunately, most are incredibly expensive, but not the Treeline, which I wore on ski tours all winter and proved to be worth ten times the $90 price tag. Sunski forgoes the traditional leather for perforated plastic shades that are detachable, so I can wear these glasses to the bar without looking like I just climbed the Eiger.
Costa Ocearch Remora ($170)
Best For: Fishing
When it comes to fishing, I need all the help I can get. That’s why I wear the Remora, which features super-clear gray mirrored plastic lenses that help me see past the water’s surface. These sunglasses fit snugly to prevent any light from leaking in at the sides during long hours on open water. Plus, it’s hard not to dig the tiger-shark frame pattern—a shout-out to Ocearch, a global nonprofit that supports the research of some of the world’s leading shark experts. Part of the proceeds from these glasses help fund their research.
Spy Hunt ($160)
Best For: Running
If you couldn’t tell, I like Wayfarer-style shades, and the Hunt looks nice enough to wear anywhere yet has the performance chops I appreciate when moving quickly. The robust Grilamid frame (the same type of plastic used in ski boots) is accented with rubber on the nose and tips to keep the glasses firmly on my face as the sweat starts to drip.