sports sunglasses
Sports sunglasses ensure both safety and comfort outdoors. Browse our list before you tackle your favourite activities under the sun. Image Credit: Unsplash/Munbaik Cycling Clothing

It’s pleasant, with sunny skies out - the perfect weather to get some steps in or cycle by the corniche. Chances are your regular sunshades will not do much against the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) glare here, nor will they protect your vision from dust, dirt and sweat. Swap them out for lightweight, specially constructed sports sunglasses that shield the peripheral for full protection.

Whether you like to run, bike, fish or play cricket under the sun, consider getting a pair. We spoke to a UAE-based cyclist who's been true to his Oakley shades for a while. Robert Resto, co-founder of Dubai Cycling, a community that hosts social rides in the city, and founder of his own cycling team Los Habibies, engages in various sports activies, from running to swimming.

"When we're playing a sport, we need to choose an accessory that will help us feel relaxed. If you're running or cycling continuously for hours, you'll need sports sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun, wind and sand as much as possible," explained Resto.

There are three top criteria for picking out the best shades for strenuous activities, according to our expert. Firstly, make sure the pair is lightweight - the lighter the frame, the more comfortable you'll be on your runs. Next, go for polarised lenses that buffer the sun's glare from cars, water or any other reflective surface. "You don't want the sun's glare to disrupt your vision mid-activity, especially when the asphalt catches the sunlight and reflects a harsh glare," said Resto. And finally, a good pair will give you an unshakable grip, so that they don't slip from sweat and sudden jerky movements.

Special sports shades can be pricier for the features they offer, but Resto says these are worth your money, since they shield your vision without complications. Browse our expert's pick below, along with some of the best-rated sports sunglasses on Amazon. Save on shipping charges when you become a Prime member, which makes you eligible for free next-day delivery.

1. Best Overall: Oakley Men's Radar EV Path Rectangular Sunglasses

Oakley’s Radar EV Path sunglasses for men are equipped with polarised lenses. Protect your eyes from the sun's glare with Oakley's Prizm 24k polarised lenses, which are designed to enhance contrast, colour and detail when the sunlight is strong. This pair is lightweight and comfortable, covers upper peripheral vision and also protects from UV rays plus harmful blue light up to 400nm. Reviewers call Oakley’s Prizm lenses stylish and a stable fit, even for a match of cricket. Others say the weight is barely noticeable, and appreciate how flexible the thermoplastic frame is.

2. Best for Everyday Activities: Tifosi Veloce Wrap Sunglasses

Photochromic sunglasses automatically become darker in sunlight and clearer at night, depending on the UV intensity. This chic Tifosi pair works perfectly at all times, no matter the unpredictable weather conditions. The lenses also block up to 100 per cent of UV light. Weighing only weigh 28 grams, they can be worn for a wide range of outdoor activities, from running to golfing. You'll find hydrophillic rubber ear and nose pads that get stickier the more you sweat. Even though the tint falls short of black sunglasses, reviewers find the shades sufficient under sunny skies, but highlight their usefulness at night for safety reasons. The transition from dark to light and vice versa is instant, they note.

3. Best for Cycling: Julbo Fury Performance Sunglasses

Sporty wayfarers with wide cylindrical lens, Julbo's Fury are especially suited for cycling. This pair is available with photochromic lenses that let in up to 12 per cent of visible light, becoming the darkest under strong sunlight. Its panoramic view offers maximum coverage with tall 53mm lenses, weighing just 38 grams. Its most reliable feature is the shock-absorbing insert that keeps your frames on the bridge of your nose as you bike on rough terrain, through rain or sweat. They're also anti-fog, thanks to the vented structure that prevents your vision from fogging up. Reviewers who go mountain biking frequently love the clarity they get, even on extremely humid days. They also attest to the comfortable fit with a helmet on.

4. Best for Water Sports: WindRider Polarised Floating Sunglasses 

Out on the water often? Check out WindRider's polarised sunglasses that float on water, buffer intense glare and prevent water droplets from staining the lenses. Reviewers note how they stay put on the head on boat rides and maintain a clear vision thanks to the anti-fog vents in the corners. Whether you're inshore, fishing or looking for a multipurpose land and sea pair, WindRider has lenses for each. Our choice is blue mirror lenses, perfect for sunny days on the water.

5. Best Budget: PUKCLAR Polarised Sports Sunglasses

Another affordable pair by PUKCLAR is worth considering. Its polarised lenses block UV light with the same strength that rivals its more expensive counterparts. Five-star reviews mention slipping these on when gardening, driving, mountain and road biking, running and even for water sports activities. The shades make for a solid first pair, if you’re looking to try sports sunglasses without shelling out much. They're the lightest pair on our list.

6. Best Design: Columbia Men's Utiliser Sunglasses

If you're looking for sports shades that pass for regular sunglasses, Columbia's Men's Utilizer are the one. With an all-black build, the shades are fitted with polarised lenses that block 100 per cent of UV rays and sit comfortably on the nose supported by rubber nose pads. Buyers like the peripheral coverage they offer and how snugly these fit nearly all face shapes, including broad temples.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.