Updated: October 20th, 2011


Have you ever tried running in your glasses? It probably wasn’t much of a success. Your normal glasses work well in the office or while lounging around at home, but they aren’t designed to hold up to the strain caused by athletic activity. Not only do ordinary glasses lack the durability necessary for running, they are just plain annoying. They steam up on hot days, slip down your nose when you get sweaty, and fly off your face whenever you turn your head. Contacts are a great option for some athletes, but runners may have conditions that make it impossible for them to choose this option. Other runners may not want to invest in contacts that they will only wear for a few hours each week, if that.

A practical solution lies in the many newly designed running glasses currently on the market. Running glasses feature lightweight construction that fits close to the face, ensuring greater stability. The great thing about athletic glasses is that they can do more than just correct vision. Running glasses can be used to block harmful UV rays, while providing important protection from the sun. They also can increase comfort by reducing glare, improving clarity, and keeping sweat away from the eyes.

There are many things to consider when choosing the appropriate pair of running glasses. First, you should decide how much you are willing to invest in your glasses. You can purchase a decent pair of basic running glasses for a reasonable price, but the less expensive glasses are more prone to damage and less likely to come with special coating or other special features.

Be ready to pay more for glasses with specialized features, such as anti-reflective coating, anti-fog coating, polycarbonate construction and elongated lenses and frames. Some running glasses also come with interchangeable lenses in different colors and tints. Interchangeable lenses can be pricey, but they also eliminate the need for prescription running sunglasses. Some runners prefer photochromic lenses, which automatically adjust to accommodate for changes in lighting. This can be a convenient option if you run for long periods of time, or if you run in environments with varying levels of lighting.

When choosing running glasses, it is important to look for a lightweight design that fits snuggly to your head. Be sure to choose running glasses with adjustable nose pads and frames. If you sweat a lot when you exercise, you may also want to purchase athletic glasses with absorbent nose pads. This will keep the sweat from dripping in your eyes, and will prevent the glasses from slipping down your nose.

Running glasses can be purchased in most sporting goods stores. Some optical shops also carry running glasses, although the selection may be limited. Specialty running stores often carry large collections of running glasses as well. The advantage of purchasing athletic glasses at a specialty store is that the staff is better able to answer questions and assist you in finding a pair of running glasses that meets your individual needs.

There is no single pair of running glasses that is perfect for all athletes. The ideal pair will differ based on running terrain, distance and timing of running trips, lighting of the environment and aesthetic preferences. Finding the appropriate pair may require a thorough search, but the time investment will pay off in increased comfort and better performance while training and especially during a big race.

Sara Roberts is a content contributor for Just Eyewear, a prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses retailer.

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