This review looks at some of the sweat resistant sports sunglasses for running, and the key design aspect that seems to be missing in most design including the top models. If you are looking at sports sunglasses, you will probably be attracted first by the looks, then the price. However, not all sunglasses are suitable for sports.
The design criteria that in this review focuses on the following criteria:
- Light weight
- Stays secure during running
- UV protection
- Looks good
- Sweat resistant, or even better, sweat proof lenses
Most Common Sunglasses Design Specifications
Most sports sunglasses are designed to have the first three features in the above list, which are light weight, secure when running, and UV protection lenses.
It is very rare to find a Sports Sunglasses where one of these design features are not present. If so, then it does not even meet the basic sports sunglasses requirement.
So the decision affecting most runners would then be the looks, color and price. However, there is one very important criteria overlooked by most runners.
What About Sweating Resistant?
We always sweat during sports, especially running and biking, or any strenuous activities under the sun. So we are asking this important design requirement for “sweat resistant”. Recently, we found out from at least two top Sunglasses supplier that they do not guarantee the effects of sweat on the lenses. Further research online, show that there seem to be a lack of emphasis in this aspect of the design.
Since sweating is the major issue during sports, let us study how it affects the sunglasses design specifications.
Designed For Anti-Sweat
Firstly, some sunglasses is designed to block the sweat flowing down from the forehead. This is could be an issue if you do not wear a sweat band or running cap, and the sweat flowing down to the eye can be very irritating.
Secondly, we asked if the lenses sweat resistant? Tinted or mirror finish Sports lenses are not guaranteed to be sweat resistant. We are referring to the peeling caused by sweat during a run, and not a pair of sweaty lenses unwashed and left overnight.
We have asked some of the major sunglasses supplier including Oakley and Rudy Project, and both explained that they do not provide such guarantee for lenses that peel due to sweat, and heat (from sun) during a run. We are puzzled then, why would anyone call them “sports” when the sunglasses could not with stand heat and sweat.
As mentioned earlier, most sunglasses meet the basic specifications of UV protection, lightweight and secure frame when running. All that is left for the user to decide is the look (shape, etc), color and price.
The remaining of this article will only review the brand or model of “Sports” sunglasses which are designed to handle sweat better.
Without doubt, this is a famous sunglass brand since the early days when triathlon was born. In recent years, some users including myself encountered issues with peeling lenses. The issue was brought up directly to the local brand support center and they confirmed that the lenses are not guaranteed against peeling caused by sweating.
The oakley lens peeling issue was also brought up by others around the web. Oakley do not provide lifetime guarantee for their lenses.
Although we have seen some users recommending Rudy Projects for sweat resistant, we have not use them before. We decided to visit and ask the local rep about encountering issues with peeling lenses. The reply is that peeling lens is not a widespread reported issue for the brand. However, even though they do not provide any guarantee for peeling lenses, they have not heard of complaints that the lenses peel during or immediately after a run. In all cases, they emphasis on keeping the lens clean where possible and avoid direct heat for prolonged period of time.
Obviously, we cannot keep the lens free from sweat in a 12 kilometers run. For sports sunglasses, it has to withstand sweat (and heat) even if we do not clean it during a run. For heat – fine, we will try to run in late evening or early morning. But for long races such as triathlon like Ironman, noon-time running or biking under the hot sun, would be unavoidable.
There is a gut feel that Rudy Project’s lenses are in fact sweat resistant. The reason there is no guarantee for peeling is because it may open a floodgate for issues caused by user negligence. For example, it is hard to verify if the peeling was caused by the runner, who left sweat on the lens over night, or for several days without cleaning them.
Sweat resistant does not imply sweat proof.
Looking Out For Better Options!
We will be looking out and review other sunglasses in due course. However, our search will focus on those high-end, high quality running sunglasses, and not cheap makes. Unless we are lucky to find one that cost less than $30 and beat Oakley in sweat resistant. That would be great!
At the price that users are paying for the high end sunglasses, they would expect real “sports” sunglasses that is sweat resistant. Please feel free to contact us if you have any suggestions, and we may even buy them to try it out!