Best Polarized Sunglasses: From Cheap to Luxury

Do you know what can protect you from a memory wipe? A pair of sunglasses! Too bad it only works in movies. Good thing MiB are in those same movies anyways. Our memories are safe!

It doesn’t mean sunglasses aren’t cool, though. Did you know that some of them are made from titanium alloys and can be used to open tin cans? I swear I’m not kidding. And they aren’t even the best sunglasses of 2017! No, there are much cooler glasses, for men and women both, with polarization filters, anti-fog filters, contrast enhancement filters and so much more.

It took us weeks to analyze the data and to pick the best of the best sunglasses. Whatever you may want from sunglasses, we have all the data you could possibly need. Find the best match for you face and get the best protection for your regular activities.

Best
overall
pick!

Randolph Unisex Aviator

These are sunglasses everyone should have! Scratch-resistant, stylish and perfect for just about any face, they are worth every dollar you will spend on them.

Best Sunglasses 2017

NameBest forPurposeFilterWeight 
Randolph UnisexAviatorAviator styleUVA protectionUVB protection0.08 lbs. Check Price
Serengeti VelocityDrivingfor drivingUVA protectionUVB protectionPhotochromicGradient0.45 lbs. Check Price
VersacePilotsfor pilotsUVA protectionUVB protection0.45 lbs. Check Price
Maui Jim KipahuluMenfor menUVA protectionUVB protectionHorizontal Polarization0.3 lbs. Check Price
Maui JimWomenfor womenUVA protectionUVB protectionAnti-reflectionHorizontal Polarization0.4 lbs. Check Price
William PainterFishingfor fishingUVA protectionUVB protectionHydrophobicHorizontal Polarization0.7 lbs. Check Price
Oakley BatwolfGolffor golfUVA protectionUVB protection0.2 lbs. Check Price
HD Anti-Glare SafetyRunningfor runningUVA protectionUVB protectionPolarizationAnti-reflection0.65 lbs. Check Price
RIVBOSBaseballfor baseballUVA protectionUVB protectionHorizontal PolarizationAnti-reflection0.25 lbs. Check Price
Maui Jim KanahaTennisfor tennisUVA protectionUVB protectionHorizontal PolarizationAnti-reflection0.25 lbs. Check Price
Dragon AllianceCyclingfor cyclingUVA protectionUVB protectionHorizontal Polarization0.6 lbs. Check Price
Siskiyou St.Hikingfor hikingUVA protectionUVB protection0.05 lbs. Check Price

Here is a chart with top sunglasses depending on their purpose. You can hover the mouse pointer over the name of the product to see its picture. Also, you can open a bigger version of this table by clicking the buttons left and below. If you click the name of the product there, you will be brought to the full version of the review. In the table itself, all the sunglasses will be available for quick analysis and comparison.

Price does not crown all. You will find that both cheap and expensive sunglasses can be called best, can offer the maximum level of protection. But there’s still a difference.

More expensive sunglasses, as a rule, come with more features. Sometimes, those include extra filters and extra coatings. But sometimes, they can be something truly extravagant and unusual. They may have little to do with the standard features of sunglasses but they can make them far more universal and convenient that one could think.

Durability is also a factor. Even the best cheap sunglasses do not have to be durable. If they break, they break, but they will protect your eyes from UV rays until that happens. And that’s very likely to happen after all.

Is there anything else you need to know before we begin? Yes!

As we’ve already found out, there are at least two types of them: real sunglasses and cosmetic sunglasses, which shouldn’t be called sunglasses in the first place. But there’s yet another type: prescription sunglasses. We are not planning to cover those in the foreseeable future. However, it’s rather obvious what they are.

Such sunglasses are made for vision correction first and foremost. But they also come with light filters or tints. Some of the best sunglasses of this type are photochromic sunglasses.

Best Sunglasses for Sports

Sports are rather easy to define but only if you want to go with official definition. It’s all up there, already laid out in unequivocal terms, ready for reading. But that’s not what we need. What we need is to define what sport sunglasses are.

As the name suggests, sport sunglasses are used for sports, but that’s not all there is to them. Let’s consider factors important for sports.

  • First, you need some sort of physical protection. Not necessarily from high-velocity impacts, but the sturdier, the better. Most of glasses are enough for that.
  • Second, you need to see better. You need more contrast. Now that is a little bit different. Depending on the kind of sport, you might need to tone down certain colors and make others standout. That’s how it works in tennis or golf. You also need to eliminate whatever prevents you from seeing things clearly. Most of the time, it’s glare, and polarization can deal with both.
  • Third, the sunglasses must stay in play no matter what you do.

Sunglasses for Fishing

Many people love fishing. It can be a very relaxing sports. However, there’s one thing about fishing, and it cannot be ignored. There will be a lot of staring into the water, at least, when you’re using a fishing rod, and not something else. Unless you like fishing at night, there are going to be consequences.

You must be more than familiar with how powerful a glare from the surface of a river or lake can be. It’s not just irritating but also dangerous. UV-protective sunglasses can deal with the danger part, but a glare is definitely not a pleasant thing. Not only that, it also reduces contrast when you’re watching the float. Often, people have to stare directly into the reflection of the sun!

Is there a way to prevent that? A stronger shade of dark would work, but it would also obscure everything else as well. Polarized lenses are a way better solution.

  • Before-Polarizer
    After-Polarizer
    UnfilteredPolarizerFiltered

But you cannot make it with polarization alone. Let’s not forget about other things fishing may require. Such as splashes of water going everywhere. It’s a bother to wipe them off, they will leave stains, and a proper cleaning is very hard to do without preparation. But there’s a good answer to that: hydrophobic lenses. Not matter how much water gets onto them, it will not remain there.

With all that in mind, let us present the best sunglasses for fishing to you:

William Painter - The Hook Titanium Polarized Wayfarer SunglassesThese sunglasses can be rightfully considered premium sunglasses. Their durability alone is enough for that. If you want durable sunglasses that can survive anything you throw at them, pick the Hook sunglasses from William Painter.

When it comes to such features as utility, these sunglasses are best of the best. They come with a bottle opener. Normally, that would be a stupid idea, because the hinges would break off the moment you applied pressure to them. But these babies are made from aerospace grade titanium. Just think about it. A pair of sunglasses as durable as the hull of a space shuttle. The cap of the bottle will stand no chance! The Hook is a bottle opener that will always be with you!

A superdurable frame would not be complete without glasses with a comparable level of durability.  Thankfully, William Painter’s nylon lenses can take a good hammering. Not that we advise going against a Dwarvish hird while only protected by these sunglasses.  But you can be sure that they will not break when you’re running or cycling or skiing, and that your eyes are completely safe from the debris if something comes your way.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

Yes

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

Yes

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

Absent


Durability, of course, is not all that is important. Sunglasses are made for protection from the sun, and that’s what they should do. These sunglasses can do that. They offer 100% UV protection, and the lenses are big enough to wrap across the face and prevent UV rays from entering the eye from another direction.  Aside from although powerful but plain UV protection, the lenses are also polarized, which reduces the glare. That’s perfect for those who have to spend a lot of time near water surfaces. Combined with a hydrophobic coating, this makes the Hook more than acceptable for water sports.

The gradient lenses reduce the amount of light that enters the eye from above, lowering the light intensity of the sky. Polarization takes care of bright surface.

There is only one conclusion we can give. These are perfect classic sunglasses for people who like water sports and know how to party. They are, however, hardly suitable for a formal setting, unless you have hair long enough to cover the openers.  They are also not cheap, and so, for some people, that’s enough of a reason not to buy them. But consider this: since they are made from aerospace grade materials, they will probably last long enough to cover all your expenses on replacement sunglasses.

The Hooks sunglasses are break-proof, and it’s hard to beat that.

Pros
  • Robust bottle openers that can be just as good or better than a dedicated opener
  • Aerospace grade titanium frame
  • Full UV protection
  • The lenses and available filter make the glasses perfect for water sports
Cons
  • Bottle openers not hidden, which may not be acceptable for many people. The openers emphasize the utilitarian nature of the glasses, and that makes them less suitable as a fashion accessory.
  • Rather expensive

Sunglasses Suitable for Golf

How fast do you think a golf ball moves? You can always look up the answer on the Internet, but that’s not the point. You don’t even need a precise answer. Suffice to say, it moves fast. Very fast. So, what happens when it ricochets off something? It can hit you in the eye. And we definitely don’t want that. Perhaps, some people do consider walking around with an implant cool, but we don’t really have the technologies available to the characters of various SciFi movies. An implant or an eye patch is the last thing you need, as a necessity, at least.

For golf, the quality and durability of the lens are just as important as its optical properties. And we shouldn’t forget about those either. You’ll need a good blue blocking filter first and foremost. That would help you track the ball with more ease. Copper-colored lenses would be best for that.

Oakley Batwolf SunglassesWhat do you think one of the best sunglasses brands is? Of course, it’s Oakley! There’s no doubt about that. Yes, we can argue whether it actually is the best brand, but even if it’s not, it’s definitely one of them. It’s only natural to expect them to come up with the best sunglasses for golf. Which the Batwolf is.

Plastic does not mean zero protection from UV, and these glasses are proof enough of that. Even though the lens is plastic, it still can offer 100% protection. And it is impact resistant, too. That’s a lot more important than most people think. The glasses won’t break easily, true, but they can also protect your face and your eyes, and that is simply priceless for sports, especially golf.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

No

Blue Blocking

Yes

Color Distortion

Considerable


The lens will protect your eyes from all types of UV radiation, as well as harmful blue light. The latter will also enhance the contrast. These sunglasses will improve the visibility of a golf ball against the grass and the sky. The lens also reduces glare.

The glasses come with a single continuous lens, which can be easily replaced if there’s need for that. An extra icon is included in the set.

Pros
  • Iridium lens makes tracking the ball easier
  • Full UV Protection
  • Highly effective blue filter reduces haze and enhances contrast
  • Case Included
  • Designed For Sports
  • Single Continuous Lens
Cons
  • Rather Expensive
  • The lens distorts colors, which is why it is important not to use them for activities where color perception matters. However, it shouldn’t be an issue for golf.

Number One Sunglasses for Running

When running, you can typically get by even without sunglasses. But that’s too dangerous, so it’s better to wear something. But what?

Your regular sunglasses might do the trick. After all, if they are good for any everyday activities, why shouldn’t they be fine for running? That’s true, but there’s more to the situation than just that. For instance, you might need enhanced contrast, especially if you risk running into branches. Contrast enhancement will help you see them better.

What would you need for that? A pair of blue-blocking glasses would be a good accessory. They enhance contrast and will let you notice branches earlier.

Mens HD Polarized Anti-Glare Safety GlassesNow that we know what sunglasses for running need to be, let us present you this pair of blue-blocking  sunglasses, ideally suitable for running. Made for contrast enhancement, they do not interfere with the color perception too much, and can be just as suitable for drivers. For pedestrians and runners, however, it is one of the best matches. For driving, it would be best to get brown sunglasses, even though these are good enough.

The glasses are extremely light weight, which may be unimportant for some people but still matters for others. The anti-reflective coating combined with polarized lenses make the sunglasses extremely effective for reducing glare. At the same time, it makes interaction with LED screens more of a challenge, which is part of the reason this isn’t the best match for anyone who needs to interact with them.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

Yes

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Yes

Blue Blocking

Strong

Color Distortion

Mild


Shatter-proof, they can also offer adequate protection. Even if all you’re going to do is some running, you might still need that protection. If you have ever run into branches, you know how unpleasant it is. More than that, it’s dangerous. But with proper sunglasses, you will be able to spot the danger more easily and if you won’t, they will still protect your eyes.

Pros
  • Shatter-proof plastic lenses will protect your eyes from obstacles, such as branches
  • UV protection
  • Ultra-Lightweight
  • Titanium frame will add further protection
  • Ideal for running and jogging
Cons
  • Rather Expensive
  • Interferes with LED readouts, not suitable for interacting with mobile phones and other similar devices.

Perfect Sunglasses for Baseball

You know what baseball is. But have you ever considered what it is from a non-standard point of view?

Baseball is all about a ball flying at a high velocity, possibly towards you. It might miss, it probably will, but what if it won’t? That can be very unpleasant, especially if you’re just a viewer. They are often protected, but what if that protection is not enough?

And if you’re a player, you definitely need both protection and the ability to track the ball. A good pair of shatterproof sunglasses will do the trick, but we need more. What exactly? The ability to filter out the sky, blue light. Which means, yes, blue blockers are once again the sunglasses you need badly. Polarized lenses would be a great help as well, if only because they would reduce the glare from all horizontal surfaces and further reduce the light intensity of the sky.

  • Before-Polarizer Sky
    After-Polarizer Sky
    UnfilteredPolarizer SkyFiltered

RIVBOS Polarized Sports Sunglasses Driving GlassesWe already know what a pair of glasses for baseball needs to be. Thankfully, the RIVBOS polarized sports sunglasses are exactly what you need. They are not only suitable for baseball but for a number of other activities as well, including driving. However, while we could recommend them for that, they are much better suited for sports. The composite lens and frame will provide enough protection for your eyes. Forget about dust, branches, even wind. And of course, you will get to enjoy 100% UV protection.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

Yes

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

No


The lens is polarized. That means, it enhances contrast, improves visibility, and reduces glare. All of which will prove quite beneficial for playing not just baseball, but also any other game.

The glasses are flexible, resistant to stress and ultralight, which is very important for any sort of activity. Even in the brightest conditions, you will be able to go on unhindered. You can drop these sunglasses, and nothing will happen to them. A ball can hit them, and nothing will happen to them anyway. Or to you, for that matter. This is what makes them ideal for baseball.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight and do not impede movements
  • Perfect for Baseball
  • Impact Protected, a must for playing baseball
Cons
  • May not stay in place during sudden movement, which is a great disadvantage for a baseball player, however, that entirely depends on the size of your head.
  • The lenses will not let you freely interact with mobile displays.

Sunglasses to Buy for Tennis

Tennis is not like baseball. To start with, the ball is much lighter, and it flies a parabolic trajectory. And it does that all the time. You shouldn’t really worry about it hitting you, but you need to keep track of it when you play.

Two things can help with that. One of them is blue or green lenses. The other is polarization. And, to tell you the truth, polarization is preferable.

Green or blue lenses do indeed enhance your ability to perceive yellow objects, such as tennis balls, against the sky or grass, but they also reduce contrast slightly. Polarized lenses, however, simply reduce the glare, and do not distort colors. They keep the level of contrast adequate.

Of course, they should also be shatterproof, but that’s a given when talking about sport sunglasses. Lightweight sunglasses are also preferable, which means less glass and metal and more plastic, such as polycarbonate. All in all, perfect sunglasses for tennis should be lightweight, polarized, and durable.

Maui Jim Kanaha Polarized SunglassesTracking high velocity objects is only part of the problem when playing tennis. With how high tennis balls fly, and how easy it is to miss them, especially for inexperienced players, they may become an actual danger. That is why these Maui Jim Kanaha sunlgasses are a perfect choice for beginners and pros. Even if the ball hits you in the face, nothing disastrous will happen. The lenses are impact resistant and perfectly capable of protecting your face and eyes. Made from polycarbonate, they are also scratch-resistant, which is less critical and crucial but still important enough to take into account.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

Yes

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

Yes

Color Distortion

Mild


Being polarized, they are great for reducing glare, enhancing contrast and making all visible object even more crisp than they would otherwise be. The glasses block blue light, which is vital for prolonged exposure to sunlight, almost as much important as proper UV filters.

Perfect sport shades for real tennis players! Protection, polarization, blue light protection, anti-reflection, everything you need from sports sunglasses. Light weight enough for you to forget you’re wearing them, they will make a perfect accessory.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight, does not impede active movement
  • Perfect for Tennis
  • Impact Protected, a good option for tennis
Cons
  • Screws relatively weak
  • Color distortion and polarization make casual wearing less than optimal

Cyclists’ Best Pick

Cycling is a lot like driving, except it’s not. Cyclists hardly ever travel alongside cars, and there’s a good reason for that.

Cyclists are also exposed to more dangers than car drivers are. Even a single bug may be very dangerous if it gets into the eye. Which is why cyclists should always use sunglasses or goggles, they should never avoid them, even if it’s not too sunny outside and they are seemingly unnecessary. They are required. That’s the thing.

UV protection is also important. The glare from the road can easily get into the eye, and that’s hard to prevent without good sunglasses.

Of course, looking fashionable is just as important as protection of all sorts. But getting stylish sunglasses is not as hard as you might think. There are plenty of those, and many of them work well for cyclists.

Just don’t forget about other kinds of protection, and everything will be perfect.

If you want to make a progressive fashionable choice, why not to go with a pair of Dragon Alliance sunglasses? A perfect choice for a cyclist. The grilamid frame alone is enough of a protection, add to that 6 base polycarbonate lens, and you get glasses better than goggles. The hinges are made from stainless steel. Though not critical, they are still very important.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

Yes

Color Distortion

Moderate


Dragon Alliance The Jam Remix SunglassesWhat does it mean to wear these glasses? Absolute UV protection, to start with. Can’t really expect much from sunglasses that don’t give that. Thankfully, the Remix sunglasses are a good example of protective sunglasses or goggles. They really do look like goggles. And that’s the point. Wearing the Remix sunglasses is not just about protection and comfort. They can give that, true. But they also make a fashion statement.

If you believe you are a progressive person, why not get a couple of these sunglasses? They will definitely make you look better, more elegant, and, of course, will protect your eyes. Designed and made in Italy, it wouldn’t be incorrect to call them peerless.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight
  • Blue blocking filter, reduces haze and enhances contrast
  • Elegant
  • Grilamid Frame Material
Cons
  • Very unorthodox design may draw some stares. Unless you like to stand out, perhaps, you should consider getting a different pair of sunglasses.
  • Not the cheapest choice

Sunglasses You Need for Hiking

Hiking is much like walking. You don’t really need anything special for this kind of activity. A pair of good sunglasses is all you need. Of course, the better protection, the better.

You will need protection from UV radiation. Blue light filters are an option, but they are not necessary. The same can be said about polarized lenses. Good to have, but not something you need. And so on, and so forth.

Hiking is a rather calm activity, which means you don’t need extra-durable sunglasses either, although they would still be good to have.

Siskiyou St. Louis CardinalsWhat do you need sunglasses for? You’re sure it’s hiking? If yes, a pair of these sunglasses may be just the thing for you. They are not expensive, not at all, but they will probably not be very satisfactory for you if you’re planning to use them for driving or something else like that. They will do, however, for sunbathing or camping. But that’s what people often do when hiking, anyway.

These sunglasses are suitable both for men and women, however, they are a much better fit for men.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

No

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

No


These glasses can offer you basic but absolute UV protection. Not much, but this is something. And do consider the glasses are cheap. The wrap design minimizes the intensity of light even further.

If you’re a hiker, then you know these glasses will be simply perfect for you. Of course, you can always get more advanced ones, provided you do have some specific requirements. That’s not going to be a problem. But if you don’t have any requirements like those, just get a pair of these. They will do.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Flex Hinges
  • Stylish
  • A very attractive price makes them perfect for casual wearing
Cons
  • No extra features, a very plain and basic set of qualities. Good enough for casual wearing, but suboptimal for active sports
  • Fragile, easy to break

Sunglasses for Special Purposes

If you need to base your choice on what a specific pair of sunglasses can do, what it’s often used for, this is exactly the category where you’re going to find everything you want. Sometimes, you know exactly what you need from sunglasses. The question is, what pair would be best for the task?

Look no further. You have found your ultimate answer. Here, you will find some of the most popular types of sunglasses and the best products.

Best Cheap Sunglasses

Sometimes, price is important. Sometimes, people have no reason to get more or less advanced options. And that’s perfectly fine. Sometimes, sunglasses can just be cheap. That happens, too. However, there are a few things you need to remember about cheap sunglasses.

Price is not an indicator of quality. Not technically. But it does not mean it can be just dismissed. First of all, cheap sunglasses might turn out to be fake. Now, fake sunglasses aren’t necessarily junk, and even if they are junk, they may still provide adequate protection. However, “may” is a very uncertain word. If sunglasses are fake, you can’t expect anything about them to be true, including their supposedly protective qualities. It would be better to pay a little bit more and get a genuine article.

A low price may also mean that the vendor refuses to take any responsibilities for the consequences of wearing them. You may want to look into that more carefully. A good product does not come with no strings attached, no matter the price. If it’s cheap on top of no responsibilities on the vendor’s side, all the more reason to suspect something’s fishy.

That’s not to say there’s no cheap but good sunglasses. There are quite a few. But all they can offer usually is the basic protection from UV radiation. Nevertheless, such sunglasses can be truly good and high-quality.

Woodies Sunglasses with Polarized LensesWOODIES sunglasses with polarized lenses come in many forms. They have several frames. However, all those frames have one thing in common. All the lenses have the same properties. And the sets have the same items in them.

What you get if you buy a couple of Woodies? Let’s find out.

First of all, you’d save a ton of money. These are not very expensive sunglasses. On the other hand, they are also easy to break, but that’s not something that can be easily avoided because of their design. But you can get several pairs. Or, you can get other sunglasses, more durable ones but also more expensive.

If that did not sway you away from buying a pair of wonderful sunglasses, you might be interested to know that these are hand-crafted. That is not a sign of quality by and in itself. But it still is a sign of undivided attention someone had to pour into each pair of these sunglasses.

You would think you can’t expect much from sunglasses like these. However, they do come with a nice bonus: the lenses are polarized. This automatically makes them a good match for anyone who spends a lot of time at the beach. A sunny day in winter is also something from what you will need that kind of protection. These easily replaceable sunglasses will make your skiing and snowboarding more enjoyable. However, we advise that you do not use them for extreme sports. You should only limit them to leisure activities. Use protective goggles when in doubt.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

Yes

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

Absent


Woodies Sunglasses with Polarized LensesAs for these, they may not be durable. However, they are definitely cheap. These are the best cheap sunglasses you can find. Plus, they are also eco-friendly, not something you can find often. And of course, they can offer 100% UV protection, which is very important for any sunglasses.

What fits your style best? Choose for yourself. You can get a pair like the Zebra Wood Sunglasses or the Wayfarer Walnut Wood Sunglasses. Other than the material and the shape of the frame, they are identical.

Also, let us not forget about the set in general. The glasses arrive in a durable case, and a piece of microfiber cloth for cleaning the lens is included. For the money, it is a very generous price. If you want cheap but quality sunglasses, Woodie Sunglasses is your best choice!

Pros
  • Cheap enough for you to be able to afford several of them
  • Eco-friendly due to the material choice
  • Full UV protection
  • Perfect for water sports thanks to the polarization
  • Handmade, which does nothing to make them objectively better, but is still rather nice and personal
Cons
  • Wood, while looks good, is also extremely easy to break. Perhaps, you will need more than one pair
  • Some people find the feel of wood less comfortable than that of plastic or even metal.

Picks for Driving

Driving is an activity where color recognition is very important. If you can’t see the traffic lights properly, you’re as good as blind.

Of course, that’s only true for those locations where there are traffic lights to keep track off. If you’re driving off road, you won’t need that.

But, for driving in urban areas, minimal color distortion is a must. Which means, although blue-blocking glasses are preferable for driving, only a portion of blue light should be blocked. Translation:

Brown sunglasses are better than yellow ones. Well, actually, yellow ones can be good enough, and even better, provided you can still distinguish colors in them, but brown sunglasses distort colors as little as possible.

Yellow glasses, however, are better suited for  night  time.

Serengeti Velocity Drivers Gradient SunglassesThese glasses are exactly what a driver needs. They enhance contrast and they block less light when it’s far from sunny outside. Color distortion? You can forget about that. These sunglasses filter only the high-energy portion of blue light, and that’s not enough to affect your color recognition.  Exactly what drivers need!

Pilots can also benefit from such a product. Especially since these glasses are not polarized and would not obstruct the readouts. The same thing is important for drivers, at least, for those of them that use GPS and other devices with LED screens. The lenses are gradient to limit the intensity of light from above.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

Yes

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

Yes

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

No

Blue Blocking

Mild

Color Distortion

Mild


With a titanium frame, there’s no risk the arms of the glasses will corrode. That also makes them much harder to damage, which is a great thing.

The glasses are very wide, 3.1 inches, which makes them suitable for almost any face type.

These sunglasses are Aviator sunglasses as far as the style is concerned. That means, not only are they functionally suitable for usage by pilots and drivers, they also look the part.

Pros
  • Wide lenses allow glancing around without getting more UV radiation
  • UV protection
  • Titanium frame is extremely durable
  • Does not black out LED readouts
  • Designed for driving
Cons
  • Rather Expensive
  • Insufficient level of UV radiation forces the glasses to stay clear, which means that intense visible light may not be blocked if you are in a UV-protected enclosure.

Pilots’ Number One Choice

There are Aviators sunglasses, which is a style, and then there are sunglasses for pilots. Admittedly, they often overlap, if only because aviator sunglasses have been invented as sunglasses for pilots. But they do not necessarily wear them. That doesn’t cancel the fact that aviators are some of the best sunglasses for pilots.

So, what are things pilots need? We already talked about that. Polarized lenses sound nice in theory, but only as long as you don’t have to deal with LCD readouts. Otherwise, you’d have to take the sunglasses off to read them, which defeats the purpose.

They should also be fashionable, as that would be a great addition.

Versace Mens SunglassesVersace is more than a name. It is more than a brand. It is something that is recognized world-wide. And thus, these sunglasses are some of the best you can find on the market.

Their shape is a bit unconventional for traditional aviator sunglasses, but it’s close, and, what’s more important, it works. UV protection? Of course it’s there. And, on top of that, they cover some extra space, which makes them even more comfortable.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

No

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

No


Made from plastic, they are still one of the most fashionable and best sunglasses in the world.

As a pilot, you can always get any pair of sunglasses you need. You will probably be changing them every now and then, depending on what you need at hand at the moment. But these sunglasses? These sunglasses will make a perfect accessory as you will be able to take them anywhere.

Even if you’re not a pilot, it is still a perfect choice. What’s better to look more manly than a pair of Versace sunglasses? Especially those designed for pilots? Think about that.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Wide – covers a larger area
  • Large
  • Stylish
  • A Versace Product – not something critically important for a pilot, but still something to boast
Cons
  • Very unorthodox design is different from traditional aviators sunglasses.
  • The sunglasses cannot offer too many filters, and their price is mainly high due to the brand

Sunglasses for Style

It’s good not to be picky. Or, at the very least, this is what people around us tell us. It probably is, too, however, how big is the gap between not being picky and being disgustingly… uniform? Really, trying to fit in may be a virtue in some cultures and circumstance, but not when every little detail of how you are allowed to look is dictated, either by someone or by the society.

If you know what you want to look like, if you know what kind of style is for you, if you know what sunglasses you prefer to wear, feel free to study this fine selection of the best and most stylish sunglasses we made for you.

Sunglasses for Round Face

We already have a guide for sunglasses best suitable for many face types. But there’s still something we can say about this face type. You need something to balance the features of your face. Simple as that. If you have a round face, a pair of rectangular sunglasses will be for you just the thing. Something you need, something that will hide the fact your face is round. Of course, it won’t be impossible to notice, however, an accent will not be made on those features of yours that make it different from the ideal oval shape.

Rectangular sunglasses will make your face appear more of a rectangle. Combined with the actual round shape, the general impression will be that of an oval.

VonZipper Lesmore Rectangular SunglassesIf you don’t have your own preferences, consider getting a pair of Von Zipper Lesmore sunglasses. Their shape is well-suitable for round faces, especially for women, however, men can also wear them without appearing strange.

Made in Italy, they can create a very loud and clear fashion statement. After all, it cannot be denied that Italy, as well as France, is a source of the most fashionable accessories and apparels.

The lenses are made from plastic, but it does not make them any less effective when it comes to UV protection. In fact, they block 100% of both UVA and UVB rays.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

No

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

No


The lenses are very basic. They cannot boast polarization, photochromic qualities or advanced light filters. But they are also not very expensive, which makes them a very good purchase.

The frame, much like the lenses, is made from polycarbonate, however, the hinges are pure steel. That definitely contributes to their durability.

Von Zipper is a well-known brand. Even though the glasses are not very expensive, you can be sure they will offer everything they can for the money. You can’t expect much from them, but you can at least expect a good looking frame, full UV protection and comfort for your eyes. Maybe you should give them a try!

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for Round Faces
  • A fashionable option for those who want to emphasize their chin.
Cons
  • No advanced features. These are very plain glasses, their only quality is UV protection.
  • You may find the price less than moderate for this particular pair of sunglasses due to their lack of advanced options.

Best Sunglasses for Men

On the one hand, choosing sunglasses for men in general is very simple. But is it? There are hundreds of thousands sunglasses in the world. Many of them meant for men. Many of them being unisex sunglasses. To get something more or less acceptable is no easy task in a situation like that.

Thankfully, that’s what we’re for! We cannot choose in your stead but we can and will help you make a choice of your own.

What do you need? You should figure that piece out before doing anything else. There are too many glasses to choose from, perhaps, our recommendation is not something you’d choose for yourself. Then again, maybe you would. A perfectly balanced option, not something that would make you stand out like a sore thumb but, at the same time, not something that would drown you in the grey mass. The ideal option.

Maui Jim Kipahulu PolarizedPlus2 SunglassesIf you want perfect sunglasses for men, look no further! These Maui Jim Kipahulu sunglasses are a perfect product for men. They may not be the ideal match for anyone, but they will definitely work for most guys. The shape of the frame is suitable for most types of faces, including round and square faces. Technically, a pair of these sunglasses would look just as good on a girl, but for them, some other sunglasses are still better for ladies.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

Mild

Color Distortion

Mild


These sunglasses come with glass lenses. Now, many good sunglasses come with plastic ones, and still can offer an adequate level of protection. But you have to agree, plastic doesn’t sound quite as classy as glass.

Glass lenses mean a better level of protection by definition, because glass is hardly ever transparent for UV radiation.

Is there anything else one could add? There is! These glasses are polarized, which makes spending time outside more comfortable, especially if you’re going to be on water. On top of that, the glasses are extremely stylish and comfortable to wear. All in all, they have everything you ever wanted your sunglasses to give you.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for Most Face Types
  • Stylish and manly, while still unisex enough to be suitable for ladies
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Mild color distortion may not be well-received by those who prefer to see the world as is. Still, the level of distortion is not dangerous.

Best Sunglasses for Women

Choosing the best pair of sunglasses for women is much like choosing the best sunglasses for men, except harder. We all know ladies take fashion very seriously, especially in Europe. It’s hard to imagine two women wearing identical sunglasses in each other’s vicinity. And for a good reason, too. That would make them look less unique than they are and deserve to be.

Which is why we do not expect everyone will follow the following suggestion of ours. Which is fine, because that means that those that will follow it anyway will be a little bit more unique and gorgeous.

And that’s what sunglasses for women need to be: they need to be gorgeous. They have to be the epitome of beauty and luxury. They should not be meant for extreme sports, but they can still be used for that.

In the end, the only thing we could do is to select a pair of sunglasses that was also useful, something that could help you with all of yours vision-related problems.

Maui Jim Womens Palms SunglassesWhen the word “women’s” is in the product title, you know it’s going to be great for ladies. At least, it would be hard to call such an item unisex.

The frame is composite, and it’s rather hard to break.  But it’s not its main quality, no. These are not sports sunglasses, and they are not meant to be used in extreme conditions. It is, however, good to know they are scratch-resistant.

That said, the sunglasses come with some extra-useful features. They reduce glare considerably, and eliminate reflective glares, direct glares, and even bounce-back glares. These are general-purpose sunglasses, but they can be used for driving.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

Yes

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

Mild

Color Distortion

Mild


If you have any problems with your eyesight, there’s no need to worry. You are not choosing between the ability to see clearly and the ability to see without exposing your eyes to intense light. The lenses are prescription-ready, which means, you can always read your favorite book without changing the glasses.

The sunglasses are highly fashionable, and you shouldn’t worry about not meeting whatever standards you can think of. Maui Jim makes some of the best sunglasses in the world.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Scratch-Resistant Lenses
  • Prescription ready sunglasses – you can easily use them for anything you’d have to get your prescription glasses
  • Stylish
Cons
  • The sunglasses lack advanced features that could justify their high price. But it doesn’t mean they can only offer basic protection.
  • Interacting with your cell phone might prove more of a challenge if you’re wearing these sunglasses.

Sunglasses for Big Heads

Usually, the rule goes like that: if your face has features that make it different from an oval, your sunglasses should lack them. But it’s not like that when it comes to size. If you have a big head, you need big and massive sunglasses. Simple as that.

Otherwise, everything is fair play. Which is what makes choosing the best kind of sunglasses for big heads kind of tricky. All people have their own preferences, and when the only meaningful thing is the size, things become even messier than they could otherwise be.

That means, such sunglasses should encompass as much useful features as possible. And that includes the fact if they’re prescription ready or not.

Other than that, sunglasses for big head are no different from standard sunglasses. So feel free to choose whatever you prefer.

Kaenon Mens Hard Kore Sport Polarized SunglassesPossessing a number of superb qualities, these sunglasses are still a perfect choice for persons with big heads. They are massive, and wide, and will look perfect on any big thinker. Of course, they are not precisely meant for thinkers. These are sports sunglasses. But then again, why not use them for that?

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 100% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

Horizontal Polarization

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

No


Plastic frame and plastic lens, however, neither of that means a low level of protection. In fact, these sunglasses can boast the best protection there is. See for yourself. 100% UVA protection, 100% UVB protection, polarization, and that’s only the most basic qualities. Plus, the glasses are prescription ready, which is great for those people who cannot go about without their prescription glasses. Or simply like to relax with a book under the sunlight.

Active lifestyle, however, is much more preferable, if only because these glasses have so much potential. If you’re not cycling, or running, or fishing, or doing anything else, that potential will be left unspent. Lightweight and ultra-clear, but massive enough at the same time, these are perfect sunglasses for all kinds of activities.

Pros
  • UV Protection
  • Lightweight
  • Large and massive, which is exactly what people with big heads need
  • Stylish
  • These sunglasses can double as your prescription sunglasses should you have a need for that
Cons
  • Plastic lens, while offers full UV protection, is still very soft and easy to damage
  • The sunglasses do not belong to one of the more well-known brands, and, but the same time, are not made in the U.S.

Aviator Sunglasses

Aviator sunglasses are not exactly sunglasses for aviators. Well, they are, but there is more to them than just that.

Think about this: what does come into your mind whenever you think about Aviator sunglasses? A movie maybe? A cop? A pilot, after all? Whatever it is, it’s definitely not something basic. On the contrary, it should be something more or less extraordinary. Like a celebrity. That’s because that is the whole point. Aviator sunglasses make a statement. What that statement is going to be? That is entirely up to you. In the end, it is always your choice.

Aviator sunglasses work for most face types. Which means, no matter what shape your face is, a couple of aviator sunglasses will definitely look good.

But that said, there’s plenty of sunglasses to choose from. And we do mean a lot. There are probably tens of thousands of models, and many of those are fake. What to do? Why, get the best ones you can! Now, we know that’s not as simple as it is. People do have their preferences. Which means, while we can recommend you something that really is the best thing, it might not be quite as suitable for you as you’d like. That means, feel free to experiment, look for simlar sunglasses, do some link-browsing, once you visit an online store. You will definitely find something that will catch your eye.

Aviator sunglasses, as a rule, do not come with polarized lenses. There’s a very good reason for that. Pilots, and they do use these sunglasses, often need to keep an eye on the board. However, some of the readouts might produce polarized light. Combine with polarizing filters in the sunglasses, the ability to perceive them may be hindered completely. That is why absense of polarization is important.

Of course, it means little for those of the users who aren’t really pilots. They can always find a version with such an option, and some more options as well. But those wouldn’t be “genuine” Aviators. Because actual aviators would probably never use them. With that in mind, let us present you the best aviator sunglasses in the world.

Randolph Unisex Aviator 55mmThere are times when style is what must take the lead. These Randolph Unisex Aviator sunglasses are exactly what it says on the tin. They are a perfect example of aviator sunglasses.

But what does make them stand out, then? Aren’t they just regular aviator sunglasses?

Not precisely.

These are high-grade aviator sunglasses that have been in production for decades. You have a lot of options to choose from. You can choose the gold-plated frame, the chromium frame, blue and green flash mirrors – you name it!

The main feature of these glasses is their unique design, everything else is secondary. But it does not mean everything else is neglected. Do note, however, that the models with plastic lenses cannot offer the same level of protection the models with glass lenses can.

Of course, it does mean no one should wear them. Quite a few celebrities do, including Johnny Depp, who wore custom-made Randolph sunglasses with blue lenses. And many more celebs go with Randolph Aviators in general. You want to make an impression? You want to stay stylish? Randolph Aviator sunglasses should be your choice. Especially if you have an oblong face of a massive jaw. These glasses are perfect for such features.

The silicon pads make them very comfortable to wear, and the scratch-resistant lenses will not be damaged on accident. Wear them whenever you go. You will thank us later.

Lens Properties

Hydrophobic

No

Photochromic

No

Anti-reflection

No

Mirror-Coated

No

Gradient

No

Filters

UVA

Yes: 98% Protection

UVB

Yes: 100% Protection

Polarizing

No

Blue Blocking

No

Color Distortion

Varies Between Models: Absent; Mild


Randolph Unisex Aviator 55mmIf you want to look cool, like a cop or a military pilot, what can be better than real aviator sunglasses from an acknowledged brand specialized in making some of the best and most stylish sunglasses? Only sunglasses that also match your every little requirement. And that’s what Randolph Aviators can give you for a relatively moderate price.

Just be advised, those sunglasses don’t come with polarized lenses. That makes perfect sense, as they were initially designed for pilots. And still are considered pilots’ sunglasses. And, as it has been said above, pilots don’t need polarization most of the time. In fact, it can inhibit their ability to perceive modern read outs due to the interference from polarized lenses. Polarized lenses may be good for fishing and water sports, but for piloting a plane, they are not. That’s why you shouldn’t expect from these sunglasses what they simply haven’t been designed to give. You will also find it’s not as big a disadvantage as you may have thought.

The glasses come with a protective case and wear-resistant joints. With proper care, you will be able to enjoy them for years.

Pros
  • Scratch-resistant mineral crown glass is great for their durability
  • Almost full UV protection
  • Adjustable silicon nose pads make the sunglasses comfortable for a wide variety of people
  • Case Included
  • Initially designed for military pilots, these sunglasses are a perfect way to make a fashion statement
Cons
  • Rather Expensive
  • UV protection not 100%! Overexposure to UVA radiation is unlikely as the level of protection is still adequate, but that part of the spectrum is not filtered completely

Buyer’s Guide

Sunglasses are an essential accessory this day and age. However, not all sunglasses are equally good. Today, we will let you know what are the best sunglasses that you can buy in 2017.

It’s hard to imagine a person who does not have at least a couple of them. Some may think they don’t need them, or that they should not get them. The former is plain wrong, the latter is unfortunate, and probably wrong anyway. Everyone needs sunglasses.

Not only are they quite convenient, not only are they practical, they can also protect you from developing cataract as well as a number of other diseases stemming from UV overexposure.

There are many types of sunglasses. Some of them aren’t really “sunglasses,” since they can’t offer an adequate level of protection. But those that can, they can often offer much more than mere UV protection. Glare reduction, anti-reflective lenses, contrast enhancement, target selection, gradient lenses, you name it, all that can be easily provided by a pair of right sunglasses. All you have to know is what you need sunglasses for. Some of the possible properties outright contradict the requirements of the activity you plan to use them for. Some of them actually are beneficial, which is often enough to describe what category a pair of sunglasses belongs to.

If you’re reading this, you may have one of the following reasons for that:

  1. You have just stumbled on this website because you’re bored. In that case… erm… Welcome?
  2. You want to know how sunglasses work. You know there’s more to them than just the tint. You are right, and you will absolutely find out something new… unless you’re an optician, in which case we probably don’t know anything you don’t.
  3. You’ve recently bought a new pair of sunglasses and you want a confirmation you’ve made the right decision. Or if we even have the sunglasses you’ve bought on our list of recommended products. Well, better late than never.
  4. You are about to get a new pair of sunglasses. You don’t think it’s important, but you’re curious. Sometimes, curiosity is what saves the cat.
  5. You know that sunglasses can be vital for your health, and you want to get the best ones. Well, the ones that match your best requirements. In that case, you’ve found just the right place.

 

 

When choosing sunglasses, there are many factors to consider. However, no matter just how many of them we define, they all can be split into precisely three categories: cosmetic factors, medical factors and comfort factors. Do note that some of these factors can overlap.

With that in mind, the first thing you need to decide on is what you expect from your sunglasses.

Do you need sunglasses for UV protection or just for looking cool?

There are many cosmetic sunglasses because that’s what many people want. Such sunglasses may offer UV protection but that would only be a by-product, you should not expect them to offer any protection. But if you only want good sunglasses for parties, that’s fine.

On the other hand, if you’re not sure what you need, get sunglasses with UV protection.

The best sunglasses must offer 100% protection, but lesser numbers are still acceptable, although such glasses would hardly be able to be called “best.” But even for them, there’s a threshold: 99% for UVB radiation and 95% for UVA radiation.

Surprisingly high? But that’s the limit. Any lower than that, and you don’t have the minimum protection you need. If you get such glasses, you might as well have purchased purely cosmetic glasses.

What to do when there’s no mark to indicate the level of protection offered? Assume there is no protection. Even if such glasses do indeed have some, there is no easy way for you to test that, to measure that. It is best to assume that such glasses cannot and will not protect your eyes properly.

UV protection in Sunglasses

And of course, it stands to reason you should never purchase a knock off. If you’re lucky, then you will have protection, but if you’re not, all you’ll have is an illusion of protection. Sunglasses is one of those purchases where authenticity can be crucial. If you get fake Rolex watches, you get fake Rolex watches. If the knock-off is well-made, less knowledgeable people might even assume it’s real (this actually isn’t good, unless you can afford the real thing, and then, they’ll make you look miserable if anyone finds out it’s a knock-off).  But if you get a knock-off of real sunglasses, you may actually get increased exposure to UV radiation!

Do you need your sunglasses to enhance contrast in certain conditions?

Sunglasses come in many colors. It’s not just for “coolness,” the color of the tint serves a purpose, and if it doesn’t, it still has an effect. For one, the color of the tint often affects your ability for color recognition.

Gray      

If that’s important to you or you don’t have any preferences, get a pair of sunglasses that least distort colors, such as those that have grey lenses. Since they filter all colors equally, all they do is reduce the light intensity.

But if you believe you need them to enhance contrast, you should consider other colors. If the lens has a color (other than grey), it filters the rays of those other colors that do not comprise it.

Brown

For instance, brown lenses block some of blue light. At the same time, they will not generally affect your color perception, because they filter only a tiny portion of the blue spectrum. They may be acceptable to drivers, but only if they do not affect your color perception of the traffic lights and road signs. Do not use them when driving, unless you are positive that the ones you have will not hinder you.

Yellow

Yellow lenses often filter all of blue light, which is very good for enhancing contrast but terrible for proper color recognition. Never use such glasses for driving with the exception of special circumstances.

Blue & Green

Blue lenses, on the other hand, filter red and yellow rays, and while blue light is generally harmful, such glasses would be a lifesaver for when you need to spot yellow and red objects on blue and green backgrounds. Green lenses work similarly, although the produced picture is somewhat different.

Red & Orange

Red lenses, as well as orange, enhance contrast, even better than yellow lenses. But they also distort colors greatly, which is why they are only suitable for snow, and even then, definitely not on sunny days. But they are still grey to compensate for the abundance of blue tones produced by sullen sky.

Copper

There are, of course, other colors. Thus, the copper color, which is very similar to red and orange, is used for a different purpose. Rather than filtering out the gloomy shades of the overcast sky, its primary purpose is to dim blue and green backgrounds to make objects of other colors more pronounced, especially white ones.

Violet

The most exotic lens color that still has a practical application is violet. Violet sunglasses cut off the green portion of the spectrum, which makes them ideal for spotting terracotta objects on green backgrounds. They easily let red and blue lights through, but a green background will look darker. A deer, for instance, would appear quite contrast against grass.

Choosing Frame Shape

One of the key parameters of any pair of sunglasses is their shape. It is not vital but it is still important. While it mostly holds cosmetic value, the wrong shape of the frame can easily ruin your image. Much like mismatching clothes, sunglasses that can’t make a good match for your face will never make your face look better. They will overemphasize the shape of your face, which would hardly flatter your features.

Nevertheless, sunglasses of any shape should be safe to use, as long as all the medical parameters are met.

Oval face

If you have an oval face, you’re one of those lucky people who can wear sunglasses of any type. It is considered the most balanced face shape. There’s no risk in overemphasizing the shape of the face, because the oval face type is we call “ideal.” Whatever frame you like, you can wear it.

That said, there are still remarks we feel we should make. Even if you have the ideal face and get yourself a pair of brandy sunglasses, such as Oakleys, they will not necessarily look good on your face just because they’re a brand.  Just a friendly reminder: do make sure the frame of your glasses is neither too thick nor to thin.

Square face

Square faces are hard to call ideal, but it is not an unusual shape. Many people have square faces. Of course, the face does not have to be perfectly square to be called that. In fact, the authors of this article are pretty sure that such faces cannot be found in the real world. That would be comic book superhero stuff. Not something we’re qualified to give advice on. Else, we would be making millions making comic books instead.

But since we’re dealing with the real world, let’s look into what a square face looks like, even though it should be intuitively understandable. A square face has very pronounced lines. It is roughly the same width and length, but, at the same time, it has a broad forehead and a pronounced jawline. If your face has such proportions, you should avoid rectangular frames with sharp edges.

What you need is oval or round glasses to balance the sharp lines of the face out. An oval frame (or any thin frame without pronounced angles) is preferable because such sunglasses are wider, and that’s what makes a square face look a bit longer.

Glasses for Round Face

A round face is very similar to a square face, but it also has one difference: no pronounced angles. Other than that, a round face also has roughly the same width and length, and its shape resembles that of a circle.

What does that mean for you if you have a face like that? The answer is probably obvious by now, but let me explain anyway. You need a pair of sunglasses with a rectangle frame. Wrap-around sunglasses could also work, but those are perfect for many face types, regardless of the shape. Still, wide sunglasses with pronounced angles are exactly what people with round faces need.

Heart-shaped Face

Heart-shaped faces are some of the most widespread. The simplest way to describe them is to say that such faces resemble hearts, but that would be both self-evident and not entirely correct. To be more precise, the bottom of the face is rather narrow, but its top, on the contrary, is wide. Such a shape is very similar to a triangle and can be indeed be considered identical, though it is entirely possible to distinguish some differences.

People with a heart-shaped face tend to have a pointed chin and high cheekbones, as well as a wide forehead. Such a shape is actually rather pleasant to the eye, but it is possible to make it look even better by counterbalancing some of the more prominent features. This can be achieved by using frames that visually broaden the chin and make the forehead appear smaller. Wrap-around sunglasses are some of the best for that, however, any sunglasses wider than the forehead will work splendidly. If the frame has easy to distinguish endpoint, that will work even better, so waterdrop-shaped lenses will make a perfect match for a heart-shaped face.

Base-Up Triangle Face

A base-up triangle face is extremely similar to a heart-shaped face. Of course, there’s still a difference. The chin is not necessarily quite as prominent and pointed, but it’s still very narrow. The top of the face, on the other hand, is still very wide. Basically, the projection of a triangle should be very easy to match such a face. The forehead is even wider than that of a heart-shaped face, and it’s still wider at the very top.  While a heart-shaped face has a wide forehead, its middle or lower part is typically the widest. Not so with a triangle face.

Using triangle frames with the base at the bottom may sound a bit extreme, and it is, however, the general idea of counterbalancing the shape of the face by using sunglasses that have an inverted shape has merits. In our case, that means that the bottom must be wider than the top of the frame. It might be a good idea to wear sunglasses that don’t have rims.

Base-Down Triangle Face

Such a shape of a face is the exact opposite of the base-up triangle face type. It is one of the rarest shapes, and it is not aesthetically pleasing, not in most cases anyways. Nevertheless, such a face does not make a face ugly, and it is possible to make it look even better by choosing well-fitting sunglasses of the right shape. A base-down triangle face has a very wide chin, wide cheeks but a narrow forehead.

The best sunglasses for a face like that must compensate its most prominent features. Unfortunately, base-up triangle sunglasses aren’t a thing, and they would be a perfect counterpart to a base-down triangle face. However, there’s still another possibility, even several. What you need is either a roughly triangle frame, or a frame whose top is accentuated. Both are relatively easy to achieve. You can either get a pair of sunglasses with a cat-eye lens shape, or sunglasses accentuated at the top.

Diamond

A diamond-shaped face is a somewhat of a mixture between both types of triangle faces. Incidentally, it is also the rarest shape you can find. A diamond-shaped face has a narrow chin but also forehead. The cheekbones, on the other hand, are rather high and wide. It is, perhaps, the most difficult shape to find a match. Why? Because it’s almost impossible to find an ideal shape that would naturally counter the outlines of such a face.

Nevertheless, it is still possible to find sunglasses that would make a good enough match for such a face. Cat-eye sunglasses, for one, will be perfect to counter the shape of the top part of the face, much like they do for base-down triangle faces. Incidentally, oval shapes may also make a very good match due to the total absence of angles. It is especially true for sunglasses without rims.

What is your face shape?

Where can I get anti-IR sunglasses?

Sunglasses that block infrared radiation do not exist. If they existed, they would be one of the most pointless inventions in the world. Why? Because the infrared rays of the sun are more or less safe for the cornea, lens and retina. Intense visible light and especially UV radiation, on the other hand, pose a far greater danger.

Infrared radiation is, essentially, what carries heat. Heat could damage a person’s eyes, of course, but infrared radiation powerful enough to damage the eyes would burn the skin as well. No sunglasses can protect you from that.

Unlike UV radiation, IR radiation is relatively low-energy, because that is what low frequency means for electromagnetic radiation, and the frequency of infrared radiation is lower than that of visible light.

What lens color protects you from UV radiation better?

The shortest answer would be: none. The color of the lenses has nothing to do with UV protection. In fact, it is possible to make crystal clear sunglasses that can offer absolute protection. On the other hand, seemingly pitch-black blinds might have zero protection.

But how can that be?

We cannot see ultraviolet light (which is why it’s technically incorrect to call it light). Colors are what we can see, but they do not exist in the physical world, it is a purely subjective experience. What we actually perceive is the wavelength of light. The wavelength of visible light has the range of 400 – 700 nanometers. UV radiation has the wavelength less than 400 nm. Now, colored lenses do not let through a portion of visible light, which is what makes them colored. However, we cannot see in ultraviolet. For all we know, such lenses could be transparent for such radiation, even if they do not let red radiation through, for instance.

That said, UV protection is not all there is to sunglasses, and the lens color can be essential indeed.

First of all, if you want to make a fashion statement, the color of the lenses is the first thing you’re going to pay attention to. It is a matter of personal choice, and I’m not going to dispute that. However, there are some other factors to consider. Such as color distortion.

You may have heard that the green color is the least stressful for the eyes. However, I would really recommend you purchasing either gray or brown sunglasses if you don’t have preferences of your own. Why? Because those colors affect your color perception least.

Of course, sometimes color distortion is an acceptable price. Yellow-tinted lenses are a perfect choice if you need to enhance contrast and reduce haze. Red tint would work even better for that, however, red lenses are suboptimal for low-light conditions unlike yellow lenses. There are reasons people in movies often wear yellow sunglasses, and this is one of them.

If you are a hunter or a skier, you could easily benefit from such lenses. Some of them could even come in handy for when you’re driving, although I would not recommend a saturated tint, which would mess with your color perception. Brown sunglasses would be a safer match for drivers, yellow ones would only be useful when you’re driving off-road, in a desert or savannah, – in situations where color recognition holds little importance.

My lenses are really dark, that means they block UV radiation, right?

No. That is not so. Even if lenses do not let visible light through, they can still be transparent for UV rays. That is why you need sunglasses that explicitly indicate they are UV Protective.

In fact, you would be better off without sunglasses at all, because wearing dark sunglasses without UV protection makes things worse. Dark sunglasses make your pupils dilate (obviously) but if they fail to filter UV rays, your lens and retina will be getting more exposure to UV radiation and take more damage than if you weren’t using sunglasses at all.

Remember: better not use any sunglasses than use dark sunglasses without UV protection.

How to measure sunglasses

There are two ways to choose sunglasses that will match your face. One of them is to try on and on and on a new pair every time you need to make a choice. The other is to find out what size works for you, and then simply check out the size and dimensions of the pair you like. If it’s a match, then you’re ready to go. If it’s not, well, at least you will not spend any more time pointlessly trying to adjust them just the right way. An added bonus is it will help you to choose sunglasses over the Internet.

Sunglasses have five size parameters. Three of them are frame dimensions. Those include:

  • The frame width. It can be obtained by measuring the distance between the furthest extended points of the frame.
  • The lens height. It is exactly what it says on the tin, the height of the lens. It can be obtained by measuring the distance between the furthest top and bottom points of the lens.
  • The bridge. The bridge is the part of the frame that connects the lenses and sits across the bridge of the nose. It’s rather simple to measure, all you need is to get its width.

The other two parameters are also essential, although not to the same extent. Nevertheless, let’s not omit them.

  • The lens width. Very similar to the height of the lens, only, you will have to measure the distance between the furthest left and right points of the lens to get it. Another way to call it is “eye size”. It might be important, although an oversized is unlikely to cause any problems, and a lens too small can still be tolerated. But we want the best of the best, don’t we?
  • The temple arms. To obtain their measurements, you will have to find out their length. A temple arm is what lets glasses stay in place by resting behind your ears.

Of course, to find out the parameters of the sunglasses is only half the deal. Especially since they are already provided by the manufacturer, and you have them on the silver plate, as you should.

You may be satisfied with the result regardless, but wouldn’t it be better to get sunglasses that actually compliment the shape of your face? But you need to know your own size for that. You need to know what sunglasses will work for you. And for that, you need to get your own measurements.
You don’t have to aim for a perfect match. It’s fine if your sunglasses are bigger, especially since they always are bigger than prescription glasses, as their primary job is to shield you from UV rays. And that’s easier to achieve when the lens covers the eye more thoroughly.

So, how do you get your measurements, then?

  1. The first thing you need to measure is the distance between your temples. It translates to the frame width. It is what defines what kind of face you have, if it’s big or small. It is not the same as the temple length. If is very easy to do with a simple straight ruler. Just hold it in front of your face before a mirror and line it up with your temples. What you get is your frame size.
  2. You may also measure your eyes. Strictly speaking, that is unnecessary since all sunglasses are a little bit bigger than prescription glasses. They will probably cover your eyes entirely anyway.
  3. You may also measure the distance between your ear and your temple, to make sure that the temple size is right. But that’s not a big concern, anyway. Most of the time, the arms of sunglasses fit well enough.

With that in mind, what makes the best size of sunglasses for you?

It’s a very easy question to answer. A single equation should suffice. Here it is:

WFrame – 6mm ≈ WFace ± 2mm

where WFrame is the width of the frame and WFace is the width of the face.

To put it simply, once you’ve subtracted 6 millimeters from the total width of your sunglasses and found out the width of your own face, you know whether it’s a good fit or not. The difference shouldn’t be more than 2 millimeters.

Armed with all this knowledge, you will have no trouble choosing the best sunglasses for your face.

What types of lenses do we have?

Aside from different tints, sunglasses lenses possess other features, though some of them wholly depend on the color of the tint. The most important quality of sunglasses is their ability to block UV rays (which has nothing to do with the color of the lens).

Besides, it’s not like tinted lenses are not important. While tinted glasses are often a matter of personal preference, they can always be beneficial for some circumstances. Whenever you need to filter out a portion of light, tinted glasses can help you with that.

So what are the types of sunglasses lenses? Here are some:

Yellow-tinted lensesMirror-coated lensesDouble gradient lensGradient lensesPolarized lensesAnti-reflective lensesPhotochromic lensesHydrophobic lenses
Yellow sunglasses

Blue-blocking sunglasses. The lenses have a yellowish tint

They are often called blue-blockers (do not confuse with BluBlockers; although those are indeed blue blockers). As you can guess, the reason for that is that they block blue light.

But why would someone need to block blue light? That sounds so weird, doesn’t it?

But there is a good reason to block blue light. For starters, it is not as harmless as you might think. Even though we can see it, it is very close to UV radiation, in that that blue rays are, too, high-energy radiation. And, unlike UV radiation, almost fully blocked by the lens and cornea, they reach the retina. As high-energy rays, they may damage the photosensitive cells. Which, in turn, can cause permanent vision loss. This is why it is important to limit exposure to blue light or, as it is otherwise known, High Energy Visible Light.

Don’t just count on amber sunglasses, most of blue light overexposure comes from man-made sources of light, such as computer and smartphone screens. If they have the Eye-Safe mode, use it whenever you don’t need perfect color rendering, and always use it at night, even if you find the color unnatural. You’ll get used to it very quickly, but you will remove one of the risk factors for blindness.

You, perhaps, are ready to ask me: “Hey, what do I need blue blockers for then? I can be perfectly fine without them, thanks to your awesome advice.” Well, that’s true. Most people, indeed, don’t need blue blockers. The natural levels of blue light exposure are considered safe. But there are two factors to consider:

  1. In certain conditions, even the natural levels of blue light are too much. That’s especially true for skiers.Have you ever been to mountains? I assure you, the sky seems bluer there. Well, that’s because it actually is a deeper shade of blue. That’s a scientific fact, ladies and gentlemen.

    The sky is blue to begin with due to the effect known as the Rayleigh Scattering. Since short wave light diffracts easily, the sky is blue. However, that also means, the thinner the atmosphere, the deeper blue sky will be, because there will be less air to disperse the light further.

  2. Cutting off the HEVL portion of the spectrum enhances contrast, which is perfect for many activities, including working on the computer. As I’ve said above, blue light scatters more effectively. But it doesn’t only do that in the atmosphere. It’s a property of light itself, not the environment it travels through.Care to guess where I am leading?

    Indeed, blue light disperses in the vitreous body just as easily. Thankfully, it only has to travel a very short distance there. But even then it scatters enough to generate unnoticeable white noise… Or should I say blue noise? Anyways, this halo, this haze overstrains your retina, and, to top it all of, blurs the image you see slightly. That makes you to overstress yourself even more, and that just isn’t good.

  3. Not all devices come with Eye-Safe mode. Enough said.
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“Great! I’m getting a pair of blue blockers and I’m never taking them off!”
Hold your horses! I made blue light sound like a terrible thing, but it’s overexposure to it that is the problem. However, the lack of blue light can, too, be disastrous.

First of all, blue light is critical for maintaining your sleep cycle. One of the reason exposure to blue light at night is not recommended is this, as it can break your circadian cycle, since blue light is crucial for that. On the other hand, lack of blue light at daytime will make you sluggish. We need blue light to function. If you feel sleepy, forget things, and it takes you a while to get something right, and you feel like your canary died even though you never had a canary, perhaps, you just have a severe case of blue light underexposure.

That’s quite ironic, but being the blues can be caused by the lack of blue.

Yellow mirror sunglasses

Mirror-coated sunglasses with golden reflection

They look nice, but you would be surprised to find out that there is a practical reason for getting such glasses. Since the lenses reflect light, it means it fails to go through, and thus is blocked off very effectively. And that makes them simply ideal for bright conditions.

Where could you use such glasses? Well, skiing is a good example. Snow reflects a lot of light, and that light is too intense for the eye. In fact, the glare of snow is what inspired primitive precursors to sunglasses. Snow goggles first appeared in prehistoric times, even though they had no lenses to speak of, only slits. But those slits limited the light exposure, and that’s what mattered to their creator.

This proves sunglasses are a necessity rather than luxury. You can get cheap sunglasses if you want, as long as they are good, but the need for limiting light exposure is really a need, not a whim.

Mirror-coated lenses come in many colors. However, those colors often have nothing to do with the tint of the lenses. The mirror is colored for the other people to see, it will not affect what and how you see. You can choose whatever color you like better.

They are exactly what you need if you don’t want all-dark sunglass, but still want protection from the sunlight and the reflected light. Great for boating, fishing, and just relaxing at the beach.
The name is quite self-descriptive. If you don’t know that (it’s not something most people care to find out), the top of gradient lenses is their darkest part. The bottoms may have no tint at all. They are perfect for drivers, but not for pedestrians because they do not filter the light that comes from the underneath.

It is of course possible to make lenses tinted at the bottom and not at the top. But that would serve no purpose. Such sunglasses would block the light reflected from the ground-level reflective surfaces, but not the sunlight.

Isn’t it possible to make gradient sunglasses darkened both at the top and at the bottom? Why, yes!

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Polarizing filter

A landscape partially visible through a polarizing filter

They work thanks to the effect of polarization.

Such lenses are not found exclusively in sunglasses. Polarizing filters for camera have been around for a long time. As an amateur photographer who worked with film, I know lots about this stuff (although it’s the same for digital photography). I’ve worked with polarizing filters. And I have sunglasses with polarized lenses. They are amazing.

Polarizing filters, unlike sunglasses, are not tinted. That’s not what they are made for. But they do reduce the glare. Even without tinting. How?

When reflecting from flat surfaces, light is polarized in the same plane the surface is located. That makes light reflecting from water, for instance, horizontally polarized. The same is right for sand or roads. What do we know it as? Glare.

Now, sunglasses have vertically polarized lenses, which means, horizontally polarized rays cannot go through. And that is exactly the effect we want. This is what reduces the glare.

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Polarized glasses are not ideal, however. Oh, they work fine, but sometimes that’s not what you want. If you, like me, have a couple of polarized glasses, then you know how weird all those touchscreens and LED dashboards look like. That’s because LCDs and LED displays emit polarized light, and the polarizing filter in your glasses cuts off a portion of it. With analogue light, it does nothing other than enhance the image you can see and make it somewhat darker. But when it comes to the world of digital screens, you will get to see all kinds of weird effects, from iridescence to visual blackout. That makes interacting with such devices a bit problematic, at least, as long as you’re wearing your glasses. The answer?

Polarization of light
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Anti-reflective coating is great not just for sunglasses but for prescription glasses as well. They work by reducing or removing the ability of the glasses to reflect light, which eliminates re-reflection and halos you can see when looking at a source of light.

While not quite as effective in reducing glare as polarized lenses, they still work, and, what’s even more important for some people, they don’t distort the image digital screens produce. That said, anti-reflective coating can be combined with polarized lenses.

If you want to apply AR coating to your polarizing lenses, only apply it to the backside of the lenses.

These lenses are known under many names, such as light-adaptive lenses. I believe that’s a self-explanatory term. But I’m going to elaborate, because there are details not many people know of.

If you think that photochromic lenses become darker based on the level of irradiance, you are definitely right. However, there’s a catch. Most of such lenses work off UV radiation. That doesn’t, however, mean they don’t become darker indoors, because window glass does not really filter UVA rays. They also become darker when you wouldn’t expect them to, based on the lighting conditions alone. That is because UV radiation readily penetrates the clouds, and the lenses can react to that radiation.

In fact, such glasses would make a perfect UV detector. If they’re clear, no matter how light it is outside, then there’s no UV radiation to speak of. When they become darker, it means, UV radiation is out there. That may make somewhat inconvenient for when you may need to spend a lot of time under bright light but without exposure to UV. Example? Your car, for instance.

Unlike standard window glass, the windshield is more effective in blocking UV radiation.

It’s good to know you’re protected from UV but the light can still be annoying. Solution? Photochromic lenses that also react to visible light. That’s a relatively recent invention but definitely convenient to many drivers.

You’re probably wondering why on earth you would need a couple of photochromic glasses. Surely, they should be rather cool to wear but isn’t that their only value?

No, it’s not. Not if you get photochromic prescription lenses. Forget about going about with at least one extra pair of glasses or having to endure extremely bright conditions without any tint at all. With photochromic lenses, you will feel comfortable both indoors and outdoors. If it’s too bright outside, your reading glasses will automatically get darker. That is one of the reasons light-adapting lenses were invented, after all.

Lenses that repel water and have low wettability.

Any type of lens may have a hydrophobic coating, of course. It is not unusual for the best anti-reflection coating to have hydrophobic properties.

And not just them! The more expensive one can also repel dust and even oil.

That’s a cool kind of glasses to have, but for some people it will be more than cool, it will be essential. A fisherman? You need these. Into watersports? You need these. A rainy day? You need these. Yes, you do, because the clouds will not necessarily shield you from UV rays.

FAQ

Can’t I use generic sunglasses for specific sports?

Of course you can! But if you’re asking if you need dedicated sunglasses for specific sports, then it is impossible to answer yes or no, mainly because the answer ti this question depends on how dedicated you feel. But one thing is certain: they definitely make a difference. They are also safer than standard sunglasses, so there is that. They are not so easy to break, or even practically unbreakable, which means they give you extra protection for your eyes.

The colors and coatings of sports sunglasses make them better suited for specific sport. Polarization is a must for skiing and watersports. Different colors help to filter different backgrounds. Brown is great for green grass fields, and violet lenses are perfect for spotting yellow objects on clay.

What are UV exposure risk factors?

There are several of them. One of the most important is high altitude. UV levels are greater there since the atmosphere is thinner, and it is not impossible to be exposed to UVC radiation in the mountains.

Latitude is another risk factor. UV levels are greater in tropical areas since less UV rays are deflected by the atmosphere due to the angle. Of course, the farther you are from the equator, the less the risk is. This also means that UV levels are less devastating the farther the sun is from the zenith, so UV radiation can be quite safe in the morning and evening.

Wide open spaces are yet another risk factor. They do not, strictly speaking, increase the level of UV your eyes receive, but they fail to limit your exposure as well. As for reflective surfaces, such as open water and snow, they multiply the amount of UV radiation you are exposed to. Which means, wide open sandy areas are a twice bad idea for your eyes.

Author: James Baker

James Baker is a 29 y.o. American constructor and blogger. As an amateur photographer, he has always been fascinated with optics. As a blogger, he pays special attention to eyewear due to his experience with optical devices.

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