Do running and sunglasses go hand in hand? Absolutely, say professional runners and optometrists.
Initially, maintaining excellent posture is one of the most important ground rules for runners (namely, no slouching, overextending the legs or clenching the hands). “Wearing sunglasses forces you to keep your head up. Otherwise, they’ll just slide right off your nose,” as Mebrahtom "Meb" Keflezighi recently explained to Yahoo Life. A retired Eritrean-born American long-distance runner, two-time Olympian and winner of both the New York City and Boston marathons, Keflezighi should know. In fact, he’s been running while wearing sunglasses since his high school days, he added.
Should I Wear Sunglasses While Running?
Unfortunately, most Americans do not wear sunglasses while playing a sport or exercising outdoors. Yet they should definitely understand the importance of eye protection while running outside, for a number of reasons.
First, both eyes and eyelids can get sunburned; even on a cloudy day, the rays from direct sunlight are present. Any sun reflected from the pavement—a surface many runners train and race on—can cause significant damage. “When the sun is shining on the pavement, the light from the sun is reflecting off of the pavement,” explained Dr. Cynthia W. Baker, OD, an eye doctor based in Denham Springs, LA. “This makes the light reflected into the eyes more intense and causes glare, which can further complicate the condition of the eyes.”
Since the sun emits three different and specific kinds of rays—UVA, UVB and UVC—and sunglasses should block each type. They must also block high energy visible (HEV) rays, according to Dr. Baker. “Without these elements in sunglasses, you can increase your chances of developing eye diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts and other diseases of the eye and body.”
The Importance of Eye Protection While Running Outside
Proper fit stands out as an equally important consideration in selecting sunglasses designated for running. In a recent interview with the MapMyRun blog, Rachel Schneider, a professional middle-distance runner and nine-time All-American in track, emphasized the importance of sunglasses that stay put in spite of intense sweating. “Your sunglasses shouldn’t hinder your performance. Always do what’s comfortable for you,” she advised. “If you find a pair of sunglasses that stay in place and are comfortable while you run, they can enhance performance by protecting your eyes from the sun, preventing squinting and unnecessary tension, strain and distraction.”
What are the Best Sunglass Styles For Running?
Based on the guidance from both Dr. Baker and Schneider, Blenders Eyewear offers a variety of sporty, practical styles tailor-made for avid runners (both men and women). In fact, Blenders Eyewear’s mission statement even seems to apply directly to runners: “To deliver the world’s coolest and most affordable eyewear that inspires people to Live Life in Forward Motion.”
Not only do these selections from Blenders Eyewear protect against the sun’s harmful rays; they’re also designed to stay securely in place. Check out our larger collection of running sunglasses and find the perfect fit for you.