Even in cloudy conditions, your eyes are exposed to potentially damaging UV rays on a frequent basis, so wearing a decent pair of sunglasses when trail running or hiking in high mountainous, or alpine terrain is vitally important.
Crunching down on the numbers brings this point home. For every 1,000 metres climbed, the exposure to the sun’s damaging radiation increases by 10%. Even worse, if you’re out running or walking in wintery conditions, then expect snowy (white) surfaces to reflect around 80 – 90% of solar radiation back to your eyes.
Cirrus clouds (those high altitude ones) and fog also do very little in blocking the sun’s rays, with 50% of sunlight still able to pass through. If you find yourself up in the top portion of the fog, the light can sometimes even intensify the UV rays due to diffraction.
This is where sunglasses come in. Featuring a lens that’s able to block out the harmful rays beating down from the skies above, sunglasses provide some much-needed protection when travelling around in mountainous terrain.
Not only that, reactive sunglasses sporting automatically adapting lenses do a stellar job in enhancing your vision when the clouds come in and the contrast drops – particularly useful in those ever changing autumn/winter conditions.
Here are our selection of the best hiking and trail running sunglasses to look out for this year. If you’re looking for more running gear, we’ve compiled similar guides to the best running shorts and best trail running shoes. We’ve also looked at running socks and packs for running plus all the best new running brands to look out for.