Best Trail Running And Hiking Sunglasses 2024 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Trail Running And Hiking Sunglasses 2024

We've got five of the best sunglasses perfectly designed for hiking, trail running and any other outdoor sport you can throw their way

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.

Oakley Radar EV Path

Price: £161
Weight: 29g
Category: 3

Featuring Oakley’s renowned Prizm lens, the Oakley Radar EV are a pair of versatile sunglasses that’ll see you right no matter your activity. They’re made from Oakley’s lightweight O’Matter frame material, which is a nylon material that claims to be 25% lighter and two times stronger than normal materials.

While they don’t feature reactive lens technology, the Oakley Radar EV have a trick up their sleeve in their own Prizm lens technology. Prizm tech is said to elevate contrast and colour so that you can see more clearly and in greater detail – something you’re going to appreciate if you find yourself on a cloudy summit.

Read our full Oakley Radar EV Path review.

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Julbo Areospeed

Price: €180
Weight: 26g
Category: 3

Julbo know a thing or two about making a good pair of sunglasses. Founded in 1888 by Jules Baud, the first Julbo sunglasses were designed as protective eyewear for men who were searching high and low (but mostly high) for crystals in the French Alps.

Rolling the clock forward 132 years, Julbo now make some of the most well thought out sunglasses out there – and these, the Julbo Aerospeed, are a great example of that.

Featuring Julbo’s ‘Reactiv’ adaptable lens technology, these sunglasses get darker or lighter to match changing light conditions while remaining extremely lightweight and well-ventilated.

Read our full Julbo Aerospeed review.

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Smith Reverb

Price: £100
Weight: 27g
Category: 3

For those with small to medium face shapes, yet still looking to keep a wide field of view, the Smith Reverb sunglasses are going to be for you. Featuring a single ChromaPop lens that curves around the face, the Smith Reverb comes in at a lightweight 27g.

The Outdoors Magic team loved the secure fit of the Reverbs – even when running at pace or crossing technical scrambles. The adjustable non slip nose and temple pads were also impressive, helping to keep the sunglasses firmly planted on the face. While the Reverbs don’t carry a reactive lens, lens swapping is made easy through Smith’s ‘PivLock’ system.

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Sungod Vulcans

Price: £125
Weight: 34g
Category: 3

Brand new for 2020 are the Sungod Vulcans. This seven-year-old company have been going from strength to strength in recent years with their fully customisable designs bringing something a little different to the sunglasses market.

These, the Vulcans are the brand’s newest running and cycling specific sunglasses, but we see no reason why these also can’t be used while hiking, skiing or just walking about town, as long as you’re a fan of the large wraparound design.

The Vulcans feature Sungod’s Iris photochromic lens that’s able to adjust to fast-changing light conditions. They also have four different sized nose pads that can be swapped in to dial in the fit.

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Decathlon Kalenji

Price: £25
Weight: 30g
Category: 1 – 3

Those of you not looking to pay upwards of £100 on a pair of sunglasses should check out the Kalenji running sunglasses from the sports retailer Decathlon. Yes, they may not feature the same fancy lens technology and locked in fit of many of the sunglasses featured above, but these sunglasses simply do a great job – especially when you consider they cost as much as a meal for two at your local Indian restaurant.

The Kalenji running sunglasses feature a category 1 to 3 photochromic lens that adjusts the amount of light it lets through (from 15% and 55%), based on the light conditions. Although they don’t feature a single lens, the Kalenji sunglasses utilise a wrap around design which provides a wide field of view, resulting in fantastic peripheral vision.

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