Shades of brilliance: the best sports sunglasses
Roula Khalaf, Editor of the FT, selects her favourite stories in this weekly newsletter.
Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays, improve contrast for pinpoint accuracy whilst playing sports and complete your summer look with these performance sunglasses.
Oakley is renowned for its wrap-arounds, and this new release offers a generous uninterrupted field of vision without the flex and less-than-secure fit sometimes associated with frameless designs. The glasses are versatile, intended for use across sporting disciplines such as cycling, golf and running, with grippy earsocks keeping them in place, and the Prizm lens has great clarity in varied light conditions. £204, oakley.com
Good for a range of action sports from cycling to tennis, these offer great coverage without looking overbearing thanks to the frameless design at the bottom of the lens (which works well on skinny faces). A good lens choice – particular for changeable weather conditions typical in countries such as Britain – would be Bollé’s Phantom Clear Green photochromic lenses, which provide 100 per cent UV protection whilst automatically adjusting to light levels for optimal clarity in variable conditions. The sunglasses are available with prescription lenses, as well as in an XL version for larger faces. From £110, bolle.com
At a mere 19g, these are exceptionally lightweight and comfortable to wear. With their round lenses, they have a leisure style but don’t be fooled – this is a serious sportswear brand and the glasses are totally capable in sporting scenarios. They come with three different nose pad sizes and the arms are flexible enough to accommodate a range of face shapes. From £140, uk.roka.com
Julbo Vermont Classic
Julbo’s revered mountaineering sunglasses are a design icon dating back some 130 years and remain a smart choice for mountain-use today. Unquestionably vintage in appearance – with round lenses, metal frame, leather nose piece and leather side shields – the detailing on the glasses keeps glare out and they’re built to last. The lenses have 12 per cent light transmission, meaning they protect against strong sunlight and give good UV protection – and the rubberised curved arms wrap around the ear to keep them firmly in place. €135, julbo.com
Oakley EVZero Blades
This Oakley design is a favourite among runners: they’re sleek and sporty and at just 30g are the lightest the brand offers. The rimless lens affords an unobstructed view with great clarity – good even in overcast conditions – and the flexible, slim arms with rubber grips mean they sit securely in place with no bounce whatsoever. £149, oakley.com
This model is one of the most popular road cycling frames from the Swedish brand, which is known for fusing aesthetics with function. Unlike many cycling sunglasses, the frame is minimal, with the oversized Carl Zeiss shield lens creating a style statement. They give great protection from any flying debris, wind and sunlight and offer a completely unobstructed field of view with optical clarity. £190, pocsports.com
Founded in 2013, SunGod is, relatively speaking, a new kid on the block, yet by appealing to the outdoor sports and lifestyle-orientated millennial – by offering a slick online ordering experience and customisation – it has grown into a big hitter. Needless to say the glasses have to stack up too – and they do: classic in shape, lightweight and secure fitting, they are just as good for sports as for everyday use, while there are ten frame colours, eight lens tints and four types (more budget through to contrast-enhancing polarisation designs) to meet your needs. From £55, sungod.co
There’s little chance of going unnoticed wearing these unapologetically striking shades. Available in bright colourways, the high quality Zeiss polycarbonate lens offers crystal clear visibility and is anti-reflective for optimum clarity and panoramic vision. They’re lightweight, have adjustable rubber nose-pads, and rubberised grips on the inside of the temples ensure they remain safely in place, while the exterior of the glasses maintains a sleek look. From £129, kooworld.cc
CimAlp Vision One
Possibly the most customisable of all sunglasses: by choosing your preferred frame, temple ends, nose bridge and lens colour, there are over 9,000 possible combinations to select. Weighing just 26g with a frameless lens, they’re exceptionally lightweight, and have an adjustable nose bridge as well as flexible temple ends for height and width adjustment. Reasonably priced, these great fitting sports sunglasses are a savvy option. £71.88, cimalp.co.uk
If sporty looking wrap-arounds are less your thing, these large angular aviators might be up your street. They’re versatile, working just as well for commuting to work on the bike as they are for casual jogs or a stroll in the park. They have good coverage and head-turning styling – particularly if you opt for the Volt+ Polarized lens in Ultraviolet. From £70, bolle.com