Running sunglasses vs. regular sunglasses – what's the difference?

As a runner, you know the importance of getting the right pair of sunglasses for your runs. But should you wear running sunglasses or regular sunglasses? How are they different? Which one should you choose?

It's important to invest in sunglasses that improve your experience and performance rather than hinder it. Sure, you may want to get a pair that looks stylish, but in addition, your sunnies should be durable, comfortable and right for your activity.

If your sunglasses don't offer these benefits, you will have spent your money in vain. That's why it's important to consider some important aspects when buying running sunglasses.


Sun's rays are a huge concern for runners. UV rays not only harm your skin, but they are harmful to your eyes too. Just like applying sunscreen with high SPF helps protect your skin, a good pair of UV protection sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV radiation.

Whether you are running on a trail or the road, you are exposed to the sun. The sun's rays are harmful not only when it's bright and sunny but also when it's cloudy. So, you must wear your UV-protected sunglasses even in the winter months as the sun's rays get reflected from surfaces like buildings, snow, roads and water.

There are two types of UV radiation to worry about: UVA and UVB. While UVA concerns skin aging, UVB is concerned with skin burning. UVB rays are far more dangerous and can damage your eyes, especially the cornea, retina and lens.

UV exposure can cause many other problems including macular degeneration (which can result in permanent vision loss), corneal sunburn, cataracts and skin cancer of the eyelids.

Here are some of the benefits of UV-protected running sunglasses:

  • Offers protection against harmful UV radiation
  • Lowers the risk of carcinoma
  • Helps avoid eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma
  • Helps reduce migraines and headaches

While most regular sunglasses offer UV protection, all running sunglasses are coated with a special chemical coating that offers 100% UV protection. Look for phrases like 'UV400' or '100% UV protection' on the label.


Some running sunglasses come with an additional layer of protection that absorbs the sun's rays to reduce glare. While regular sunglasses are not adept at blocking glare, polarized running sunglasses are highly effective at it.

Polarization is an innovative technology that uses a chemical coating around your lenses to absorb the sun's rays and reduce glare. This is something regular sunglasses can't do.

Glare is usually horizontal light rays that can cause extensive damage to your eyes: polarized lenses work by blocking horizontal light and allowing only vertical light, providing clear, unhindered vision.

This way, you can be sure that glare won't shine into your eyes directly, so you can see around clearly without squinting or taking your focus off your run.

Polarized running glasses, in addition to providing 100% UV protection, help eliminate glare reflecting off surfaces like water, snow and roads, which can cause discomfort to your eyes such as watery eyes and blurry vision.

Polarized lenses are critical if you typically run when the sun is at its full glory, as that's when glare will hit your eyes in full force.

Here are some of the benefits of polarized running sunglasses:

  • Reduces glare
  • Protects and calms your eyes from the effects of glare.
  • Makes images appear clearer and sharper.
  • Improves visual clarity.
  • Ensures comfortable vision.


Another important factor that distinguishes running sunglasses from regular sunglasses is the level of comfort they offer. Running sunglasses are designed to stay put, so you won't have to worry about your frame moving or popping up and down while you are running.

On the other hand, regular sunglasses may not do a good job of offering comfort while you run. Most running sunglasses are designed of flexible material and are adaptable to any face shape and size, offering a perfect fit, so you won't feel any discomfort during your run.

What's more, running sunglasses won't pinch your head either from the temples. They offer a firm grip to ensure your sunglasses do not move or slide down your nose.

A good pair of running sunglasses offers all these benefits of comfort by default.


Running sunglasses differ from regular sunglasses in these three important aspects. So, if you are looking to improve your performance and want to avoid any disruption, opt for good quality running sunglasses.

And the best part is that you won't have to spend a huge amount of money to experience these features. MarsQuest offers a wide range of running sunglasses at affordable prices. Explore our collection today to take your pick!

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