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Polarised Versus Non Polarised For Running

When it comes to getting outside for your chance to pound the pavement or navigate your favourite trail, we’re pretty sure you know the value in investing in the right quality pair of sunglasses as you run.

But how much do you know about your lens options and how to get the perfect lens for your ultimate running experience?

Whatever you choose, it’s vital that you choose your sunglasses so that they enhance rather than hinder your experience and/or performance, so ensuring you have a comfortable pair that will stay in place as you run is vital.  Not only will you be protecting your eyes from damaging UV rays, but they will minimise squinting and unnecessary distractions and strain.

Polarised sunglasses are designed to filter out the ambient light and any counteract glare from reflective surfaces. 

Whereas, the non-polarised lenses will offer you protection from light, but do not have the filter built in to cancel out bright surface glare.

Then, you have a whole selection of different colour lenses to consider, and it can’t all be for the fashion statement (although, we have you covered on that front with our ranges at 30 South, so moving on!)

Here we break down some of our thoughts on the matters of lens colour and polarised versus not, when it comes to running …


Polarised Lenses...

These types of lenses are beneficial in direct sunlight, where light is reflecting back at you as you run, which can be synonymous with running on a road or even by a body of water.  They will increase clarity of your vision.  The lights rays that reflect off the surface can cause discomfort and glare, which we know is a huge nuisance!  We are talking impaired depth perception, distorted views and colours, and even temporary blind spots where you can’t see a thing!

When it comes to situations such as these, polarised lenses can be more comfortable and reduce eye strain as they cut down on the glare reflected back.  This in turn promotes a more relaxing and focussed run. 

So in these cases, so the extra cost is highly worth it for many—especially athletes. … the non-polarised sunglasses will only reduce the amount of light that comes through the lenses, so you still get glare.


Non-Polarised Lenses

When the sun is not so bright and it’s cloudy, or maybe you’re on a shaded trail, then polarised lenses are not really necessary or worth the investment.  The polarisation can even reduce your visibility and make your scenery appear darker than it is.  When experience varying light conditions you need to be able to see the contrast of the uneven surfaces you’re running along.

Rather you would be better off as having a non polarised set of sunglasses, or interchangeable lenses so you could adapt to your surroundings, or cater to your chosen running groups or weather situation.  You need to be able to see obstacles in your periphery and any and al specific features of the trail.

The best of trail running sunglasses will provide you with optimal field of vision, uninhibited optics in variable light conditions, a good fit and moisture management.  The last thing you need is them fogging up!   You’ll know when you have the best trail running sunglasses when they essentially don’t feature in your experience.  Enabling you to navigate the terrain and undulating surfaces with ease and no distraction, and a subtle protection that is still significant and essential to performance and joy!

Just ensure that whichever sunglasses you are investing in, that all lenses offer you UV protection, which all at 30South of course do!


Some questions to ask yourself might be:

  • Are these sunglasses comfortable to wear for long periods of time?
  • Are they super lightweight?
  • Will they stay in place whilst running fast, or downhill and on uneven terrains?
  • Do they offer essential UV Protection?
  • Do they have excellent lens filters that are specific for enhancing details on trails?
  • Are they very durable?
  • Do they look epic?!


Different coloured lenses can improve your visibility under varying conditions, so when choosing the perfect tint, you should consider where and what time of day you typically run.

  • Yellow & Orange lenses will be a better choice in low-light conditions as they enhance contrast, especially in hazy or overcast conditions.  These colours are also great at sharpening your focus on the road or a trail with epic clarity.
  • Green lenses can do the same as a grey lens, but better.  They offer more contrast and a better colour accuracy.  They are ideal for sunny and low light environments and have a way of reducing glare whilst still brightening shadows.  They seem perfect for outdoors in fog, rain or shine!
  • Rose-colored ones provide a greater contrast, which is useful for those who do a lot of trail running.  A great choice for increasing depth of field and vision, but not the ideal choice if you dislike colour distortion or imbalances.
  • Amber and brown lenses block significant blue light, enhancing visual acuity and contrast. They’re particularly good for improving

    contrast if you’re running on trails and in blue-sky conditions.   Amber and brown lenses work well for running on the whole.

    There is plenty of choice that’s for sure, and you’re in the right place!