With summer now officially upon us, you better have a handy pair of sunglasses, whether you’re lounging with the pool beer in hand, cruising on the open water, or running up desert mountains. They are endless possibilities out there, from dollar-store vogue to GQ-worthy. We’ve rounded up a few of our timeless favorites and some of this year’s best sunglasses suitable for any occasion.
A few points to remember when picking a pair:
- Make sure you get a pair that fits your head. This will have a huge impact on comfort, and in the end, how much you actually wear them.
- Polarize lenses are ideal, but not all stylish sunglasses come polarized. You will definitely want polarized lenses for sporting activities (like biking, boating or driving).
- Look for a pair of sunglasses that blocks 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays, which are very damaging to your eyes. Most of the sunglasses on our list fit this criteria.
Let’s be honest. Oakley is the leader when it comes to versatile, active sunglasses, and nobody else comes close. The Flak Jacket’s are a classic pair of sunglasses, cut out for anything from mountaineering to boating on the open water to mountain biking. They also just totally cool-looking, appropriate in both adrenaline-pumping situations and relaxing by the grill.
When it comes to vacation and relaxing by the beach, Maui Jim might actually have Oakley beat. The Ho’Okipa are a capable combo, sporty enough for boating and kitesurfing but still chill enough for sipping mojitos by the beach. The Polycarbonate Lenses feature PolarizedPlus 2 technology – which eliminates reflective, direct, and bounce-back glare – and are coated with a CLEARSHELL scratch-resistant coating.
Yes, another pair of Oakley’s, but who cares. Somewhere between a pair of Wayfarers, more active sunglasses, and straight out of the 80’s come the Frogskin’s. They’re minimal, but tough with a O-Matter stress resistant frame. Plutonite lenses filter 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC, while Oakley’s Patented High Definition Optics enhance clarity in bright light, giving you sharp vision from all angles. You can also pick a pair in almost any color or print to fit your particular needs.
The Wayfarer’s have been around since 1952, and are the epitome of timeless. The thick 100% nylon frame makes them 100% burly and durable, while the 100% UV-resistant coating protects your eyes from all kinds of harmful light (though they are not polarized). They’re not meant for sports, but look great with every other getup and – unlike most sunglasses – don’t break easily.
Warby Parker hasn’t been around nearly as long as the venerable Ray-Ban or Oakley, but they’ve quickly become a go-to maker for stylish prescription glasses. Their summer glasses don’t look too bad, either. The Ames have that classic Clubmaster look, cut from either cellulose acetate or stainless steel, and with polarized R-39 lenses. Clean enough for more sophisticated outfits, but at home with anything.
Light, fast and ultra-sporty, the Core 2.0 are textbook Under Armor. The frames are made from a fusion of titanium and Grilamid, with Auto-Grip and Airflow tech to keep you cool. The ArmourSight lens technology is 20% more peripheral vision, makes the lenses 10X stronger than ordinary polycarbonate lenses, and blocks 100% of UVA, UVB and UVC rays. For straight-up sport sunglasses they go anywhere and do anything, Under Armor has you covered.
Number 1. What else could it possibly be? The Ray-Ban Aviator is perhaps the most iconic pair of sunglasses ever made, and deserve a position on our list. They’re light and totally minimal, and pair well with literally outfit you could drum up – from the beach to the bar to cruising with the top down. They come in almost any color combo and size imaginable, and inspire confidence with their rogue looks. On top of that, they keep the sun out of your eyes, too.