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The Best Sunglasses for Women of 2024

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The best parts about spending time outdoors are the fresh air, stunning views, and soaking up vitamin D. Enjoying time in the sunshine comes with some challenges, however, like shielding your eyes from bright light, glare, and UV rays. Luckily, there’s a quick and easy fix — sunglasses.

These days, there are thousands of women’s sunglasses options to choose from. Some women’s sunglasses are specifically designed strictly with fashion in mind, others are created for high-intensity activities, and many occupy the happy middle ground where style meets performance. At GearJunkie, we’re active folks who still want to look good, so we focus on the latter. With so many options out there, we know it can be difficult to determine which pair is best suited to your needs — especially if you’re shopping online. 

Like most people, our expert testers have been playing outside and wearing sunglasses for decades. Our lead tester lives in Oahu, Hawaii, where the sun regularly shines, making sunglasses an essential piece of her wardrobe. She wore them hiking, running, standup paddling, kayaking, biking, and more, and she put these glasses through the wringer to bring you the best of the best. 

Below, we’ve rounded up the best sunglasses for women of 2024, which are both stylish and functional. To help you find the best women’s sunglasses for your specific needs, we’ve put together a buyer’s guide, a comparison table, and a section with answers to frequently asked questions. 

The Best Sunglasses for Women of 2024

Best Overall Sunglasses for Women

  • Frame Material
    Evolve bio-based frame, stainless steel temples
  • Polarized
    Yes
  • Lens Color Tested
    Chromapop Brown

  • Lens Height
    47 mm

  • Bridge Width
    18 mm 

  • Temple Length
    140 mm

  • ChromaPop polarized lenses


  • Six lens color options


  • Nose pads help prevent the glasses from slipping


  • Don’t come with a hard travel case 


  • Might fit small on larger faces

Best Budget Sunglasses for Women

  • Frame Material
    Not specified
  • Polarized
    Yes 

  • Lens Color Tested
    Teal 

  • Lens Height
    42 mm 

  • Bridge Width
    12 mm

  • Temple Length
    141 mm

  • Super affordable

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Stable on the face

  • Lots of frame colors and other styles to choose from

Best Sunglasses for Women for Use on the Water

  • Frame Material
    Bio-acetate
  • Polarized
    Yes

  • Lens Color tested
    Polarized gray glass

  • Lens Height
    47 mm

  • Bridge Width
    17 mm

  • Temple Length
    143 mm

  • Durable, scratch-resistant lenses


  • Polarized & 100% UV protection


  • Glass lenses have excellent optics

  • Bio-based frame material

  • Wide fit


  • Heavier weight
- not great for impact activities

  • Not a great fit for narrow faces

Most Timeless Sunglasses for Women

  • Frame Material
    Plastic (not specified), metal temples
  • Polarized
    Polarized and non-polarized options
  • Lens Color Tested
    Polarized Brown

  • Lens Height
    46 mm

  • Bridge Width
    18 mm

  • Temple Length
    140 mm

  • Lightweight


  • Cute style

  • Polarized
and non-polarized lens options

  • 20 color choices


  • Slide around a tad during exercise

Most Sustainable Sunglasses for Women

  • Frame Material
    Bio-acetate
  • Polarized
    Yes

  • Lens Color Tested
    Evergreen
  • Lens Height
    46.3 mm

  • Bridge Width
    15 mm

  • Temple Length
    145 mm

  • Frame made from 100% biodegradable materials


  • Provides a sharp optics

  • Great color boost and contrast


  • Too large for narrow faces (a petite option is available)


  • Scratch easily

Best Lightweight Sunglasses for Women

  • Frame Material
    O-Matter
  • Polarized
    Options for polarized or non-polarized lenses

  • Lens Color Tested
    Prizm rose gold

  • Lens Height
    47.2 mm 

  • Bridge Width
    18 mm

  • Temple Length
    140 mm

  • Reliable no-slip nosepads


  • Lightweight


  • Multiple lens and frame color options


  • Don’t come with a hard case

  • Polarized lenses cost $50 more

Best Budget Running Sunglasses for Women

  • Frame Material
    Grilamid TR-90
  • Polarized
    No
(polarized version available)
  • Lens Color Tested
    Blackout

  • Lens Height
    42 mm 

  • Bridge Width
    14 mm

  • Temple Length
    137 mm

  • Lightweight


  • Affordable


  • Shatterproof lenses

  • Lots of frame color and lens options


  • Not polarized


  • Doesn’t include a hard case

Another Great Value

  • Frame Material
    Not-specified
  • Polarized
    Yes

  • Lens Color Tested
    Amber

  • Lens Height
    51 mm

  • Bridge Width
    19 mm

  • Temple Length
    143 mm

  • Very affordable

  • Lots of frame color and lens options

  • Stable and comfortable on the face

  • Knockaround is Plastic Neutral


  • No hard case

  • Not the lightest

Women’s Sunglasses Comparison Chart

Sunglass Model MSRP Frame Material Polarized Lens Color Tested Lens Height Bridge Width Temple Length
Smith Wander $205 – $215 Evolve bio-based frame, stainless steel temples Yes Chromapop Brown 47 mm 18 mm 140 mm
Goodr OGs $25 Copolyester Yes Teal 42 mm 12 mm 141 mm
Costa Del Mar Catherine $269 Bio-acetate Yes Polarized gray 47 mm 17 mm 143 mm
Ray-Ban Erika Classic $166 – $186 Plastic (not specified), metal temples Polarized of non-polarized options Polarized Brown 46 mm 18 mm 140 mm
Revo Daphne $199 Bio-acetate Yes Evergreen 46.3 mm 15 mm 145 mm
Oakley Spindrift $185 – $235 O-Matter Polarized or non-polarized options Prizm Rose Gold 47.2 mm 18 mm 140 mm
Tifosi Swank $25 Grilamid TR-90 No (polarized available) Blackout 42 mm 14 mm 137 mm
Knockaround Premium Polarized $35 – $38 Not specified Yes Amber 51 mm 19 mm 143 mm

How We Tested Women’s Sunglasses

The crew at GearJunkie knows a thing or two about spending time outside in the sunshine. Over the years, we’ve learned that protecting our eyes from the sun is very important, no matter the activity. Whether we’re driving to the trailhead or heading out for a bike ride, we pretty much live in sunglasses. We’ve also been testing and reviewing sunglasses for years and our experts have written buyer’s guides for other activities like cycling, fishing, driving, and general outdoor use.

Our lead tester is Rebecca Parsons, an avid outdoorswoman living in Oahu, Hawaii. Rebecca has been a freelance writer for over a decade and has spent the last two years exclusively testing and reviewing gear, so she knows quality when she sees it. Rebecca spends every hour that she isn’t on her computer outside hiking, running, surfing, and standup paddling, among other things. To test the women’s sunglasses on our list, she spent a few weeks in each of the shades, doing multiple activities in each to see how they fared across the board. Throughout her testing, Rebecca noted how stylish each pair of sunglasses was, how comfortable they felt, how they fit, the lens color, optical quality, and how secure they felt during both high and low-intensity activities. She hit the trails and the water and wore the sunglasses when it was sunny, cloudy, and misty to see how they performed in a wide spread of conditions. 

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose Women’s Sunglasses

With hundreds, if not thousands, of women’s sunglasses on the market to choose from, finding the perfect pair can be a challenge. With different styles, sizes, lenses, and price points, figuring out exactly what you want and need can feel like trying to solve a mystery. To help, we’ve compiled a handy guide to inform you of important factors to consider when searching for you next pair of shades.

Lenses

Sunglass lenses come in many different tints. You may think the lens tint is simply for style, but different tints serve different purposes. Additionally, different lenses allow varying amounts of light to transmit through them for use in different lighting conditions. Similarly, lenses come in both polarized and non-polarized options, so you can choose what works best for your needs.

Lens Tints

Grey/Black

 

A neutral choice, grey and black lenses are one of the most popular sunglass lens options. The subtle tint minimally alters the outside world and provides true color perception with more of a cooling effect. They can also help minimize glare off the water and help reduce eye fatigue with their dark tint. They are a good pick for a wide array of uses but are especially popular for driving as they provide a balanced view of the road while reducing glare. 

Brown/Amber

Brown and amber lenses work to enhance contrast by blocking blue light. They amplify contrast and depth perception, making them a good pick for overcast conditions. Where grey lenses tend to provide a cooling effect, brown and amber lenses are more warming. They are a popular pick for hiking, fishing, and skiing.

Rose/Red

 

If you spend a lot of time on your computer or your phone outside, rose/red lenses could be a good pick for you as they filter out blue light. They also help filter out natural blue light rays emitted by the sun, so they’re a popular driving option. Finally, they improve visual depth, reduce eye strain, and offer more contrast than any other lens color. For this reason, they are often a good choice for doing activities in lower-light situations and are popular with mountain bikers and others who spend time in the forest in mixed-lighting conditions

Blue/Purple

Blue and purple lenses have the unique ability to filter out the infrared spectrum of light. They also can help reduce glare, define contours, and enhance color perception. They also tend to work well in areas with lots of blue hues, making them a popular choice for water sports. 

Yellow

Yellow lenses work well in low-light conditions such as dawn, dusk, or foggy/stormy weather. They help enhance depth perception and visibility where there is minimal natural light. They are popular for snow sports like skiing and snowboarding and for precision sports like hunting, shooting, and mountain biking. 

Green 

Green lenses strike that happy medium between color accuracy and contrast enhancement. They have a soothing effect on the eyes and can help reduce eye strain and help your eyes feel more comfortable during long periods exposed to sunlight. They are a popular pick for sports like tennis, golf, and cycling. 

Visible Light Transmission (VLT)

The amount of visible light that a lens allows to pass through it is known as the Visible Light Transmission, or VLT. This is typically expressed in a percentage, with higher numbers allowing more light through and vice versa. What works best for you depends on your eyes’ sensitivity to light, the light conditions, and possibly the activities that you’re doing. For bright conditions, a lens with a lower VLT — in the 10 – 15% range — will block more light but may be too dark in dimmer lighting. A lens with a higher VLT may be preferred for activities in mixed light or dimmer conditions but may not be dark enough for super bright conditions. For example, many mountain bikers will use rose or yellow tinted lenses with VLTs in the 40 – 60% range while riding in the forest. Many will even opt for totally clear lenses on cloudy days or when riding around dusk.

Most, but not all, manufacturers post the VLT percentages for their lenses so you can easily find the best option to suit your needs. Smith Optics is a good example, as they have a VLT scale on their website that shows the percentage for each lens option along with the conditions for which it is best suited.

Polarized

Polarized lenses reduce glare from reflective surfaces by filtering out horizontal light rays. This is of particular importance for activities like fishing or watersports, as they allow you to see into the water due to the reduction of glare. As a result, most glasses designed for fishing or use on the water are polarized. Conversely, they can make it more difficult to see the screen of your phone or cause distortion when looking through some car windows.

Many brands offer lenses with or without polarization or as an option when buying. For premium brands, polarized lenses often cost a bit more than non-polarized options. Ultimately, it’s up to the user to decide what works best for their needs.

Fit

Fit is important, especially if you plan on wearing your sunglasses while you work out. Many of the sunglasses on our list include sizing guidelines on their website, which are worth checking out if you don’t have the opportunity to try on your sunglasses in person. Whenever possible, we recommend trying glasses on to ensure that they will fit your face.

Our tester has a narrow face and found that most of the medium frames were a little big on her face and slid down her nose while working out. Glasses like the Revo Daphne also come in a petite size, which is great for those with a narrow face. Similarly, the Tifosi Swank comes in an XL size for larger faces and an SL version for lighter weight and smaller facial structures. For individuals with a wider face, wider glasses like the Costa Del Mar Catherine could be a great fit. 

Bridge Width

The bridge width refers to the distance between the two lenses. It’s the part of the sunglasses where the frame rests on your nose. The bridge width affects the overall fit and comfort of the sunglasses depending on the width of your nose bridge.

Lens Height/Width

Lens height refers to the distance from the top of the lens to the bottom, while lens width is the distance from the left side of the lens to the right side. These measurements help you determine how large the glasses will look on your face and how much coverage they provide.

Temple Length

This measurement refers to the length of the temples, or arms, of the sunglasses. This measurement is taken from the hinge to the tip of the temple. This measurement is important as it helps ensure that the sunglasses are long enough to extend behind your ears without poking too far out. 

Nose Pads

The purpose of nose pads on sunglasses is twofold — they are helpful for both comfort and security. Nose pads help take pressure off the nose where the glasses hit by distributing it more evenly across a wide surface. This is particularly important if you’re wearing your sunglasses for extended periods. Nose pads are also made from grippy rubber and can help prevent your sunglasses from sliding down your nose, which is especially useful when exercising. 

Storage and Cases

Most sunglasses come with a bag, but not all come with a hard case. A storage bag is nice for daily use as well as for cleaning smudges off your glasses. But, if you plan on doing any traveling with your shades, you’ll want a more reliable “hard case” to store them in. About half of the sunglasses on our list came with a hard case, with many of the cheaper sunglasses simply coming in a bag. If it’s important to you, be sure to check what’s included with the glasses before purchasing. If the glasses you want don’t come with one, hard storage cases can also be purchased separately to protect your investment.

Style

Style is subjective. In general, sunglasses are not a one-size-fits-all in terms of fit or aesthetics. Maybe they’ll fit, but certain sunglasses look better on different shapes of faces, and certain colors look best with different hair and skin tones.

Generally speaking, a good bet is to pick sunglasses that are the opposite shape of your face. You can also pick a timeless option that is sure to remain in style for years, like the Ray-Ban Erika Classic sunglasses. Pairing sunglasses with your skin tone and hair color usually comes down to personal preference. Thankfully, there are literally hundreds of options to choose from. Most of the models we tested come in several frame and lens color options, and several come in a vast array of colors to suit every preference under the sun. Find the shape, size, and color that works best for you, and rock it like you mean it.

Value

There is a wide range of prices for sunglasses. The models we tested cost between $25 and $269. What’s the difference, and are more expensive shades worth the extra cost? We’ve found that when it comes to optics, the more established brands have put more time and money into creating excellent lenses. Technologies like Oakley’s Prizm and Smith’s Chromapop really do provide sharper optics, enhanced contrast, and boost colors better than cheaper glasses can. Of course, you pay a premium for that technology, and probably a bit of that is for the brand name alone. Still, the lens coatings and frames tend to be a bit more durable, and most will last for you or several years of use if treated with a reasonable amount of care.

Several brands are disrupting the market by offering sunglasses at dirt-cheap prices. Goodr, Tifosi, and Knockaround are good examples of brands that are undercutting the competition by selling good sunglasses at a fraction of the cost of the premium brands. Are they as good as more expensive sunglasses? Almost. Will you notice the difference between a $25 pair of glasses and a $200 pair of glasses? Some will, and some won’t. Honestly, these glasses work well, even if they aren’t perfect. If you’re prone to scratching, crushing, or losing your sunglasses, then these affordable shades have your name written all over them. They look good, come in various styles, and the optics are good enough that most people won’t notice the difference. You can get five to eight pairs of them for the price of some of the premium models.

What are we buying? Well, we’re GearJunkies, of course. We generally prefer the premium optics and feel of brands like Oakley, Smith, Costa Del Mar, and Ray-Ban. That said, we also love a great value and that brands like Goodr, Tifosi, and Knockaround exist for those who aren’t willing or able to shell out the big bucks for high-end shades.

FAQ

If you wear prescription sunglasses, you’ll want to double-check that the brand/style you are choosing has a prescription option. If it does, you can report your exact prescription so that the manufacturer can swap out the lenses for your prescription. Prescription lenses cost more but are worth it. Most premium brands have a prescription option for those who don’t want to or can’t wear contact lenses.

Polarized sunglasses have a special coating on the lens that filters out horizontal light waves, like those that bounce off water or the road. In doing so, they help reduce glare, resulting in a crisper view in high-glare situations. All these factors combined help reduce eye strain. Polarized sunglasses can be especially useful if you spend a lot of time outdoors, especially around water. 

Non-polarized sunglasses don’t have a polarizing filter on the lenses, so they don’t provide as much glare reduction. However, they still help provide shade and protect your eyes from the sun — they just don’t reduce glare to the same level as polarized sunglasses. Non-polarized lenses are often a bit less expensive.

Great question! Many people think lens tint is simply a fashion statement, but different colored lenses serve different purposes. The benefits of each lens color are detailed at the top of our buyer’s guide. 

Most sunglasses are unisex, so assuming they fit you and you like the style, you can wear any sunglasses you want. Most sunglasses that are made for women, however, often have styling and shapes that are more “feminine” and come in fame colors that may suit ladies preferences better. Additionally, many women’s sunglasses have been made to fit slightly smaller head and facial structures due to the fact that women’s heads and faces and generally smaller than those of men.

Go beyond style with sunglasses that combine classic good looks with next-level technology and design.

Cycling sunglasses do so much more than protect eyes from bright sunlight or make a fashion statement. Whether road cycling, gravel grinding, or shredding trails, a good pair of cycling sunglasses can add safety, performance, and enjoyment to your ride.



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