Prescription Trail Running Sunglass Athlete Review with Laura Ewald

Athlete: Laura Ewald

Sport: Trail Running

Homebase: Salt Lake City, Utah

Location: The expansive trails of the Wasatch Mountains and Uinta National Forest

Terrain: High Alpine.  Heavily wooded mountain trails that are in and out of shadows with obstacles such as rocks and tree roots.

Light Conditions: Trail run year round which leads to running in all conditions - sunny, overcast, snow and rain


The Prescription Sunglasses Laura Recommends for Trail Running:


Lens Tints: Oakley Prizm Trail, Bronze, and VR28 Black Iridium 

Picking a lens for the run any given day is important because it allows me to be focused on my running rather than worried about whether I can see the terrain in front of me or not.  I personally love all three of these Oakley lenses for tail running. Picking the right lens tint has become extremely important to me as it significantly impacts my performance and the overall enjoyment of my run.  All three of these lenses are high contrast lenses which provide greater definition between objects and allow me to easily identify obstacles on the trail which is key, and handle a variety of light conditions from full sun to full shade.  

Oakley's Prizm tends to be my go-to lens as it works well in all light conditions.  When setting out for a long run on the high alpine trails it's common for me to encounter a variety of both weather and light conditions so I like that this lens is a good all-around high contrast lens that is light enough for overcast conditions but also doesn't strain my eyes in bright sunlight.  

I tend to wear the Bronze lens during the summer when I know it will most likely be bright sunlight conditions for the entirety of my run but I'll still be in and out of shadows.  The bronze lens feels dark enough for really bright sunlight conditions but not so dark that it hinders my vision when in the shadows.  

Lastly, I go for the VR28 Black Iridium lens when I'm running in bright sunlight conditions on fully exposed trails or snow.  I really like that this lens has rose base which offers a ton of contrast but also has the dark black iridium coating making it perfect for runs in intense sunlight conditions.


Frame Style: The Oakley RPM and Oakley Half Jacket | Wrap and Semi-Rimless

Making sure the frame you are running in fits your face is key.  I highly recommend running in a sunglass that has some wrap so that you have full peripheral coverage from not only the sun but also wind, rain, debris, and whatever else the mountain conditions may throw at you.  I also prefer to run in a semi-rimless sunglass style as it provides some ventilation, preventing my glasses from fogging and also feels lighter than a full rim frame.  I currently switch between the Oakley RPM and Half Jacket when I run as they both fit my face well, have performance grip on both the nose pads and earstems which prevents the frames from bobbing up and down on my face as I run, and just as importantly they have a design that matches my personal style.

Examples of great running frames based on Laura's recommendations: Oakley Flak Jacekt 2.0 XLSmith Approach MaxKaenon Soft KoreUnder Armour Ignitor 2.0Spy Alpha


Polarized vs. Non-Polarized Lenses: While I feel that polarization is totally preference based, I do prefer a non-polarized lens for trail running. I typically don't encounter tons of water features that are hot-spots for glare while in the full sun, and I like the guarantee that I will have no problems with depth perception in a non-polarized lens.

Progressive Lenses: I don't require progressive lenses normally so therefor I haven't ever run with them but I would imagine the only reason you would opt for a progressive lens while running would be to read your watch/heartrate monitor.

Shop prescription sunglasses for running.