Can You Run With Glasses On? 10 Helpful Tips For Runners With Specs

Addressing Common Concerns for Runners with Specs


For runners with poor vision, running without glasses can leave you in a blurry world, increasing the risk of falling, stepping off a curb, or tripping on a trail.

The common question that continues to present itself is, can you run with glasses on? Yes, but running with glasses can pose its own set of challenges.

Glasses can fog up or slip down your nose while you run or even fall off your face entirely, putting them at risk of breaking.

While some runners choose to sidestep the challenges of running in glasses by wearing contact lenses, many runners find contacts uncomfortable or otherwise unworkable.

If you wear glasses while running or want to get a good pair of running sunglasses to protect your eyes, keep reading for our guide to running with glasses.

A runner wearing sunglasses.

Can You Run With Glasses On?

First things first. Let’s answer the need-to-know question, “Can you run with glasses on?” Absolutely. You can definitely run with prescription glasses or sunglasses on. 

In fact, if you are nearsighted and need glasses for distance vision, it’s most likely safer to run with glasses (or contact lenses) than to go without to prevent the risk of tripping, getting a headache from blurry vision, or getting injured in traffic.

10 Tips For Running With Glasses On

Fortunately, while it might seem like there are a lot of potential challenges to running in glasses, there are effective strategies or tips to mitigate these issues:

#1: Run In Sports Eyewear That Fits

How do I keep my glasses in place when running?

First and foremost, run in glasses that fit your face. Glasses that are too loose are prone to slipping and bouncing. Tighter frames will be easier to run with. Also, opt for lighter frames to improve your comfort.

#2: Run In Glasses With Nose Pads

How can I prevent my glasses from slipping down my nose during a run?

Adjustable nose pads, particularly rubberized ones, can prevent the glasses from slipping and bouncing while you run.

#3: Use a Sports Strap

A tight wraparound sports strap on your eyeglasses is the best security against annoying bouncing and slipping and will prevent the glasses from falling off while you run.

#4: Use An Anti-Fog Lens Treatment

How do I prevent my glasses from fogging up while running?

You can buy sports sunglasses for running with special anti-fog lenses or treat your lenses before each run by coating them with an anti-fog spray. Swimmers also use these anti-fog products for their goggles.

A person cleaning the lens of a pair of black glasses.

#5: Wear a Sweatband

Wearing a sweatband when you’re jogging with glasses on will cut down on the sweat that makes it to the glasses by catching it all up on your forehead first.

This can reduce the chance that the glasses will fog up, get beads of sweat on the lenses, or slip off from the moisture.

#6: Clean Your Glasses After Running

To prevent sweat damage, wipe down your glasses after every run with a baby wipe or glasses cleaner. Make sure to get the hinges and wipe down the lenses and frame.

#7: Get Transition Lenses

If you regularly find yourself running through low light levels, for example, when trail running through woodlands, transition lenses are better for changing lighting conditions and sun damage and will optimize your visibility.

#8: Run In Glasses With Anti-Glare Lenses

Anti-glare lenses minimize halos from lights and make running in glasses in the dark safer and more comfortable.

A person wearing sunglasses in the glare of the sun.

#9: Wear a Hat or Visor With Your Glasses

When running with glasses on in the rain, wear a hat or visor to shield the glasses from direct rainfall. 

#10: Buy Glasses Designed for Sports

These days, there are eyeglasses and sunglasses specifically designed to be worn while running, cycling, exercising, or playing sports.

Sports glasses feature lighter, aerodynamic frames and lenses that fit closer to the face. The lenses and frames are also designed for impact resistance, should the glasses fall off while you are running. 

Pros Of Running With Eyewear

Running with glasses, mainly if your vision is poor, provides the following benefits:

Avoiding Accidents and Obstacles 

If your vision is blurry without your glasses, chances are you’ll struggle to spot clear footing while running.

This can increase the risk of ankle sprains, stepping off a curb, tripping on the trail, missing road turns on your route, and headaches. Running with your glasses will mitigate these risks.

An athlete with sunglasses on.

Providing Sun Protection

Even if you have perfect 20/20 vision or wear contact lenses, running in sunglasses is a great way to shield your eyes from harmful UV rays. 1Backes, C., Religi, A., Moccozet, L., Behar-Cohen, F., Vuilleumier, L., Bulliard, J. L., & Vernez, D. (2019). Sun exposure to the eyes: predicted UV protection effectiveness of various sunglasses. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology29(6), 753–764. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-018-0087-0

According to research, running in glasses with photochromic or dark lenses can reduce the risk of cataracts, corneal sunburn, and other forms of irreversible UV damage to your eyes.2Backes, C., Religi, A., Moccozet, L., Behar-Cohen, F., Vuilleumier, L., Bulliard, J. L., & Vernez, D. (2019). Sun exposure to the eyes: predicted UV protection effectiveness of various sunglasses. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology29(6), 753–764. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41370-018-0087-0

As a bonus, glasses can also protect against dust and debris from entering your eyes on those windy days.

Reducing Hassle

Suppose you wear glasses in your daily life already. In that case, it’s more convenient to head out for a run without taking the extra step of putting in contact lenses or remembering to remove your glasses and find somewhere safe for them before you head out the door.

Minimizing Irritation

Runners who wear contact lenses while they run often complain that their eyes get dry and that the lenses can start to burn or fall out. By wearing glasses, you will avoid this problem altogether.

A person holding fogged-up glasses.

Cons Of Running With Glasses On

Of course, there are challenges to having running glasses on, such as the following:


The primary complaint of running in eyeglasses is that the glasses are prone to bouncing. Glasses that bounce with every stride are not only at risk of falling off, but they can get annoying after just a few minutes, detracting from the enjoyment of your workout. 


As you sweat, your glasses might start sliding down your nose, necessitating frequent adjustment and pushing them back up into place.

Again, this can get frustrating quickly, in addition to putting the glasses at risk of slipping off your face entirely.

Fogging Up

As you sweat, your glasses can fog up with condensation or even get beads of sweat splattering on the insides of the lenses.

This affects visibility, and it’s frustrating to have to try and defog your glasses with a corner of your shirt or fingers while you run, which may also already be wet from sweat.

Can you run with glasses on? Yes, here a runner is jogging down a path wearing sunglasses and listening to music.

Sweat Damage

Running in glasses clearly subjects your glasses to wear and tear and exposes them to sweat. Sweat can damage your frames and lenses, reducing the longevity of your glasses.

Halos In the Dark

If you’re running in the dark with your glasses on, various lights—such as street lamps and headlights on cars and trucks—can cause weird halos and optical abnormalities with light bending as the light hits your glasses.

Visibility Issues In the Rain

Jogging with glasses on in the rain can be a nightmare. The moisture sticks to the lenses and makes it really hard to see, and the rain can cause the frames to slip more than usual.

Best Running Sunglasses

When choosing running glasses, there are a number of reputable brands to consider, such as Nike, Oakley, Rudy Project, Roka, and Smith, among others.

It’s essential to prioritize UV protection, ensuring the lenses offer UVA and UVB protection to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Additionally, consider the tint and lens color, as well as the performance features of the sunglasses, such as photochromic lenses that adjust to different light conditions, polarized lenses for reduced glare, and options for vision correction if needed.

By selecting sunglasses with these features, you can enjoy clear vision and optimal eye protection during their runs.

Now you know the answer to the question, can I run with glasses on; of course, you can!

If you are looking to purchase running sunglasses, click here for a guide on how to pick out your next pair.


Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.