10 Best Men's Sunglasses for Every Occasion

On the run, to the beach, meeting the parents — the best sunglasses for everything you’re doing in 2018
July 10, 2018Words by Jon Gugala

All those sunny days and inside-to-outside blasts to the eyeballs? They are so, so easily warded off this summer with a good pair of shades and—spoiler alert—there’s never been a better time to pick up a pair without putting a hole in your wallet, regardless of your occasion.

Polarization, once the shiny new bauble of the industry (with a premium price tag to match), now comes standard on most frames, from the laid back to the formal. The same goes for comfort: you don’t have to spend a lot to get a great pair of well-fitting, snappy looking, great-performing frames.

True, spending more on a pair of sunglasses gets you more: often better materials and a longer history. (Shuron, established almost 150 years ago, made its frames for American GIs in World War II and has graced the faces of everyone from Malcolm X to Matt Damon.) But in the end, like lens shape and brand, it comes down to preference. That’s why we assembled a list of our preferred models and mapped them out for you on this handy grid — from active to casual to formal. Just add sun and go.

Sunski: Yubas

Polarized, lightweight, and with a price that won’t break the bank (or the heart if you lose them), the Huckberry-exclusive Yubas are the perfect adventure companions. While the lenses are treated with a scratch-proof coating, should something happen, replacements are just three bucks from Sunski. Their relaxed vibe isn’t the only thing we love: their name, taken from the eponymous river in our nearby Sierra Nevada range, is especially nice.

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Pacifico Optical: Blair

We love the retro chic aesthetic of this Australian company, epitomized by the Blair. The acetate frames, named after a Bondi Beach street, have a solid handfeel, which only seconds the quality of their legendary Carl Zeiss lenses (think high-end film camera). And on the lenses: an anti-glare inner coating and an outer scratch-protective finish are positioned for where you’ll need them most. Dress them down if you must, but these are ready for the runway.

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Raen Optics: Remmy 52

The round Remmy frames pull from two different decades, pointing toward sixties Mod and nineties Cobain grunge. Both are classic, and regardless of your preferred era, they’re effortless style. Zeiss lenses are sharp while protecting eyes from the full spectrum of UV rays.

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Smith: Lowdown 2

The real story with the Lowdown 2—more than its “Boys of Summer” eighties vibe and eco-friendly construction—is the glass. Smith’s proprietary Chromapop polycarbonate lenses do just what their name implies: snap the world out with brilliant clarity and color. With their rubber-like megol temple and nose pads, these shades easily double back as a go-to outdoor sports frame.

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Knockaround: Paso Robles

The most inexpensive frames on this list still come feature-packed, with polarized, impact-resistant lenses and a carry sack. The Paso Robles might not be the most lux, but their casual vibe is an easy grab-and-go for a hike or a day on the river. Look great and save some cash for the beer run.

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Sunski: Dipseas

With its standard polarized lenses and lightweight frames, the real appeal of Sunski’s Dipseas is the shape, which works like a Swiss Army knife for a variety of face shapes. Square, rectangle, or oval, their rounded corners are large-coverage frames look great on most for a relaxed appearance. Plus, this colorway can only be found on Huckberry. 

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Raen: Wiley Alchemy

Plastic frames have their place, but we’ve got a soft spot for the classic metal skeleton of the Wiley Alchemy. Their durable performance and solid feel sold us at first meet, but subtle details like the coin-edge on the lower half of Zeiss lenses showed multifaceted depth day after day. These are as much art as function, a put-together pair for an afternoon affair.

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Electric: Knoxville XL

Whether you’re a rock star hiding from the paps or just someone with a larger face that needs more coverage, the Knoxville XL’s got you with its slouchy vibe. But don’t mistake their wear for quality: while Electric designed these in California, they’re made in Italy, where some of the best frames in the world are crafted. These still handle humid days and high-impact exercise with aplomb.

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District Vision: Keiichi Standard - Running Sunglasses

In the past, we were stuck with functional sports lenses that made us look like an alien bug. The Keiichi proves function and style are not mutually exclusive. Japanese engineering and New York City athletes collaborated on these shades, which utilize shatterproof, anti-scratch lenses treated for glare-, water-, and oil-repellency held in place by grippy nose and temple pads. Long, sweaty runs have met their match.

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Shuron: Escapades

You’ve got to admire a company that’s been doing its thing for over 140 years. That’s South Carolina-based Shuron, and its Escapades epitomize timeless fashion. Acetate-and-wire frames and scratch-resistant polarized lenses are sturdy enough to have been passed down from your grandparents (who probably wore them for a steeplechase or other fancy summer events). Maybe that’s why they’ve been the de facto eyewear of social and political visionaries from Damon to X.

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