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WHEN you're at the wheel, sunglasses are more than just a fashion accessory — they're a safety essential.
Buy a good pair and they protect the eyes with UV lenses, which cut out the harmful rays from penetrating your pupils.
Essential for driving, polarised glasses significantly reduce glare, meaning bright spots in the road are dulled down, improving your vision and essentially making your job easier.
This is especially important when it’s sunny, but also when it has rained, as wet roads can provide particular contract.
The best sunglasses for driving will stop you from squinting, but they can also look cool, with plenty of big name brands making polarised versions of their best selling styles.
What to consider when buying sunglasses for driving
The lenses are naturally the most important aspect of investing in driving sunglasses. At the very least you’ll want decent eye coverage, with fairly large tinted lenses that help keep the sun from distracting you.
But if you want the best, you need to go polarised. Often more expensive thanks to the added difficulty of producing them, polarised shades will completely cut out glare, making your job far easier behind the wheel.
For driving sunglasses, it’s worth paying that little bit extra for polarised lenses, as it really does make all the difference.
If you want the best sunglasses for driving, the style doesn’t particularly matter, but of course, you want to look good.
You could invest in a pair of ski style glasses, which functionally would do the job better than most. With their wrap-around designs literally designed to prevent glare on the slopes, ski sunglasses are well equipped for tackling harsh light on the roads.
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However, they don’t often look that great, which is where the classics come in. If you want a pair that looks as good as they perform, stick to the likes of Ray Ban and Persol, who make polarised versions of their classic tortoiseshell sunglasses, many of which were first designed for Air Force pilots, who had to deal with their own share of glare.
The best sunglasses for driving, at a glance
- Best retro driving sunglasses – wearPro
- Best tortoiseshell driving sunglasses – Hikaro
- Best sustainable driving sunglasses – Colorful Standard
- Best colourful driving sunglasses – Blenders
- Best aviator driving sunglasses – Vallon
wearPro Polarised Sunglasses
- (AD) wearePro Polarised Sunglasses,
£16.99£13.91 from Amazon – buy here
With the look and feel of retro shades straight out of the 1950s, these wearPro sunglasses have been updated with polarised lenses, making them ideal for driving.
Comprising seven layers of material, the thickened lenses resist water and oil while also being incredibly durable and scratch resistant, the brand claims.
Reducing reflected glare from the sun and water covered roads, these shades are perfect for long stints behind the wheel, while their classic shape and versatile all black finish ensures they look great with all manner of casual outfits.
Hikaro Polarised Semi-Rimless Unisex Sunglasses
- (AD) Hikaro Polarised Semi-Rimless Unisex Sunglasses, £13.99 from Amazon – buy here
While all-black sunglasses are known for being effortlessly cool, if you’re after something a little more subtle but equally classic, try tortoiseshell.
These mottled frames come complete with a throwback design, with brown lenses and a lightweight polymer material.
The retro look of these will finish off smart casual outfits with aplomb, while the featherweight design means you can wear them all day long without any discomfort.
Try yours with stone chinos, an Oxford shirt and leather shoes for an adaptable spring look you can wear to the office or the bar.
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Colorful Standard Sunglass 01
- Sunglass 01 (Deep Black Solid – Orange), £89 from Colorful Standard – buy here
A clever way to add a pop of colour to sunglasses is with the lenses themselves — try a black pair complete with bold yellow lenses for a warm weather splash of individuality.
Made from a bio-based acetate frame and with full UV400 protection, they’ve got your eyes covered while also looking effortlessly cool.
- Sydney (Amber Coast), £49 from Blenders – buy here
For a refreshing dose of colour, try these Amber Coast sunnies by Blenders.
With polarised lenses, a gold-plated metal core and a textured finish, their classic shape has been given a contemporary twist with a vibrant yellow finish.
- Howlin' (Tortoise), £103 from Vallon – buy here
As far as driving sunglasses go, these are up there with the best.
The rounded aviator design harks back to vintage ‘70s shapes, making them ideal for wearing with chinos, suede boots and Harrington jackets.
Meanwhile, the polarised lenses offer glare protection while the handy detachable head strap ensures you’ll never lose them.
Ray-Ban Original Wayfarer Classic
- Original Wayfarer Classic (Polished Tortoise/Brown),
£184£134 from Ray-Ban – buy here
First dreamt up in 1952, Ray Ban Wayfarers are perhaps the most iconic sunglasses of all time.
This pair comes with polarised lenses and a polished tortoise finish for a classic, vintage inspired look.
- PO3273S with Polarised Lenses,
£253£126.50 from Persol – buy here
Persol is arguably the ultimate driving sunglasses brand, given its approval by the one and only Steve McQueen (a man also known for his excellent taste in vehicles).
This pair comes with a strong, angular look, polarised lenses and the Italian brand’s signature metal hinges.
- Athene (Caramel), £85 from Bird – buy here
Handmade from bio-acetate, these beautifully finished sunglasses are among the best value for money on this list.
They combine sprung hinges with charcoal lenses and 100% UV protection, so they look as good as they perform.
Bloobloom The Designer
- The Designer Sun Smoke, £95 from Bloobloom – buy here
Bloobloom discloses just how much each pair of its sunglasses cost to make, so you know exactly where your money is going.
This pair cost £46.23 to make and retail at £95, which is a bargain compared to many competitors which are priced at around £300.
With fifty stages of production and three days of hand-polishing alone, this pair is built to last a lifetime.
- Sierras, £70 from Sungod – buy here
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SunGod produces a wide array of sunglasses designs, but the best are the ones that stick to classic, tried and true shapes.
These simple round-style frames come with a tortoiseshell-style finish and smoked lenses for a flattering, low-key look.
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