The Ultimate Guide to the Best Hiking Sunglasses

If you're a hiking enthusiast like me, you understand the importance of eye protection during your outdoor adventures. Hiking shades not only keep your eyes safe but also enhance the natural beauty surrounding you. In this blog post, we'll explore the top picks for hiking sunglasses that offer protection, comfort, and vibrant colors to make your hikes unforgettable.


Man hiking at Grand Canyon wearing Fuse sunglasses

The Importance of Sunglasses for Hiking:

Hiking and backpacking can be either a leisurely activity or a challenging sport, depending on the terrain and your skill level. Regardless, sunglasses are a must-have for any hiker. They provide essential protection from the sun, dust, sand, snow, and tree branches that can potentially harm your eyes. But they should also complement the beauty of nature that surrounds you.


Man smiling while hiking wearing sunglasses with Fuse lenses

What to Look for in Hiking Sunglasses:

  1. Comfort: Lightweight frames with features like rubberized nose pads, ear grips, and flexible arms ensure a comfortable fit, even when you're sweating during an intense hike.
  2. Durability: The best hiking frames are made from sturdy materials to withstand impacts and long-term wear. You don't want to end up with frames that give you a headache after a short time or keep slipping down your face.

What to Look for in Lenses for Hiking:

  1. Durable lenses: Durable, scratch-resistant lenses are perfect for hiking. Investing in top-notch lens materials, such as high-quality polycarbonate, is worth it.
  2. Polarized lenses: Polarized lenses are excellent for filtering out glare, reducing squinting, and preventing headaches. These are essential when hiking in bright sunlight or near large bodies of water.
  3. Color Enhancing lenses: Also known as HD lenses or high contrast lenses, these lenses filter and enhance specific colors, resulting in improved color contrast and dept perception. When paired with polarized capabilities, they eliminate glare and make everything around you look stunning, resulting in the ultimate hiking experience.
  4. Photochromic lenses: These lenses automatically adjust their darkness according to lighting conditions. These are perfect if you often hike in variable light conditions, such as starting early in the morning and transitioning to high sun.


Man hiking at Grand Canyon wearing Fuse sunglasses

Top Sunglasses Brands and Models for Hiking:

(In no particular order)

  1. Smith Optics: Embark frames with Chromapop lenses are designed for hiking and mountaineering, providing clear vision, anti-fog and water-resistant coatings, and peripheral sunlight blockage.
  2. Oakley: Flak 2.0 XL offers a rimless bottom for better ground visibility and comes with Prizm color enhancing lenses, some of which are polarized.
  3. Costa Del Mar: The Rincon frames, known for fishing, are sleek and lightweight, featuring polarized lenses for a comfortable hiking experience.
  4. Maui Jim: The Haleakala model offers wrap sunglasses for increased peripheral vision protection, and their PolarizedPlus2 lenses enhance color contrast.
  5. Ray-Ban: Their Chromance lenses in models like Balorama, RB4033, and Predator 2, provide clear vision with sporty style.


Affordable and Customizable Option:

If you're on a budget and looking for high-quality frames and lenses, consider Fuse Lenses. We offer sporty, durable frames like Anclote, Egmont, and 3-Rooker, all under $100. With various lens options, including Fuse Pro Lenses and AMP HD lenses, you can get polarized, color enhancing, mirrored, and even prescription lenses at a fraction of the cost.


Clear-Grey Fuse Egmont Sunglasses with Sapphire Fuse lenses placed on top of a rock

Hiking sunglasses are a must-have accessory for any outdoor enthusiast. Finding the right pair can significantly impact your hiking experience, providing protection, comfort, and enhanced colors to make your journey more enjoyable. Whether you go for popular name-brand frames or opt for affordable, customizable options like Fuse Lenses, your hiking adventures will undoubtedly be safer and more colorful. So, gear up with the perfect pair of shades and embark on your next hiking expedition with confidence!




  • Hiking sunglasses provide protection from sun, dirt, debris, and rocks. 
  • Always make sure to look for a comfortable and lightweight pair of sunglasses for hiking.
  • Color enhancing sunglasses are a great option for experiencing your hike in a whole new light. 
  • Always make sure your lenses and frames are tough and durable, so they don't break when you need them most.



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