Cool in the Shades: The Best Shield-Style Sunglasses

Luke Cuenco   03.03.22

Cool in the Shades: The Best Shield-Style Sunglasses

Keeping your eyes shielded from the sun is an important task regardless of what you’re doing. Whether you ski, hunt, fish, wakeboard, snowboard, or are just having a leisurely layout in the sun, unnecessary exposure to the sun can cause a lot of problems for your eyes. Wearing sunglasses is one great way to limit your eyes from exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) which can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium. Beyond those conditions, sunglasses also do a more frequent job of protecting your eyes from the elements like sand dust, and dirt. For snowboarders like myself, sunglasses can help protect your eyes from becoming what we call “snow blind” which is a temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to UV rays reflected off of the ice and snow. Have I convinced you to start wearing sunglasses more often? Great! Let’s take a look at some of the best shield-style sunglasses out there.

Cool in the Shades: The Best Shield-Style Sunglasses



Table of Contents

1. Bushnell Performance Harrier Shield Sunglasses


Bushnell Performance Harrier Shield Sunglasses

Author’s Pick

Purpose Built durable and comfortable fit designs made for life outdoors. Bushnell Performance Pro Ultra sunglasses are made with premium frame materials that provide high mass velocity protection, a wide field of view and are perfectly suited for shooting activities. Ultralight, superior Polycarbonate lenses protect against glare, enhance color and improve definition. Each Bushnell Harrier Eyepro kit comes complete with three lenses including a photochromic lens that transitions from clear and only darkens when exposed to bright light.


Pros/Interchangeable lenses, ANSI Z87.1 Rated


Bottom Line/A great pair of sunglasses if you shot a lot or need to wear safety glasses often

2. Oakley Straightback Sunglasses


Oakley Straightback Sunglasses

The Oakley Straightback Glasses consist of elegant angles inspired by the brand’s Drop Point model. The frame with O’Matter technology with interchangeable icons uses a single continuous lens to expand its peripheral view while improving lateral protection against sun, wind, and impact. These glasses are kept securely in place with the technology in Unobtainium nose pads and pads along with the three-point adjustment. Designed especially for small to medium faces.

Pros/Comprehensive wind, dust, and debris protection, with a rigid frame


Bottom Line/A great all around pair of shield style sport sunglasses

3. Pit Viper Double Wide Polarized Sunglasses


Pit Viper Double Wide Polarized Sunglasses

Pit Viper sunglasses have seen somewhat of a hostile takeover in the aviation community. As a pilot myself, I still wear my Ray-Bans but I do see the throwback 80s appeal of the Pit Vipers. No matter how you cut it, the Pit Viper Double Wide Polarized Sunglasses are a rad pair of shades for UV protection. When the sun is high, we’re deep in the summer and it’s time to jazz up your sunglasses game. Bigger, mirrored, and too cool for school. The Reach-around earpieces keep them in place whether you’re snoozing in the hammock set up in your backyard, jumping on the skateboard, or tubing behind dad’s ski boat. Yep, they’re float resistant, take ’em out on the water.

Pros/Relatively inexpensive, will float in water, and you will look very cool

Cons/Not good for people with an overactive sense of humility

Bottom Line/If you own a DeLorean you should buy a pair of these

4. Julbo Aerospeed Sunglasses


Julbo Aerospeed Sunglasses

When you don’t know what to expect in terms of sun exposure, it helps to have an extra pair of sunglasses or safety glasses around. However, if you don’t like lugging around extra gear like me then you will really like Julbo’s Aerospeed sunglasses which feature a photochromic lens (transition lens). Its giant REACTIV Photochromic lens creates an XXL field of vision in the maximum speed position and in all other configurations. Innovative aerodynamics guarantee both all comfort coverage and excellent penetration through air. Light, rapid and streamlined for seeing ever faster!

Pros/Photochromic lens automatically adjusts darkness to match incoming light

Cons/Will cost you over 200 bones

Bottom Line/A great option for serious cyclers, fishermen or outdoorsman who likes transition lenses

5. Smith Ruckus ChromaPop Sunglasses


Smith Ruckus ChromaPop Sunglasses

Ready for the trail, road, or CX course, our Smith Ruckus sunglasses are made for all-day comfort with thin, no-slip temples that are designed to work with your helmet. The raised-brow design with two interchangeable ChromaPo lenses gives you great peripheral vision in the riding position and adds enhanced color and detail to your view. When the afternoon sun starts to dip, easily swap lenses using our PivLock technology and get ready to enjoy the sunset from the saddle.

Pros/Impact resistant lenses, lightweight design and tons of color combinations.

Cons/Can be more expensive depending on color and frame options

Bottom Line/If you are going for a specific look and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks these are a great option.

Are there special sunglasses for each season?

Short of buying a pair of polarized skiing goggles most sunglasses behave more or less the same and no matter what the season is you’ll be exposed to UV radiation. Snow can also reflect sunlight, so if you’re hitting the ski slopes this winter, don’t forget your sunglasses. Excessive UV exposure can lead to a corneal burn.

What should you look for in a pair of sunglasses if you don’t like any of these options?

  • 100 percent UV protection. This means your pair will filter out all of the harmful UV rays that can damage your eyes.
  • A wraparound style. They can reduce the amount of UV exposure to your eyes.
  • Polarization. This optional feature reduces glare, which can be more comfortable for your eyes.
  • Tinting. The color of your sunglasses is purely cosmetic, says Dr. Levine, so choose a pair that best suits your taste. Just be sure they are labeled as having 100 percent UV protection

Will wearing sunglasses shift my point of aim when shooting through a scope?

If you don’t have corrected vision you shouldn’t have to worry about any issues with your point of aim shifting or having trouble using an optic while shooting. It’s a safe bet that if you don’t see any sort of distortion looking through your sunglasses lenses then they shouldn’t affect how your optic works.



About the Author

Avatar Author ID 693 - 1913901178

Luke Cuenco

Luke is currently a full-time writer for,,, and of course, Luke is a competitive shooter, firearms enthusiast, reloader, outdoorsman, and generally takes an interest in anything that has to do with the great outdoors.
Luke is also a private certified pilot and is currently pursuing his commercial pilot’s license in the hopes of becoming a professional pilot. Some of Luke’s other interests include anything to do with aviation, aerospace and military technology, and American Conservancy efforts.
Instagram: @ballisticaviation

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