12 Of The Best Polarized Sunglasses That Will Help You Get Outside In Style (Updated 2022)

Fashion

Debate has been raging since Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid, made the world’s first commercial polarizing material in 1929: Which are the best polarized sunglasses for men? The field is split. Opinion fractured. Tempers frayed. It seems the nature of the subject has infiltrated and directly influenced the behaviors of the debaters… (if you get the gist).

If you’ve ever winced under the sheer hot white light of the reflected sun, you will surely understand the need for something to barrier your eyes against that. No one wants the feeling of aching, painful eyeballs. Sunburn of the eyeballs is a real thing. It turns out pilots in the 1930s hated that, and they had good reason for wanting to see where they were going. Glare was an issue that many people wanted to find a solution for. 

In its simplest form, polarized sunglasses are chemically treated to allow only vertically reflected light through while absorbing horizontally reflected light. So, glare is blocked out, leaving the rest of your vision intact. The result? Protected eyes, clear vision, better concentration, fewer headaches, and less annoyance. More likely to enjoy your life around highly reflective surfaces (hence why they are popular with skiers, fishers, surfers, and people who work inside mirrors).  

So, if you’ve recently found any glaring issues with your eyewear, it’s time for a polarized upgrade. Join us in fishing out some of the best polarized sunglasses for men on the internet. Read on. 

Our Top Picks

man holding a popsicle and wearing polarized sunglasses
Meller / Instagram

The Saratoga is back after decades of hiatus. Before it was discontinued, it was worn by the imperious John F Kennedy. He was captured looking very suave on a sailing yacht, wearing a pair of American Opticals. Since it was canned, the sunnies have been resting, recuperating, and getting stronger. 

The classic design is more rounded and thinner at the temple than its wayfarer compatriot. Paired with some highly capable lenses; anti-scratch, anti-reflective backside coating, anti-smudge, anti-glare, anti-impact. This is all well and good, but what are these sunglasses in favor of? If JFK were still around, he’d vote for them as the best polarized sunglasses going, despite their negative rhetoric. 

P.S. remember to check the polarized box to secure your Saratogas with polarized lenses.

Colors available: 6 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens 52; Bridge: 19; Temple: 145 | UV protection: Yes, 100% UVA/UVB | Lens type: AOLite™ Nylon Polarized CR39

American Optical Saratoga Sunglasses

I saw a sixty-year-old man driving his black Ferrari 360 through South-East London wearing vintage rounded sunglasses very similar to this Ray Bans Blair style. It was like the guy got rich in 1999 and hadn’t upgraded. The whole ensemble looked so sexy and fashionable. With that, I proclaim this particular style of rounded sunnies is back, baby.  

For a few years, all sunglasses seem to be becoming more and more squashed thanks to the “influencer” aesthetic, to the point where they’ll be thinner than your eyeballs soon. Screw influencers. These Blair sunnies by Ray Ban are about kicking back and leaning into the retro. Here’s to that. And to that random Ferrari-driving icon. 

Colors available: 1 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens H: 47.6mm; Bridge W: 13mm; Temple: 140 | UV protection: Yes, Category 3 | Lens type: Classic G-15

Ray Ban Blair Sunglasses

My uncle, brother, and I were sitting admiring a vehicle with a portable tent system on its roof (boys will be boys) when the owner caught us and thought we were chatting shit about him. After a moment’s confusion and apologies, we got talking, and I noticed he was wearing Meller sunglasses. I thought they must be expensive. Why? Because they were tasteful, good-looking, and seemed to be of solid construction. 

This particular Meller sunglasses embrace a small-lens retro feel. The brand only does polarized sunglasses, which sadly are useless when trying to block out horizontally reflected bad vibes from negative people. But thankfully, while they look expensive, they’re very competitively priced.

Colors available: 3 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens H: 34mm; Temple: 138mm | UV protection: UV 400, Category 3 | Lens type: Japanese Tac Polarized, Anti-scratch and Super Hydrfobic Film

Meller Sunglasses

Polarized sunglasses are particularly important for professional and serious hobbyist fishermen. The intense glare from the water out at sea can be painful, distressing, and damaging to your eyes for long periods of time. The founders of Costa Del Mar found there were no good polarized sunglasses on the market in the early 80s. So, they decided to make their own. 

Costa Del Mar’s patented “580” lenses have addressed a major drawback of polarized sunglasses—clarifying color differences. These Diego shades also cover a large surface area and are super reflective, making them some of the best polarized sunglasses for fishing enthusiasts. 

Colors available: 4 Frames, 6 Lenses | Prescription Option: Yes | Size: Lens H: 46 mm, W: 61? mm; Bridge: 14 mm; Temple Arm: 113 mm| UV protection: 100% UVA/UVB | Lens type: Patented Polarized 580G Glass Lenses

Costa Del Mar Diego Sunglasses

There is so much hype about these sunnies. Okay… so that hype might be concentrated in the Amazon product comment box, which is hardly an objective arbiter for sex appeal and functionality across the board. Still, the feedback is good. Racking up 6,000 reviews at an average of 4.5 stars type of good. 

These Carfia sunglasses are UV-blocking, come with polarized lenses, and are very stylish. A super neat feature is the bendy acetate stems, meaning they won’t snap under pressure but fold and remain intact. Also, I can imagine them being entertaining to play with while life slowly chugs on around you. Entertaining? Stylish? Polarized? Tick. Tick. Tick. Boom.

Colors available: 15 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens W: 50mm, Lens H: 48mm; Bridge: 22mm; Temple: 145mm| UV protection: UV 400 

Carfia Polarized Sunglasses

These sunnies drip with summer style. The frame has a subtle light gray tint combined with a semi-flat green gray polarized lens attending to all your glaring problems. The Wavecrest Sun frame is a simple pair of shades that conjure up images of days lounging on the beach with pals, boat trips, watersports. Anything infused with sunshine and good times. 

And the frame’s pared-back stylishness has heritage. Arthur Miller was the inspiration for these. Writer of Death of a Salesman, husband to Marilyn Monroe, and influencer on the 50s/60s eyewear scene (Google it).

In addition to pure style, these Garrett Leight sunnies bring complete UV protection, making them some of the best-polarized sunglasses for men. Miller would be proud.

Colors available: 3 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens W:49mm; Bridge: 23mm; Temple: 140mm| UV protection: Yes | Lens type: CR-39Garrett Leight Sunglasses

What I love about these shades is they reference what we know, i.e., the classic wayfarer shape (premium info on sunglasses styles here), but cross-breed it with modern trends. The lovechild is something simultaneously fashionable and classic—the best of both worlds. I have a pair of Arnette sunglasses I’ve been wearing all summer long. They’re high quality, they look sleek, and they weigh in at a very reasonable price. There’s a lot to love about this brand and the sunglasses they pump out.

Colors available: 1 | Prescription Option: Yes | Size: Lens W: 59.1mm; Bridge: 16mm; Temple: 125mm | UV protection: Unspecified

Arnette BOXCAR Sunglasses

The wrap-around style isn’t all ironic early 00s cosplay. It actually has a serious function. The wrapped lens helps block out as much reflected sunlight as possible, allowing for minimal glare and maximum carving up the slopes.

These Pit Vipers shades bring an aggressive slant to your eyewear. They will mark you out as a madman on the slopes, a fearless fisher, or a rapid racecar driver. The lens is composed of seven materials to make up its UV protective, impact resistant, and polarized status. They look extra and deliver extra.

Colors available: 30 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens 1.2mm High Index Plastic | UV protection: %100

Pit Viper The Originals Sunglasses

The zany aesthetic makes it clear these shades are for the extremities. The side panels and bridge filler buffet raging winds and keep your eyes UV-protected. When the winds die down, or there’s less glare, the panels are detachable. This transforms these Oakleys into something more chic, lightweight, and stylish. 

There is a reason why Oakley is one of the best sunglasses brands for men. Here, Oakley has also addressed the ability for sunglasses to fall off your head, smash on the floor, or drop into the sea. The built-in leash and rubberized nose grip both make all those scenarios unlikely. These well-considered sunnies are for the sports nut, Burning Man raver, and weekend hobbyist alike.

Colors available: 5 | Prescription Option: Yes | Size: Lens W: 54mm, H: 51.1mm; Bridge:  17mm; Temple: 146mm | UV protection: Yes (optional extra UVB protection) | Lens type: Prizm Polarized

Oakley Sunglasses

Aviator sunglasses have a distinct bug-eyed shape to allow a wide perspective view and good UV protection. Their vintage aesthetic cements them as one of our six cool sunglasses styles for summer. However, not many of the Roderer clientele will need sunnies akin to flying goggles, so the squared shape and reduced lens surface area won’t be a problem. This subtle style tweak makes them up-to-date, fashionable, and very sleek.  

Let’s say your Roderers end up doing some flying themselves… There’s a two-year manufacturer’s guarantee to protect you from the inevitable crash landing.

Colors available: 5 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens W: 60mm; Bridge: 15mm; Temple: 145mm | UV protection: Unspecified

Roderer Harry Aviator Sunglasses

“Inverness” is named after the Northern Scottish city, which was the first place this Ray Ban model was released in the 70s. It was so suave they decided to grace the rest of the world with its hard-hewn edges, curved flourishes, and thicker stem. While it takes on a Wayfarer shape, this is a stylish Wayfarer upgrade designed to take you to new fashionable heights. And yet it doesn’t look too wild or crazy, making them a contender to be the best polarized sunglasses.

Finally, its B-15 lens is one of the only lenses Ray Ban uses that offers a pure crystal lens. Perfect for strong polarization and clarity of vision. These are top-notch sunglasses… is that crystal clear?

Colors available: 1 | Prescription Option: Yes | Size: Lens H: 38.4mm; Bridge: 18mm; Temple: 145mm | UV protection: Yes, Category 3

Ray Ban Inverness Sunglasses

Nothing says premium like a couple of crystal-tempered lenses. They offer the best contrast, the best clarity of vision, and the best anti-scratch surface. These are all important facets to consider when looking for the best polarized sunglasses. However, the fit of the sunglasses is often neglected. Persol introduces the patented Meflecto stems that cling to your cranium for dear life. 

The quality of these Italian-made sunglasses is in the detail. See the ornate etchings around the metal on the bridge and stems for confirmation of their sheer superiority. 

Colors available: 2 | Prescription Option: No | Size: Lens H: 42.4mm; Bridge: 21mm| UV protection: Yes 

Persol PO5008ST Sunglasses

What to look for When Buying The Best Polarized Sunglasses For Men

Lens Color

The color of the best polarized sunglasses lens affects the result of the vision. You don’t have to take my word for it. That information is taken straight from SafetyGearPro.com.

Brown – contrasted vision, everyday conditions, and lowlight. 

Blue – color definition.

Green – color definition, contrast, and shadow enhancement.

Gray – color definition and reduces eye strain.

Pink – reduces eye strain, provides a high level of color definition, and also helps with depth perception.

Yellow – blue light blocking and good in murky conditions.

Polarized sunglasses with different colors of lens for Garrett Leight
garrettleight / Instagram

Style

You don’t have to look like a beach bum or an extreme snowboarder or a bug with mirrors strapped to your eyeballs to wear the best polarized sunglasses for men. The range of designs is vast in the modern day (as our list attests).

UV Protection

This is very important. Just because sunglasses are advertised as being the best polarized sunglasses doesn’t mean they have UV protection. Always check the information, or email the manufacturer if the information isn’t available because UV protection is critical in a pair of sunglasses. 

The invisible, high-energy ultraviolet light emitted from the sun (specifically the UVA and UVB kinds) is extremely damaging to your sensitive instruments of vision. Exposure can lead to cataracts, age-related degeneration, and even eyelid cancer. While it’s important to dull down the visible lightwaves through the tinted film (this comes on a scale of 1 being the lightest and 4 being the darkest), this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re UV protective. Look out for UV400 polarized sunglasses, as this offers 99% UVA/UVB protection.

FAQ

    • They block out polarized light. When the light comes from a source object (also known as the sun), it comes off in every direction. However, when it hits a flat surface, it’s reflected and then bounces off horizontally. Polarized lenses work to block only this flat reflection by using a chemical or embedded film.

      • Polarized sunglasses block out horizontal light usually reflected from a flat surface, such as water. Non-polarized styles allow this light to come through, so glare is still an issue. It’s worth mentioning that polarization and UV protection aren’t interrelated.

        • Wait, why are you wearing sunglasses at night? No. While some suggest that yellow-tinted polarized glasses can block blinding full-beam headlights, they will also reduce vision. Also, bear in mind that polarized lenses warp and dull screens (they are polarized, too), and most modern car interiors are a smattering of computer screens. 

          Generally… sunglasses worn at night while operating a heavy metal object at speed? Avoid it if you can. Try anti-reflective glasses instead, which do not block light.

          • There may be a little “P” symbol at the top of your lenses. Otherwise, you can look at a computer screen or your phone while wearing your sunglasses. If the colors shift or become lighter or darker as you rotate the sunglasses, they’re polarized. If not, they’re not polarized. Simple.

            • Screens can appear warped, meaning you can’t read your emails at the top of a mountain summit ski bar. (Sorry, boss.) The lens material can be fragile, cost more than regular lenses, and often make things appear a different color.

              Polarized shades might not be worth the extra cost if you just need regular UV-blocking and light-dulling sunglasses for gardening or walking around town. But you never know when you or your sunglasses might wind up next to a large body of water… 

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