The best women’s cycling sunglasses will have a huge impact on the quality of your ride, and play a crucial role in keeping your vision unobstructed by rain and road debris. While they do serve a functional purpose, cycling sunglasses are just as much a fashion statement, so it’s important to find a pair that you love the style of and want to be seen in.
Thankfully all the major manufacturers of cycling sunglasses are held to the highest standards, so while you may want to consider several factors before making your choice, you can rest assured that whatever you choose, they’ll give your eyes the protection they deserve.
While there aren’t a huge amount of women’s specific offerings, we’ve listed below our favourite women’s cycling sunglasses based on performance, style and sizing. Of course, make sure they’ll play nicely with your pick of the best women's bike helmets, and maybe match them with your best women’s cycling jerseys for a coordinated aesthetic.
If you’re new to cycling sunglasses and need help deciding, jump ahead to our guide on how to choose the best women’s cycling sunglasses.
Best women’s cycling sunglasses
Liv Vista NXT Varia
Women’s photochromic sunnies with a customizable fit
Women’s specific?: Yes | Lens type: NXT Varia / Essilor Kolor Up | UV protection: Yes | Frame type: Half-frame | Weight: 29g | Price: £89.99 / $N/A / AU$N/A
Liv Cycling, being a ‘for women, by women’ brand, was inevitably going to be the first on this list. The brand’s Vista sunglasses are designed with a ‘one size fits most’ approach, which works well for most women and many slimmer-faced men as well.
These half-frame wraparound sunnies offer a panoramic field of vision, fully opening up the road ahead. The Vista accommodates interchangeable lenses, with a choice of NXT Varia — our top pick here — and the Essilor Kolor Up, which increases contrast in most light conditions.
The Varia NXT lenses offer incredible value for money, deploying photochromic technology, automatically adjusting to light conditions, for much less than you’d normally expect to pay for the privilege. Meanwhile, vents at the side prevent them from fogging.
The Vista frame is made from TR-90, a strong and flexible thermoplastic that bends on impact. Adjustable temple tips and ergonomic nose pad allow you to achieve a precise fit, while the anti-slip rubber on the arms does an excellent job of keeping them in place.
The only gripe we’d mention is that in order to achieve the panoramic field of vision, the curvature of the frame and arms does cause the glasses to sit quite wide on the face, which may not appeal to all.
Roka X Machines GP-1 in Palmera (limited edition)
A gorgeous collaboration resulting in rose gold lenses and a tropical print frame
Women’s specific?: Yes | Lens type: Nylon | UV protection: Unpublished | Frame type: Half-frame | Weight: 25g | Price: £N/A / $250.00 / AU$N/A
If you want something to make you stand out, then feast your eyes upon these beauties. US brand Machines For Freedom — super inclusive in its sizing and model choices — has teamed up with ROKA to produce this limited edition frame for the GP-1.
The half-frame design reverses tradition and opens up the top half of the lens to extend the field of vision while riding in an aggressive aero position. Tipping the scale at 25g, it’s lightweight, durable, and features No-Slip GEKO pads to keep them in place. These, along with three interchangeable nose pad options allow you to achieve the perfect fit.
The Nylon lenses have a rose gold mirror finish that not only looks gorgeous with the MFF Palmera print frames, but also increases contrast on roads and trails, enhancing green and yellow colours, and reducing blue light and eye strain. This makes them ideal for sunny and slightly overcast days.
The lenses have undergone numerous treatments, including anti-scratch and anti-fog, and are both hydrophobic and oleophobic, ensuring your vision stays clear of rain drops and sweaty fingerprints.
dhb Women's Triple Lens Sunglasses
Budget-friendly women’s eyewear with three lens colours to choose from
Women’s specific?: Yes | Lens type: Polycarbonate | UV protection: Yes | Frame type: Half-frame | Weight: Unpublished | Price: £25.00 / $33.00 / AU$46.00
If you’re not looking to spend a fortune and just want a simple pair of cycling sunglasses for your time on the bike, then dhb’s Women’s Triple Lens offering is excellent value for money. At such a low price point, you not only get a pair of women’s specific sunglasses that look good and feel comfortable, but you also get three interchangeable lenses in blue, pink and grey.
The blue lens enhances shadow definition for cloudy days, the pink lens is ideal for dull and overcast light, while the grey lens acts as a regular sunglasses lens for bright and sunny conditions. All the lenses offer UV protection and are scratch- and impact-resistant.
The glasses come with a padded soft case and microfibre cloth for cleaning, and the simple design makes them suitable for all rides, whether you’re on a club run or commuting to work.
Of course, you do get what you pay for, and with this budget price tag you shouldn’t expect the highest quality materials. Handle them with care to help them last longer.
Rudy Project Rydon Slim
A prescription-friendly scaled-down version of the original Rydon
Women’s specific?: Yes | Lens type: ImpactX 2 Photochromic | UV protection: Yes | Frame type: Half-frame | Weight: 25g | Price: £159.99 / $194.99 / AU$183.80
Slimmer version of the original Rydon model to accommodate riders with smaller heads and slimmer faces. While this isn’t a trait exclusive to women, this extended size makes Rudy Project’s Rydon model much more accessible. Thanks to the adjustable nose pad and temple tips, it’s easy to achieve a comfortable fit by modifying the height at which the glasses sit, as well as the distance from the face (which also helps prevent fogging). These rubberised parts also provide enough grip to keep the glasses in place.
Rudy Project is a leading name when it comes to helmet and sunglasses research and development, and the brand uses integrated hinges alongside soft thermoplastic elastomers to prevent facial injuries if you happen to take a tumble.
Changing lenses is a breeze, thanks to RP’s Quick Change System, which simply snaps them into place. Due to the design, the lenses are fairly small which means they don’t provide as much coverage as you’d get with the current oversized trend, but if you wear prescription glasses and don’t get on well with contacts, then this is a solid option, as prescription lens inserts are available.
POC Aspire Clarity
A sophisticated pair of sunnies with Carl Zeiss lenses
Women’s specific?: No | Lens type: Carl Zeiss Vision | UV protection: Yes | Frame type: Half-frame | Weight: 40g | Price: £170.00 / $175.00 / AU$261.00
A big name in the world of cycling sunglasses, POC’s Aspire Clarity lens is the result of a collaboration with optical industry leaders Carl Zeiss Vision to provide what is arguably the best clarity you can get — hence the name. They filter out specific peaks in the colour spectrum in order to enhance vision while cycling.
The one-piece lens offers larger coverage than some of the other models we’ve listed here, though it is let down slightly by the lack of wraparound, and therefore a limited peripheral field of vision.
This aside, these sunglasses are an excellent choice for a serious roadie looking not only for the clearest vision but also the most comfortable, ergonomic fit. The Aspire Clarity frame features a sizable nose pad which, combined with the flexible Gilamid TR-90 frame and arms, offers a precision fit that lets you forget about them once they’re on. What’s more, the hydrophilic rubber nose piece and temples stay grippy when wet, so you don’t need to worry about getting caught in a downpour.
Goodr My Cateyes Are Up Here
Fun, budget shades built for running, great for biking
Women’s specific?: Yes | Lens type: Polarized | UV protection: Yes | Frame type: Cateye | Weight: 24g | Price: £35.00 / $35.00 / AU$59.00
If you don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy adding a pop of colour into your cycling wardrobe, then you can’t go wrong with Goodr’s My Cateyes Are Up Here sunglasses. They’re actually made for running, which means they don’t bounce, and they still make a great option for cycling and any other outdoor activities.
Incredibly, though the price tag and the overall aesthetic may make you dismiss them as ‘not the real deal’, the lens technology incorporated into these Cateye sunnies makes them really good value for money. They’re made up of multiple layers, with the outermost being scratch resistant and shatterproof, the innermost provides UV 400 protection, and in between there’s a polarizing filter to boot.
At this price point, you could invest in several pairs to match your favourite jerseys, and you may also enjoy the names of their offerings. Our personal favourites include Merlin’s Squirrel Fetish and Power of Voodoo. Who do? You do.
How to choose the best women's cycling sunglasses
First things first you need a frame that fits you well, which means no slipping, no pinching, and no discomfort of any kind. It should sit close to your face without feeling too tight or too loose. Many of the sunglasses we’ve listed here come with a level of adjustability, usually in the nose pad and temple grips, so you can achieve a fit so tailored and comfortable you can forget you’re wearing them.
Look for sunglasses that are lightweight, provide good coverage and wind protection, as well as offering an unobstructed view of the road ahead. There are three different types of frame available — full-frame, half-frame, and frameless — and the type you choose will have an impact on these factors.
If you wear prescription glasses then without contact lenses, cycling sunglasses can be a little trickier to navigate. Plenty of brands offer prescription insert lenses, however because they add bulk to the final result, a lightweight frame would be favourable.
This is where the choice can become overwhelming, because there are a myriad of lens options available in a rainbow assortment of colours. Unfortunately, it’s not just a case of choosing a set that matches your jersey, as these different lenses are designed for specific ride disciplines, landscapes and weather conditions. Plus, many models offer interchangeable lenses to tailor your sunnies to your ride.
To simplify things, these are the most important lens types for road cyclists: photochromic (reacts to changing light and switches from clear to dark in bright conditions), hydrophobic (water repellent), polarised (glare-reducing), and oleophobic (anti-smudge).
Alongside these, there are particular colours that achieve a specific effect. For example, in low light conditions, blue or purple lenses can enhance your colour perception, while yellow lenses can improve clarity when the light is dim. When conditions vary, opt for pink, red or brown lenses, which offer the greatest amount of contrast and improved visual depth. If you’re riding in bright light, grey or black lenses will protect your eyes from the sun while reducing glare and maintaining true colour perception.
Mildred is a Reviews Writer for Cyclingnews who enjoys everything from road cycling to mountain biking, but is a utilitarian cyclist at heart. Determined to do everything on two wheels, she's even moved house by bike, and can regularly be found pedalling around Bristol and its surrounding areas. She’s spent over four years volunteering as a mechanic and workshop coordinator at the Bristol Bike Project, and now sits on its board of directors. Her expertise comes from previously working in a bike shop and learning the ins and outs of the industry, and she's previously written for a variety of cycling publications, including Bikeradar, Cycling Plus, Singletrack, Red Bull, Cycling UK and Total Women's Cycling. At home on slicks and knobblies alike, her ideal ride covers long distances through remote countryside, on mixed terrain that offers a bit of crunch, followed by a gourmet campfire meal and an overnight bivvy beneath the stars.
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