ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council has released the findings from its recent survey on adults’ sports sunglass usage and preferences. The report, titled Focused inSights 2024: Sports Sunglasses, explores sunglasses designed specifically for outdoor sports and physical activities, and reveals insights into the demographics, purchasing habits and product characteristics that matter most to sports sunglasses users, according to an announcement from The Vision Council. The survey results were released ahead of National Sunglasses Day on June 27, The Vision Council’s annual commemorative day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect eyes from the sun’s powerful rays.

This year, the campaign is spotlighting sports sunglasses, encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to gear up with shades on before engaging in their favorite activities, The Vision Council said.

Conducted by Morning Consult in May 2024 and analyzed by The Vision Council’s inSights research team, the survey revealed that while only 11 percent of adults currently own sports sunglasses, usage among owners is high, particularly during activities like hiking, running, biking and fishing. Adults who own sports sunglasses are highly satisfied with them and are likely to purchase a new pair within the next year, according to the survey.

“Our findings show that sports sunglasses are not as widely adopted as traditional sunglasses, but the satisfaction rate and the types of activities sports sunglasses users participate in suggest that more individuals could benefit from having a pair in their collection,” said Alysse Henkel, vice president of Data and inSights at The Vision Council.

“It’s a misconception that sports sunglasses are only for professional athletes or long-distance cyclists. Anyone who spends time being active outdoors has a reason to own sports sunglasses. Besides providing protection from the elements, features like anti-glare coatings, non-slip nose pads and interchangeable lenses can enhance performance across various activities, no matter your skill level,” Henkel said.

Additional key takeaways from the survey include the following:

  • Men are three times more likely than women to own sports sunglasses.

  • Gen Z and Millennial men are the most likely to own sports sunglasses.

  • Among sports sunglasses owners, 68 percent own two or more pairs.

  • About half of the owners have prescription lenses in their sports sunglasses.

  • Approximately 29 percent of all respondents plan to purchase a pair of sports sunglasses in the next year.

  • The most favored features of sports sunglasses are UV protection (40 percent), style (35 percent), fit (29 percent), polarized lenses (28 percent) and scratch resistance (26 percent).

The full report is available for download in The Vision Council’s Research Download Center. It is complimentary for members of The Vision Council, with a paid option for non-members.

The Vision Council invites everyone to celebrate National Sunglasses Day on June 27 by wearing UV-protective shades outdoors and spreading the word about UV safety as part of overall eye and vision health. In addition to releasing Focused inSights 2024: Sports Sunglasses, The Vision Council will mark National Sunglasses Day with a digital campaign to highlight the protective, fashion and sports benefits of sunglasses.

The Vision Council is encouraging the optical industry to celebrate National Sunglasses Day on June 27 by sharing a sunglass selfie on social media using the hashtag #NationalSunglassesDay.

For members of the eyecare and eyewear communities who want to participate in the festivities, follow The Vision Council on social media and visit for updates, giveaways and insights from Paris-bound competitors, recreational athletes and outdoor enthusiasts about their favorite sports sunglasses. A toolkit with ready-made promotional graphics and suggested content is available for download here.