The 50 Best Photochromic Sunglasses

The Most Complete Guide To The Best Designers And Manufacturers Of Light-Adaptive Sunglasses From Italy, France, Switzerland And The USA

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Looking for the best photochromic sunglasses?  You’re in the right place because I have recently become obsessed with photochromic (light-responsive lenses).

I have spent the past few weeks researching the best sunglasses manufacturers and I am going to share what I’ve learned with you.

Over the years, photochromic sunglasses have become more and more popular.  

This unique eyewear technology was invented in the 1960s by the Corning Glassworks Company in Massachusetts, USA.  

Over the past 6 decades, photochromic lenses and sunglasses have been greatly improved.

Where Are The Best Sunglasses Made?

Some of the very best photochromic sunglasses in the world are made in Italy.  

In fact, the Northern Italian region of Veneto (where I live) is home to some of world’s best eyewear and sunglasses manufacturers.    

Switzerland, which is just an hour north of here, is another place where fine sunglasses and photochromic eyewear is made.

In this article, besides Italian and Swiss brands, we will also check out French and American brands on our quest for the best photochromic sunglasses.

In This Article:

The Best Photochromic Sunglasses

The best pair of sunglasses with photochromic lenses will provide eye protection from harmful UV rays with good performance for driving, running, mountain biking, skiing, sailing, or any other outdoor activities.

These glass lenses and polycarbonate lenses generally called “photochromic lenses” are able to darken in bright UV light and become lighter indoors when ultraviolet light intensity is low.   

Also referred to as transition lensesvariable tint lenseslight adaptive lenses, and evolve lenses these sunglasses come in different shapes, different colors, and different quality levels.   

Here are some of my personal favorite models and manufacturers of photochromic sunglasses including prices and star ratings from recent customer reviews.

Photochromic Fashion Glasses:

The high demand for photochromic sport sunglasses, for outdoor activities like mountain biking and all other types of biking, is because you can use a good pair of sunglasses, with good performance that automatically adjusts to different conditions of UV light, all day without changing or even touching them.  

With today’s advanced eyewear technology, you can now customize your photochromic glasses with prescription lenses that will protect your eyes from UV radiation while preventing eyestrain.

Here are my top picks for road and mountain bike sunglasses with photochromic lenses that also provide excellent peripheral vision and eye protection.

Cycling Glasses:

Runners need sunglasses that they can put on and forget about.

They also need a pair of glasses that won’t fall off or obstruct their peripheral vision. 

That’s why photochromic large lens glasses are a good idea and the best sunglasses for runners.

Here are my top picks for photochromic sunglasses:

Running Glasses:

Best Photochromic Sunglasses For Skiing

These are my top picks for skiing sunglasses with photochromic lenses that also provide excellent depth perception and anti-fog features – making them a great option for skiers.   

The price point is from the low to medium range for these excellent skiing sunglasses with photochromic lenses.

Skiing Glasses:

Best Italian Sunglasses Brand With Photochromic Lenses

My personal favorite photochromic glasses, and the top-rated sunglasses in the world, are made in Italy.  

Although I may be a bit biased because I live in Italy, there is no denying that some of the best sunglasses designers and makers are located right here, where I live, in Northern Italy.  

In typical Italian fashion, it takes weeks to make a single pair of sunglasses in Italy.   

Once the acetate frames are cut and shaped at LGR (my favorite Italian eyewear brand) they are tumbled for 48 to 76 hours in giant wooden barrel tumblers filled with beech and birch wood chips to give the frames a unique texture that is both smooth and worn – as if they were a vintage pair inherited from a grandparent.

These are 4 of my favorite Italian sunglasses designers and artisans:

Best French Sunglasses Brand With Photochromic Lenses

Although the French are not as well-known as the Italians in the manufacturing of the best sunglasses and best lenses, they do produce some excellent eyewear which is a good choice for anyone seeking a great pair of photochromic sunglasses.

A few of the best French sunglasses brands are the following: 

Best Swiss Sunglasses Brand With Photochromic Lenses

While the Swiss are best known for their watches, chocolate, Alps, and wartime neutrality they are also excellent producers of eyeglasses.  

For a long time, many countries have sourced Swiss components to use in the production of their own designs.  

The eyewear industry is no exception to this rule.  

But the good thing is that besides merely producing the components of sunglasses, the Swiss also manufacture their own quality eyewear.   

Here are some of my favorite Swiss sunglasses brands:

Best USA Sunglasses Brands With Photochromic Lenses

American companies make sunglasses the way they produce most products – with efficiency and high quality.  

The best American sunglasses brands use top frame and lens materials to make pairs of glasses that are both stylish and perfect for rigorous outdoor use.

Believe it or not, at least 50% of Ray Ban sunglasses are made in Italy.

Here are some of my favorite American eyewear brands:

Best Online Retailers Of Luxury Sunglasses

If you’re interested in doing a very deep dive into some of the most luxurious eyewear brands with photochromic sunglasses (transitions lenses).

Here is a list of some of the very best luxury marketplaces for sunglasses.

What Are Photochromic Lenses?

Photochromic sunglasses or "photochromic lenses" are designed to change from a light tint in low light to a dark tint in bright ultraviolet rays of sunlight.

   Photochromic lenses are also called: 

  • Light adaptive lenses
  • Variable tint lenses
  • Transition lenses

Recap

Together we have discovered the 50+ best photochromic sunglasses on the market today.

Hopefully, you were able to fall in love with one of these Italian, French, Swiss, or American sunglass models and brands.

When you put on a great pair of sunglasses, your confidence, and sense of style are elevated – not to mention your vision.

Never underestimate the value of an investment in quality eyewear. 

Disclosure:

Here at All Roads Lead To Italy, we only recommend products we would use ourselves and all opinions expressed here are our own.

This post may contain affiliate links with potential savings at no additional cost to you.  

In some cases, we may earn a small commission.

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Author Info:

Nathan Heinrich

Nathan Heinrich

Nathan is a writer, designer & horticulturist. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of "All Roads Lead to Italy" Magazine & host of the Top-10 Travel Podcast, "I'm Moving To Italy!". Nathan was born and raised in a 6th generation farming family in Northern California, he is currently, a dual Italian citizen, living in the Prosecco Valley of Northern Italy, near Venice.

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