The 22 Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men to Get That Pilot Style

These glasses take it up a notch

ONE37pm editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.
aviators2 mobile

There's just something about aviator sunglasses that take the cool factor to another level. Maybe it's because of the overall design and how you look when you wear them. Perhaps the style's iconic background and creation is a factor that comes into play making them a summer staple. Maybe it's the fact that some of the most legendary figures in entertainment history have been avid wearers of the aviator. Whatever your reasons are for wanting and wearing aviator sunglasses, there's no denying the impact these bad boys have had since their inception in the 1930s. Now we could skip right into our roundup of the best aviator sunglasses for men that you can shop right now, but aviators have a storied history that's very interesting, so we figured why not do a deep dive for a split second?

RELATED: The 24 Best Baseball Caps for Men to Wear This Summer

The History of Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 8.32.13 AM

Aviator sunglasses were first developed in the 1930s—1936 during World War I to be exact. The main reason for its creation was that it was quickly realized pilots were having a hard time seeing during the day while they were flying. Obviously that was a serious problem that could result in catastrophe, so the aviator was created by optics manufacturers Bausch & Lomb as way to block the sun, hence their traditional rounded style. It was also much cooler than wearing those ineffective goggles that the aviators replaced.

While the sunglasses wound up becoming a "mainstream" success amongst Hollywood's most elite and the general public, if you've ever personally worn a pair of aviators, then you know it does an incredible job of blocking the sun. In fact, it's almost like the sun doesn't even exist when you're wearing them, making the glasses both stylish and functional.

Aviator Sunglasses in Film

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 8.46.46 AM
Paramount Pictures

The most recent (and notable) example of aviator sunglasses being worn in film is Top Gun: Maverick where in many of the scenes Tom Cruise sports an updated version of the Ray-Ban Aviator Classic sunglasses that he wore during the original 1986 film, but aviators have been making regular appearances in movies since around the 1950s. Due to their military origins, you're bound to find at least one actor wearing a pair of aviators in just about every war/military film that has come out in the past several decades. It's almost a rite of passage at this point.

We also can't forget the aviators worn by Johnny Depp in 1998's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and as somebody who's watched Bohemian Rhapsody a gazillion times since it's 2018 release, I can also tell you Rami Malek (who portrays Freddie Mercury) appears on the film's poster wearing aviators and rocks them several times during the movie, as it was a personal style favorite of Freddie Mercury. There's plenty more examples as well.

How to Style Aviator Sunglasses:

GettyImages 88726282
Getty Images

The key to aviator sunglasses is keeping it cool, casual, and simple. You can pair aviators with a bomber jacket (which also has an extensive military history), a leather jacket, a sports jacket, or any other type of jacket that has a relaxed but slightly edgy feel. You don't always have to automatically go with a jacket though. Aviators can be worn with button-down shirts, tees, and even suits/blazers for a super suave look. Play around a bit and see what you can come up with. That's what style is all about.

What Face Shape Should Wear Aviator Sunglasses?

People with oval faces are a fortunate group as they look good in just about any type of sunglasses, including aviators. That said, aviators are very versatile and suitable for any type of face because remember—they were originally a troubleshoot solution for pilots during World War I. There wasn't a whole lot of time to "experiment," as they had to come up with something that could work for everybody and every face shape quickly. That said, everyone can rock a pair of aviators as a result.

What are the Most Common Lens Colors for Aviators?

Most aviators have either a gray, brown, or gray/green lens tint because of their ability to provide a crystal clear image during both sunny and cloudy days. Those types of tints are the best at protecting glares and color recognition.

The Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men, at a Glance:

1. Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 9.44.58 AM

Best Overall

  • Size(s): M, XL, XXL
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Frame Material: Metal

While Bausch & Lomb are credited with being the first to design and develop aviators, their original design is now officially marketed as the Ray-Ban, which was first introduced to the general public in 1937. The rest has been history, and Ray-Ban remains the go-to place to cop a pair of aviators due to their large selection. There's legit dozens of frames and tints at your disposal, and the pricing (these are $163) has remained affordable. If there's any pair of aviators guaranteed to work, it's a pair of Ray-Bans.


2. Randolph x Alpha Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 9.47.04 AM
Alpha Industries

Also Great

  • Size(s): 55 mm, 58 mm
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Frame Material: 23k Gold

Randolph has storied military and sunglasses history, and earlier this year they partnered with Alpha Industries (whose ties to the military also run deep) to bring forth the Randolph x Alpha Industries Non-Polarized Sunglasses. We personally own a pair of these, and it's a sharp look along with a quality that's phenomenal. While we don't certainly don't recommend dropping a $279 pair glasses, we may or may not have accidentally dropped ours on the ground, and the glasses... survived. So the sturdiness is there too.


3. Shady Rays Black Stealth Aviators

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 9.58.54 AM
Shady Rays

Most Affordable Aviators

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Nylon
  • Frame Material: Polycarbonate

If you've never worn a pair of aviators and want to give it a shot, we recommend these Black Stealth Aviator Sunglasses from Shady Rays as they are high-quality, but still under $100. With the Shady Rays, you get the opportunity to test a premium aviator and if you like the look, then you can "advance." If you test them and end up deciding aviators aren't for you, then you still only spent $68. A win is a win (LeBron James voice).


4. Gucci Aviator Metal Sunglasses,

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 11.15.40 AM

Best Designer Aviators

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Nylon
  • Frame Material: Black acetate

If on the prowl for a designer pair of aviators, then Gucci has you covered with their $520 Metal Aviator Sunglasses which are slightly more expensive than the average price for quality aviators, but not to the point where it breaks the bank. The green and red frame will instantly make it known you're rocking Gucci, but there are a couple of other aviator options from the brand you can roll with if you are searching for something different.


5. Persol PO1003S Aviators

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 11.23.31 AM

Best Tinted Aviators

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Crystal
  • Frame Material: Steel

Persol's $363 P01003S is an aviator that does it all. This new iteration of the P01003S comes designed with a pilot shape that has metal temples with flex hinges and differently colored temple tips from previous models. Persol gives you a few different lens/frame combos that you can work with, along with the ability to virtually try on.


6. Randolph Sportsman 23K Gold & American Tan Aviators

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 11.47.26 AM

Best Vintage Aviators

  • Size(s): 57 mm, 61 mm
  • Lens Material: Mineral glass
  • Frame Material: 23K Gold

Vintage and retro looks are currently trending in fashion thanks to the people who are looking to have a 1980s style "slasher summer," and the polarized glass lenses on these $329 Sportsman glasses from Randolph are an updated take on a classic vintage model from the brand. There's four different color lenses to pick from, but we feel the tan lenses just really bring home the old school look in a way the others don't. Your choice though!


7. Warby Parker Lupita Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 11.58.52 AM
Warby Parker

Most Versatile Aviators

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel

Warby Parker gives you loads of customization options to create the perfect aviator sunglasses meant specifically for you. So for example if you wanted to purchase their $145 Lupita sunglasses. You would start by doing a virtual try-on. Then you would go through the process of finding your width. After determining the width you can then select whether or not you'll want a prescription lens, and which color you want the lens to be. From there you're done! That's how it works with any glasses you purchase from Warby Parker, which makes the shopping experience as close to realtime as possible.


8. Cartier Santos de Cartier Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 12.17.00 PM

Best Aviators for Every Face Shape

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Titanium
  • Frame Material: Half-rimmed Metal

Remember when we said you could pair aviators with a blazer or dress shirt, these $1,295 sunglasses from Cartier are the perfect example of what we were talking about. Put these on and you'll instantly transform into Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio. Well... maybe not exactly, but you'll still be the best looking guy in the room for sure.


9. American Optical Original Pilot Aviators

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 12.22.59 PM
American Optical
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Calobar green nylon
  • Frame Material: Metal

This is another friendly reminder that you shouldn't drop your sunglasses, but if you're slightly clumsy like us...just know that American Optical's glasses are the definition of sturdy. These $194 glasses are crafted from high-grade metal, and are built to meet rigid military specs and qualifications. Stylish and sturdy y'all. Stylish and sturdy.


10. Oakley Feedback Aviators

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 12.32.04 PM
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Base lens geometry with HDO™
  • Frame Material: Ultra-lightweight C-5™ alloy frame material

Perhaps we're a little on the weird side, but sometimes you just want your sunglasses to be a trippy experience. You don't want to see people, shapes, and colors the way you would without sunglasses because that can get boring sometimes. If you fall under that category as well, Oakley's $250 Prizm Sapphire Sunglasses are right up your alley. You'll be seeing people in rainbow colors. Yay.


11. Tom Ford Dashel Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 1.35.01 PM
Tom Ford
  • Size(s): 62 mm
  • Lens Material: Metal
  • Frame Material: Metal

Tom Ford offers a traditional military aviator style as well with their $510 Dashel Sunglasses, which features a pilot metal design and adjustable nose pads to help with comfort and preventing glasses markings on your nose. There's a total of four different colors to choose from, so have at it!


12. Commando 2.0 Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 1.41.34 PM
Prive Revaux
  • Size(s): 62 mm
  • Lens Material: TAC Polarized Lens
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel

Not only are these Commando 2.0 aviators a perfect balance between upscale and athletic, they are also only $39.95. A pair of quality aviators for less than $40 should be enough to sell you, but if not, there's a decent color selection that ranges from black all the way to champagne gold.


13. Emporio Armani Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 1.56.44 PM
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Plastic
  • Frame Material: Metal

You can also find aviators over at Emporio Armani for a more than reasonable price. Their catalog changes based on the season/availability, but we're really feeling these $165 futuristic blue sunglasses which have a cutting edge frameless design at the moment. An eye-catcher that's bound to have people asking you where you got them from.


14. SALT. Optics Francisco Glasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 2.01.04 PM
SALT. Optics
  • Size(s): 56 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Metal

The $575 aviators from SALT. are great for a full day outdoors as they are athletic, but still very much a head turner. Keeping in-line with the sporty theme that accompanies many of the sunglasses at SALT., the glasses are made with lightweight performance materials that includes titanium and beta titanium.


15. Knockaround Mount Evans

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 2.07.19 PM
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Frame Material: Metal

Behold these $35 aviator sunglasses from Knockaround! They are affordable, timeless, and provide UV400 sun protection. Additionally, these are a good option if you have a smaller to medium-sized shape face as sometimes it can be tricky to get the sizing just right. This is a winner in our book.


16. Saint Laurent Brow Bar Aviator Glasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 2.17.20 PM
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Plastic
  • Frame Material: Metal

Saint Laurent has become a favorite of ours for sunglasses shopping. These $505 gradient aviators come in two different shades, silver and pink, and features 100% UV protection along with the classic YSL logo on the bottom right. It's giving 1999/2000 for sure.


17. Randolph x Todd Snyder Gunmetal Aviators

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 2.24.20 PM
Todd Snyder
  • Size(s): 57 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Metal

Yeah, yeah. We're spinning the block with Randolph again, but these were too good to leave off. These $400 Randolph x Todd Snyder sunglasses debuted in honor of Todd Snyder's 50th anniversary, and feature an acetate sweat bar alongside a frame plated with jewelry-quality metal. These aviators are sharp, and well worth the investment if you plan to splurge.


18. Oliver Peoples Benedict Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 2.33.24 PM
Oliver Peoples
  • Size(s): 138 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Metal

The Benedict is an aviator from Oliver Peoples that comes designed in the classic double-bridge that we all know and love, and an assortment of six different colors, four of which offer the ability for use to get prescription lenses. Also, the fit is a regular one so it should work for most faces, and the comfort is there with nosepads that you can adjust to your liking, making these worth the $514 price tag.


19. Jacques Marie Jagger Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 2.42.50 PM
Jacques Marie
  • Size(s): 138 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Titantium

There's a reason why these $1,000 sunglasses are called Jagger—they are modeled after the legends late 1970s looks. Pick these up and you'll be moving like a Rolling Stone in no time.


20. Lacoste Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 4.05.34 PM
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Plastic
  • Frame Material: Metal

If you look close enough through Lacoste's sunglasses selection you'll see a few pair of aviators in the mix, which come designed in the classic round military style. The glasses are technical, shield you from the sun, and come with a nice color that makes a statement in quiet way. The $50 price tag is attractive too. You can definitely get a lot of wear out of these.


21. Maui Jim Aviator Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 4.13.32 PM
Maui Jim
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: MauiPure
  • Frame Material: Metal

Maui Jim is another great brand for aviators as they offer you the choice of getting prescription lenses, and customization ability. Their blue-coated lenses is a rather new update to their aviator catalog, and according to their website, they have the same clarity and enhancements as their previous models. You'll have to spend a little more than at other spots, but totally worth it for a Maui Jim product.


22. District Vision Tortoise Sunglasses

Screen Shot 2023 06 07 at 4.19.47 PM
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Copper
  • Frame Material: Cordura

And if you want an aviator that teeters on the edge of couture, then check out these Tortoise glasses from District Vision which are anti-reflective, water-repellant, and oil repellent, and come with 100% UVA/UVB protection, integrated rubber nose pads, and side shields at the rim.

SSENSE, $290
Did you like this article?
Thumbs Up
Thumbs Down