The 22 Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men: Researched and Reviewed

From Ray-Ban to Randolph, these glasses take it up a notch

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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. Along the lines with other historic fashion pieces such as bomber jackets and trench coats, aviators will forever be a relevant and important part of the fashion industry. As such, we've put together a guide on the best aviator sunglasses for men based on research and user reviews, and our own editor testing.

From our best overall pick, the Ray-Ban Aviator Classic ($171), all the way to designer shades like the Gucci Aviator Metal Sunglasses ($520) and affordable pairs such as Shady Rays' Black Stealth Aviators ($68), we consider these some of the best aviator sunglasses in the business. Check out our selections below along with more general history about aviator sunglasses as a whole.

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

The Best Aviator Sunglasses for Men, at a Glance:

How We Chose the Best Aviators for Men:

To choose the best aviators for men, we spent hours researching and pouring through user reviews to see which aviators were the most popular and highly rated amongst customers. Additionally, some of the brands (Randolph and Shady Rays for example) we included our ones that we have personal experiences with when it comes to testing or buying their products. Lastly, we also factored in the general price of the sunglasses, making to include aviators that were in all price ranges from pairs less than $300 to designer shades.

1. Ray-Ban Aviator Sunglasses

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Best Overall

  • Size(s): Narrow to Wide
  • Lens Material: Polycarbonate
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: Yes (can customize)

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 $171) has remained affordable. If there's any pair of aviators guaranteed to work, it's a pair of Ray-Bans.


2. Randolph Aviator II

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Alpha Industries

Also Great

  • Size(s): 55 mm
  • Lens Material: Nylon
  • Frame Material: Acetate
  • Polarized: No

Randolph has storied military and sunglasses history, which is reflected through the many aviators available within their catalogs. We personally own a pair of these, and it's a sharp look along with a quality that's phenomenal. The Aviator II's are cut with a nylon lens and acetate frame While you certainly don't have to drop $249 on a pair of sunglasses (unless you want to of course), we may or may not have accidentally dropped ours on the ground, and the glasses... survived. So the sturdiness is there too. Just saying.


3. Shady Rays Black Stealth Aviators

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Shady Rays

Most Affordable Aviators

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

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

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Best Designer Aviators

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

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

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Best Tinted Aviators

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Crystal
  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Polarized: N/A

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.

SHOP NOW AT PERSOL, (Was $363, Now $181.50)

6. Randolph Sportsman 23K Gold & American Tan Aviators

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Best Vintage Aviators

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

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. Peter Millar Aviator Sunglasses

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Peter Millar

Most Versatile Aviators

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: 100% Acetate
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Polarized: Yes

Peter Millar gives you loads of versatility to when it comes to their aviator sunglasses choices. Made by artisans in Italy, these aviators are created with 100% acetate lens material (more on that in a second), and backed up by a frame cut with stainless steel. Also built with features such as UV 400 polarization and polarized crystal sapphire lenses that are scratch and shatter-resistant that adds to the acetate lens material we just mentioned, Peter Millar includes a pebble grain leather case and lens cleaner to help keep your aviators clean and protected at all times.


8. Cartier Santos de Cartier Sunglasses

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Best Aviators for Every Face Shape

  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Titanium
  • Frame Material: Half-rimmed Metal
  • Polarized: No

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

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Glasses USA
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material:  Calobar green nylon
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: No

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 $250 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

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  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Base lens geometry with HDO™
  • Frame Material: Ultra-lightweight C-5™ alloy frame material 
  • Polarized: N/A

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 $208 Prizm Sapphire Sunglasses are right up your alley. You'll be seeing people in rainbow colors. Yay.

SHOP NOW AT OAKLEY, (Was $260, Now $208)

11. Tom Ford Dashel Sunglasses

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Tom Ford
  • Size(s): 62 mm
  • Lens Material: Metal
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: No

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

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Prive Revaux
  • Size(s): 62 mm
  • Lens Material: TAC Polarized Lens
  • Frame Material: Stainless Steel
  • Polarized: Yes

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

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  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Plastic
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: No

You can also find aviators over at Amazon for a more than reasonable price (less than $100 to be exact). Now Armani's catalog is one that changes based on the season/availability, but we're really feeling these $94 futuristic black 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. They are also super sturdy from our experiences with wearing Armani shades (again don't ask how we know this).

SHOP NOW AT AMAZON, (Was $106.25, Now $94.01)

14. SALT. Optics Francisco Glasses

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SALT. Optics
  • Size(s): 56 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: No

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 Aviators

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  • 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

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  • 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

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Todd Snyder
  • Size(s): 57 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: Yes

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

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Oliver Peoples
  • Size(s): 138 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: N/A

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

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  • Size(s): 138 mm
  • Lens Material: Glass
  • Frame Material: Titanium
  • Polarized: No

There's a reason why these $958 sunglasses are called Jagger—they are modeled after the legends late 1970s looks. Made with glass lenses and a titanium frame material, pick these up and you'll be moving like a Rolling Stone in no time.

SHOP NOW AT CETTIRE, (Was $1,247.86, Now $958.36)

20. Lacoste Aviator Sunglasses

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  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Plastic
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: Yes

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 less than $40 price tag is attractive too. You can definitely get a lot of wear out of these.


21. Maui Jim Aviator Sunglasses

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Maui Jim
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: MauiPure
  • Frame Material: Metal
  • Polarized: Yes

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

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District Vision
  • Size(s): One size fits all
  • Lens Material: Copper
  • Frame Material: Cordura
  • Polarized: Yes

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.


FAQs about aviators for men

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding aviators for men:

What is the history of aviator sunglasses?

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So exactly who invented Aviator sunglasses? 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.

What is the history of aviator sunglasses in film?

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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 should I style aviator sunglasses?

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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 are the common lens colors for aviator sunglasses?

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.

What brand makes the best aviators for men?

In our opinion, the honors of deeming which brands make the best aviators for men go to Randolph, Alpha, and Ray-Ban.

What face shape looks the best in 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.

Are aviators in style for men in 2024?

Aviator sunglasses are a timeless fashion piece that will never go out of style. That means they are indeed in style for the year 2024.

How should aviator sunglasses fit?

Aviator classes should traditionally cover the eyebrows, and should neither be too big as they can fall off your face or too small as that can cause discomfort.

RELATED: The Best Affordable Sneakers Under $150 to Add to Your Rotation

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