Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses Review: Affordable, Stylish, Eco-Conscious And Under $35

Learn why these super affordable, oversized shield-style sports sunglasses may just be your favorite new running companion.

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All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

The Sanctum are the latest sunglasses to be launched by Tifosi, in 2024, and are described as oversized shield-style sports sunglasses that offer a blend of fashion and functionality.

As well as the Tifosi Sanctum‘s ‘shield-style’ meaning they look different to most sports sunglasses that tend to be more of the wrap-around (Oakley Flak 2.0-style) or wayfarer (Tifosi offers a popular style called the Swank XL, for example, that has that shape), the lightweight frame is made using an innovative plant-based technology that uses 45% renewable raw materials derived from castor oil!

In this Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses Review, I’ve included plenty of photos of them in real life, a summary of their key features, pros and cons, and my thoughts on who they’re best suited to.


About Tifosi Optics

Tifosi is a sunglasses brand that was founded in 2003 and specializes in designing sport sunglasses that offer quality, performance, style and value.

The Tifosi sunglasses range offers a wide variety of frame styles, lenses and color options, all at a great value price point.

As well as a variety of men’s and women’s frames designed for a wide range of sports, including running and cycling, Tifosi also offers prescription lenses and the ability to design your own custom sunglasses using a tool available on their website to mix and match frames and lenses.


The key specifications of Tifosi’s Sanctum Sunglasses

Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses side view
  • Price: $34.95 from TifosiOptics.com
  • Sizing and fit: described by Tifosi as M/L – see the photos in this review for an idea of size on the face, I would say they’re more ‘Medium’ than ‘Large’
  • Weight: 26g
  • Features: Hydrophilic nose pieces provide a no-slip grip – the more you perspire, the more they grip
  • Lenses: Polycarbonate lenses are shatterproof and scratch-resistant with 100% UVA / UVB protection from ultraviolet rays
  • Best for: Any active pursuit where you don’t necessarily need polarized lenses and would like the extra coverage or oversized look of what they call a ‘shield’ sunglasses style. These will be popular among cyclists and runners as well as anyone looking for a new frame style to wear as a daily pair.

Features of the Tifosi Sanctum sunglasses that I love

These sunglasses are great for running in

Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses how they look

As detailed in our running sunglasses buyer’s guide, for a pair to be suitable for running, they have to be, among other things, lightweight, offer quality lenses that include full UV protection, be durable, and not move around as you run.

Being designed for sports, the Sanctum tick all those boxes. They have what Tifosi calls their ‘Glide’ technology, which essentially means they’re designed not to bounce as you move.

There’s also great grip on the nose area, where the hydrophilic nose pieces grip your nose and actually get more effective when you’ sweat on them.

These properties, together with the 100% UV protection, scratch-resistant lenses, make them a great choice of sunglasses for running and other sports.

Tifosi sunglasses are great value for money

Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses lenses

At a price point of $34.95, the Tifosi Sanctum won’t break the bank, and represent great value for money if you’re in the market for a new pair of sunglasses you can wear running (and for other sporting and adventurous pursuits) without worrying about the risk of breaking or losing a $200+ pair of sunglasses.

Included in the price is a soft fabric storage pouch that you can carry with you to store them in, although as the lenses are scratch-resistant you don’t have to be too precious about them if you have a suitable soft-lined pocket to stash them when the sun goes down.

They feature shatterproof and scratch resistant lenses, and rhe frame itself is lightweight and fairly flexible. I mean, I wouldn’t want to sit on them, but it will stand up to being stuffed into a pocket of my running leggings or hydration pack just fine.

Speaking of the frame, it’s made with what Tifosi calls their ‘Thrive’ frame technology, which is an innovative manufacturing method that uses castor oil as a source, rather than plastic.

The castor plant can grow in harsh conditions so it does not take away land needed for most other crops, and the new demand for the beans creates jobs and lessens the economic reliance on fossil fuels. Pretty cool!

The ‘Shield’ frame style

Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses view through lenses

I’m loving the look and really enjoying having a pair of sunglasses with the more unusual Shield-style look in my running sunglasses rotation.

I also always appreciate Tifosi’s selection of 7 color options for the Sanctum frames and lenses, including a more subtle black frame and lense option, as well as some fun and vibrant combinations.

The pair I’m wearing in the photos throughout this review are called ‘Aqua Shimmer’, and this color combination also happens to reflect our brand colors here at Trail & Kale!


Features I feel could be improved

It’s very hard to fault these sunglasses, especially at the very competitive price point they sell for! That said, here are a couple of things to note about these shades.

They don’t stay up on top of my head as well as wrap-around frames

Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses green and purple lenses

This is simply a personal preference… I do like to be able to put my sunglasses up on top of my head and not have them slide down onto my face (or the floor), and I can’t do that with this pair.

They do not have polarized lenses or anti-glare coating

Tifosi Sanctum Sunglasses how they fit

Nor would I expect the lenses to be polarized or have anti-glare coating on sunglasses costing less than $40, but those, together with superior optics quality, might be desirable features to help improve clarity and cut down on glare.

This could be more important to you if you run in places with a lot of reflectivity, such as light rock, concrete pavements on bright days, snow and water, or if you can’t stand the glare that can reflect on the inside of your lenses.

If you’re interested in shades with polarized lenses and glare reduction for running and other activities, there are several (more expensive) running sunglasses highlighted in our best running sunglasses buyer’s guide.

Tifosi Sanctum sunglasses review summary

If you’re a runner or active person looking for an affordable pair of sunglasses designed for sports, Tifosi is definitely a brand to check out, and the Sanctum frame style is a great choice!

If you prefer the more wrap-around or wayfarer-style frame designs, there are also other Tifosi frames that may suit your style better, with the Swank and Swank XL being two other very popular frame styles (the latter made it onto our best running sunglasses roundup, for example).

Where to buy the Tifosi Sanctum

The Tifosi Sanctum sunglasses are currently available for $34.95 at TifosiOptics.com:


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Tifosi Sanctum sunglasses review gallery

Helen
Helenhttps://www.trailandkale.com/
One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.

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