Flying the Flag: The Best Sunglasses Made in the U.S.A

There aren't many brands that produce sunglasses in the US. Here are some that do.

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When you think of countries that make sunglasses, the first one that comes to mind is probably Italy. Or perhaps Japan. However, sunglasses production isn’t limited to these nations. There are plenty of brands from the US that produce American made sunglasses.

Some of these companies are trendy upstarts just getting their feet wet in the eyewear world. Others have a long history of producing made in the USA sunglasses. Either way, all those brands create glasses that support local manufacturing.

In this article, we’ll look at six companies that make their sunglasses in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

Made in America Sunglasses Brands

Randolph Engineering

Randolph Engineering

If you want to buy shades from a brand with a history of manufacturing sunglasses in the U.S., you can’t do much better than Randolph Engineering. The company has used its 200-step process to manufacture high-quality glasses since 1973. What’s more, they do so from materials sourced in-country.

The brand specializes in metal frame glasses and is most famous for its takes on the aviator style. It also offers the option of both regular and polarized lenses. The company produces glasses for those in the military and air force which suggests they are high quality.

Outside of military uses, the brand is a favorite of Johnny Depp, who has been spotted wearing the company’s aviators with a tinted blue lens. Ryan Reynolds has also worn sunglasses by the brand.

AO Eyewear

AO Eyewear

AO Eyewear is another brand that specializes in made in America aviators. The company’s history goes back to 1826 and on its website, the brand claims to have been a founding part of the American optical industry.

One of the AO Eyewear’s major claims to fame is that their glasses were worn by the crew of Appolo 11 on their groundbreaking journey to the moon.

More recently, the brand was worn by Ryan Gosling . In September 2019, AO Eyewear was bought by the next sunglasses manufacturer on this list.

State Optical Co.

State Optical Co.

State Optical Co. was founded in 2014 and specializes in creating high-end acetate frames. The sunglasses are hand-made in Chicago with each frame requiring 75 steps before it is ready.

The brand produces has a large variety of frames in pretty much every shape and color you could want. State doesn’t currently doesn’t work with any other materials, although the acquisition of AO Eyewear, mentioned above, does hint that they could introduce some metal designs into their upcoming collections.

You can find out more about State Optical Co. at their website, we particularly like the Dearborn and Addison shapes.

Lowercase Eyewear

Lowercase Eyewear

Lowercase Eyewear manufacturers its sunglasses in Brooklyn, New York City. Each pair of shades takes two weeks to complete. The company specializes in acetate frames and they all have a reassuringly chunky design.

Each shape also comes in a variety of colors. We particularly like the Robinson’s highly-angled take on a wayfarer-style frame and the super flat-top of the Irving frame. You can check out all the designs on the Lowercase Eyewear website.

Gatorz Eyewear

Gatorz Eyewear

Gatorz Eyewear makes sunglasses for sports. The brand specializes in wraparound-style glasses that fit under helmets making them a good choice for motorbiking.

The glasses are all made from aluminum so they are amongst the most durable sunglasses available. You can choose from a variety of different shapes and lens or frame colors.

The company has been going since 1989 and it says the glasses have been used by US Navy SEALs and Elite Operators of the United States Special Operations Command. Find out more on the Gatorz website.



Arc-Iris makes handcrafted wooden frame sunglasses in the US. The brand uses A+ grade hardwood for its glasses. It sells a variety of frames and colors which you can check out on the website. Beyond sunglasses, the company produces a variety of outdoor equipment.

Do you know of a great brand that makes sunglasses in the U.S.A? Let us know in the comments.

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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's a menswear writer who has spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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