Whether you're running drills, or competing in the APP Tour, the right pickleball eyewear can make or break your concentration during a match. Clear vision is required for split-second decisions and enhances your ability to track the ball. To determine which factors make the biggest difference in pickleball eyewear, our expert Sports Opticians put frame and lens technology to the test. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know when picking the best pickleball eyewear for both indoor and outdoor games.
Table of Contents
1. Video Review
2. What to Look for in Pickleball Eyewear
3. Frame Technology
4. Lens Technology
3.1. Indoor Pickleball Glasses
3.2. Outdoor Pickleball Sunglasses
3.3. Transition Lenses
3.4. Lens Material
5. Top Picks for Pickleball Eyewear
6. Shop Prescription Pickleball Glasses Online at SportRx
Join Eyeglass Tyler as he talks all things about buying pickleball eyewear! Watch the video below or continue reading below for everything you need to know before picking a frame.
Whether you play singles or doubles, inside or outdoors, follow our Sports Opticians' advice to get the best view of the court. We'll review which features to consider when picking pickleball eyewear and how they'll influence the way you play.
The goal of frame technology is to support the lens, thus supporting you during the match. For pickleball eyewear, we can break down frame technology into three key categories: fit/grip, coverage, and material. We will review each of these categories next.
A proper fit is crucial to an optimal visual experience (especially for prescription-wearers), and a comfortable physical experience. Too-tight glasses squeeze uncomfortably, causing headaches and distracted play. If they're too large, they'll slip as you're running to return a lob.
So what makes a good-fitting pair of pickleball glasses? It all comes down to sizing. By selecting the right frame size, you won't need to concern yourself with issues caused by an ill-fit. Your pickleball eyewear should provide a secure fit, without squeezing, and rest comfortably in place thanks to the rubber grip. If you need help understanding frame sizing, or determining your pickleball glasses size, visit our SportRx Sunglasses Size Guide.
Base curve and lens dimensions determine the overall coverage of a frame. Base curve refers to the curve of a frame, which then contours your face. For pickleball eyewear, wrap around frames with an 8-base curve are the most recommended styles by our Sports Opticians. They deliver the most physical coverage and provide a seamless viewing experience, so you aren't distracted by a frame in the line of your peripheral vision.
Lens dimensions are also an important factor to consider. The height and width of the lens creates extra real estate to protect you from harsh UV rays — and the ball.
There are two non-negotiables when it comes to picking a frame material: impact-resistance and lightweight wear. Thanks to today's innovative frame technologies, both of these attributes are present to create top-performing sports frames. Oakley's proprietary O Matter™ and Grilamid TR-90 are both extremely durable, lightweight, and have passed strict impact-resistant testing, so you can feel confident when stepping out on the court.
Lens technology is the key ingredient to a competitive edge. Clear vision helps you spot and track the ball, reduces distracting glare, and protects you from harmful UV rays. In this section, we'll review which lenses to consider for both indoor pickleball glasses and outdoor pickleball sunglasses.
When playing outside, contrast-enhancement is the name of the game. Bright sunlight can make it nearly impossible to track the ball, and harsh UV rays pose risks to your vision's integrity. To combat UV-exposure and get a visual boost, tinted contrast-enhancing lenses will help make the ball pop, while blocking 100% of UV rays.
Want to learn more about one of our favorite contrast-enhancing lens technologies? Visit our blog about Oakley PRIZM™.
Should You Get Polarized Lenses for Pickleball Sunglasses?
Sports Opticians advise against polarized lenses for ball sports, pickleball included. Polarized lenses are notorious for affecting depth perception, and when playing pickleball, it's imperative to accurately judge the distance and speed of the ball. Polarized lenses can skew your ability to react appropriately due to imprecise depth perception.
If you're a diehard indoor pickler, don't think you're off the hook with your eyewear. While natural UV rays may not be your competition, you're still up against harsh artificial lights that distract your vision.
For indoor matches, Sports Opticians recommend clear lenses with a high-quality anti-reflective coating to reduce glare. You can also add an optional blue light coating, since artificial lights increase your exposure to harmful blue light.
Still learning the sport and finding your preferences? Transition lenses are the ultimate answer for versatility — and indecisiveness on playing indoors vs outdoors. Even if you play professionally, Transitions® resolve the need for multiple frames, so you don't have to worry about swapping eyewear during long drills.
Transition lenses react to UV exposure, so you have a clear lens indoors and a tinted lens when you're outside. They adapt to always provide the perfect level of tint, so you can stay focused on the game, and not your eyewear. To learn more about the different types of transition lenses, visit our Transitions® Guide.
SportRx Insider Tip: For an alternative to transition lenses, try a frame with an interchangeable lens system! This will allow you to quickly swap lenses based on the lighting conditions.
No matter which time of day you play, lens material is one of the most significant factors to consider in your pickleball eyewear. Safety is of the utmost importance when you're up against a high-velocity ball; and lens material is the only thing between you, and a potential eye injury. Protect yourself with impact-resistant materials like Oakley's Plutonite® or ASTM F803 safety-rated lenses. These durable materials have been tested against high-mass and high-velocity impacts, so you can play with confidence that you're protected by the best.
Now that you're a pro at picking pickleball eyewear, let's check out some of the frames! Sports Opticians have handpicked these pickleball sunglasses and glasses to support your game.
Oakley Flak 2.0 XL
An overall sports-favorite, the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is the ultimate performance frame. It boasts the best of Oakley technology like a lightweight O Matter™ construction, impact-resistant Plutonite® lenses, and Unobtainium® rubber grip that gets tackier the more you sweat. Its interchangeable lens system allows you to easily swap lenses based on your lighting conditions and features contrast-enhancing PRIZM™ lens technology. To make it even better, the Oakley Flak 2.0 XL is available with prescription.
Oakley Flak 2.0 XL Key Features
- Lightweight & durable O Matter™ frame material
- Interchangeable Plutonite® lenses are impact-resistant & Rx-able
- Unobtainium® rubber grip gets tackier the more you sweat
- Available with PRIZM™ lens technology
- SportRx Frame Width: 135 (What is SFW?)
Wiley X Gamer
When safety is top-of-mind, the Wiley X Gamer is the ideal choice for pickleball safety glasses. It is ASTM F803 certified and features high-impact resistant lenses for extreme durability. As for versatility, the easy glasses-to-goggles conversion allows you to add an optional strap for when you're fine-tuning your footwork. The Gamer allows you to move more freely, while extra frame security keeps your frame comfortably and effortlessly in place. This safety-rated frame is also available in prescription!
Wiley X Gamer Key Features
- ASTM F803 safety-rated for superior protection during high-impact sports
- Impact-resistant lenses are Rx-able
- Optional strap for easy glasses-to-goggles conversion
- Rubber nose pads keep the frame securely in place, no matter how much you sweat
- SFW: 131
Need prescription pickleball glasses? Done. When you shop with us, you’ll find video guides and tooltips throughout the build process as you customize the perfect pair. An answer to all your questions is at your fingertips, and if you want to chat with an expert, contact us. We’ll put you in touch with one of our friendly in-house opticians who can help you build your prescription pickleball glasses or sunglasses.
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