Best Sunglasses For Baseball?
Unless you play back catcher or you’re a pitcher you’re probably going to want a pair of shades when you’re playing ball. For years I refused to wear sunnies on the ball diamond – that all came to an end when I lost a pop fly in the sun and it landed square on head.
I never liked the ‘feel’ of sunglasses but after wearing them for games it turns out you do get used to them.
|Brand & Style||Oakley Radar Path Sunglasses||Under Armour UA Core Sunglasses||Oakley Flak Jacket Sunglasses|
|Notes||Prescription Ready||Prescription Ready
Different Teams Available
Once upon a time there were only two brands anyone would consider for baseball sunglasses – Oakley and Nike. Nike of course having a long standing reputation for everything sport and Oakley who arguably make the best sunglasses in the world both for casual purposes and for sport.
Two other brands to consider that you may have dismissed are Under Armour and Gargoyle.
Today you’ll see more and more Under Armour baseball sunglasses on professionals. This speaks volumes – I understand endorsement deals but at the end of the day most pro ball players are still going to wear what feels the best.
Gargoyles are more of a goggle style as opposed to the traditional looking sunglasses most of the major manufacturers produce. They are surprisingly comfortable AND they look pretty awesome.
The main two styles on the market are flip versus non-flip. Some infielders still use flip glasses but it seems more and more guys are transitioning to the standard glasses.
For infielders wearing flip sunglasses makes a bit more sense then it would for say an outfielder. An outfielder is constantly starring into the sun trying to track balls. Meanwhile an infielder is handling pop ups, ground balls and line drives. It’s not my thing but some guys like it.
Different Colored Lenses
You may be wondering why some guys wear different colored lenses. There are basically three options (that are adding more then just style points)
Clear glasses aren’t doing anything except for providing protection on windy days – chewing on dirt is one thing, having it in your eyes the entire game is entirely different.
Of course some guys wear prescription glasses or goggles as well. As you see below Brett Cecil wears ’em.
Yellow or Orange glasses are often used when it’s cloudy out. Players are trying to enhance the overall brightness
Green Glasses increase overall contrast. They’re meant for cloudy or sunny days, they defiantly help on both fronts.
Everything else comes down to tint – how tinted do you want your glasses to be reduce the sun’s brightness.
Now that you know a little bit about the different color of glasses let’s talk about polarization. For those unfamiliar all baseball sunglasses either reduce or increase brightness.
Not all baseball sunglasses reduce glare. Glare is removed by sunglasses with polarized lenses. Most find it also impacts their depth perception to some degree. So it’s the ultimate trade off – reduce depth perception which hinders your ability to field balls or increase glare which does the same.
I personally never wore polarized lenses. Some claim polarization doesn’t impact their perception – perhaps I just needed an excuse to explain to coach why I didn’t catch that routine fly ball.
Baseball Sunglasses Reviews
The Oakley Radar is the gold standard for baseball sunglasses. They offer the ability to quickly change your lens based on the conditions – so whether it’s sunny or cloudy out you’ll always be prepared.
Oakley makes four different styles of Radar Glasses: Path, Pitch, XL Blades and Range. They all fit the face slightly different, however the frame does stay the same.
They also come equipped with hydrophobic lenses – which is a fancy word for they don’t smudge and you’ll never find moisture residue on the lenses.
The feature I like most about the Oakley Radar glasses is that they stay put. You won’t find them shifting around on your head as you attempt to make a play on the ball. Oakley provides an extra nose piece which is actually a very useful feature. Lots of times changing out the nose piece can make glasses fit a little snugger.
The only downside is the price. However, if you take care of them they’ll last a very long time. I use these for running and cycling as well and they’re brilliant for both sports.
Under Armour has come a long ways to catch the powerhouses in sport. These feature magnetic lenses making the lens a snap to change. These fit reasonably well and don’t tend to bounce around.
They’re also considerably cheaper than the Oakley Radar’s which is a huge plus.
Investing in a good pair of sunglasses can be tough to do. It’s easy to buy cheap ones and make-do. However, if you’re in for the long haul and want a solid pair of glasses I can’t recommend the Oakley Radar’s enough. That said, if you’re currently using cheap Rawlings sunnies, the Under Armour Core Glasses will also be a considerable upgrade.