Athletes know to protect their heads, shins, or hands from possible injury in sports but rarely think about protecting their eyes. Vision is essential for most sports, but athletes have many questions surrounding prescription sports goggles and prescription sports glasses. Certain features and styles can be better suited to specific sports, so it is best to understand the various features and understand the difference between sports glasses and goggles before your next purchase.
What Features Should I Look For in Sports Goggles and Sports Glasses?
There are a few features to consider when choosing a new pair of prescription sports glasses or prescription sports goggles. Finding the right blend of form and function will allow you to perform your sport with protected, crystal clear vision.
Sports Goggles and Sports Glasses Lenses
The lenses in sports eyewear are critical, and you should only choose polycarbonate lenses for your sports goggles and sports glasses. This material resists impact and helps protect the eyes from impact and fast-moving objects. Plus, polycarbonate has built-in UV protection, an added benefit for outdoor sports. Although polycarbonate is a wonderfully protective material, it can scratch easily.
Frames for Sports Goggles and Sports Glasses
Choosing frames for your sports goggles is an essential step in the decision-making process. Almost any type of sports frame can be fitted with both nonprescription and prescription lenses. Look for frames that are made with polycarbonate or impact-resistant plastic. You’ll want to find frames with additional cushioning or rubber padding in the areas where the frame will contact the face.
Sports Goggles and Sports Glasses Styles
Before choosing your pair of prescription sports glasses, think about the style of the frame and lenses. Styles that wrap around the face may be best for high-speed sports, like sailing or biking. These sports glasses work well to keep wind, particles, and dust from the eyes. Sports goggle-style glasses with a strap that goes around the head may be a better pick for people playing impact sports like basketball or field hockey.
Youth Sports Goggles and Youth Sports Glasses
If you are purchasing sports goggles for a child, remember that you can be a little (but not much) flexible with the fit. Look for frames and straps that have added flexibility to give your child room to grow into new prescription sports goggles. Options with a strap fitted around the head may be better for young children playing sports.
Are Sports Goggles and Glasses Sport Specific?
While there aren’t any finite details or rules outlying the exact type of prescription eyewear necessary for each sport, there are recommendations based on the kind of physical activity and the amount of contact. For the following sports, the below eyewear is recommended:
- Baseball - Choose either sports glasses or goggles with polycarbonate lenses and frames. Sturdy plastic is the key feature to resisting impact.
- Basketball - Usually, prescription sports goggles are required unless rules allow traditional glasses for young children.
- Soccer - Sports glasses or eye goggles are recommended that fit snuggly to the face and can resist impact.
- Football - Although traditional eyewear can fit under a helmet, wearing sports goggles is recommended.
- Hockey - Polycarbonate sports goggles are recommended under a hockey helmet and mask.
- Tennis - Either tightly fitted, wrap-around style sports glasses or sports goggles are recommended for tennis players.
- Swimming - Prescription swim goggles are the best option for swimmers.
Is There a Difference Between Sports Goggles and Sports Glasses?
Both sports glasses and sports goggles are made with polycarbonate and impact-resistant materials, can be fitted with prescription or nonprescription lenses, and have UV-protective coating. Prescription sports goggles and sports glasses can be used for various sports, and other styles are great for helping an athlete see clearly while protecting the eyes from possible injury.
The most significant difference between sports goggles and sports glasses comes in shape. Sports goggles are used to protect the eyes and fit closely to the face, held in place with either a band or a strap that goes around the face. Sports glasses comparatively also sit close to the face, but they generally have a more traditional style, with individual arms on the frame that wraps around the ears. Sports glasses can offer protection but are less insulative and easier to remove.