If you have ever played a game of baseball on a bright, sunny afternoon, you will know that a good pair of baseball sunglasses are worth their weight in gold. There is no more sudden look of terror than an outfielder who loses a sky high pop fly in the blinding sun, or a first baseman who can’t track the throw from a fielder until it’s too late.
As we continue to roll through the offseason, let’s take a look at the very best baseball sunglasses available today as well as some key things to consider in your purchase. It is our hope that after you are finished reading this article, you’ll be in a better position to make an informed decision.
What’s The Difference Between Polarized And Non Polarized Glasses?
Polarized sunglasses are able to lower the amount of glare from different surfaces including grass, turf, etc. Your eyes are therefore much more comfortable as a result of reduced brightness. The effect on reducing glare alone is important enough for many baseball players to prefer polarized sunglasses. Some players however, prefer to wear glasses that are non-polarized as they find the vision is not as blurred and more ‘true’.
For infielders, polarized glasses may be essential as the reaction time on line drives is quite quick. As such, any glare on a ball that is hit hard could be potentially very dangerous for the fielder. In the outfield, on bright sunny days any pop flies that are hit high in the air may get lost in the glare of the sun.
When you are batting, most players prefer not to wear sunglasses altogether, regardless of polarization, as the glasses frame can obstruct your view of the pitcher and the ball. One interesting thing is that the batters who wear sunglasses at the plate are often those with lighter eye color, as they have a bit more trouble seeing in bright light.
What Color Lens Is Best?
Colors like yellow, orange and amber are most popular among baseball players as they provide the best contrast between the ball and its’ surroundings. If you are wearing a darker color lens you may not be able to see the ball if moving from a dark to brighter area of the field.
What Factors Should I Consider In Buying A Pair Of Baseball Sunglasses?
Here are some considerations to keep in mind before buying a new pair of baseball sunglasses:
- Safety: be absolutely certain that the pair of sunglasses you buy will not shatter if hit by a ball
- Polarization: you’ll have to make a decision between polarized and non-polarized
- UV Protection: you will want to pick something that protects your eyes from UV (ultra violet) rays
- Style: look for a pair that wraps around your head so they do not fall off when you are running
- Price: baseball sunglasses can be expensive, so be sure you set an appropriate budget of what you’re willing to spend
Product Reviews - Which Is Right For You?
Let’s get to the top 5 baseball sunglasses for 2017:
Oakley: Radar EV
The Oakley Radar has been incredibly popular among cycling enthusiasts, but that has recently found its’ way over to the baseball diamond and it shows up here on our list. This US made pair of sunglasses has plastic frame and lens and boasts of 100% UV protection. Premium design is Oakley’s trademark, and they have a real winner here with the Radar that is surely to impress even the most hardcore baseball players.
- No durability concerns whatsoever.
- No fog, generally quite clear and unobscured vision.
- Incredibly comfortable to wear.
- Excellent UV protection.
- Plastic frame / lens so will not shatter on impact.
- Priced very highly, may be out of many people’s budget.
- Arms are long and could interfere if you are wearing a ballcap.
- Non-polarized so will not suit players looking for polarized glasses.
Sleek and sexy, the Radar is a beautiful choice for baseball sunglasses - only if your wallet can afford it.
Under Armour: Igniter 2.0
The Igniter 2.0 by Under Armour is a full plastic pair of sunglasses that are getting very popular for baseball players all over the country. The main selling point of the Igniter is their incredibly light-weight feel that has users saying they feel like they are not even wearing sunglasses. They are very resilient to scratching and smudging and the frame feels very solid and durable, as it is constructed out of titanium.
- Incredibly light ArmourFusion frame is constructed using titanium to give maximum strength while maintaining flexibility.
- Lenses give 20% more visibility on the peripheries and are ten times stronger than normal polycarbonate construction.
- Lenses are coated to reduce scratches.
- Comfortable fit with AutoGrip temples, will not fall off when running.
- Nosepiece is adjustable.
- 100% UV protection.
- Priced quite highly.
The Under Armour Igniter 2.0 is a fantastic choice - again, if your wallet can afford it. The lightweight frame and comfortable fit will make it a sure-fire winner on the diamond.
Rivbos: Sport Sunglasses
Rivbos is next on our list with a pair of sunglasses that they have deemed unbreakable. They are so sure of this fact that they offer a lifetime warranty on both the frame as well as the lenses. The polarized lenses are constructed from shatterproof material and still offer 100% protection from harmful UV rays. A good, reasonably low priced choice for any baseball player this season.
- Lightweight and does a great job of staying on your head as you move around.
- Polarized lenses offers 100% UV protection as well as reduces exposure to blue light (potentially harmful).
- Lenses are constructed from shatterproof material that is durable to last multiple seasons.
- Lifetime warranty on frame and lenses.
- Reasonable low price point.
- Stylish and modern-looking.
- Comes with hard portable case as well as pouch with strap and cloth for cleaning.
- Durability of frame may be questionable.
Nice, low priced option from Rivbos that is backed by a remarkable lifetime warranty, if you’re looking to try out a new pair of baseball sunglasses this season give this a chance.
Hodgson: Sport Sunglasses
Hodgson is another low-priced competitor in the baseball sunglasses market that offers interchangeable lenses which is great for those who already wear prescription glasses as they can simply fit their own lenses into the frame. These are super comfortable to wear and again come with excellent manufacturer’s lifetime warranty against broken or damaged lenses and frame.
- Clear frame that comes with 5 interchangeable lenses to swap in and out.
- Excellent visibility with anti-fogging lenses.
- Comes with case to store glasses.
- Lifetime warranty on frame and lens.
- Frame and lenses made of premium material that is shatterproof.
- Waterproof, dual-polarization (yellow lenses) with UV protection.
- Very comfortable on temples even after prolonged wear.
- Low price point could suggest durability concerns.
A nice low-priced manufacturer with an affordable offering, Hodgson seems to hit the mark here with a winner that is stylish and comfortable to wear. The dual-polarization is a nice feature that reduces glare even more than other competitors, and this feature alone merits a spot on our list.
Ewin: E01 Sport Sunglasses
Ewin may be fairly new to the game but they’ve come up with a wonderful pair of baseball sunglasses that fit remarkably similar to the Oakley Radar, at a fraction of the cost. Their lenses offer 100% UV protection and are quite true in color, eliminating a lot of the glare that could be harmful to your eyes.
- Shatterproof, flexible and also resistant to scratches and smudging.
- Comfortable to wear with easy-fit nose pads.
- 100% UV protection.
- Interchangeable lenses (polycarbonate construction).
- Priced low, accessible to all.
- Lightweight and not too bulky or obstructive.
- Slight-yellow tint lens (night-vision lens) cuts down on glare when playing outfield.
- Comes with protective hard case.
- Only black lenses are polarized, and when worn they are very dark and it can be difficult to see.
A nice option if you’re looking for some functionality as well as customizability with changing out lenses of differing colors depending on the dimness you’re seeking each game. Again a lifetime warranty means you can rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth with these Ewin sunglasses.
Although Under Armour and Oakley both produce excellent sunglasses that purists will stand by, there are many low-priced options that have come onto the market that are worth a look. We love the Hodgson look and feel, and they seem to be excellent bang for your buck this season.