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Pickleball Eye Guards: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

Protective eyewear is now an essential accessory for pickleball players. Read on to learn more about why players are using them and what to look for in a quality pair. Also, a bonus FAQ covering all the questions you may have about pickleball eyewear.

pickleball eyewear eye guard

*This is a follow-up to our top-5 list from 2023 reviewing the best protective eyewear on the pickleball market. Be sure to check it out as well.

Let's talk about why eye guards are becoming a necessary piece of equipment in pickleball. Not all players wear them, but the usage rate is growing fast.

Some say it might become mandatory at some point. Players such as Anna Leigh Waters can always be seen with eyewear during matches.

First we will explain the reasons why eye guards are now necessary. Then we will outline which traits to look for in a quality pair of eyewear. After that, we will list different types of eyewear options and then our top two picks for each.

Lastly, there will be FAQ that you might find useful as you shop around for eye guards. Feel free to click on any blue link or photo to browse an option further.

[For QUICK PICKS, view eye guard deals on Pickleball Central and Amazon today]

Eye Guards: Why Necessary Now?

You may not have heard much about protective eyewear in pickleball. Years ago, not many players wore them. Now, that has changed.

The game has gotten faster and more aggressive, the ball flies around often and with pace. It's common for a ball to fly near one's face and even hit a player. I'm sure you've seen this!

Three major reasons why this is happening:

One, the new official PPA ball announced in late 2023 is very lively.

Two, players are making an effort to play more offensively and aggressively.

And three, perhaps the most fundamental reason, paddle technology is getting better.

Related: Check out our review of the most powerful paddle on the market (by far), which has made serious waves in both the pro and rec scene in early 2024.

Pickleball Eye Guard Benefits

Let's dive into essential qualities pickleball players should look for in protective eyewear. There is more to it than just wearing your favorite sunglasses. Here's what to look for:

Impact Resistance:

You're on the court, a rally has ensued. In a split second, the ball gets sped up and it's headed towards your face. Eyewear can be a barrier to absorb the ball's impact.

It might make a loud clacking sound, and your eye guard might come loose or fall off, but that could be the difference between pain/injury and avoiding it!

Opt for eyewear with sturdy materials that can withstand high-velocity impacts without shattering. This will help you avoid potential eye injuries like abrasions or retinal detachment. Though the ball is lightweight, it can cause major damage at high speeds.

Fog Reduction:

Ever had your vision clouded by pesky fog when you're sweating? It's not just annoying, it makes your shots tougher and literally just makes your vision worse. That's why anti-fog coatings or ventilation systems are your friends.

These features keep your eyewear fog-free. Look for makes and models that either have holes in the sides of the frame, or are shaped in a way that allows air to circulate.

Comfort and Fit:

Imagine eyewear that pinches your nose, slips down your face, or feels like a lead weight after a few minutes of play. Not exactly conducive to peak performance. It's also just annoying, and you don't want to have to constantly readjust your eyewear during points.

That's why a snug and comfortable fit is non-negotiable. Adjustable straps or even temples, cushy nose pads, and lightweight frames ensure eyewear stays put without discomfort.

UV Protection:

Think of eye guards as sunscreen for your eyes. Exposure to harmful UV rays without proper protection can lead to a slew of eye issues, from cataracts to macular degeneration.

Opt for eyewear that boasts UV protection to shield you from the sun's harmful rays, especially during long play sessions. This is more of a bonus, but still counts as protection!

Pickleball Eye Guard Types


These kind of eye guards probably offer maximum coverage and protection. Think of them as the tank of eyewear, absorbing all impact possible. Old googles used to fog up, but these both have openings to let air vent. These are however safety first, comfort second.

Python Full Frame (sturdy and thick)

pickleball eye guard protective eyewear

The Protec 360 (purportedly 'zero fog')

pickleball eye guard protective eyewear

Safety Glasses:

If you prefer a sleeker, sporty look without compromising on safety, these glasses built specifically for sport are the way to go. They offer reliable impact resistance and UV protection while keeping you looking sharp on the court. The both has no bottom frame, which works well for athletics. This is one of the safest, best fits for most players.

Gearbox Slim Fit (secure, light, durable)

pickleball eye guard protective eyewear


The classic choice for outdoor players and for serious players who plan to log serious hours out on the court. Athletic sunglasses are perfectly equipped to protect your eyes. While they may not be built for impact, they're still great, and are ideal for comfort and style. Both of these are premium, unisex options with interchangeable lens colors for different lighting.

CRBN Pivot (color-changing lens...)

pickleball eye guard protective eyewear

Oakley Evzero Path (Editor's Choice)

pickleball eye guard protective eyewear

[Browse all eye guard deals on Pickleball Central and Amazon today]

FAQs for Pickleball Protective Eyewear

Do I need protective eyewear for pickleball?

Protective eyewear is not compulsory by rule, but it is essential nowadays to safeguard your eyes from potential injury caused by fast-moving balls, and even a paddle that flies out of someone's hand or an accidental collision with another player.

For a relatively small price, you can have piece of mind that your eyes are protected. Eyes are not a body part that is easy to repair when damaged.

What are key features to look for in pickleball eyewear?

Look for eyewear with impact resistance to shield your eyes from fast balls or stray swings. Fog resistance is also a nice feature to look for in order to maintain clear vision when you start getting sweaty. Then, a comfortable fit is key, UV protection is a nice bonus.

Do I need different eyewear for indoors and outdoors?

Short answer, no, one pair is fine for both. Outdoor players should prioritize UV protection to shield their eyes from sun exposure. Indoor players may want a darker lens, or even grey or blue, to counteract bright artificial light. But ultimately, impact-resistance is the most important safety measure, and that goes equally for indoor and outdoor pickleball.

What type of eye guard is best: goggles, safety, or sunglasses?

No right answer, and depends on personal comfort and preference. Goggles probably have the most coverage and protection, while safety glasses offer a sleeker option that might be lighter. Sunglasses are ideal for outdoors, given UV protection and glare reduction.

How should pickleball eyewear fit?

Pickleball eye guards should fit snugly, without pinching your nose or slipping. Look for adjustable straps and cushioned nose pads as an added accessory. Then, lightweight frames for a comfy and secure fit.

Are there any regulations or standards for pickleball eyewear?

None in pickleball rulebooks. Comfort first, style next. One day they might make eyewear compulsory to compete. That day hasn't come yet, but some believe it's on the way!

How do I care for and maintain my pickleball eyewear?

Clean your eyewear regularly with a mild soap and water solution, avoid using abrasive drying materials, and store them in a protective case when not in use.

Closing Thoughts

Pickleball eye guards are so very important in 2024 and beyond. The game is growing faster and crazier, and balls are flying around our head all the time.

Look for eyewear that fits comfy and feels snug on your face. Consider ones with a vent in the lens for air flow, as well as athletic fit. Consider rubber nose pads and a retainer strap!

Don't delay in browsing eyewear and strongly consider wearing it when you play. You can never be too safe with your eyes, and there are quality options on the market in 2024.

View eye guard deals on Pickleball Central and Amazon today.

When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. It does not affect the price at all. PaddlePal is completely viewer-supported and we will not present a product unless we have researched the market to provide accurate, informed recommendations.


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