You love to play pickleball, but have a hard time seeing the ball at night or in the shade. This is quite common, and can be solved with proper eyewear. Learn more...
Many players face an unexpected challenge during their pickleball sessions: the lack of proper visibility, especially at night when it is dark, or in the shade during daytime.
While night play is fun, and sometimes convenient in events or at public parks, it is common to struggle to track the ball's flight and track its movements fast enough.
Simply put, our eyesight is not perfect! But it shouldn't hold back our level of play.
There is a convenient solution to avoid this frustrating reality. The answer: Pickleball eyewear and lenses especially designed to enhance vision in low-light conditions.
You can improve your performance by wearing the right piece of eyewear, most of which run for under $100. This easy addition to your gear can have a significant impact on your game. Players such as Anna Leigh Waters can always be seen wearing them on the pro tour.
In this article, we dive into the world of pickleball eyewear, guiding you through the top couple options to help you see the game in a whole new light...even when light levels are low!
Best Pickleball Eyewear for Night/Dark
These eyewear models are among the best value and best lenses to help make it easier to play pickleball in the dark. The ball will stand out...you can't do much better than these.
There are many options on the market, but we have narrowed it down to a simple list below. Click the photos or blue links below to browse them on
Best Overall: Oakley's M2
These are elite sunglasses for serious players. Though Oakley's of course makes eyewear for all athletics and not just for pickleball, they are the Gold Standard for sporting sunglasses.
The M2 model in particular, shown below, is frameless at the bottom for best athletic fit. The frames are replaceable and you should seek a yellow or amber tint. It can be worn unisex.
This frame style is known for addressing vertical light. AKA, it will mitigate artificial light coming from flood lights above, and it will offer contrast against the dark of the night sky.
Best Comfort: Gearbox Slim Fit
Gearbox is known for designing durable paddles. But as a racquetball company first, they are very well-versed in the eyewear game.
Their flagship here is perfect. It is lightweight, durable, and very economical. They come in 4-5 colors, but you should seek out the amber one for darkness.
The most unique feature is that the arm length has five settings, so you can adjust it for your ears and face comfort. This is not a common feature in protective eyewear. Very useful!
Best Value: ToolFreak Reevo
These are not conventional athletic sunglasses, but we've evaluated these as one of the most perfect options for a serious pickleball player.
These glasses come in the ideal yellow frame that will contrast the ball in dark conditions and mitigate artificial light and glare. They are panoramic and frameless, mimicking sports style. And they have recoil cushion on the nose and ears, good for movement.
These shades have proper UV protection and side ventilation for anti-fog air flow. If you want to try out a durable, alternative option...this is the one.
Pickleball Eyewear Qualities
These are the main aspects you should consider when finding a pair of eyewear that you will wear on the pickleball courts. The above picks combine the best combo of these criteria.
No Annoying Glare: They shouldn't reflect lights in an adverse manner.
Right Lens Color: Look for glasses with yellow or amber lenses for night play.
Doesn't Get Scratched Easily: They should be tough, possibly double-coated.
Protects from Sun: They should stop as much of the UV rays from reaching your eyes.
Doesn't Fog Up: They shouldn't get cloudy when you play. Look for ones with aerodynamic shapes or sometimes even side ventilation holes.
Protects Your Eyes from Accidents: If the ball hit your glasses, they won't break.
Fits Well: They should feel comfy on your nose and ears, and not fall off while you play.
Lasts a Long Time: They should stay in durable, good shape even if you play a lot.
Pickleball Eyewear (for Night/Dark) FAQ
Why do I need special eyewear for pickleball at night?
Playing pickleball in low-light conditions makes it tough to track the ball flight.
Specialized eyewear with features like contrast-enhancing tint can help you see better. Most pickleball eyewear is ergonomic and will guard against a balls hitting your eye too, and will not flail or fall loose off your face because they are designed to fit snug.
[Guide: Highest Performing Pickleball Socks]
Why are yellow or amber lenses the best color for night play?
Yellow or amber-tinted lenses are preferred for night play because they enhance contrast and reduce glare. Basically, the ball is more illuminated for your vision.
This means you can spot the ball against any dark background more easily. These color lenses also help to mitigate the light from over-bright flood lights.
Do I still need UV protection for night pickleball?
Yes, you may as well. UV protection is always important and most pickleball protective eyewear these days have UV-coating built into the lenses.
While the sun may not be shining, artificial lighting can still emit some UV rays.
Can I wear regular sunglasses for night pickleball?
You can! But you run two main risks.
One is that regular sunglasses are typically designed for bright sunlight and can make it even harder to see in low-light conditions.
Two is they can be built for style and not athletic movement, and are prone to falling off.
Pickleball eyewear geared towards night/dark play is a very useful accessory if you ever play at night, or somewhere with a lot of shade.
You can keep it in your equipment bag and bring it out when the time comes. It's better to have it and not need it, than the other way around!
Take a look at the above suggested eyewear models that can have you both seeing better and looking better out on the pickleball court. You will not regret looking into a simple and efficient eyewear option that will improve your gameplay at night or in the dark.
Check out these related guides and articles for more info on a variety of topics, ranging from other eyewear options, to visors and hats, to nighttime routines.
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