When you are searching for the best baseball sunglasses don’t just focus on looks alone! You want a pair that gives you a combination of look, feel and performance on the field.
So what makes a pair of sunglasses great for the sport of baseball?
The #1 thing you should be aware of is how the lens is going to effect your vision. For many manufacturers, they don’t have to worry about their buyers tracking down a fly ball or having to hit a 91 MPH fastball!
You want to find a combination of glare reduction, contrast and enhanced visibility.
Let’s take a look at our top picks!
No sunglasses brand is more synonymous with baseball than Oakley.
Back in the day if you didn’t wear Oakleys, you didn’t wear sunglasses at all! I remember getting my first pair and feeling like my game had just improved by about 10,000% just by putting them on!
In all seriousness, Oakley has been producing great frames for ball players for as long as I can remember. They understand the difference between glasses that need to perform on the field and your everyday leisure pair of sunglasses.
The Radar EV is another model that you just can’t go wrong with.
EV stands for “extended vision.” These glasses were designed for a taller profile than the RadarLock which is a benefit on the field.
You won’t experience any gaps or blindspots with lens extending past the frame.
The lenses have two designs, Path or Pitch. The Path is cut a little slimmer and isn’t quite as tall as the Pitch.
What is great about the nose and earpieces on the Radar EV is the anti-slip Unobtainium actually increases grip as you sweat!
As with a lot of Oakley’s sport models the lenses are interchangeable and can be switched out in a matter of seconds.
I know this is another pair of Oakleys and they are similar to the Radar EV. So why rate them 1 and 2?
Because they are simply the best sunglasses for the field. I’ve owned 5 different pairs over the years and each one I liked better than the last.
Oakley Radarlocks are a more classic design and reminds me when I got my first pair of M-Frames.
If you like a smaller profile with plenty of vision coverage you might want to take a look at these.
What I like about a lot of the Oakleys is the lack of blind spots. Most of their sport designs are semi-frameless so you don’t run into problems as you look to the edge of the lens.
This is obviously something that you need to be aware of when choosing your next pair.
Marucci as a company has always kind of been “by the player, for the player.” I’ve always liked this approach because it seems like they can understand the needs of a player better than anyone else.
They recently released their line of “on the field” sunglasses with the MV436 being part of that signature line.
The MV108 is the other model and is a great pair as well. The main difference is the smaller nose piece in the MV436 which we like for additional field of vision.
Their lenses use Ri-Pel technology which provides protection from dirt, sweat, rain and other elements to maintain clear vision.
Because perception is so important, Marucci does not offer polarized lenses for the on the field line. I discuss why in the bottom of this article but a lot of players report distorted vision when using polarized lenses.
These sunglasses fit nicely under the bill of a hat and are not going to have a big bulky feeling on your face.
Ever since they signed Bryce Harper to a massive endorsement, Under Armour has been producing better and better baseball equipment.
These Octane Tuned sunglasses are a great fit for on the field wear.
The ArmourSight Tuned lenses increase contrast for maximum tracking ability.
The Autogrip temples conform to your head without causing a ton of squeeze. The The Point Grip ensures that they stay secured even if you are sprinting to track down a flyball!
The Nike Hyperforce Elite is a great pair of sunglasses designed by Nike Vision. You may have seen Giancarlo Stanton rocking them on the field (when he’s not hurt).
They include the one piece Max Vision lens which provides an uninterrupted line of sight. This lens is easily interchangeable on the frame.
Once again these glasses will fit seamlessly under your hat and will stay secure on your face at the plate or in the field.
I don’t LOVE this design but it’s should be more about functionality when it comes to choosing the right pair.
What to look for in a pair of sunglasses
I’ll be honest.
I was not a fan of wearing sunglasses when I was playing. I felt like they distorted the image a bit and sometimes I had a hard time tracking the ball.
This wasn’t a big deal until I signed a professional contract.
The organization I played for made it mandatory to wear sunglasses if they felt the sun would be an issue on a pop fly.
If we opted not to wear them and lost a fly ball in the sun we had to pay a $200 fine. Not a chance I was willing to take!
Remember that you are going to be wearing a hat with these glasses on. Big bulky lenses often get in the way and push the bill up on your head.
May sure you wear a hat if you are trying on a few pairs so you will get a true representation of how they will feel on the field.
There is nothing more alloying that your hat not fitting the way you like it because your sunglasses are getting in the way.
Also, some people will wear the earpiece over their hat and some like it to go under. If you prefer it to slide under your hat you will need to opt for a slimmer design.
Be aware that although you may be wearing sunglasses to shade against the sun, you still need to be able to track the baseball!
Some lenses are way too dark and it can cause issues when you are trying to pick up the ball off the bat or track down a fly ball.
If there are shadows on the field things can potentially get even worse. Here is a quick breakdown of lens colors/tints that are best in certain conditions.
- Gray – This is your classic lens color. Great for sunny days but don’t go too tinted!
- Amber/Brown – These lenses are great for blocking blue light. They are effective during cloudy days and can help you identify the ball against a dark sky or backdrop.
- Yellow – These lenses block UV rays but don’t actually darken your vision.
- Green – This color allows for true color recognition
- Red/Blue – These colors don’t add much benefit and are usually more for looks than anything.
- Mirrored – Mirrored lenses don’t have any specific benefit… but they look sick.
A lot of frames you can switch out lenses fairly easily. I had a set of gray lenses that I used during sunny days. When it was cloudy or dark I would switch them out with my auburn lenses in a few seconds!
Once again, being able to see is of utmost importance in the game of baseball! Be sure you choose a frame that doesn’t block your field of vision.
Check out frames with a thinner profile and a nose piece that isn’t big a bulky. Make sure you test out your peripheral vision when trying on different pairs.
Polarized or not?
Whether you choose polarized lenses or is really a personal choice. I didn’t like them because I felt like it messed with my depth perception.
While intended to reduce glare, polarization will flatten out your field of vision which can make it difficult to track the ball or pick up spin. This could potentially be a major issue that impacts performance.
I wouldn’t recommend it myself as a little bit of glare is better than distorted vision.
When trying to pick the best baseball sunglasses keep in mind the main focus should be that they help you on the field.
There are a TON of sunglasses out there, but many of them will actually make it more difficult to play the game of baseball.
You must be able to track the ball and be able to maintain depth perception. If you choose to hit with them make sure the lenses don’t interfere with your ability to recognize spin!
Have you worn a different brand that you feel performs really well out on the field? Let us know what pair we should add to this list!