Who doesn't love to play a game on a sunny day? Well you can love or hate the sun when playing. Because how annoying is it when you miss the catch because of the sun glare in your eyes? You can help this issue with some baseball / softball sunglasses. It doesn't just look awesome but the view that you'll get is also awesome! By reading this guide you'll know what to look for when you want to buy new sunglasses.
When the sun is breaking through again on the diamond, it makes it harder to catch those fly balls in the back of the field. Just like the rain and hard wind, the sun can be a big influence on the game as well.
To fight back against the sun and to keep your focus on the ball, a good pair of sunglasses are essential in those game-changing catches. Sunglasses are made from lightweight and durable materials to withstand pressure throughout the whole season. So before buying just a random pair of sunglasses, try on a few of them. They all have a different fit or lens color or are made out of different materials. So pick the one that fits you best with the right color and material structure.
The right fit
The main reason you can’t wear a daily pair of sunglasses is because they won’t stay on while playing baseball or softball. Athletic sunglasses should stay in place all the time while playing the game or while practicing. This allows the player to move around freely during the game without adjusting the glasses all the time. That’s why athletic sunglasses use silicone nose and temple pads. These materials provide grip to stay on the requested location on the nose and provide enough comfort for the player. A second option to go for is a pair of sunglasses with wraparound arms that go all the way around your head.
When it comes to frames, there are two rating systems that are very popular and important.
The first one is ASTM, which stands for American Society of Testing and Materials. The second rating system is ANSI, which is an abbreviation from American National Standards Institute. Both of these systems are approved by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma.
The ASTM Standard deals just with the athletic eyewear. Sunglasses that meet this standard will be the safest pairs of sunglasses regarding impact resistance.
ANSI standard focusses more on the safety side instead of the athletic side. The safety ratings will be higher than any other glasses but the high velocity impact might be less. These could do the trick but the ASTM standard is more suited for the athletic parts.
Before choosing the frame design you have to make a decision about your field of view. Seeing the full field will also help to get your maximum potential. So going for a pair of sunglasses with thick lens rims or bulky arms or frame is not very smart. Look for a slim design, rimless or half-rim design. These allow the player a larger field of view.
When choosing a material for your pair of glasses, an often chosen material is polycarbonate. The material is as lightweight as it can be and very durable. It is designed to withstand a lot of basic impacts which are common on the field. You could also go for plastic or some type of metal, but these are less durable and can also offer a less protection to the player.
If you are not really a sunglass guy or girl or don’t like all of the frames. Try to go for a flip-up sunglass design. When you’re not really feeling it you can flip up the lenses, creating a bigger field of view.
The lenses of the sunglasses are just as important as the frame. The frame is responsible for the fit, the lenses are responsible for the protection. Lenses that block 99 to a 100 percent of UV Rays is what you want to look for during those sunny days.
Try to go for polycarbonate lenses as well, as this is the strongest and most durable material. The lenses meet the ASTM standard, the one mentioned above. The only thing you need to make sure is that the lenses are at least 3 millimeters in thickness.
There are two options in different lenses. The first option is a shield (one singular lens), the second option is sport (two lenses). Both of these have a different fit that suit your face shape.
Different color lenses
All of these colors actually do have a purpose, it’s not just the cool looks on the diamond. Different color lenses are also best for different conditions. There for you need to know what color suits your needs best. If you can’t make the decision which lens is right for you, there are also brands that make sunglasses with interchangeable lenses so you can easily switch colors. Below you can find the colors and their unique benefit.
Clear lenses make sure your field of vision and the clarity will not be compromised. However, these clear lenses don’t have any shading factor. Therefore you can use these for night games.
Gray lenses often reduce the overall brightness from the sun or lights. These are perfect for a sunny day. To check if you have got the right tint of gray, try to see if can still pick up images in the shadows. If this is not possible, go for a lighter tint of gray.
This color of lenses are gaining popularity because of the high rate of blocking blue light. Blue light is also know as High Energy Visible Radiation. The color of these lenses can also brighten your vision in cloudy weather conditions. They can also add more contrast, which makes it easier to spot far fly balls against the dark sky.
A yellow lens will maintain the same vision while blocking out UV rays for the player. This will fight the glare coming from the light masts around the field. The yellow color might affect the clarity in the vision.
The green lenses filter out blue tints in the field of vision. It adds contrast and reduces glare from light masts. A green lens is the perfect color on sunny days. It keeps balance in the color which reduces strain on the eyes.
Red and blue colored lenses do not offer any other kind of protection. These colors are mostly to look cool on the field
Mirrored lenses are similar to the red and blue lenses. They do not offer any other kind of protection and are mainly to look cool. The mirrored lenses are unique in their kind, that is why players enjoy these. Make sure that these do not affect your vision.
Each lens color has its own benefit, just like each coating does. These coatings help to improve the performance of your pair of sunglasses.
So you’ve got a coating which is water- and oil repellant which keeps the lens sweat drop-free and smudge free. The next one is a contrast coating which adds contrast to the lens. This makes it easier for the player to spot a ball against the dark sky. To reduce the glare coming from the stadium lights above, you can use an anti-reflection coating on the lens. This one is ideal for players who play night games most of the time.
At last, there is a coating suited for photochromic lenses. This coating adjusts the tints of different levels of sunlight that a player will be facing throughout the game. So it will never be to bright or to dark.
Prescription and polarization
After all this information about the lenses, we are still not done. After choosing the lens color that benefits you the most, you can also choose to go for polarized lenses. These protect you more from light that comes from different angles. Polarized lenses are a good option to go for, but these might affect your depth perception. So weigh the pros and the cons and see if you really want these.
If these are interesting for you, you’ll have to make sure that the polarization is mixed into the lens material or in-between the layers of the lens for the best result.
If you wear prescription glasses a lot, you might want to take these into your sunglasses as well. Some of the frames allow to put in prescription lenses. Most of the time these are special-order items. Make sure to check the possibilities with your optometrist.
Athletic sunglasses often start at €15,- and can go all the way up to €200,-. High-end models that offer more protection in a different type of way can cost more than other models. But if you treat your sunglasses the same way as your glove and bat, it is for sure worth the money. A quality pair of sunglasses is made to last multiple seasons, and when you handle these with care they might even last longer.
The right pair of sunglasses with the right fit can even help you boost your performance during sunny days. So find and collect the pair you feel the most comfortable with and be ready to make those game-winning plays while looking fresh.