If you’ve ever played tennis on a sunny day without a pair of sunglasses, then you’ve probably noticed how much sunlight limits your performance. It’s much harder to hit a tennis ball with the sun shining in your eyes. Playing tennis even if you wear a tennis hat, you may not be completely blocking light out because it may bounce off the tennis court surface right into your eyes.
Are tennis hats useless then?
No, but they can be inadequate. However, a pair of tennis sunglasses would allow you to fix this small weak point. If you are not worried about improving your singles or doubles game then consider protecting your eyes from the sun.
If tennis sunglasses are exactly what you are looking for, then our roundup of the 7 best tennis sunglasses that may have the right option for you.
7 Best Sunglasses For Tennis
1. Oakley Men’s Flak 2.0 XL Rectangular Sunglasses
Unlike R407, Oakley’s Flak 2.0 XL rectangular sunglasses are designed specifically for athletes and that is one reason they made our best sunglasses list. The two sunglass models have very similar features, but there are some notable differences between them.
The Oakley Flak sunglasses are advertised to deliver crisp vision at any angle thanks to the so-called High Definition Optics. Aside from that, the 2.0 sunglasses are promised to deliver good visibility via the PRIZM Lens technology. There are even many different lenses available. This tech enhances color and contrast to help you focus on details and keep the eyes on the ball easier. You will even be able see the fuzz on the tennis ball.
For added stability, the 2.0 XL sunglasses feature grippy earsocks and a bold nose bridge. Oakley jokingly claims that the 2.0 sunglasses nose pad is made from unobtanium (this word means “hypothetical highly desirable material”), maybe because they are made from some kind of proprietary material.
Notably, the lenses here are pretty big as well, so they should ensure good coverage without interfering with your field of view.
The Oakley Flak eye protection is solid in these pair of sunglasses as well, mainly thanks to the UV-resistant film that filters out all UV rays and harmful blue light at wavelengths up to 400mm.
The frame in these glasses is also durable – it’s lightweight, flexible, and is built to resist deformation and impact. However, we can’t say the same about the lens – they seem not to be scratch-resistant, so you would want to be very careful with them on the court.
Finally, what we also like about the polarized sunglasses is that they come in a variety of color options (some of them polarized), so you should be able to adapt them to your style. These sunglasses are great for any athlete, no matter if you are playing tennis or running, that is why they made our list of best tennis sunglasses.
2. Oakley Men’s Half Jacket 2.0 XL Rectangular Sunglasses
Second on our list for best sunglasses, the Half Jacket 2.0 XL rectangular sunglasses are based on the same formula as the Flak glasses, but they have a bit smaller lens than the Flak glasses. With this in mind, the Half Jacket pair might be a better suit for tennis players who don’t like the fit of larger frames and lenses. The Oakley Half Jacket are a great option and will help you keep your eye on the tennis ball.
These pair of sunglasses also don’t have PRIZM lenses, so they will probably deliver worse color, contrast, and low-light performance. Some lens options in the Oakley Half Jacket glasses are polarized though, so you will get glare reduction.
What’s important as well is that Half Jacket costs less than the Flak sunglasses, so they are a more pocket-friendly option.
Oakley also mentions that the lenses in Half Jacket can be swapped out. However, the lenses in the Flak glasses can be changed as well, even though Oakley doesn’t mention this in the product description.
Other than the differences indicated above, the two Oakley sunglasses are very similar. Both have High Definition Optics, a flexible and stress-resistant frame, as well as a grippy nose pad.
The third on our list for the best sunglasses are the Ho’okipa R407 sunglasses from Maui Jim are fashionable and designed they can work great for sports since they have all the essentials.
To ensure good visibility on the tennis court, the Ho’okipa R407 sunglasses employ anti-reflective and polarized lenses. The lenses help reduce glare by blocking reflected light. The sunglasses are UV-resistant as well, so they will protect your eyes from the harmful sun rays.
Notably, R407 glasses boast the Bi-Gradient Mirror technology to as if “squint” for you, reducing strain on the eyes. Plus, it enhances natural light to deliver more vivid and easily distinguishable colors.
The frame in the R407 sunglasses is also rimless, so they shouldn’t obstruct your view and should allow you to easily keep track of the ball with great peripheral vision.
In terms of durability, Ho’okipa R407 is great as well. They have scratch-resistant glass, waterproof and oleophobic coating, as well as a flexible impact- and heat-resistant frame. The are many features that put these sunglasses on our list for best sunglasses.
Needless to say, the price for all this beauty is quite high. But if you’re serious about your game, perhaps there is no better option than the R407 sunglasses.
4. Serengeti Maestrale Sunglasses
Serengeti’s Maestrale sunglasses employ a bunch of lens tech solutions to deliver excellent visibility.
So first of all, the Maestrale sunglasses have polarizing lenses that should keep your eyes strain-free and the vision clear. Making our list of best sunglasses, the lenses offer great style and protection.
This pair of sunglasses features things like Spectral Control and Photochromic technology to reduce harmful light, enhance detail, and allow the glasses to adapt to changing light conditions.
And perhaps most importantly for sports, the lenses in Maestrale are water-repellent and oleophobic, so they should repel water, debris, and fingerprints.
For durability, the Maestrale sunglasses boast the TR90 frame that is chemically-resistant, extremely flexible, and light. Thanks to their flexibility, these sunglasses should also conform to the wearer’s head shape easily.
Remarkably, these sunglasses also have adjustable pads and temple tips. Aside from that, the pads for your nose and temple tips allow for a snug fit, and they also are moisture-absorbing to keep the frame stay in place.
But what we don’t like about the Maestrale glasses is that they don’t seem to be scratch-resistant. So be very careful where you put them and be gentle with them if you decide to buy them.
5. Under Armour Igniter Sunglasses
If you are looking for relatively inexpensive sunglasses for tennis, then perhaps the Igniter glasses from Under Armour are right for you. The sunglasses Under Armour are not as feature-rich as pricey glasses, but they still have a few interesting things to offer and that is why it made our list for best sunglasses.
The first thing to note in this pair of sunglasses is their coverage. Notice how curved and wide they are – this should be perfect on the court since the frame and lens edges won’t be too distracting.
The lenses in the Igniter glasses are pretty decent as well – the poloarized lenses offer full UV protection against UV Rays, and some lens options are polarizing as well. However, they aren’t scratch-resistant, nor do they have any oil- or water-repelling capabilities.
In terms of fit though, the Sunglasses Under Armour Igniter glasses are pretty decent thanks to the grippy pads and the non-slip temple arms. These will certainly help your sunglasses stay in place.
And when it comes to durability, Igniter sunglasses are flexible and fairly tough, but they certainly aren’t the strongest on the list.
In the end, Under Armour’s Igniter sunglasses are a solid buy for the money, but they won’t allow you to reach the peak of your performance.
6. Bolle Bolt Sunglasses
Slightly higher-end than the Igniter sunglasses, the Bolt glasses from Bolle offer noticeably better visibility.
For the best results of the sunglasses bolle, we recommend that you go for the green oleophobic variant with anti-fog lenses. This Bolt model will offer optimal visibility on the court, and it also won’t fog up in humid conditions or from sweat.
The coverage in the Bolt sunglasses is pretty good – the glasses are curved and have wide lenses that should be able to cover most of your FOV. For added comfort, the Bolt glasses have adjustable anti-slip nose pads. This pair of sunglasses temple tips are also very grippy, and they together with the nose pad which has hydrophilic properties to maintain their grip even when wet.
In terms of durability, the Bolt sunglasses are fairly decent, but they offer nothing exceptional. The frame is light and flexible, so they should hold up pretty well on the court. The sunglasses Bolle lenses, although durable, aren’t scratch-resistant.
7. Vatter TR90 Youth Sport Sunglasses
What best sunglasses list would be complete without looking for sunglasses for kids. Finally, if you are looking for tennis sunglasses for your kid, then consider the Vatter TR90 sunglasses. These glasses are extremely inexpensive and are inferior to all the other glasses on our list, but they still have a few remarkable features to offer.
First up, the frame in the TR90 sport sunglasses is very flexible, so your kid shouldn’t be able to break them (whether accidentally or deliberately). It’s difficult to tell how the shape of the glasses will hold up in the long term, but this shouldn’t be that big of a problem since your kid will probably grow out of these glasses quickly.
For a secure fit that will allow the sunglasses to stay in place, the pair of sunglasses feature a grippy silicone frame and a lace in the rear. And for eye protection and good visibility, these sunglasses have polarized lenses with UV protection so you shouldn’t have to worry about UV Rays. The curved design of the TR90 glasses should ensure good coverage as well.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect much from these sunglasses. They are pretty toy-like and definitely not as good as serious sports sunglasses. However, given that your kid will likely outgrow them in the blink of an eye, it’s not a bad thing that these glasses are cheap. You also find affordable kids racquets too!
How To Choose Sunglasses For Tennis
It’s important to know what you need. Playing tennis is a fast-paced game and you want a pair of sunglasses that are comfortable and firm enough that they won’t fall off. Now, which sunglasses do you choose for your next game on the court?
To help you pick, let’s have a quick look at the things that matter in tennis sunglasses the most.
First, pay attention to the lenses. The quality of the lenses will have the biggest impact on how well you see the court.
Manufacturers of sunglasses employ a whole bunch of fancy tech tricks to improve their lenses. Among the most important things to look for are:
- Polarized lenses are designed to reduce the glare from surfaces. If your court is sunny, then this feature is a must-have since it can significantly improve your vision. Otherwise, you don’t really need polarized sunglasses.
- Contrast enhancement. Lenses with color enhancement highlight colors and textures. This may be especially helpful in low-light conditions when the court is difficult to see.
- Transition lenses. Transition lenses (also called photochromic lenses) darken when UV rays hit them. The more UV the lenses get, the darker they become, improving visibility on bright days.
Transition lenses typically have a colored base tint. The tint is an important subject as well, so we’ll talk about it next.
The lens tint, as just mentioned, is very important in sports.
For tennis, the best tint is green. Green tint reduces glare and filters out some blue light, reducing eye strain and improving visibility. Aside from that, green tints offer high contrast and details.
So if you can, buy tennis sunglasses with a green base tint. With that said, you may give other tints a try as well. You could consider the following tints:
- Gray. Gray tints reduce brightness and glare, as well as allow for accurate color perception.
- Yellow/orange. These tints increase contrast in low-light & foggy conditions. Yellow and orange tints tend to make objects sharper, but they also distort colors.
- Amber/brown. Like green tints, amber/brown tints reduce blue light, increase contrast, and enhance detail. These effects are especially visible against green and blue backgrounds, e.g. the sky or grass.
- Melanin tints are thought to protect the eyes from aging changes caused by sun exposure. This tint might also protect people who have macular degeneration.
- Rose/red. Like the other tints, these tints filter out the blue and thus increase contrast. Aside from that, rose & red tints can be soothing for the eyes and can reduce eye strain.
Visible light transmission
Visible light transmission (VLT) shows the percentage of light that is allowed to travel through the lenses. The lower the VLT, the darker the tint is.
For tennis, you don’t want much change in the visible light – eliminating glare from the tennis court is more important. So if you have polarizing glasses, they may have 70/80% VLT. If you go too low, the court may get too dark for you.
It would be great if your sunglasses had scratch-resistant lenses.
Glasses can be pretty easily be scratched on the tennis court or with regular use. Racket swings may get debris flying around, and these can and probably will scratch the lenses. Visible scratches on your sunglasses may significantly worsen your vision and thus performance.
The benefits of scratch resistance won’t be noticeable in late evenings or early mornings, but on bright days, it will make sure that your vision is not obstructed by anything.
Just like it is with your skin, UV protection for the eyes is a must on sunny days. To avoid any UV damage to your eyes, be sure to pick sunglasses that have 100% UV protection. Fortunately, sunglasses usually do protect you from UV rays, but you should check this feature just in case.
Just like your tennis overgrip on your racquet, you certainly don’t want your sunglasses to slide off during a hot moment in the game. A good pair of tennis sunglasses will be grippy enough to prevent this issue.
Look for sunglasses that have hydrophilic nose pieces and temples made from rubber or another similar material. Even if the glasses get moist during the game, the hydrophilic property of the material will keep them grippy.
Some sunglasses may also have laces for added stability, but most glasses don’t have this feature.
Good tennis sunglasses will cover as much of your eyes and face as possible. This is to ensure that the edge of the lenses and the frame doesn’t interfere with your field of vision and your tennis play.
There are two things to look for in sunglasses to ensure good coverage – lens shape and frame shape. For good coverage, look for sunglasses with larger lenses. You may also look for sunglasses that have interchangeable lenses so that you could easily replace them with bigger ones if necessary.
As for the frame, it will ideally wrap around your face to ensure good coverage of your field of view. Curved sunglasses are the best when it comes to the frame shape.
Aside from that, consider opting for semi-rimless sunglasses that don’t have a rim at the bottom of the lenses. Such sunglasses and lenses provide better visibility since the frame doesn’t obstruct your vision as much as regular glasses do.
Finally, think about the fit of your tennis sunglasses. You want something that is stylish that you can wear on the tennis court but you also want it to fit well and stay in place. When you play tennis, you will be moving back and forth a lot. And if the fit is poor, then the sunglasses could come flying off. It won't matter if you have an awesome racquet if your sunglasses keep falling off.
First and foremost, the glasses should have the right size for you. If the manufacturer provides a sizing chart, consult it to make sure that you pick the right glasses.
Aside from size, consider other headgear that you may be wearing. If you wear a tennis hat, then you would want to get sunglasses with straight temples.
That’s it for our roundup of the best tennis sunglasses.
We believe in quality tennis products, just like having a high-quality racket, we believe your sunglasses should be of high quality as well. We personally recommend that you choose the Maui Jim Ho’okipa R407 Sunglasses – these sunglasses have the edge over others because they are scratch-resistant. Aside from that, R407 sunglasses deliver great visibility, durability, and comfort.
If you’ve liked any of the other sunglasses on our list, then feel free to go for them. It doesn’t matter which of the seven glasses you go for – what matters more is that the selected sunglasses work for your tennis matches.