How To Choose The Right Pickleball Sunglasses & Eyewear

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Optimal vision is essential on the pickleball court. Your ability to anticipate, read the ball, set up in position, time your swing, and make clean contact all require great vision. And while most pickleball players focus on their racquets, shoes, and apparel, one crucial accessory often gets overlooked: eyewear. The right pickleball safety glasses and sunglasses can be a game-changer on the court, offering both performance enhancement and the proper protection for your eyes.

When choosing the best glasses for pickleball, there are a lot of considerations, not the least of which is whether you’ll be playing indoors or outdoors. Let’s break down the features to look for in the right pair of pickleball sunglasses and why it matters.

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Lens Tint

The color of your lenses can seem like a choice that is made more on fashion than functionality — but the reality is that different colors help filter light differently. Some shades can enhance the colors you see while others simply darken the environment without changing color perception. Choosing the best lens color for pickleball can be a game-changer in how you see the court.

What tint you should wear depends on where you’ll be playing. For indoor pickleball, you need a lens that will optimize your visibility under artificial lighting. In most cases, the best lens color for indoor pickleball is a clear lens. We developed our Clear HD+ lenses with anti-glare coatings to reduce glare while offering excellent clarity. If you’re playing underneath particularly bright or harsh lights, a light orange tint such as our Hybrid Orange HD+ lenses will help soften the glow and provide a subtle contrast boost.

The best sunglasses for outdoor pickleball should have a tint that combats sunlight yet maintains visibility under cloud cover. A tint in the brown-amber family provides the best contrast of yellow, making it the optimal choice for a performance lens tint for the court. With this increased contrast, a brown-amber lens can be effective in both bright sun conditions and mixed/overcast conditions compared to gray, green, and blue lenses, which typically become too dark if the sun ducks behind the clouds. In collaboration with ZEISS, our R&D team built our proprietary brown-amber tint Court HD+, which is tuned specifically to give the best contrast possible on the court without making the environment too dark should clouds roll in.


The world record for a pickleball serve is held by Tyson McGuffin at 141 km/h (87.6 mph) (via The Pickleball). Even a typical pickleball serve of around 40 mph can come up fast on less experienced players — not to mention there’s the possibility of an errant shot catching you off-guard.

This is all to say that, if you were to get hit in the eye with a pickleball ball, then you better hope your glasses are impact-resistant. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), “Nearly 30,000 sports-related eye injuries are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. The good news is that 90% of serious eye injuries could be prevented by wearing appropriate protective eyewear.” Your eye health matters and you should buy the equipment that keeps you best protected.

At RIA, we focus on building our pickleball lenses from shatterproof materials that will keep your eyes safe. Our polycarbonate lenses are five times more impact-resistant than traditional polycarbonate. Furthermore, our Reflex frames are ASTM 3164-certified for the most advanced impact protection when playing racquet sports. As the Official Protective Eyewear of USA Pickleball, our mission will always be to keep players’ eyes safe on the court.

Non-Polarized Lenses

Outdoor pickleball players must also choose between polarized and non-polarized lenses. “Polarized vs. non-polarized” is not as simple as “expensive vs. cheap.” There is a reason why non-polarized sunglasses are preferable for pickleball. If you want sunglasses that allow you to maintain optimal depth perception to time your movement and swing, then non-polarized sunglasses are what you need.

Polarized filters are constructed to cut down on reflected glare, something that is rarely an issue when playing pickleball compared to being on the water or skiing. The mechanism in polarized filters that blocks horizontal glare also flattens the image you see, cutting down on depth perception and making it more difficult to time your movement and swing optimally. This is why non-polarized lenses are the best option for court performance and why all our current court lenses are non-polarized. Instead, we apply an anti-glare coating, which reduces glare without the depth perception effects of polarized sunglasses.

UV Protection

Although UV protection is not an issue for indoor play, the best sunglasses for pickleball should always have UV blocking. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can lead to serious health issues, including sunburn of the eyes, cataracts, macular degeneration and cancer.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the most important thing to look for when buying sunglasses is to ensure they have 100% UVA and UVB protection. Poor quality lenses that do not block UV rays damage the eye even worse than not wearing sunglasses, as the eyes are dilated due to the shading of the tint and thus allow more rays to hit the pupil. UV protection is simply a must-have for pickleball sunglasses given how much time is spent outside by players of these sports. All of the lenses that we use at RIA, including our clear indoor lenses, are 100% UVA/B protective.

High-Quality Lenses

Pickleball is a fast-paced sport where every millisecond counts. Using cheap, low-quality lenses can come with the unfortunate disadvantage of distortion, which is you see objects slightly out of place from their actual location and movement. Distortion of the lens can lead to a host of performance issues, ranging from mistiming the ball to even causing nausea or dizziness. Distortion is particularly prevalent in high-wrap sunglasses if the lenses are not made by a high-quality manufacturer. That’s why we partnered with ZEISS to ensure that even our highest-wrap styles provide zero distortion for the highest-performing, and most comfortable, visual experience possible.

HEV Light Blocking

Most conversations around blue-light blocking revolve around computer screens, but there are significant benefits to cutting down on the High-Energy Visible (HEV) light coming from the sun's rays when playing pickleball outdoors. HEV light, the harshest blue light on the visible light spectrum, can cause eye strain, discomfort, and fatigue from prolonged exposure. Further, it can contribute to skin damage and premature aging. Our Court HD+ technology blocks over 90% of HEV light, while still letting in the lighter end of the blue light spectrum to maintain a high-contrast visual experience (blocking all blue light causes a “washed-out” effect).


Fogging and eyewear is a tale as old as time, especially with sports glasses. As the body heats up and releases heat, the lenses of your glasses trap that heat in and condense it, causing them to “fog.” Some anti-fog coatings are better than others and you get what you pay for. At RIA Eyewear, we utilize ZEISS’s premium anti-fog technology, a chemically bonded coating applied to both sides of the lens before it is cut, ensuring longevity and the ability to withstand heavy use.

Frame Design

Now that you’ve settled on the right lenses, it’s time to understand how to pick the frame they should be housed in. A wraparound design such as our Reflex frames will provide better coverage and peripheral vision, minimizing the risk of sun and glare coming in from the sides. The wraparound design also ensures your sunglasses stay in place, even during rapid movements on the court.

We usually recommend the Reflex frame lineup for pickleball because of its impact resistance. Our next recommendations are the Model One pickleball sunglasses and the Vantage series, both high-wrap frame styles. Even our hybrid performance lines (Forte, Nova, and Response) offer a more wrapped design than your everyday sunglasses.

Pickleball players need eyewear that is both lightweight and durable. Heavy frames can be uncomfortable during extended matches while flimsy frames may not withstand the rigors of the game. The frames of all of our pickleball glasses are made from TR90 (nylon), a lightweight yet durable material that is the most advanced option available in the sports eyewear world.

Lastly, some sunglasses come with interchangeable lenses, allowing you to switch between different lens colors to adapt to varying light conditions. This versatility is especially useful if you play pickleball indoors and outdoors, at different times of the day or in different weather conditions. If you need interchangeable lens capabilities, check out our Model One, Reflex and Vantage lines and their various interchangeable lens options for different lighting conditions.


Wearing the best glasses for indoor pickleball and outdoor pickleball is a vital tool to enhance your game and protect your eyes. When choosing eyewear and sunglasses for pickleball, prioritize impact resistance and the right lens tints in conjunction with functional frame design and materials. Investing in the right pair of pickleball sunglasses can make a noticeable difference in your performance and overall enjoyment of the game. Gear up with the best eyewear for pickleball and start seeing the game in high definition.


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