How to Choose the Right Sunglasses for Tennis

Bryan Brothers Playing Tennis In RIA Eyewear

Everything you do on the tennis court depends on how well you see. Your vision affects your ability to anticipate, read the ball, set up in position, time your swing, and make clean contact. While most tennis players focus on their racquets, shoes, and apparel, one crucial accessory often gets overlooked: sunglasses. The right sunglasses can be a game-changer on the tennis court, offering performance and the proper protection for your eyes.

Court sports demand a different level of attention to design and functionality. Although some companies claim to have sunglasses for tennis, they are really nothing more than your average sunglasses with a generic lens tint and a frame repurposed from a different sport. In short, they are not specific to the needs of a tennis player. That’s why we put together a comprehensive list of the features that are must-haves for anyone serious about finding the perfect sunglasses for the court.

Wearing the best tennis sunglasses will help you play your best every point, every game, every set, every match. Let’s break down the features to look for in your next pair of tennis player’s 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 tennis sunglasses can be a game-changer in how you see the court.

A lens tint in the brown-amber family provides the best contrast of yellow, making it the optimal performance lens tint choice for the court. Given 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.

Tennis Sunglasses with UV Protection

UV Protection

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 the best tennis 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 lenses, are 100% UVA/B protective.

Tennis Sunglasses: Polarized or Not?

We are often asked, “Are polarized sunglasses good for tennis?” The question of “polarized vs. non-polarized” is not as simple as “expensive vs. cheap.” There is a reason why non-polarized sunglasses are preferable for tennis. 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 tennis compared to being on the water or skiing. The mechanism in polarized filters that cuts glare down also flattens the image that you see, cutting down on depth perception and making it more difficult to optimally time your movement and swing. This is why non-polarized lenses make for the best sunglasses for tennis and why all our current court lenses are non-polarized.

High-Quality Lenses

Tennis is a fast-paced sport where every millisecond counts. Using cheap, low-quality lenses can come with the unfortunate disadvantage of distortion. This is when you see objects and images shifted slightly from where they should be. 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. However, there are significant benefits to cutting down on the High-Energy Visible (HEV) light coming from the sun's rays when playing tennis 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 sunglasses. As the body heats up and releases heat, the lenses of your sunglasses trap that heat in and condense it, causing them to “fog.” It’s even more likely to occur in humid weather. A quality anti-fog coating is necessary to prevent this condensation. Some 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.


“John Isner holds the ATP's official record for the fastest serve at 253 km/h (157.2 mph)” ( Why is this relevant? Because if you were to get hit in the eye with a tennis ball moving anywhere close to you, then you’d better hope your sunglasses 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 providing the best protective eyewear for tennis by building our tennis lenses from shatterproof materials that will keep your eyes safe.

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. You should opt for a wraparound design that provides 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. Most of our tennis sunglasses are high-wrap (Model One, Vantage and Reflex), but even our hybrid performance lines (Forte, Nova, and Response) offer a more wrapped design than your everyday sunglasses.

Tennis players need sunglasses that are both lightweight and durable. Heavy frames can be uncomfortable during extended matches while flimsy frames may not withstand the rigors of the game. Nylon is a lightweight yet sturdy material, making it the preferred material for tennis sunglasses. We use nylon exclusively in all our performance frames.

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 tennis 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.


Sunglasses are not just a fashion statement on the tennis court; they are a vital tool to enhance your game and protect your eyes. When choosing sunglasses for tennis, prioritize the right lens tints and features in conjunction with functional frame design and materials. Investing in the best sunglasses for outdoor tennis can make a noticeable difference in your performance and overall enjoyment of the game. Gear up with the perfect pair of sunglasses from RIA Eyewear and start seeing the game in high definition.


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