Eye Health and Pickleball

Millions of people have taken up pickleball, but few have considered the safety benefits of pickleball glasses. Beyond the sharper optics and reduced eye strain afforded by high-quality sunglasses, the right specs will also protect your eyes from environmental irritants, UV rays, and a scorching ball coming at your face. 

Here’s what to look for when it comes to choosing pickleball sunglasses.

Safety First

Rudy Project’s Propulse, Traylx+, and Astral sunglasses offer broad, curved lenses that cover your entire field of vision. Besides keeping your optics consistent from side to side, the wide lens also blocks distracting glare from entering through the sides of your lenses. It does the same for dust and debris. 

For eye health, the number one reason to wear sunglasses — or any glasses — is the UV radiation protection offered. Protection comes from a micro-thin coating on the lens that blocks damaging rays from reaching your eyes. Even intense outdoor lighting (think sports stadiums) can emit harmful UV rays. All of Rudy Project’s lenses come with 100% UV protection. Playing pickleball matches indoors and outdoors? No problem. Rudy Project’s photochromic ImpactX® lenses instantly change from clear to dark in direct sunlight, allowing you to wear one set of glasses for superior UV protection anywhere and anytime.

As the name implies, there’s more to ImpactX® lenses’ appeal than just featherweight UV protection. They also serve as a shatterproof barrier between the world and your fragile eyes. The lens is made from patented polyurethane optical polymers developed for military and aerospace applications, which means they’re more than ready to protect you from an overhand smash on the pickleball court.

Prescription? You're Covered.

You may not need to consider prescription sunglasses if you’re a pickleball player who wears contacts under your sunglasses. But if you have more than two vision corrections, you likely need to wear prescription glasses. And here’s where the beauty of Rudy Project’s ImpactX® photochromic lenses truly shines. Pickleballers, even those with progressive corrections, only need one pair of glasses to complete their pickleball gear collection. Even our prescription ImpactX lenses will turn clear for indoor and night-time play, then dark for outdoor matches under the bright sun. 

Our Top Lens Color Recommendations

Since pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors, you may be wondering which lens color to choose for the different lighting conditions. While any of our photochromic lenses will adjust when you go from outside to inside and back, we recommend two distinct lens colors based on where you’re playing.

If your match takes place on an outdoor court in bright conditions, our ImpactX 2 Laser Purple lenses can be dark enough to block out direct sunlight while still enhancing contrast and color saturation, both of which improve depth perception and make the ball “pop” against the background. 

Playing indoors or in low-light conditions? Go with our ImpactX 2 Red lens, as it offers the vibrant contrast and definition you need to see the court — and the ball — clearly, even without the bright sunlight. 

At first glance, pickleball may not look like a game where eye injuries happen. But as the sport continues to explode in popularity, it’s just a matter of time before stories of injuries become more common. With that in mind, keeping your eyes safe during play should be as important in your eyewear decisions as the quality of optics and lens color you choose.