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Best Shooting Glasses: See Better, Shoot Better [2023]



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Oh, eyeballs. Why are a pair of organs that are so, so important also so, so sensitive? 

Whatever the reason that Mother Nature decided to place this cruel trick on us, it’s important to safeguard your eyes while engaging in activities where they could become damaged, like shooting. 

Shooting glasses provide essential protection against not just impact and flying degree, but certain models even protect from UV rays. But with so many options available on the market, and plenty that don’t offer adequate protection, finding a good pair of protective shooting glasses can be daunting.

Fortunately for you, you’ve got us. In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing shooting glasses, then go into an in-depth look at each of our favorite pairs of shooting glasses currently on the market.

Choosing Shooting Glasses

When it comes to finding the best shooting glasses, there are several different factors to consider to make sure you’re choosing the best pair for you. Let’s take a look at what you need to consider to ensure that you’re making an informed decision when choosing your PPE.

Types

First and foremost, you'll encounter different types of glasses and goggles. Traditional glasses are probably what you’re more used to. They proved good coverage, are easy to take on and off as needed, and are generally relatively comfortable. 

Shooting goggles are an alternative option. They provide even more coverage, completely enclosing the eye area. This makes them great for keeping out dust and debris, which can blow around traditional shooting glasses. Goggles also offer a more secure fit.

Ballistic Rating

All of the shooting glasses we recommend here are ballistically rated. 

The best of the best are APEL (Authorized Protective Eyewear List) certified, meaning they’re approved for use by US military personnel. That means that they’ve been tested against military and law enforcement standards for fragmentation and high-speed impact. 

In contrast, regular hardware store safety glasses, while a popular choice for eye protection, are instead tested on ANSI standards, which are for industrial safety. That’s just fine for working with power tools in your garage but doesn’t guarantee adequate protection for shooting. 

However, just because a pair of safety glasses is marked ANSI and not APEL doesn’t mean they’re not adequate. If the glasses pass both ANSI testing and MIL-PRF 32432 Ballistic Fragmentation standards, they’ll do the job. Passing this pair of testing standards means that the glasses have met the standards to be APEL certified, but haven’t been put on the relatively short list for whatever reason. 

UV Protection

If you’ll be shooting outdoors, look for shooting glasses that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. Your eyes can actually get sunburnt, just like your skin, and if the idea of sunburned eyes isn’t horrifying enough to make you invest in UV protection, prolonged exposure to UV radiation can lead to long-term eye damage. In short, UV protection is a must. 

Lens Tint

You can get shooting glasses with lenses that are tinted to suit different environments and purposes. 

Clear or lightly tinted lenses are ideal for low-light conditions or indoor shooting ranges. Amber or yellow lenses enhance contrast and visibility in low-light environments, making it easier to spot targets. Darker tints, such as gray, green, or brown, are suitable for bright outdoor conditions, reducing glare and brightness. 

Regardless of the tint (or lack thereof) that you go with, polarized lenses are great for shooting in highly reflective environments like near water or snow, as they reduce glare and enhance visual clarity.

Prescription Compatibility

If you wear prescription eyewear, make sure to choose shooting glasses that are prescription compatible. Some brands offer prescription inserts that can be attached behind the lenses, while others allow direct fitting of prescription lenses into the frame. 

Check that the glasses can accommodate your specific prescription needs to ensure clear vision while shooting.

Lens Technology and Coatings

Lens technology and coatings can enhance your shooting experience. Look for glasses with anti-fog coatings to minimize fogging, especially during intense activities that cause sweating. 

Scratch-resistant coatings increase the durability of the lenses, protecting them from scratches and maintaining optimal optical clarity. 

Comfort & Fit

Comfort is key, especially during extended shooting sessions. Look for shooting glasses with lightweight frames that won't cause unnecessary strain on your face. Soft nose pads and adjustable temple arms allow for a customizable fit, ensuring comfort even during prolonged wear. 

A proper fit is crucial for both comfort and effectiveness. Seek out glasses with adjustable features like nose pads and temple arms. You want the glasses to fit securely on your face without slipping or causing discomfort. 

Some models even offer interchangeable lenses or adjustable frames, allowing you to customize the fit to suit your face shape and shooting conditions. Some companies even offer multiple fits so you can choose the one that best suits you.

Ventilation systems are also beneficial, as they help prevent fogging and keep your face cool during intense shooting activities.

Best Shooting Glasses

Wiley X Saber Advanced

Wiley X Saber Advanced glasses are a standout choice for shooters looking for durability and reliability. These glasses exceed military ballistic standards (MIL-PRF-32432) and offer ANSI Z87.1 impact resistance. The shatterproof lenses provide excellent protection against impact and are made from durable materials that can withstand harsh conditions. 

The adjustable temples ensure a secure and comfortable fit for different head sizes. With their sleek design and versatile functionality, Wiley X Saber Advanced shooting glasses are a top pick for shooters seeking high-performance eye protection.

Honeywell Howard Leight Genesis Sharp Shooter

Howard Leight Genesis Sharp Shooter glasses by Honeywell are known for their exceptional clarity and superior optics. The impact-resistant lenses provide reliable eye protection, while the adjustable nose piece allows for a customized fit. 

The lightweight frame offers comfort during long shooting sessions, and the wraparound design ensures full coverage and protection from debris. These shooting glasses strike a balance between performance and affordability, making them a popular choice among shooters. 

They’re also quite affordable, ringing up for less than $20 at most online retailers, making the Genesis Sharp Shooter glasses our favorite choice for shooters on a budget.

Oakley Radar EV Path

Oakley is synonymous with cutting-edge eyewear, and the Radar EV Path is no exception. These glasses offer enhanced peripheral vision and utilize Oakley's Prizm lens technology, which enhances color contrast and visual clarity, making it easier to track targets. 

The impact-resistant lenses meet ANSI Z87.1 standards, providing reliable protection against high-velocity impacts. The lightweight frame and adjustable nose pads ensure a comfortable and secure fit, even during intense shooting activities.

Magpul Radius

If you know Magpul, you know that they have an excellent reputation and that just about everything they manufacture is a winner. Magpul Radius shooting glasses are just another example of that trend.

Magpul Radius glasses prioritize comfort without compromising on protection. The ballistic-rated frame and impact-resistant lenses offer excellent durability and reliability. The adjustable nose pads and temple arms allow for a customizable fit, ensuring comfort during extended wear. The sleek and modern design adds a touch of style to the shooting experience. 

Gatorz Magnum

The Gatorz Magnum shooting glasses are designed to provide both comfort and exceptional eye protection. These glasses meet ANSI Z87.1 impact resistance standards, ensuring reliable defense against high-velocity impacts. 

The interchangeable lenses offer versatility in different lighting conditions, allowing shooters to adapt to varying environments. The wraparound frame design provides full coverage, shielding the eyes from debris and peripheral distractions. 

Smith Aegis Echo II

Smith Aegis Echo II glasses are renowned for their superior clarity and precise optics. These glasses meet ANSI Z87.1 and MIL-PRF-31013 military ballistic standards, ensuring reliable protection against impact. The lightweight frame, adjustable nose pads, and temple arms contribute to a comfortable and secure fit. 

The lenses provide excellent impact resistance while maintaining optical clarity. With its combination of performance and comfort, the Smith Aegis glasses are a top choice for shooters seeking exceptional visual acuity.

Parting Shots

So there you have it, folks! Armed with this detailed buyer's guide, you're now equipped to find the perfect pair of shooting glasses. Remember, protecting your eyes during shooting activities is absolutely crucial, and investing in high-quality eyewear will not only keep you safe but also enhance your shooting experience.

So, get out there, find your perfect pair of shooting glasses, and hit the range with confidence. Your eyes deserve the best protection possible, and by following this guide, you'll be well-prepared to make an informed decision.

Stay safe, have fun, and may your shots always hit the mark!

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