Playing tennis under the bright sun can be a challenging experience, especially for your eyes. The glare and UV rays can cause discomfort and even damage your vision in the long run.
That’s why investing in a good pair of tennis sunglasses is crucial for any player who wants to perform their best while protecting their eyes.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best tennis sunglasses of 2023 that offer improved eye protection, so you can stay focused on the game and enjoy optimal visual clarity on the court.
So, here is a list of highly recommended sunglasses that you can use for playing tennis!
Best Tennis Sunglasses in 2023
Oakley Men’s Mercenary Rectangular Glasses
It’s probably no surprise for everyone to have Oakley included in this list.
Sure, the Mercenary’s appearance may not be too reassuring since it seems to belong to a lifestyle more than the sporty life, but that’s not the case here!
Made entirely out of lasting and lightweight plastic, Mercenary’s lenses are no ordinary plastic lenses.
Plutonite Lens is one of Oakley’s prevailing signatures across the eyewear market.
This lens technology is constructed to be capable of handling high-mass and high-impact damages, which is perfect if you happen to have a tennis ball hurtling right at your face.
All of that while providing 100% protection against every UV ray out there up to 400 nm.
UVA, UVB, UVC, blue light—you name it!
However, be aware that this only has a Visual Light Transmission (VLT) of 30%, limiting the Mercenary to handle cloudy days or dusk because they have low to medium light conditions.
Despite this kind of light condition, you don’t have to worry about it hindering your performance because Oakley has another trick up its sleeve!
High Definition Optics (HDO) is another one of Oakley’s lens technology, and this time it gives you clarity and sharp vision from whatever angle you look at.
But don’t put it through the wringer so early, or else the nose piece might come off while you’re playing!
Bolle Bolt Sunglasses
The elegance you can see from the Bolle Bolt is nothing short of breathtaking.
And what’s more? Both men AND women can use it!
Enjoy one of Bolle’s classics on the court with its non-polarized lenses as it keeps your eyes sharp and redirects the sunlight from hitting your eyes due to the mirror coating the lenses have.
But don’t expose it for too long under the sunlight, though; it can’t handle extreme temperatures and would probably get damaged if you are outside on the court for hours.
In the meantime, you could test its anti-slip nose piece and be impressed by how stable it is on your face, especially after adjusting the nose pads.
You’ll see how far ahead Bolle’s been thinking when it included an anti-fog coating on the lenses in case the weather is a bit chilly, but you still want to play tennis outside!
On top of that, the entire Bolt is oleophobic! That way, it can repel the oil AND the water you excrete to have it stay on your face the whole game!
Under Armour Octane Wrap Sunglasses
From footwear to tight shirts, Under Armour had already broadened its sports apparel by the time it included eyewear in the fray!
As the only wrap-around sunglasses there are on the list, the UA Octane makes sure it maintains a snug fit around your head with the help of the UA AutoGrip temples.
Other than the purpose of security, the UA AutoGrip also welcomes comfort when the temples are made to be flexible and not too tight around your head!
However, while the temples are secured, the same can’t be said for the temple tips because they don’t have any grip.
Without the reassuring grip at the back of your ears, if you happen to bend down to pick something off the floor, the UA Octane might slip from your nose and fall off!
So the adjustable nose pad it has could be pointless in that line.
But, to keep it from getting all scratched up, Under Armour designed a dual-sided lens coating called UA STORM to add a layer of protection and make it easy to be cleaned up!
Speaking of lenses, UV protection is coated on polycarbonate lenses to protect them from harmful UV rays.
Nonexistent polarization maintains that high-definition quality and, with the help of another one of Under Armour’s lens technology- the UA TUNED- its contrast enhancement can help you keep track of the ball more precisely!
Tifosi Optics Track Sunglasses
Both men and women can go to Tifosi as it provides plenty of reasons for athletes like yourself to enjoy its features, making it one of the best sunglasses for playing tennis!
Tifosi’s built to handle anything you can throw at it when it combines a Grilamid TR-90 as its frame and polycarbonate lenses.
But why is that a big deal?
Well, Grilamid TR-90 is the nylon that’s known to be highly flexible and highly resistant to chemicals or UV exposure, and that’s without any protective coating!
On the other hand, polycarbonate lenses are proven to be shatterproof, and the material even has 100% UV protection integrated into it already, again, without any coating to be applied!
On top of all that, hydrophilic (or anti-slip) nose and earpieces will keep Tifosi Optics locked in place despite all the sweat pouring out of you.
Of course, despite all of its durability, you still need to tuck it aside for safekeeping like any other eyewear, which could be an issue in the case of Tifosi since they don’t come with a hard case.
Maxx Domain High-Definition Sunglasses
A slim, minimalistic design is something the ladies might enjoy once they give Maxx Domain a try!
Although it features only the basics, it does deliver well on its promises!
The frame should contour the shape of your face for a comfortable, lightweight fit that you could barely even feel once you’re playing.
To help you see both the court and your opponent, the lenses are coated with UV protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Now, for you to track that bright, yellow ball the entire time, the lenses are non-polarized to keep the glare away and ensure high definition.
Both the lenses and the frames are constructed from polycarbonate to be impact-resistant and shatterproof against nasty dives or accidental headshots from the ball.
However, given its low price, you might see that the concept is only ideal in terms of durability, at best.
Things to Consider Before Buying Tennis Sunglasses
UV Protection versus Polarized
These lens features can sometimes get confusing, especially when you only have a vague idea of what they’re for but not the specifics.
You could say that for UV protection and polarized lenses.
These two are usually paired together in sunglasses for sports or lifestyle only.
And usually, people would say that having these two together means your sunglasses is top-notch.
Well, that’s partly true.
Just because both features are seen together on most sunglasses doesn’t mean they’re dependent on one another.
Let’s go with UV protection first.
UV protection is just that- it protects you from ultraviolet light.
This light is constantly shining on us because it comes from the sun.
“If it’s so constant, then how come we don’t need to wear shades our entire lives?” A valid point, but we don’t precisely stare right at it every chance we get, so you can still repel the sunlight somehow, right?
No, what’s considered harmful – and I mean “life-threatening” levels of toxic – are the forms that make up the available UV rays, namely, UVA, UVB, and UVC.
Luckily for us, the first two are the more common UV rays because of the UVC. That’s where the “life-threatening” part comes in.
In that case, the UVB is what we have to look out for since it’s the source of many, many sunburns across the globe.
And, on top of that, your eyes can also go red and result in a ton of issues the longer you expose yourself to it! Eye cancer is one of them.
But because of the UV protection, all you have to worry about is putting sunblock all over your limbs now that your eyes are safe and accounted for.
On the other hand, the polarized lens is different, yet it’s still somewhat connected to V protection, where it serves to protect you from the sunlight, too!
This time, though, it focuses more on the glare from the light bouncing off reflective surfaces, like snow or water.
The reason behind this is for you to keep doing whatever it is you’re doing without being hindered by anything else AND to enhance the definition of whatever you’re seeing!
In fishing, water tends to refract sunlight a lot, preventing you from spotting any fish beneath the surface.
On snowboarding or skiing, a nice, sunny day can cause the snow to appear too bright, especially if it’s fresh powder.
However, on the court, there won’t be any glare.
There’s no water for the light to bounce from or snow to highlight even further.
It’s just you and your opponent with a net separating you two.
Sure, you might play outside, but all you’ll need is UV protection to keep your eyeballs from burning!
In other scenarios, having polarized lenses will bring loads of help to your performance.
However, as a tennis player, polarized lenses will only bring you more harm than good on the court, and lucky for you all of the sunglasses above are non-polarized!
Just Passing Through
Sunny days are both a gift and a nightmare when you’re outside.
The Gift- sunlight has that good, old Vitamin D, a natural way to get your blood pumping, and it does leave a toasty feeling on your being (especially if it’s the day after a rain shower or the first day of spring).
The Nightmare- a cocktail of skin issues and a guessing game of which eye problem you’ll get after being out for way too long.
Skincare’s a whole other matter entirely, but here you’ll know a bit more about what you can do to protect your eyes.
And the answer- Visible Light Transmission (VLT)!
Sometimes, you’ve probably noticed this little detail “Lens Category 3” on descriptions for the sunglasses you’re eying, but you don’t know what that means.
That’s it! That’s one of the categories under VLT!
First off, though, what IS VLT?
Visible Light Transmission measures how much light can be let through the lenses depending on the light condition you’re in.
So, there are four categories: S0, S1, S2, and S3.
Bright, sunny days fall under S3, so the light it can only allow is a VLT of 8% up to 18% for your eyes’ safety.
Then, cloudy days are for S2, partially cloudy ones for S1, and lastly, the S0 needs all the light you can get to see correctly, so it has a staggering VLT of 80% up to 99%.
S3 seems to be the safe spot to have for your tennis sunglasses.
Since tennis is one of those sports that require you to dive for the ball a few times to keep up, durability is a must-have for your sunglasses.
There are only a few rough landings your shades can take before they could snap under all that wear.
That’s why plastic is the way to be regarding durability.
Now, combine this with hydrophilic rubber on the frame, and it will only leave your face when you take it off, that’s for sure!
In conclusion, the right pair of tennis sunglasses can make all the difference in your game, helping you stay comfortable and focused even under the brightest sun.
The Best tennis sunglasses of 2023 that we’ve discussed in this article offer exceptional eye protection and a range of features that cater to the specific needs of tennis players.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, investing in a quality pair of sunglasses is an investment in your vision and your game. So, choose the best pair that fits your style and enjoy improved visual clarity on the court.