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Prescription Baseball & Softball Sunglasses & Lens Tint Guide

When starting to look for a pair of prescription sunglasses for baseball & softball there is so many frames and lens options out there that the process can become overwhelming if you are unsure of what you are looking for.   In our Prescription Baseball & softball Sunglasses & Lens Tint Guide we’ve done our best to simplify the information on baseball & softball sunglasses and lenses technology along with frame choice, lens tints, lens materials, and lens choices from progressives, to transitions, to polarchromic.  Whether you’re pitching on full sun day, catching a fly ball at a night game, or batting in overcast conditions having the right prescription sunglasses and lens tint will have a major impact on your visual clarity and overall performance. Below we’ve broken down the essential things to look for when selecting the correct lens tints for the type of conditions you’re playing in, and the frame that will best fit your needs.

When it comes to baseball & softball outside of your mitt, bat, and ball the right pair of prescription sunglasses is arguably one of the most important pieces of gear for the game.  Not only does the right pair of Rx prescription sunglasses allow you to see the ball and movement of the game, they also provide the option for increased contrast, changing visible light transmission as the light conditions change, or the ability to cut out harsh glare in bright, full sunlight conditions.  Investing in a new pair of prescription sport sunglasses for baseball & softball can be a daunting and overwhelming task with the large variety of frame styles and lens tints that are available.  However, it can also improve your overall performance and enjoyment of the game if you are able to find the right sunglasses and lenses for the conditions you play in.  If you are looking for a pair of prescription sunglasses for baseball & softball here are a few key factors to consider:

Polarization for Baseball & Softball: Polarized prescription lenses are highly recommended for any activity where light can reflect off of surfaces and cause glare. Polarized Rx lenses are a great option for baseball & softball because they will greatly reduce glare from objects in the stands, so instead of seeing the light reflected back into your eyes it is filtered out and clarifies your vision. Polarized lenses are ideal for getting the clearest view possible as well as typically providing the darkest lenses. 

Light conditions for Baseball & Softball: Whether you are playing a baseball & softball game in the middle of the day in full sunlight, an evening game in and out of shadows, or a night game it is important to consider your light conditions when selecting a lens tint.  Baseball & softball is played in a variety of light conditions but because sunglasses are generally worn in baseball & softball on sunny days a grey based lens is typically the best option.  A grey based lens lets you see true color and will also cut out harsh glare and offer superior visual clarity in bright, full sunlight conditions.  Grey base lenses will darken the environment without making it high contrast, which the eye translates as light.  A grey based lens will be ideal for bright conditions and all day wear as it will put less stress on the eye by dulling the light that is transmitted.  Due to the nature of the sport when playing baseball & softball in full sunlight conditions there will be times when you may have to look directly into the sun for balls, in which case you would want the darkest lens option for the intense lighting.

If you are playing baseball & softball in the late afternoon a brown, copper, rose, or amber base lens would be ideal. These are all going to be high contrast lenses that help to improve depth perception when in shadows.  Late afternoon and early evening games can have shadows that are cast on certain parts of the field from lights or bleachers.  When you are in the shadows a high contrast lens will make it seem not as dark as a grey base lens would.

Transition, Polarchromic, and Photochromic for Baseball & Softball:  In addition, if you are playing baseball & softball in low light conditions such as the early evening you may want to consider a polarchromic or photochromic prescription lens that will automatically shift the lens tint by either increasing or decreasing the Visible Light Transmission, meaning your lens will automatically get darker as the sun gets brighter and as the sun goes down your lenses will automatically lighten. 

Glass vs Polycarbonate for Baseball & Softball:  Lens material is often times a personal choice but when it comes to baseball & softball you will always want a polycarbonate or trivex lens.  A polycarbonate or trivex lens will be lighter and shatter proof than a glass lens. Since in baseball & softball there is the risk of being hit in the eye with the ball you would never want a glass lens as it can shatter.  A trivex lens will be thicker than polycarbonate but lighter and more durable.

Progressive Sunglasses for Baseball & Softball: Progressive lenses are typically not recommended for baseball & softball or softball as there is no need for a reading addition in either sport.  Progressive lenses are essentially lineless bifocals that gradually change from your distance prescription to your add power. 

Recommended Prescription Sunglasses for Baseball & Softball:

When it comes to selecting a frame a lot of it will come down to personal preference.  One of the things you’ll want to make sure of with any frame you select for Baseball & softball is that it’s a wrap sunglass that provides full peripheral coverage from the sun and elements.  You may also want to consider a frame that has sport performance features such as Oakley’s Hydrophilic Unobtainium or Kaenon’s Hydrophilic Variflex rubber nose and temple pads which increase the grip of the frame as you perspire to prevent the frame from sliding down your nose.  Most baseball & softball players prefer a semi-rimless sunglass so that their vision isn’t obstructed and that perspiration doesn’t pool in the lower rim of the frame. 

Recommended baseball & softball Rx sunglasses from Oakley, Bolle, and Kaenon:

Oakley Baseball & Softball Semi-rimless Prescription Sunglass Recommendations:

Oakley Radarlock and Radar Prescription Sunglasses: These two styles are one of the most popular sunglass frames for baseball & softball. The single shield lens offers full face coverage keeping the sun completely blocked out from entering the sides, for this reason these frames are often the preferred sunglasses for major league players.  The Oakley Radar is available in prescription in three different lens shapes the Edge, Pitch, and Path while the Radarlock is also available in the same three lens shapes.  However, the Radarlock prescription sunglasses are also available in 2 additional frame shapes the Radarlock XL and the Radarlock XL Straight.  Below are the difference between the lenses and frame options:

Oakley Radar Edge Prescription Sunglasses:  The Edge lens is going to be the smallest lens option available in the Radar.  Not only is the lens the smallest it will also have shorter temples and a smaller bridge than the Radar Pitch and Radar Path. These features make it ideal for women or for small or narrow faces as well.

Oakley Radar Pitch Prescription Sunglasses: The Pitch lens is going to be the largest of the Radar lenses and the recommended lens shape for baseball & softball as it offers the most coverage.

Oakley Radar Path Prescription Sunglasses: The Path lens is going to be smaller than the Pitch but larger than the Edge lenses.  The Path also features a scalloped edge on the bottom of the lens so that the lenses do not rest on your cheeks.

Oakley Radarlock Edge Prescription Sunglasses: The Radarlock Edge, like the Radar Edge, will have shorter temples and a smaller bridge the rest of the Radarlock collection.  This is traditionally seen as a women’s frame but will also work for small and narrow faces.  The Radarlock Edge feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock is recommended for baseball & softball players that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock Pitch Prescription Sunglasses: The Radarlock Pitch, like the Radar Pitch, is going to be the recommended lens for baseball & softball within the Radarlock collection.  This lens will provide optimal coverage for average size faces.  The Radarlock Pitch feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock is recommended for baseball & softball players that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock Path Prescription Sunglasses: The Radarlock Path, like the Radar Path, is going to be smaller than the Pitch and larger than the edge.  The Radarlock Path feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock frames are recommended for baseball & softball players that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock XL Prescription Sunglasses: The Radarlock XL, is the largest of the Radar or Radarlock frames and lenses.  The Radarlock XL is going to have a wider and taller lens that is best suited for large faces.  The Radarlock XL feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock frames are recommended for baseball & softball players that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Radarlock XL Straight Prescription Sunglasses: The Radarlock XL Straight is the largest of the Radar or Radarlock frames and lenses as it has the same lens as the Radarlock XL that is wider and taller making it best suited for large faces. It differs from the Radarlock XL in the temples.  The Radarlock XL Straight has just that, straight temples.  This frame was specifically designed to be worn with baseball & softball hats as the straight arms of the frame allow it to fit comfortably under a ball cap.  The Radarlock XL feature Oakley’s Switchlock technology allowing for fast, secure interchangeability of lenses.  The Radarlock frames are recommended for baseball & softball players that need the ability to quickly change their lenses with changing light conditions.

Oakley Flak Jacket and Flak Jacket XLJ Prescription Sunglasses: These are also a great option for baseball & softball sunglasses. Both frames have a larger offering of prescription lens tints than what is available in the Radar or Radarlock.  The lenses are also easily interchangeable making them ideal for baseball & softball players who require multiple lenses when playing in different light conditions.  The Flak Jacket and Flak Jacket XLJ is the exact same frame but the lens height will be different.  This means that you can put a Flak Jacket XLJ lens in a Flak Jacket frame and vice versa.  The Flak Jacket XLJ is typically preferred for baseball & softball as it has a taller lens height and provides more coverage than the regular Flak Jacket.  These frames also have a straight stem that allows them to easily and comfortably fit under a baseball & softball cap.

Oakley Quarter Jacket Prescription Sunglasses:  The Quarter Jacket is going to offer the same technical features as the Flak Jacket and the Flak Jacket XLJ but is a youth specific frame.  The Quarter Jacket has all of the sport performance technology as Oakley's adult frame but was made to fit both boys and girls allowing them to have a prescription sports sunglass that offers uncompromising performance, comfort, protection, and style.  This is a great prescription baseball & softball sunglass option for both boys and girls.

Our Recommended Oakley Baseball & softball Prescription Sunglass Lenses:

Oakley’s Black Iridium Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Black Iridium lenses are going to be one of the darkest lens tints available from Oakley.  The Black Iridium lenses are a grey based lens with a visible light transmission of 10%.  This makes the Black Iridium lens one of the most popular baseball & softball prescription lenses as it will be ideal for bright conditions and all day wear as a grey base lens will put less stress on the eye by dulling the light that is transmitted.  Due to the nature of the sport when playing baseball & softball in full sunlight conditions there will be times when you may have to look directly into the sun for balls, in which case you would want the darkest lens option for the intense lighting.

Oakley’s Fire Iridium Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  The Fire Iridium lenses have a brown base which will increase contrast.  Oakley’s Fire Iridium is going to be the go-to high contrast prescription sunglass lens for baseball & softball as it has both an iridium coating, which will tune contrast and reduce glare, and also will be one of the darkest brown base lenses.  These features make the Fire Iridium ideal as it will block out harsh glare but will also make the field seem brighter when you’re in shadows that can be cast from the lights or bleachers.  The Fire Iridium lenses have a visible light transmission of 16%.  This lens is going to feel quite a bit brighter when it’s on than the Black Iridium even though the visible light transmission is only 6% different.  With a high contrast lens the eye sees contrast as light, where a grey base lens the light is dulled. So for example, if a brown base lens and a grey base lens have the same visible light transmission the brown will feel much brighter than the grey when it’s on.  Oakley’s Fire Iridium lens tint is designed to perform best in medium to bright light.

Oakley’s G30 Iridium Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  The G30 Iridium lenses have a rose base, which much like brown will increase contrast.  Oakley’s G30 Iridium is one of Oakley’s sport specific lens tints.  The G30 Iridium is recommended for sports played in green environments such as golf, and baseball & softball as the rose base improves contrast and depth perception in blues and greens.  The Iridium coating will reduce glare to provide better visual clarity.  While the G30 Iridium lens won’t be the ideal lens for bright full-sunlight conditions but is a great flat to medium light lens for anyone looking for a versatile lens for a variety of sports.  The G30 Iridium lenses have a visible light transmission of 25%.  This lens is going to feel quite a bit brighter when it’s on than both the Black Iridium and Fire Iridium lenses.

Oakley’s Clear Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Oakley’s Clear lenses are a great option for night games.  Oakley’s prescription lenses are digital which essentially means the prescription will run from edge to edge of the lens preventing any distortion on the peripheral.  Oakley’s Clear lens will provide you will sharper vision, better peripheral vision, and fewer glares at night.

Oakley’s Transition Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Oakley offers a number of prescription transition sunglass lens tints.  For baseball & softball if you are set on a transition lens we recommend either the Black Iridium Transition lenses or the Clear to Grey Transition lenses.  However, with that said we don’t typically recommend a transition lens for baseball & softball since it won’t give you the optimal visual performance of a clear lens or a sunglass lens.  It's normally not dark enough during the day and not light enough for night games.  So for example, the Black Iridium Transition lens will be a dark sunglass lens when in full sunlight but won’t transition to completely clear no matter how dark your environment gets, there will always be a light grey tint on the lens when in low light conditions.  If you go with the Grey to Clear Transition lenses your lens will be completely clear when indoors and at night but it won’t ever be as dark as a traditional sunglass lens when in full sunlight.  Since in baseball & softball you want the darkest lens during the day, as often times you end up staring into the sun for a ball, and for a night game you will always want clear because it will be the best to see the ball transition lenses will not be ideal for this sport.

Kaenon Baseball & Softball Semi-rimless Prescription Sunglass Recommendations:

Kaenon Kore Prescription Sunglasses: Kaenon offers three Kore styles within their collection, the Hard Kore, Soft Kore, and Kore prescription sunglasses.  These three styles are going to be the best suited and most popular Kaenon sunglass frames for baseball & softball.  All three are semi-rimless allowing your vision to be unobstructed and keeping perspiration from pooling in the lower portion of the frame.  They also have interchangeable lenses making it easy to quickly change your lens as the light conditions change. Below is the difference between the three Kore frame options:

Kaenon Hard Kore Prescription Sunglasses: These are going to be the most popular frame choice from Kaenon for baseball & softball sunglasses.  The Kaenon Hard Kore has a wide lens that provides full face coverage while still having the flexibility of interchangeable lenses.  The Hard Kore also features straight stems that are designed to easily and comfortably fit under a baseball & softball cap.

Kaenon Soft Kore Prescription Sunglasses: The Kaenon Soft Kore is going to be smaller version of the Hard Kore with narrower ear stems that aren’t as straight as the Hard Kore.  The Kaenon Soft Kore will also have a wide lens that provides full face coverage while still having the flexibility of interchangeable lenses.  This prescription baseball & softball sunglass is going to be best suited for average to narrow faces and is also a great option for women.

Kaenon Kore Prescription Sunglasses: The Kaenon Kore prescription sunglasses are the original frame design within the Kore collection.  The Kore sunglasses are larger than the soft Kore but have narrower ear stems that aren’t as straight as the Hard Kore.  The Kaenon Kore will also have the same wide lens as the Hard Kore that provides full face coverage while still having the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. 

Our Recommended Kaenon Baseball & Softball Prescription Sunglass Lenses:

Kaenon’s G12 Polarized Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Kaenon’s Grey12 Polarized lenses do not alter color perception like Kaenon’s high contrast Copper lenses do. Kaenon’s Grey 12 lenses block 88% of visible light and are the darkest lenses that Kaenon offers. These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions. Grey lenses are the most comfortable lens color for long term sun exposure since they are neutral and offer no contrast which your eyes translate as brightness.  As mentioned above, due to the nature of the sport when playing baseball & softball in full sunlight conditions there will be times when you may have to look directly into the sun for balls, in which case you would want the darkest lens option for the intense lighting.

Kaenon’s Copper C12 Polarized Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Kaenon’s Copper C12 Polarized lens is Kaenon’s darkest high contrast lens. Kaenon’s Copper lenses offer a high contrast tint that enhances color contrast and detail recognition.  These lenses perform best in bright, full sun conditions where enhanced contrast is ideal. Copper lenses are ideal for sports that require high contrast such as baseball & softball since they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.

Kaenon’s Copper C50 Polarized Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Kaenon’s Copper lenses enhance color contrast and detail recognition in a variety of lighting conditions. Kaenon’s Copper 50 (C50) lenses block 50% of visible light which allows maximum light transmission for the greatest detail recognition. These lenses perform best in low light and hazy conditions. For the baseball & softball the Kaenon Copper 50 lens is recommended for cloudy, overcast games.  Like the Kaenon C12 lens, copper lenses are good for baseball & softball as they improve depth perception and enhance the contours of the ground.

Bolle Baseball & Softball Semi-rimless Prescription Sunglass Recommendations:

Bolle Chase and Tempest Prescription Sunglasses: Bolle offers two frame styles within their Rx collection, the Tempest, and the Chase that are going to be great options for prescription sunglasses for baseball & softball.  Both styles are semi-rimless allowing your vision to be unobstructed and keeping perspiration from pooling in the lower portion of the frame.  They also have interchangeable lenses making it easy to quickly change your lens as the light conditions change. Bolle is going to be great option and one of the only options for anyone with a high prescription as they will allow a total power of up to a -8.00 in most of their high wrap prescription sport sunglasses. Below is the difference between the two Bolle prescription sunglass frame options:

Bolle Tempest Prescription Sunglasses: The Tempest prescription sunglasses are an 8 base lens, meaning they have a high wrap and will provide full face coverage.  The Tempest also features and adjustable Thermogrip nose pad making this frame a great option for large or small nose bridges where an adjustable nose piece is essential to get the proper fit.  The Tempest sunglasses are often times selected by baseball & softball players with high prescriptions that aren’t able to wear Oakley or Kaenon frames.  Bolle is one of the only companies that makes a semi-rimless prescription sport sunglass in a total power higher than -6.00. The Tempest also features vented lenses to prevent fogging and has the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. 

Bolle Chase Prescription Sunglasses: The Chase prescription sunglasses are a semi-rimless wrap sunglass that will provide great peripheral coverage.  The Chase also features and adjustable Thermogrip nose pad making this frame a great option for large or small nose bridges where an adjustable nose piece is essential to get the proper fit.  The Chase or Tempest sunglasses are often times selected by baseball & softball players with high prescriptions that aren’t able to wear Oakley or Kaenon frames.  Bolle is one of the only companies that makes a semi-rimless prescription sport sunglass in a total power higher than -6.00. The Chase also features Bolle’s Optics Control System interchangeable lens system to easily change out the lens depending on the light conditions.

Our Recommended Bolle Baseball & Softball Prescription Sunglass Lenses:

Bolle’s Fire ‘TNS’ Polarized Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Bolle’s Fire ‘TNS’ lenses are a grey based lens with a red mirror coating on them.  With a visible light transmission of 17% this is going to be one of the darkest grey based lenses that Bolle offers.  The Fire ‘TNS’ has a multi-level red mirror coating on it that will enhance contrast and further reflect glare from bright surfaces.  This is often a preferred lens choice for baseball & softball as it will give you increased contrast but also block out harsh light.  

Bolle’s Grey ‘TNS’ Polarized Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Bolle’s Grey ‘TNS’ lenses are the darkest lens offering from Bolle.  With a visible light transmission of 10% this is going to be a great prescription lens option for baseball & softball as it will let you see true color while cutting out harsh glare.  The Grey ‘TNS’ lens offers superior visual clarity in bright, full sunlight conditions which is what a large number of baseball & softball games is played in.

Bolle’s Rose ‘Modulator’ Photochromic Lenses for Baseball & Softball:  Bolle’s Rose ‘Modulator’ lenses are photochromic.  Photochromic lenses automatically adjust the visible light transmission as the light conditions change in your environment.  The Rose ‘Modulator’ lens is recommended for cloudy or overcast baseball & softball games where a high contrast lens that brightens your surroundings is important. With a visible light transmission that ranges from 19-48% this is going to be a great prescription lens option for medium to low light conditions.  

*If you still have additional questions about baseball & softball prescription sunglasses one of our sports specialists would be happy to help you.  Please contact us by email, phone, or chat and we’ll make sure you get into a sunglass frame and lens that matches your performance needs.