In our Oakley 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. When 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.
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 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.
*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.